News Update December 5th 2007
Yes, you’re right. Where has he been? Working and working. people! Doing stuff! Loads going on. First off…. three new gigs coming up. I play the convention hall at City West Hotel in Saggart, County Dublin on Dec 28th (see tour dates for details) with my band. This time I’m back with my old friends Liam Genockey on drums, Steve Fletcher on keyboards and Jenny Maidman on bass plus Clonakilty’s favourite son Bill Shanley on guitars. A perfect antidote to the post Christmas blues. Come on out there!
Next up is a reunion in concert with my partner of the mid 70s, Andy Irvine as part of the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow’s Royal Concert hall on Jan 30th 2008. Long time PB afficionados will be aware of the record Andy and I made in 1976 ‘Andy Irvine and Paul Brady’. We will concentrate on the material from this record plus many more songs from that golden period of Irish music. For those of you who only know me as a contemporary songwriter this is a chance to see what I was up to in my 20s!
On Feb 24th I’m in New York for a one off concert at the Irish Arts Centre Theatre, a project in association with the Irish Arts Center, the Irish Consulate and Culture Ireland. The idea is that an established Irish artist (that’s me, people!) teams up with a young American artist who is to an extent inspired and influenced by the aforementioned in a collaboration designed as a kind of passing on of a sort of baton… and to show the closeness and common artistic bonds between our two countries. Whew! Got it?
OK! What this means simply is that I have agreed to be the Irish artist and I have chosen to get together with a uniquely talented young artist from Nashville, Sarah Siskind, whose music and songs I have enjoyed for some years now and who has a special affection for music from Ireland. Sarah is a beautiful singer, song-writer and instrumentalist with… and this is what always interests me… a totally individual sound. We have never actually worked together before so this will be for me an exciting event.
In the medium term, it looks, after all, like I won’t be in Australia in early 2008. Perhaps later in the year. But we are working towards some spring Irish and UK dates and I’m planning to start recording again early in 2008. I have a load of songs and I’ve waited long enough.
A real development is the new work we have just lately done on the website. Now when you access the home page the PB Radio opens up (unless you have pop-ups blocked in your browser, in which case you can click on the radio icon in the top of page menu). The radio features a broad random selection of my recorded work introduced by myself. We will be changing this regularly so as to keep things fresh.
Next up is an expansion of the Collectors Corner, where we are already featuring original demos of many of my most popular songs, demos of new and as yet unrecorded material, alternative mixes, b-sides and out-takes from past recording sessions. There is now a huge addition to this area which gives a unique insight into my initial ideas for now familiar songs, plus new live gig recordings and videos, many clips from You Tube of my performances over the years and access to further archive material not available anywhere else. Check it out!
Lastly I would like to take this opportunity to wish all PB website correspondents a very happy holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous 2008
Paul Brady News Update Sept 16 ‘07
Hello again all Paul Brady correspondents. Yeah, yeah! I know it’s been ages! But I decided to chill over the summer this year and apart from the few festivals I played, I pretty much vegged out and did home stuff. Had a significant birthday celebration with my family in Ramelton, Donegal plus a good old party with music from Tommy Peoples, Arty McGlynn, Ciaran Tourish, Henry McCullagh, James Blennerhasset, Brian Kennedy and many more.
Took a trip to San Francisco late May to see some friends. Did a concert at the Fringe Festival in the beautiful old town of Wexford, Ireland in June. Played another summer festival in Newcastle, County Down later that month, made a guest appearance at the Sweeney’s Men induction to the Hall of Fame at the Rostrevor annual Festival, then wrote a song or two.
July saw me in Mullingar, County Westmeath at the Midlands Music festival which for me was the highlight of the year. Nice to play again, for the first time since 2003 with Liam Genockey on drums and Steve Fletcher on keyboards. Like old times!
July finished off with an appearance as a trio (Graham Henderson on keyboards and Bill Shanley electric guitars) at the Shrewsbury Folk festival.
My last gig for the foreseeable future will be next week, Saturday, September 22nd as one of the artists performing at a charity gig for the Shooting Star Children’s Hospice (http://www.shootingstar.org.uk/) in The Winning Post, Twickenham, near London. Tickets can be got by calling +44.20.8783.1780. At the time of writing this, the other acts are Maire Ni Bhraonain, Ben Waters, Bad Influence and Jeff Allen’s All Stars.
