If you were sitting in a pub somewhere in Ireland and the conversation turned to music, Paul Brady’s name would be first to surface. But it’s not just in his homeland where his music is passionately embraced. Brady’s songs have appeared on albums by Brooks & Dunn, Cher, Santana, Tina Turner, and, of course, Bonnie Riatt, who he’ll share the stage with next Tuesday, February 14. With his latest album, Say What You Feel, firmly tucked under his arm, the Strabane-born singer is coming to Santa Barbara to share his emotive ballads.
Do you always “say what you feel”? I always, eventually, say what I feel! But perhaps the older I get, the more I think before I say it. While I have never thought any less that saying what you feel is one of the most important things, I’ve realized that other people have their own pace of accepting things. So it’s only fair to be considerate of other people in that respect.
With such incredible success at home, what reaction do you get overseas? I’ve always felt that I have some sort of instinct for what people want to hear. And I was fairly confident that, I once got in front of them with what I had to say and sang it, that I would make a connection. I have had well over 30 years of experience in this part of the world playing for people and writing songs that connect with people. And I don’t believe that people are fundamentally all that different no matter where they are in the world.
And what are you expecting from Santa Barbara? This is a little different for me because it’s not my concert. I will be Bonnie Raitt’s guest and most people who come won’t be expecting me to be there or know very much about me. But I’m not going to get discouraged if some people will be spending their time at the merchandising table rather than watching me. And I have a rather virulent core following throughout California so I am hoping that, between the people who know what I do and those who are prepared to give me a chance, we will make a reasonable connection.