Paul Brady — singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist — is one of Ireland’s most enduringly popular artists. Born and raised in Strabane, Northern Ireland, on the border with the Irish Republic, he was into a wide variety of music from an early age. Brady’s early heroes included Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, The Shadows, The Ventures, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, James Brown, Junior Walker and blues legends like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.
In the 60s, Paul joined the Dublin band The Johnstons, with whom he recorded seven albums. Moving to London with The Johnstons in January 1969 and later in 1972 to New York City, he returned to Dublin in 1974 to join Planxty, the premier Irish folk band of the early 70s. From 1976 to 1978 he played in a duo with Andy Irvine. The next few years saw him establish his popularity and reputation as one of Ireland’s best interpreters of traditional songs.
Brady released Hard Station in 1981. Self-penned, the album lyrically reflected the personal changes he was undergoing and musically was a highly original reworking of his earlier influences. The albums which followed, True For You (1983), Back To The Centre (1985), Primitive Dance (1987), Trick Or Treat (1991) and Spirits Colliding (1995) collectively established Paul as the preeminent Irish singer-songwriter of his generation.
Gradually other artists worldwide began to record his songs, including Brooks & Dunn, Joe Cocker, Cher, Tina Turner, Trisha Yearwood, and Santana. Brady has also collaborated with such varied artists as Belinda Carlisle, Rosanne Cash, Carole King, Bonnie Raitt and John Prine.
In May 2000, Paul released his first album of new songs since 1995’s Spirits Colliding, called Oh What A World. Then, in August 2002 RTE television, Ireland’s national TV station, filmed a six programme series featuring Paul’s music, called The Paul Brady Songbook. The series was later compiled into a CD/DVD set by the same name, released on Brady’s PeeBee Music label. In 2004 Paul recorded in Nashville, the result of which was the 2005 released album Say What You Feel.
It was on 1987’s Primitive Dance that ‘The Game of Love’ appeared, featuring some classic guitar from Mark Knopfler. Brady has called this one of his favourite tracks on the album.