Other news is that the TV series, Transatlantic Sessions 3, which was filmed back in April in Pitlochry, Scotland has just begun broadcasting and is on your screens at the moment for the next six weeks both on RTE TV in Ireland and BBC 4 and BBC Scotland in UK. Reaction so far has been hugely positive. Seen a couple of shows myself and it looks and sounds great. There will be an accompanying DVD and CD to follow. I’m very proud to have been associated with it.
Latest live development is that Andy Irvine and I are set to reunite for a concert during the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow next January ‘08. We got together last week in Dublin and after listening to a few old tapes of our gigs in the 70’s, we burst into tears, threw our arms around each other and blubbered, ‘Hey, we were Soooo good! Why did we ever do anything else?!! Sniff, sniff!’ Well….. not really, but we did enjoy the listen and are both really excited about doing it again. Mainly featured will be the songs from our 1976 record ‘Andy Irvine & Paul Brady’ which some of you seem to have liked, plus some more old gems and a couple of new ones. The exact date in January is not yet set in stone. Watch this space!
I’m also planning some UK dates in ’08 including a London show at the Royal Festival Hall ( date to be confirmed) plus another trip to Australia in March ’08 to do some of the festivals there plus a few gigs of my own. More details on that as it nears confirmation.
In the meantime, I’m writing, and moving towards recording some new songs which I hope to release in the new year. Also involved with a huge trawl through the archives….ok boxes in my attic…. and finding lots of recordings of the original demos for many of my songs. Plan is to add them to the website ‘Collectors Corner’ over the next few weeks.
That’s it for now!
Best wishes to all,
Paul Brady News Update April 06 ‘07
Happy Easter all from Paul Brady. Things have quietened down again for a while so I thought I‘d give an update of events in my world.
The Transatlantic Sessions, filmed in Scotland, have come and gone and should be on your screens in Ireland and UK by September with a possible later showing in USA. Failing that, a DVD will be released. More as that develops
I had a ball, ending up singing three songs of my own, ‘Don‘t Try To Please Me‘ (with Jerry Douglas,Tim O‘Brien, Cara Dillon, Donald Shaw, James Macintosh and Todd Parks on bass) , ‘The Lakes of Pontchartrain‘ in a new arrangement with Aly Bain on fiddle, Ronan Browne on low whistle, Donald on accordeon, Todd and Jerry Douglas on lap steel guitar, and finally a new song I just wrote called ‘Rainbow‘. Look out for Eddie Reader and Karen Matheson on vocals and Tim O‘Brien and Russ Barenberg on duelling mandolins.
Got to duet again with Cara Dillon on The Streets of Derry. Fans of Cara will remember our duet of same on her current CD ‘After The Morning‘. Also duetted with Darrell Scott on a Stuart Adamson song. Darrell and I have met several times but this was the first time to sing together. A great singer and guitarist.
Went straight to London after this for the St Patricks‘ Festival in Trafalgar Square (see gallery). As you can see a fantastic crowd turned up and it was good to team up again with Bill Shanley and Graham Henderson on guitar and keyboards.
Last weekend saw me firstly on RTE TV ‘Late Late Show‘ on Friday with former Planxty colleague Liam O‘Flynn and Chieftains fiddler Sean Keane and on Sunday in Buncrana guesting with Ciaran Tourish on the final concert of the Traditional Arts festival. Guitarist, Arty McGlynn, Sean Potts on pipes and whistle and Jimmy Higgins on percussion completed the line up. Buncrana was bathed in glorious sunshine. I never saw Lough Swilly look so calm. Once the world discovers this place people will scratch their heads and say ‘Why does no one talk about Inishowen?‘ In the meantime us North Westerners will keep it to ourselves.
This Easter weekend takes me to Cork for the TG4 Gradam Ceoil TV awards where I‘m singing a couple of songs in Irish and presenting an award. That‘s about it till the summer gigs as I‘m going to spend most of April and May writing and recording.
Don‘t forget the summer festivals (see tour dates)! Highlight for me should be the Midlands Music Festivalin Mullingar on Sunday July 29th. See you there!
Paul Brady News Update March 7 ‘07
Hi to all PB correspondents and apologies for the long gap in news. I‘ve been constantly on the move and I‘m afraid I‘m the kinda guy that can only sit down and do this when I‘m at home and not running around all over the place. I‘m hoping that‘s better than getting someone else to do it more often and pretending it‘s me!?
