PAUL BRADY has been one of Ireland’s most outstanding songwriters of the past 40 years, a position only really challenged by Van Morrison and Phil Lynnot.
Born in Strabane, County Tyrone, Brady grew up listening to rock’n’roll, Motown, and blues, as well as Irish folk and trad. It was in the latter genre that he first made his name, playing with The Johnstons, before a brief stint with Planxty.
Then in 1976 came the first instance of Brady’s greatness when he recorded the magnificent ‘purple album’ with Andy Irvine, which showcased Brady’s definitive version of Arthur McBride. In 1978, Brady recorded his debut solo album, Welcome Here Kind Stranger.
The album marked the end of his folk period before he switched to rock with 1980’s Hard Station, which contained such magnificent songs as the title track, ‘Crazy Dreams’, ‘Dancer In The Fire’, and ‘Nothing But The Same Old Story’.
Kind Stranger and Hard Station remain two of the greatest Irish albums of all time, both by a single artist and within their respective genres.
Yet it would be unfair to see everything Brady has done since as somehow lesser, as he continues to write quality songs and make quality albums, such as 2010’s Hooba Dooba, which Hot Press editor Niall Stokes described as “by far Paul Brady’s most assured and deepest album since the seminal Hard Station”.
Paul Brady plays a ‘Róisín Dubh presents...’ show at the Raddison Blu Hotel Ballroom on Friday October 26 at 8pm. Tickets are €30 and available at www.roisindubh.net, from the Ticket Desk at OMG, Shop Street (formerly Zhivago ), and The Róisín Dubh.