Paul Brady, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and one of Ireland's most enduringly popular artists makes a long awaited return to Castlebar when he appears in concert at The Royal Theatre on Saturday October 27th. Tickets go on sale next Saturday from The Royal Theatre Box Office, Ticketmaster outlets nationwide and Ticketmaster.ie
Raised in Strabane, Northern Ireland, his early musical influences were the Jazz, Swing and show tunes of his parents ,50's Rock 'n Roll, 60's pop and Motown, Blues, R'nB and Country and Western, all mixed with the potent flavour of Irish traditional music and song.
He moved to Dublin for college in the mid sixties and began to develop as a singer and performer joining a succession of R'n B / Soul bands including The Inmates, The Kult, Rootzgroop and Rockhouse covering the songs of Ray Charles, James Brown, Junior Walker, Ike and Tina Turner and blues legends like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Chuck Berry.
The 60's in Dublin saw the renewal of interest in Irish traditional music and gave birth to the first wave of Irish ballad groups like The Clancy Brothers, The Dubliners, Sweeney's Men and The Johnstons. Soon Paul became swept up in this current scene and joined The Johnstons with whom he recorded seven albums.
Moving with The Johnstons in Jan '69 to live in London and later in '72 to New York City, he returned to Dublin in 1974 to join Planxty, the premier Irish folk band of the early '70's. This was the band that was to launch the solo careers of Andy Irvine, Liam O' Flynn, Donal Lunny and Christy Moore. From '76 to '78 he played as a duo with Andy Irvine, a relationship that produced "Andy Irvine and Paul Brady", an album loved at the time and still sought after in CD form today.
Paul had at this stage had established his popularity and reputation as one of Ireland's best interpreters of traditional songs. His versions of great ballads like Arthur McBride and The Lakes Of Pontchartrain were definitive and are still being asked for by audiences today. By the end of the '70's however, he found himself back at the same crossroads once too often. After an acclaimed solo folk album "Welcome Here Kind Stranger" (1978) which won the Melody maker Folk Album of the year, he decided it was time to move on.
Surprising most observers at the time, he released "Hard Station" in 1981. Self-penned, the album lyrically reflected the personal changes he was undergoing and musically was a highly original reworking of his earlier influences. Irish folk music took a back seat for the time being. Those more traditional voices that would have preferred him to stay as he was were soon replaced by the voices of praise for what is now accepted as a classic of Irish rock.
The albums which followed, "True For You" (1983), "Back To The Centre" (1985), Primitive Dance (1987), "Trick Or Treat" (1991) and "Spirits Colliding" (1995) collectively established Paul as the pre-eminent Irish singer-songwriter of his generation.
His songs have been recorded by a host of international stars including Tina Turner - Steel Claw and Paradise is Here on here "Private Dancer" and "Break Every Rule " albums, Art Garefunkel, Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt.
In 2001, Paul undertook a record-breaking, celebrated run at Dublin's premier music venue, Vicar Street playing 23 sold-out shows over the month of October. RTE television, Ireland's national TV station, filmed a six program series featuring Paul's music, called "The Paul Brady Songbook". Shown to acclaim in Ireland there followed a CD of a selection of the recordings and a DVD of the entire series, both also called "The Paul Brady Songbook".
Paul Brady continues to push out the boundaries not only of his own talent but of Irish contemporary music in the new millennium. Touring extensively both as a solo performer and with his own band he has forged a reputation as a passionate and exciting performer and attracts a dedicated following worldwide.
His upcoming show at The Royal Theatre Castlebar on Saturday October 27th is one not to be missed. Tickets will be available from the theatre box office, Ticketmaster outlets nationwide and on line at Ticketmaster.ie