Last time I scribbled was from Australia in December. Since then I‘ve been on holiday in New Zealand and on tour in USA with a short visit to Belfast a couple of weekends ago for the Belfast-Nashville Songwriters‘ festival.
Australia was great and thanks to all who came out to the shows especially at Christmas time when everyone has so much on. To be sitting outside in the hot sun sipping a ‘flat white‘ on Fitzroy Avenue in St Kilda at Christmas time was a trip for this boy from the Emerald Isle. Great to be back at the Basement in Sydney again too. A special night too at the Theatre royal in Castlemaine, a lovely town. Thanks to David and all the team there for looking after me so well.
I really loved NZ (see gallery). Only managed to see the South Island but there was certainly enough there to thrill the senses. Hit the glaciers and the fjords, the Abel Tasman nature reserve and saw the humpback whales at Kaikoura. Spent part of Christmas in beautiful Akaroa and went for long walks on the wild west coast beaches at Hokitika and Haast. Didn‘t see one traffic jam all the time I was there. Seeing the sunrise at 6.00 am on Mt Cook in the company of some Kea‘s (NZ parrots) was a real highlight. It was really hard to leave.
I stopped off in LA for a few days on the way home with some friends and was hardly over the NZ jetlag in Dublin before I had to head off again to USA for my Feb dates on the east coast. The night we arrived in Boston it was 7 below zero centigrade, with a wind chill factor of minus 14! Some change from summer in New Zealand! It was so cold and dry that the bridge popped off one of my Lowden guitars during the soundcheck at the Fall River Arts Centre. Mighty thanks to king guitar maker TJ Thomson who drove all the way from West Concord MA to Fall River MA (200 miles round trip), picked up my guitar, glued it together again overnight so I could play it the following night in Northampton. TJ, you‘re a special guy. Thanks also to manager Garry West for putting that all together. You know, something‘s telling me I won‘t be touring the north east US in Feb anymore.
It got even worse when we got to New Hampshire with a blizzard coming in and one of my gigs having to be cancelled. They know how to handle snow over there, however, for by the next day the roads were cleared and I was able to do the show the following night. Regrets to anyone who wasn‘t able to re-schedule. Thanks to Altan for agreeing to share a night with me. Nice also to have my Japanese record company boss Yoko Nozaki along for some of the US shows.
Arrived back home on Feb 22nd and headed straight to Belfast for the Belfast-Nashville songwriters‘ festival. I have to say I was slightly spaced with all the traveling but managed to do my show without any hiccups. Next day‘s ‘In the round‘ with Richard Leigh and Gary Nicholson was a real highlight too. Thanks to Colin Magee and all his extended family for the great party Sunday night.
Well, next up is the recording of the Transatlantic Sessions in Pitlochrie, Scotland next week. This is the third session of this TV series which puts together a selection of Scottish, Irish English and American talent in the contemporary/ roots/ acoustic field. PB followers may remember my involvement in the first series some years ago. This year sees me in the company of Jerry Douglas, Aly Bain, Eddie Reader, Tim O‘Brien, Cara Dillon, Karen Matheson and many more. Later on in the recording, Sharon Shannon, Donal Lunny and Joan Osborne will be adding to the brew.
Then it‘s down to London for the St Patrick‘s festival open air in Trafalgar Square on Sun 18th March where I join up with Bill Shanley on electric guitar and Graham Henderson on keyboards to do an hour long set.
On April 1st (!!) I‘m doing a cameo appearance on the Ciaran Tourish gig at the Buncrana traditional arts festival in Donegal. It‘s always a blast to play with Ciaran. After that, In April and May I‘m planning to disappear to write and possibly record. I have a load of new songs, some finished, some needing the final touches and I‘m ready for the first time since Say What You Feel to start thinking about another album.
June, July and August sees me in festival mode with Irish appearances at Newcastle, County Down and Mullingar, County Westmeath (see tour dates) and UK gigs at Kirklees, Huddersfield and Shrewsbury.
That‘s it for now…..oh, and some fishing on Lough Mask in May, hopefully. First things first, after all.
Till next time, say what you feel!
