In order to win you must be prepared to lose something. And leave one or two cards showing.
When I started you were more in touch with the people you were playing to.
There wasn't the distance or the separation that there is now.
When I started studying tenor saxophone as a kid in Belfast, I did so with a guy named George Cassidy, who was also a big inspiration.
I went back to Belfast and started a club, the Maritime.
No one had thought about doing a blues club, so I was the first.
I'm very lucky, I'm happy with life because my experiences led me to do what I had to do. I don't have any regrets whatsoever.
It was really strange for me when I started to play concerts in America where the audiences were all sitting down.
Every performance is different. That's the beauty of it.
You take stuff from different places, and sometimes you stick a line in because it rhymes, not because it makes sense.
I learnt from Armstrong on the early recordings that you never sang a song the same way twice.
I don't think nostalgia has to be negative.
Hearing the blues changed my life.
There's always got to be a struggle. What else is there? That's what life is made of. I don't know anything else. If there is, tell me about it.
The first piece of music that captured my imagination was probably Ray Charles Live At Newport.
The point of jazz is, you do something and then you go on.
If you're a pop singer, you don't need to evolve.
You just get a set together, have some hit songs and play them over and over.
I'd love to live in Ireland but I'd like to live as me, not what someone thinks I am. People don't understand - I lived there before I was famous.
You can't stay the same. If you're a musician and a singer, you have to change, that's the way it works.
A famous person to themselves, they don't get up in the morning and think, I'm famous. I'm not famous to me. Famous is a perception.
I do see value in music criticism. Most of the criticism I have received over the years has been very good.
As a developing musician, skiffle became a platform for me to start playing music.
These days politics, religion, media seem to get all mixed up.
Television became the new religion a long time back and the media has taken over.
I always record far more than I can use. There's probably twice as much recorded as comes out.
I educated myself. To me, school was boring.
I never paid attention to what was contemporary or what was commercial, it didn't mean anything to me.
Large audiences did not suit my low-key approach.
Being famous was extremely disappointing for me.
When I became famous it was a complete drag and it is still a complete drag.
Even today, skiffle is a defining part of my music.
If I get the opportunity to just have a jam, skiffle is what I love to play.
Skiffle was a name that was attached to what was, in essence, American folk music with a beat.
My ambition when I started out was to play two or three gigs a week. And that's what I'm doing.
The future is keeping you out of the present time.
There is no black-and-white situation. It's all part of life. Highs, lows, middles.
I never bought the commercial thing, at any stage of the game.
In order to win you must be prepared to lose sometime. And leave one or two cards showing.
I think Paul McGuinness and U2 created the Irish music industry.
It certainly wasn't there before that.
You've got to separate the singer and the songs.
I'm not a rock singer and I don't want to be a rock singer.
I'm not interested. It doesn't seem to get across.
Music is spiritual. The music business is not.
I've never felt like I was born with a silver spoon at all, although I've felt like howling at the moon a lot of times!
I understood jazz, I understood how it worked. That's what I apply to everything.
If it's what you do and you can do it, then you do it.