Paul O'Brien


Paul was born and bred East Wall, Dublin in the early sixties. He was brought up in the rich tradition of Dublin song, with its own unique mixture of traditional, contemporary and street songs. As a teenager he played with various blues and folk groups around Dublin city, picking up a large and diverse repertoire. Inspired in his early years primarily by Brendan and Dominic Behan and the Clancy Brothers, he set off on his musical journey where exposure to new cultures and various genres of music were his main focus. His travels took him to Europe where his repertoire further developed by playing music by Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell to name a few.


After many years abroad and a more mature view on music gained, Paul began listening to Irish music in a different light. The realisation that this music is an integral part of who he is encouraged him to explore and play more Irish music. He teamed up with the group ‘Cloghane’ and enjoyed an intensive period of covering the best known and most traditional songs of Ireland. Appearing regularly in pubs and folk clubs he fast achieved a group following which resulted in him being approached to play at an Irish Celtic festival among names such as - Kate Purcell, Terry Woods and the Furey Brothers. Now classically trained, he began experimenting with ‘his’ guitar sound and on to the next natural step of composing and writing his own songs.





Photograph © John Heeneman