Paul Brady News Update Dec 13th 2006
Hello all from Tokyo, where I’ve just done two really enjoyable gigs. Thanks to all my Japanese fans for making it such an memorable time and to Keiko and all her wonderfull associates at Plankton promotions and Music Plant supremo Yoko who releases my cds and looks after me like a ‘Rock Shtar’, as she says in her charming version of an Irish accent. There is nowhere an artist gets looked after better than in Japan. Truly hospitable people. Right now I’m sitting in the departure lounge at Narita waiting for my flight to Melbourne with some very nice memories. Some dodgy photos will appear on the gallery page soon.
It’s that time again…. the old end of year commercial extravaganza called Christmas or whatever you’re having yourself depending on your cultural background. Cynical, moi? As a well known Irish songwriter said of the Corporate Beast in one of his recent songs, ‘How can something that just bought up the world keep on growing?’ I was surprised to see how big a commercial event Christmas is in Japan. Is there anywhere in the world one can escape from Jingle Bells any more? Seems not. In any case I will be in the Southern Hemisphere this year in Christchurch, New Zealand where hopefully the greatest excesses can be avoided, some genuine peace and solitude can be found and no one can hear me saying ‘Bah, Humbug!’ Oh dear. Old Scrooge Brady at it again? Not really! I just LOVE Christmas!
In the meantime I’m hugely looking forward to my Australian visit, doing a show in Castlemaine on 16th and Melbourne on 17th. Specially looking forward to the Theatre Royal in Castlemaine, a town I’ve never been in. Thanks to the staff there for the nice welcoming note they left on my website guestbook.
Sydney gets the Brady treatment on 19th and 20th. Venues can be found on the tour dates page of my website. Please remember it’s a day/month/year format there. I still cringe when I recall the email that came from the American lady who turned up at a venue on the 4th November for a PB gig that took place the previous April 11th!
Speaking of the festive season, PB correspondents in UK might hear the evergreen Sir Cliff Richard warbling a new song called ‘21st Century Christmas’ over the next few weeks. It’s his Christmas single and myself and my good friend Ralph Murphy from Nashville wrote it. The sentiment starts off kind of like, does Christmas mean anything anymore in this techno age except for the money that flows? …and ends with….like, yes it does. It’s still about love and being considerate towards one’s fellow man in spite of the corporate feeding frenzy. I saw Cliff in concert at the Point in Dublin the night before I flew to Japan. He sang our song and …well, it’s all very exciting! Met him after the show and he’s a genuinely charming man.
Well, that’s it for now folks. Thanks to all of you who wrote to the guestbook or emailed us over the past year.
May we all have a holiday season full of love and respect…and a cuddle or two.
Best wishes for a great 2007!
Paul Brady News Update Oct 30th 2006
Hi To all Paul Brady fans.
Firstly apologies for the problems with the website email address due to a full mailbox. Info@paulbrady.com is now back up and running.
Also there have been a couple of changes to the Australian dates, see the tour dates page .
Paul Brady News Update Oct 10th 2006
Hello again to all Paul Brady correspondents.
Summer is finally over and it’s time to look ahead and see what’s coming up. The Japan 2006, Australia 2006 and USA Feb 2007 shows have now been confirmed. Be aware that as the US dates are still a good bit away, some venues may not have these dates listed on their websites just yet. For full details of all the upcoming shows see the website tour dates page.
The Japan shows are on the 9th and 12th of December. Three days later I start a mini Australian tour with shows in Melbourne and Sydney . I‘ll be spending Christmas, New Year and most of January on an extended holiday break in New Zealand. No plans to do any shows there at the moment but…anything is yet possible. A few options are being explored.
Next year‘s live shows kick off with a 9 date tour of the east coast of USA starting on Feb 8th in Cambridge MA and ending in North Carolina before returning to Ireland for the Nashville Songwriters Festival in Belfast.
Between now and the Japan December shows I‘ll be mostly at home writing, demo-ing, recording some new songs and beginning the mammoth task of mixing the Vicar Street shows for future release. Only live show is a spot on the National Concert Hall 25th Aniversary show in Dublin on November 12th with lots of other artists. This will be filmed for Irish TV to be broadcast over the Christmas period. Again more details on tour dates page.
One other thing to remind Irish residents of is the upcoming RTE One TV series ‘This Note’s For You’, a documentary series on the art of songwriting. This will be televised in a series of six programs beginning Thurs October 12th at 10.15pm and every Thursday after that at the same time. Many Irish songwriters including myself feature throughout the series, which is well worth catching.
