Sun 11th Dec 2022
As a child Paddy would rush to get a guitar or play the piano very loudly in the hopes that you might hear it and request a song before you left. It was often requested of him to play more quietly or to stop ‘hitting’ the piano. Another frequent suggestion was that screaming the notes that he found difficult to sing did not make them sound any better. He was not imbued with a keen sense of subtlety or restraint but he has been working on this over the years.
He has always loved songwriting and was blessed with a wonderful piano teacher that would stay late to hear what he had written that week. He studied classical piano but it was the extra bit at the end of the lesson that he lived for every Thursday for almost fifteen years. He got to learn about music theory, the shape of songs, how a melody worked and didn’t work, why you had to learn your scales.
It may come as little surprise then that Paddy followed his mentor into teaching. It sometimes calls for late nights rehearsing, writing or driving back from a gig after putting down a day’s work – but it has been worth every minute of sleep lost. There is nothing like a five year old child telling you, not asking you, to tie his shoes to keep you in line. Neither is there anything like feeling that you have connected with an audience.
Paddy’s musical influences have changed greatly over time. Boyzone do not retain the place they once held in his heart. He grew up listening to whatever his parents, sisters and brother would leave unguarded around the house. His first real sense of feeling a connection to music was listening to Mick Flannery perform ‘Evening Train’ on the ‘Late Late Show’. The very next day he walked into HMV in Limerick with his walkman and bought that album. He listened to it all the way home and for weeks afterwards again and again. From here there is a clear trajectory of influences – Mick Flannery led him to Tom Waits. Tom Waits led Paddy to Randy Newman who would lead on to Nick Cave. Other influences would surface in later years but Flannery, Waits, Newman and Cave have formed the bedrock of Paddy’s music.
Paddy’s first album ‘Little Light’ was released in June of 2020 to both critical acclaim and a well documented pandemic. He received glowing reviews from Hotpress magazine in Ireland, Folk Radio UK, Rolling Stone France to name a few and learned how to teach children whilst wearing a FFP2 face mask. The songs on that album and his lucky stars have allowed Paddy to share a stage with the likes of Mick Flannery, Glen Hansard, Imelda May and Lisa Hannigan.
‘Love and Be Brave’ is the title of his second album to be released in the Spring of 2023. When he started writing this album Paddy lived alone on his father’s small farm in County Limerick. It was a long way from anywhere and afforded him plenty of time to think, write and play with everything on full volume. It was both cathartic and challenging. By the time he had finished the last song that would go on the album, Paddy was lucky enough to get engaged and move back to Cork. His forthcoming album is a collection of songs that discuss what it means to fall in love, loneliness and the search for hope.
If you make it to one of his shows be sure to come and say hi afterwards and tell him who you’re listening to at the moment.
Paddy Dennehy – Long Bio September 2022
“Poignant lyrics…evoke almost disturbingly vivid images. Little Light is a captivating, heart-wrenching showcase of how powerful folk music can be.” – Hotpress Magazine
“This man is a rare talent. We can only advise you to keep an eye – and two ears – on him.” Rolling Stone France
“Bare nerves and raw emotions, backed by arrangements fueled with a combination of power and panache create the heart and danger at the soul of Paddy Dennehy’s music. Fermented over time, Little Lights rings out as a beacon, illuminating the roads we continue to travel.” Folk Radio UK
“…a very confident and mature debut album, full of quality and emotional depth. Dennehy is a fine songwriter and he has produced a debut album of real quality.” – werk.re
“A powerful and considered approach to songwriting.” – GoldenPlec
“Little Light is emotional, real and a showcase of raw talent. You really couldn’t wish for a more impressive debut album, and I’m sure Paddy Dennehy has plenty more up his sleeve for the coming years.” – FortitudeMagazine.co.uk
“ a record that feels big and intimate in equal measure.” – MusicNews.com
“And, quite frankly, it’s (almost) an obscenity to hear this open-heart surgery of a tune..” Folking.com
€15 available online from Whelan’s.
– 50c per ticket service charge applies on all bookings. Final ticket price may be higher from other outlets.
Strictly over 18′s, I.D. may be required.
AFTER THE GIG
Live in the Front Bar, 11pm: The Dublin Blues Cartel feat. Mik Pyro, Pat Farrell & band | Free Entry