By Cindy Reich (November 2015 Celtic Connection-Denver)

If you want to hear hands down, the best musician to come out of Ireland in our lifetime, you are fortunate in that he is coming right here to Colorado November 5 at Daniels Hall in Denver.

Paul Brady is nearly indescribable and if you try, people wouldn’t believe you. I think the best comment I heard was from an audience member when Paul last played at the Boulder Theater. Walking out of the theater after a typically dynamic Brady gig, one person remarked, “I’ve never seen so much music come out of one man and a guitar on a stage”. And I think that pretty much would sum it up.

Paul is legitimately a legend. From the Johnstons, to Planxty to mainstream rock and pop, Paul is scary in how he uses his talent toolbox. Whether it be song lyrics—you can ask Bonnie Raitt or Carole King or Bob Dylan—they would all agree—or guitar playing—ask Mark Knopfler, or Van Morrison, or…well, you get the message…

Paul Brady is a shape-shifter of high degree who set the bar with his traditional guitar and whistle as well as his ballad singing. Albums like “Welcome Here Kind Stranger” which included the likes of Tommy Peoples, Noel Hill, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny and saw the recording of his version of “Lakes of Ponchatrain”, which has become the gold standard for that ballad. One of my very favorite albums was “Andy Irvine/Paul Brady”, where I first became mesmerized by “Arthur McBride”. Both of those albums have stood the test of time and are considered essential classics of traditional Irish music.

However shortly after winning “Folk Album of the Year” with “Welcome Home Kind Stranger”, Brady veered into rock music, which saw him garner even more acclaim and success on the world stage with both his lyrics and his guitar work. Even though American rock artists picked up his work and ran with it, he never lost sight of his Tyrone roots and songs such as “The Island” and “Nothing But The Same Old Story” continued to resonate for the home crowd. Then, after decades of rock and roll and pop music, Paul released “The Missing Liberty Tapes”. This gem of a recording, truly missing for over 20 years from a gig Paul did in Dublin in 1978 just fanned the flames higher for those of us who couldn’t get enough of his traditional work! No matter what Paul Brady does, he does it to the very highest degree possible and we are all the richer for it.

I am an unabashed and rabid Paul Brady fan—both of his lyrics and his music. In an interview I did with him many years ago, he said something that stuck with me and I have never forgotten. He said, “Sometimes, the only poetry some people will ever hear are song lyrics”. If that is true, and I believe it is, then Paul Brady is one of Ireland’s and the world’s “Poet Laureate”!

On November 20th, Paul will receive the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Concert Hall in Dublin Ireland. You can beat the crowd and hear him right here in Denver and shame on you if you miss this rare opportunity!!!

Thursday, Nov. 5 @ 8:00 PM Doors Open @ 7:00 PM
Swallow Hill, Daniels Hall 71 East Yale Avenue, Denver, CO
303-777-1003, http://swallowhillmusic.org/denver-concerts/paul-brady/nov-5-2015-8-00-pm/

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