That’s it for now, guys. Watch this space. Now get out there and sweep up those leaves!
Paul Brady News Update July 279th 2006
Hi to all Paul Brady correspondents.
Just to keep you in the loop re latest developments, plans are developing for a visit to Japan, Australia and NZ in December. Most likely two concerts in Tokyo between 9th and 13th, one with Tim O’Brien, Lunasa and others and then a solo show a couple of days later. Then a quick trip to Australia for three or four shows in Melbourne , Sydney and possibly Castlemaine…..that’s bound to be a XXXX show….only joking… No? I guess you’re not an afficionado of Oz beer. Never mind. Finally off to spend Christmas (or whatever you want to call it) in New Zealand, mainly to find out how my son is behaving himself. He’s there for a year working,… he says. Yeah, right! Surfing, snowboarding and the other stuff, I’ll bet! But I’m looking forward to spending some time in that beautiful part of the globe. Possibly will do a show or two there depending on how things develop. More on all this as things get confirmed.
At the moment, I’m enjoying the unusually hot Irish summer. Dublin hasn’t seen any rain in over three weeks. Green Ireland., at least the Dublin area and east coast is looking a bit parched these days. Global warming well and truly here. Record temps recorded here and in UK. The shamrock is threatened with extinction, they say…my God! What are we gonna do? We’ll have to find a new national symbol. Suggestions to the above address, please…and a pint of Guinness is already on the list so you got to work a bit harder.
August I go travelling in Ireland visiting friends and family and listening to music wherever I find it. Lots of good music happening here right now. This weekend I’m going to catch up with a festival in the midlands featuring , Mozaik, Loudon Wainwright, Nancy Griffith, Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris and Kenny Rogers among others. Rest of the time I’m back writing and recording at my studio which is getting a tech makeover as we speak. Plan is to write and record as it happens and whenever there’s enough for a record then put it out. Most likely next year.
Working on a writing trip to USA in October in among the home based studio work which will probably take in NYC, Nashville and the west coast for a few weeks. No US shows planned before Feb next year. More on that later.
In the meantime, if you’re suffering withdrawal symptoms from new PB material (I‘m beginning to feel that too!) there’s always the ‘collectors corner’ at the PB store on the website where you can find a lot of unreleased and deleted material, live shows and original home demos of songs you may be familiar with. Latest developments on site are the streaming sound and video pages which feature a rotating selection of sound recordings and rough videos of live shows with plans to put up archive video in development. You can access these from the icons on the home page www.paulbrady.com .
Finally, on Friday 28th July I‘m performing a live version of ‘Mary and The Soldier’ from the Liberty Tapes album on a new Irish podcasting website www.balconytv.com . Check it out. The performance will be on air for 24 hrs, after which it goes to You Tube for awhile, after that the cosmos or who knows where. Hey! Get with it dummies! Is the new thing! More as it happens.
Peace, especially in Lebanon..PB
Paul Brady News Update May 29th 2006
Hello again to all Paul Brady correspondents. Just want to thank all of you who came to the shows on the Irish tour just finished. Special thanks to the many who came in from UK and even Germany.
It was for me truly enjoyable and an eye-opener. The trio was an experiment really in an approach that was kind of half way between a solo show and a full band. For many years fans have been saying that I can get lost in a full bass and drums line up. In a sense, while I feel that line up has produced some amazing music, I can understand the other view. Essentially I am a rhythm player and my own rhythm is the core of the performance. Sometimes in the past drums and my rhythm guitar could cancel each other out. I felt this time that if I could augment the solo approach with some extra colour in the keyboard, guitar and backing vocal depts, I would have the best of both worlds.
And so it turned out to be. Universally the comment was that the trio worked and fully did justice to the songs. It was a highly intimate affair, never the same two nights running with a perfect balance between song structure and improvisation. By tour end we had a whole new way of looking at my music in performance. Huge thanks to Graham Henderson on keyboards, accordeon and vocals and Bill Shanley, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and vocals. Thanks also to John Munnis, tour manager and sound engineer who made it all possible. To Fred who took care of merchandising and to John’s assistants, Liam and Adrian. Finally thanks to Liam Coll and all at Rag Lane promotions who put the tour together except for the Letterkenny gigs for which much appreciation goes to John McIvor.
