PAUL McKENNA BAND
Whelan’s Upstairs • Tue 3rd Oct 2023
Scotland’s Paul McKenna has long been ranked among our finest younger singers and songwriters, armed with a powerful yet intensely emotive voice and passionate social conscience, often expressed through his songs, a combination that’s brought frequent comparisons to the great Dick Gaughan.
Formed in Glasgow in 2006, The Paul McKenna Band came together through a combined love of traditional music and an ambition to carry that music forward using original compositions.
Their debut album, “Between Two Worlds,” was released in 2009 and received critical acclaim, earning them the award for Best Up and Coming Artist at the Scots Trad Music Awards. Paul was awarded the Scots Singer of The Year title at the same awards ceremony in 2012.
The Paul McKenna Bands newest release Breathe (2019) showcases Paul’s development as a songwriter and includes two co-writes with acclaimed Canadian songwriter Dave Gunning and another with one of Australia’s most respected songwriters, Liz Stringer. Produced by Mike Vass, this new release expands on the bands trademark sound with added instrumentation to enhance and focus on the original material.
Paul was a featured artist at the world-renowned Transatlantic Sessions in 2019. Alongside Cara Dillon, Tim O’Brien, Molly Tuttle, and the multi-talented house band, he performed a string of shows across the UK.
The bands latest single, “Can You See Me, Sister?”, was co-written by Paul and the great Tim O’Brien. Knowing that Paul had some knowledge of the current and historic racial issues in the US, due to his previous song surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, “The Dream”, and from their time together on the road, Tim thought of Paul when the idea for this song came to him.
Performance highlights over recent years include Edmonton Folk Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Woodford Folk Festival and Celtic Connections.
He and his band – comprising Robbie Greig (fiddle), Conal McDonagh (pipes/whistles), Conor Markey (banjo/bouzouki/guitars) and Ewan Baird (percussion) – draw on both Scottish and Irish roots, in a dynamic, full-bodied array of original and traditional material, along with songs by like-minded authors.
€13.50 available online from Whelan’s – 50c per ticket service charge applies.
Strictly over 18′s, I.D. may be required.
AFTER THE GIG
Whelan’s Silent Disco from 10:30pm – 2 DJs, just pick the one you like best (€5 cover charge), plus Late Bar.