Paddy O’Brien and Pat Egan in Concert
If he hadn’t been a musician, Paddy O’Brien might have been a history professor. Well, actually, he is, in a way.
This master of the two-button accordian spent a good part of his County Offaly youth traveling around the countryside, listening and playing with the old musicians and absorbing the oral tradition that went with the music.
So when he introduces a song, which he did about a dozen times this week at a house concert with his friend, guitarist and singer Pat Egan, in Lansdale, he might talk about drinking with Willie Clancy at a bar, or picking up some tunes from Donegal fiddler John Doherty, or playing with Peter Kilroe, Dan Cleary, and Michael Lynam in the Ballinamere Ceili Band.
Word is—and he confirms it—that he carries about 3,000 songs in his head. He’s produced a set of CDs containing about 500 of them. With Egan and fiddler Patrick Ourceau, he plays some with Chulrua, his latest band. And he played a few of them the other night—not nearly enough, but it was grand anyway.