In this Scholarcast Paul Brady reflects on his early childhood encounters with music and on the importance of popular music in the 1960s to the formation of his own musical consciousness. He recounts his earliest experiences playing with various R ‘n’ B bands during his time as a student at UCD. In 1967 Brady joined The Johnstons whose combination of traditional Irish music with newer trends in folk music brought international success. Having distinguished himself as one of the most talented singers and accompanists of his generation he was invited by piper Liam O’Flynn to join Planxty in 1974. Although deeply committed to traditional music, Brady stresses the importance of individual musical vision and the constant need for renewal and innovation.
Paul Brady is one of Ireland’s leading singer-songwriters. During his early career he was a member of several innovative folk and traditional bands including The Johnstons and Planxty. In 1976 he collaborated with Andy Irvine to produce a landmark album in Irish traditional music (Andy Irvine and Paul Brady). He began a solo career in the late 1970s and his first solo album, Welcome Here Kind Stranger, was awarded the Melody Maker Folk Album of the Year. In the early 1980s Brady turned towards pop and rock music, and distinguished himself as a talented songwriter with albums such as Hard Station, True For You (1983), Back to the Centre (1985), Primitive Dance (1987). Other acclaimed albums include, Trick or Treat (1991), Spirits Colliding (1995), Oh What a World (2000), The Liberty Tapes(2002), Say What You Feel (2005) and Hooba Dooba (2010).