Highlights? Well there were many but I guess both Letterkenny gigs stood out, as did the Ennis (see review in The Irish Examiner), Birr, Longford, Waterford and Cork shows.
Must make special mention here of Chiara Browne, my guest artist on the tour. Originally from Australia but now resident in Ireland, Chiara was a joy to listen to and to work with, truly professional and entertaining, bringing a natural warmth and musicality to the show. Great that she came and joined us on stage during the latter part of my set on vocals and percussion. The ‘World Is What You Make It’ will not be the same without you! Thanks again Chiara.
Next up is a trip to Boston for a couple of shows in early June. First is a fundraiser on June 8th for the Irish Cultural Society of New England in Club Passims in Cambridge MA.
Followed by an appearance on June 10th at the Irish Connections festival in Canton MA, just outside Boston. It will be a trip down memory lane playing at Club Passim. It was the first venue The Johnstons played at on our first visit to USA in 1970! Wonder if the décor has changed any?
Speaking of highlights, we will be adding a sound desk recording of the Cork show to the site Radio . You can listen as you go through the site. The entire concert is also downloadable at the peebeemusicstore . We recorded all the Irish shows and over the next few weeks we’ll add as many as we can. We have also added some new items to the collectors’ corner ‘demos, b-sides and unreleased’ section…’Duncan & Brady’, the b-side of the original Hard Station 1981 single, ‘Young Love’ a demo of an unreleased PB/WillJennings composition, a solo acoustic version of ‘I Want You To Want Me’ and a 1999 recording of ‘Steel Claw’ with a new vocal which appeared on the b-side of the ‘Long Goodbye’ single in 2000. More curios as they re-surface.
Finally I’m doing a couple of one off Irish gigs after I get back from US. First is a benefit for the Make A Wish Foundation in the great Southern Hotel, Killarney on June 24th. Then at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on July 1st an appearance as guest of Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo along with Liam O’Maonlaí and Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola. Sponsored by Tibet Support Group Ireland.
After that, who knows? I’m itching to get back to writing again and to figure out what direction to go in next. Perhaps some recording over the summer. Still working on possible Japan, Australia and NZ dates in the not too distant future with perhaps some Dublin shows later this year. Watch this space!
News Update May 3rd 2006
Yungchen Lhamo + Friends
One of the world’s great singers, Yungchen Lhamo, ‘The Voice of Tibet‘, with Paul Brady, Liam O Maonlai and Lasairfhiona
Saturday 1st July 2006, @8.00pm
National Concert Hall, Dublin
Tickets €30, €25 (10% discount for groups)
National Concert Hall Box Office
Tel: 01 417 0000 (10am-7pm, Mon-Sat)
No booking fees
Presented by The Yungchen Lhamo Charitable Foundation
Sponsored by Tibet Support Group – Ireland
News Update April 13th 2006
Hello again to all Paul Brady correspondents and a happy Easter to one and all. Apologies for the gap in communication this time. Things were so busy in February and March that the hoped for US tour diary regretably never materialised. It was a rash prediction anyway. I ought to know by now that any free time on tour is usually spent sleeping or ……sleeping!
So, the US tour with Bonnie Raitt has come and gone and hugely enjoyable it was. My first time touring with Her Royal Badness turned out even better than I‘d imagined and I‘d like to take this opportunity to thank my dear friend Bonnie, her band and crew for looking after me so well.
My set lasted 50 mins each night and afterwards I joined Bonnie and her band to duet on those songs of mine that she recorded, Not the Only One and Luck Of The Draw. Several nights we also did Richard Thompson‘s song Dimming Of The Day which I have to say is one of my all time favourite songs. Thanks to Ricky Fataar, George Marinelli, Jon Cleary, Hutch Hutchinson and of course, Bonnie, for making me feel so at home on stage…and on the tour bus! Some serious fun was had (see photos on the Gallery page
It‘s hard to pick out the high points. I honestly enjoyed all the shows but perhaps San Antonio TX on Feb 22nd sticks in my mind as the crowd was really lively and got into my thing from the start (see review on the Press page or in the San Antonio Express ). I liked the feel of San Antonio and Texas in general. Santa Fe, where we stayed for the Albuquerque gig in New Mexico, was so beautiful too. California was, as you‘d expect, cooler, more laid back but none the less enjoyable. Well Californians are hip ’n‘ cool, right?
