Irish singer-songwriter Danny Burns is preparing for the release of a new album in mid-January, but he's giving The Boot's readers an advance first listen to one of the tracks. Press play above to hear "Great Big Sea," and see its accompanying music video.

"Great Big Sea" finds Burns teaming up with bluegrass great Tim O'Brien -- one of Burns' numerous special guests on his new record -- who provides harmony vocals and one heck of a mandolin solo. The song's story came to Burns while he was writing in his mother's kitchen in Donegal, Burns' hometown in the northwest part of Ireland.

"Fishing, farming and tourism were the main industries growing up there. It's known for its rugged windswept landscape and beautiful coastline," Burns tells The Boot. "This song is about friends who were fishermen, coming and going out to sea. Some folks didn't come back."

"Great Big Sea" is one of 10 songs on North Country, Burns' debut album, due out on Jan. 18. In addition to O'Brien, the record features Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Dan Tyminski, Holly Williams, Mindy Smith, Old Crow Medicine Show's Critter Fuqua and more -- an impressive guest list for a debut album, though Burns has been around the bluegrass and folk music scenes for longer than you might think.

Although he's only just releasing his debut disc, Burns has spent two decades working as a musician, both in America and overseas. He self-produced North Country, which was largely recorded at the Nashville home studio of Gary Paczosa, a Grammy Awards-winning producer and engineer known for his work with Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss. Select songs were recorded at Nashville's Butcher Shoppe studio.

North Country is available for pre-order now. Burns has a number of tour dates on his calendar in the coming weeks; visit to keep up with his goings-on.

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