Live: Maura O’Connell & Paul Brady @ The Egg, 10/23/10


Maura O'Connell
Maura O'Connell

From the stage of The Egg’s intimate Swyer Theater, songstress Maura O’Connell explained in an almost apologetic tone to the audience that if this double bill with the great Irish troubadour Paul Brady were happening anywhere in Ireland, Europe or the rest of the world, he would have been the headliner. But because this is America, and she is better known here, she assumed the role this time around.

Regardless who went on first or who was the headliner, both these masters of song are stars within the Irish and contemporary music worlds. Both have roots firmly planted in the Irish music tradition, and both have branched out through the years to embrace a wide-range of contemporary styles including folk, country, bluegrass, rhythm & blues, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Wearing a broad smile, Brady took the stage in classic singer-songwriter style, an acoustic guitar in hand. Delivering witty, humorous anecdotes between songs, he performed a delightful smorgasbord of original tunes garnered from a musical career that’s spanned more than 40 years.

Maura O’Connell is no stranger to Nippertown audiences, having performed here consistently through the past two decades on many of the region’s stages – from the Parting Glass in Saratoga Springs to the Music Haven in Schenectady. The Irish songbird is a marvelous interpreter of songs – not a songwriter – who possesses an uncanny talent for finding just the right songs to match her rich and powerful voice.

It’s interesting to note in the context of the evening’s double bill that Paul Brady’s song “Helpless Heart” – the title track from O’Connell’s sophomore album – has become her signature song and an audience favorite throughout her performing career.

Flanked on stage by acoustic guitarist John Mock and electric bassist Don Johnson, O’Connell effortlessly wooed the audience with a mix of country and folk songs, albeit sung with an Irish accent, of course!

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Paul Brady
Paul Brady

John Mock, Don Johnson and Maura O'Connell
John Mock, Don Johnson and Maura O'Connell

  1. Michael Hochanadel says

    Andrzej, thanks for the visual and verbal snapshots of a show I couldn’t get to.
    I was elsewhere in The Egg that night, watching Victor Wooten, J.D. Blair and three of Victor’s kids knock out the funk; so I’m glad you were there to tell us what else went down there that night.

  2. iamadog says

    Um..Michael, you’d better check your calendar; I saw Victor and co. and Paul and Maura at the Egg. On different nights. Both great shows.

  3. Danny Byrne says

    This is the second time I have travelled from Ottawa to Albany to see Paul Brady! I get weekly emails about “this week’s” performers at the Egg! I can only say I wish I lived closer, the acts you get are fantastic….Paul, Mary Black, Victor Wooten, Richard Thompson…I love them all. We are spreading the word about the Egg here in Ottawa & will support you as often as we can!
    If you could ever get Christy Moore we’d be there for sure, I saw his brother Luka Bloom was also just there!
    Anyway, great venue & great acts, please keep up the fine work you do at The Egg!

  4. The Ragman says

    Lovely review and pics – thanks for posting. From the previous comments, it certainly sounds like you get some great musicians there at The Egg – you lucky people!

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