Typical set list of mine was
- I Want You To Want Me (from Spirits Colliding)
- Smile (from Say What You Feel)
- Blue World (from Trick Or Treat)
- Nobody Knows (from..Nobody Knows)
- Locked Up In Heaven (from Say What You Feel)
- Follow On (from Back To The Centre)
- Crazy Dreams (from Hard Station)
- The Lakes of Pontchartrain (from Welcome Here Kind Stranger)
- The World Is What You Make It (from Spirits Colliding)
It was fantastic playing to large crowds every night (3500- 4000 people). I‘m used to that size of audience at home but I never had consistently played to those size crowds in USA except at outdoor festivals. A large percentage of them would have been seeing me for the first time too which made things that bit more challenging and exciting. The response was really strong and filled me with a new-found confidence. When you play to your own audiences all the time, familiar with your music, as I‘ve now done for over 25 years you sometimes wonder what it really means and how your music might strike a new crowd for the first time. The question was answered on this tour and I was really thrilled to feel the warmth and enthusiasm of Bonnie’s audience. Thanks to all of you who bought cds at the shows, wrote to the site afterwards, downloaded songs.
I was hardly home a week when I went off to Switzerland for a long awaited holiday on the ski slopes of Zermatt. I‘m glad to report that no bones were broken and a lot of fun was had, but I do need to add that Paddy‘s day in Zermatt, Switzerland isn‘t quite the same as in Dublin! Three green balloons outside an English pub with a fictitious Murphy Bros band playing “King Of The Road” and the “Theme from Titanic” is not my idea of an Irish celebration! The Swiss need a
couple of Irish lessons in how to enjoy themselves! Anyway, it’s a small gripe! Zermatt is so beautiful and we had sunshine all week.
I”m back home now looking forward to Easter and the Irish tour that starts on the Friday after (See tour dates page). As I told you in the last newsletter, this is an opportunity to re-visit some old haunts that I’ve not been in in years. I”m staying out of Dublin this time round, though I”m planning to do some shows there later this year.
I also had a short trip to Copenhagen at the weekend just gone to do a concert there. It”s a lovely town and we seem to have brought the Spring, or so the locals said. Nice weather and not too cold. Thanks to Paul-Eric and his team for looking after us and also to the mad Swedes who got up at 4 in the morning to drive all the way down to Denmark to see the show. I always knew the Swedes were crazy….good crazy that is!
Right now I”m trying to get in shape for this tour with lots of walks in the Dublin Hills (I can”t really call them the Dublin Mountains any more after Switzerland!) and swimming as often as I can. Writing too, or at least finishing off half written songs and making demos. Also trying to prepare some recordings of the US shows for the website downloads section ) and the radio section ( see the radio icon at the top of the home page).
Next up after the Irish tour is a return to USA for The Irish Connections Festival in Boston in early June (9 through 11th www.irishculture.org/festival ). Details are being finalised and will be up on site soon. Other things beginning to take shape on the horizon are perhaps a visit to Japan in December and then possibly on to NZ and maybe Australia. More as it develops.
In the meantime, let’s hope this crazy world doesn’t get any crazier till we talk again!
News update Feb 7th 2006
Hello again to all Paul Brady website correspondents. I’m on my way to Los Angeles from London right now aboard Virgin 07. A little tired this morning as I had a latish night after the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards where I was performing and where, to my great pleasure, I was presented with a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award. Dear me, is it that time already? That’s my second in a couple of years (Irish Recorded Music Association 2003)
Is someone trying to tell me something? I’m not going away, you know!
Seriously, I am very pleased to be acknowledged in this way by the British folk music community. My association with the folk scene in UK goes back a long way…to around late 1967 when, as a member of the Irish folk group The Johnstons, I first came to London to record for Transatlantic Records, home at the time to Pentangle, The Young Tradition, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Ian Campbell and many other luminaries of the new acoustic music. We travelled back and forth from Ireland to UK for much of ’68 appearing at concerts and clubs up and down the country and festivals at the time including The Plumpton Jazz Folk and Blues festival outside London and the Cambridge Folk festival. Among the most memorable concerts was The Royal Festival Hall with American singer songwriter Jackson C. Frank and, on her first visit to England, a young Joni Mitchell. One of the laughs (on us) that night surrounded her song ‘Both Sides Now’ The Johnstons had recorded the song as well as another Joni song ( we were huge fans!) ‘The Urge For Going’ on our newly released album ‘Give A Damn’ and we currently had a chart hit with ‘Both Sides Now’ at home in Ireland. As it was arguably our best known and only well known contribution at this stage of our career we asked her management if Joni would mind if we sang the song that night. Word came back that it was fine..go ahead and sing it, which we did. Imagine our embarrassment when, upstairs in the balcony in the second half watching Joni’s set, we heard her say “and now I’m gonna sing a song that I believe some Irish group has a hit with over here…Both Sides Now.” Something got lost in translation between our camp and hers, I guess! No one told her we were actually singing on the same concert. Hot flush time, though with hindsight it’s quite funny really.
