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For nearly a decade he was one of the leading lights of Irish folk. And then Paul Brady turned away from the trad scene and reinvented himself as a contemporary singer-songwriter, penning songs for stars such as Tina Turner along the way. Now, with a new album under his belt, he reflects on his long journey from the pub session to the rock stage, the price of fame and talks about his burgeoning friendship with artists such as Glen Hansard, Fionn Regan and Ronan Keating.
Colm O Hare, 23 Mar 2010
The album also features his own take on the Beatles’ Rubber Soul classic ‘You Won’t See Me’. So has he ever considered doing a covers album? “A couple of people have suggested that to me. I think it would show a different side to me. The question would be – which songs to do?”
Meanwhile, he has been collaborating on-stage with the new generation of Irish singer songwriters. As he explains: “It’s great to see people like Glen Hansard, Declan O’Rourke, Damien Rice, Paddy Casey and Fionn Regan doing well. I think it’s wonderful that people are writing songs and standing up with an acoustic guitar and singing. It’s what I’ve always done. And I’ve had fun singing with those guys recently. I did the Ruby Sessions tenth anniversary and I also did a Haiti benefit with Glen Hansard. I didn’t really know those guys very well – obviously I’m a different generation. They’ve been very welcoming to me.”
Brady takes to the road in his own right throughout Ireland over the coming months, including a couple of dates at Dublin’s brand new Grand Canal Theatre.
“Quite a lot of people are interested in the new album. But I’ve had a solid core of fans over the last 30 years and I’m grateful for that.
“I’ve learned that there is an awful lot of disappointment in this business and that nothing lasts forever. It’s really not about what happens to you, it’s about how you react to those things that happen. I’m just delighted I’m still here and that I have the energy to record and tour.”