There followed many enjoyable years on the UK folk scene. The Johnstons moved over to live in London in Jan ’69 and for the next few years became the darlings of the folk club scene, doing countless radio broadcasts and many TV appearances. Later in the 70s while I was with Planxty and later Andy Irvine, the UK folk community welcomed me with open arms…my first solo record Welcome Here Kind Stranger being voted Melody Maker Folk album of the year in 1978.
So it was a real trip down memory lane for me last night, meeting again with Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson, Simon Nichol, John Tams, Ashley Hutchins, Dave Pegg, Dave Mattacks and Dave Swarbrick who was sounding as good as ever on ‘Matty Groves’. Good also to meet up with Cara Dillon on whose new album she and I sing a duet of ‘The Streets Of Derry’. Check out her site _ “http://www.caradillon.co.uk” Nice to bump into Chris While and Julie Matthews for the first time since Katoomba’s Blue Mountain Festival in NSW Australia in March 2003. Chris of course did a great version of ‘Nowhere Man’ on the folk remake of The Beatles’ Rubber Soul record broadcast last December on BBC Radio 2 on which yours truly took the reins on ‘You Won’t See Me’. By the way, latest on that project is that it is set for release on cd in the Spring of this year. We’ll let you know when it appears.
So! a special night for me last night and quite surprising and gratifying in that since I released my first album of my own songs ‘Hard Station’ in the early 80s, I haven’t had much of a profile on the British Folk Scene. Nice to be fondly remembered and still supported. Thank you BBC Radio 2’s Mike Harding and John Leonard and all at Smooth Operations.
The reason I’m off to LA this morning is to do a bunch of shows (see tour dates) with long time friend and collaborator and icon of American music, Ms Bonnie Raitt. It’s my first time back in USA since this time last year and I’m really up for it, especially since the shows are in California, Texas and, for my first time, Arizona and New Mexico. Good to escape the grey Irish February skies for a while! I’m hoping to keep a kind of tour diary and share it with you guys.
On other fronts, I’m very pleased to see the response to the new PeeBee Music store on site. The download section has sparked a load of interest, especially the ‘collectors corner’ where for the first time many of my original home demos of my songs and a selection of live show recordings, radio broadcasts, b-sides, alternate mixes and studio outtakes are made available for download. We’ll be adding to this on a regular basis from now on. Of course all my officially recorded work is also available at the download site as well as on cd via mail order. This month we have added some live recordings from some shows I did in Tokyo a few years back as well as some more demos.
We have also added streaming audio to the main site, so if you want to listen to some rare recordings when you browse, just click on the radio icon in the menu
Speaking earlier of my first solo album, Welcome Here Kind Stranger (1978), I know that hardly a week goes by these days without several queries as to why it is so hard to get and when will it ever again be generally available. To cut a long story short, the company who originally released the album, Mulligan Music, lost the master tape. As a result there never was an official CD release although a spurious and dreadful sounding bootleg pressed up from a vinyl copy appeared in UK in the early 80s. I can now happily reveal that a tape copy of the master has resurfaced after all these years (thank you, the music genie!) and it sounds fantastic. Ownership now resides with my own company, PeeBee Music. We have recently re-mastered it and it is now ready for re-release. Firstly however, we are informing all you website correspondents of its availability as a digital download from the website store. To experience the original record as it first appeared we respectfully suggest you download the complete CD and not just individual songs.
It will be released later this year on CD and will be available from the PeeBee Store as well as retail. Let us know what you think of it!
I guess that’s it. We’re about an hour out of LA and the old laptop battery is in the red.
Till next time then, best wishes.