Brendan O'Shea
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Brendan O'Shea

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hailing from the west of IRELAND where it's quiet and scenic , O'SHEA has learned how to bring that beauty across to his listeners and even have them partake in the singing of some of his songs that they may have never heard before but leave the show with them well in there memory, living in NYC has given o'shea an edge on how to work and get the audience on his side , great songs some remeniscent a paul simon feel and and some of an elliott smith coviction , all in all , well presented and classy , check him out.
phiol - SOUNDS


"Killarney-born Brendan O' Shea, like his good friend Mark Geary, has spent the majority of his songwriting life in New York, and the smells and sounds of the Big Apple ooze through the cracks on his second album, albeit with a slightly Irish flavour - in particular, his very Irish ability to turn 'through' into 'true'. That's not to say this album belongs to that bizarre hybrid demographic of Irish Americans: thankfully, there's little of the 'Cead Mile Failte, buddy' demeanour here. This is very much a modern, urban album about trying to find your place in the world.

Recorded in New York, Chicago and Dublin, with a band made up of musicians from all three territories (including Mark Geary, Ann Scott and Karl Odlum), Be Here Still is not a Friday night album. Reflective rather than showy, this is introspective, and yet soul-searching has rarely sounded this warm and inclusive, if not necessarily immediate. However, spend some quality time with this album and it's earthy emotions will wash over you and win you over.

The album opener ‘Tired Eyes’ rest its weary bones on your shoulders but simultaneously gives you a friendly squeeze. The title-track’s sublime choral effect creeps up on you and melts your heart before you even realise it’s there, while the gorgeously life-affirming ‘Pull Your Socks Up’ is about not feeling sorry for yourself, giving yourself a stern talking to and getting your arse in gear. The heart-breaking ‘Halos (Song For Elliott)’ is presumably dedicated to the late Elliott Smith and is a fitting tribute to the incredible New York songwriter, while ‘ No Mystery’ possesses the kindof timeless songwriting mastery of which Smith himself would have been proud.

O’Shea is making a rare return home in March for a quick jaunt around the country. On evidence of this, he’ll be well worth catching.

John Walshe
Rating: 81/2 / 10

- John Walshe


Hot Press - April 2003
Reviewed By: Jackie Hayden

“…too good to ignore. Brendan O’Shea brings a very personal passion and depth to his songs…astute enough to decorate his sharp performances with cello, drums, bass, and the occasional electric guitar …used to sparkling, though sparing effect. …reminiscent of Paul Simon… “Broken” is driven by mesmeric tabla playing by Bruce Martin and a hypnotic acoustic figure…In the Light may be short on laughs, but it’s long on the ups, downs and sideways of real life, poetically portrayed with genuine insight…He more than justifies his invitation. Party on.”
( 8 out of 10 )

- Hot Press


The Irish Independant Newspaper - May 2003
Reviewed By: John Meagher

“….The Kerryman has delivered a fine debut album, with passionate songs of love, loss, and despair. O’Shea is an excellent guitarist but he rightly chooses to flesh out these spare recordings with cello, drums and bass. The quality of the beautiful Hollow Moon separates O’Shea from the thousands of bedsit wannabes.”

(click on the main browser window and this one should close) - Irish Independant Newspaper



great debut album from a forerunner for your gig going dollar here in nyc,
energy truth and power with grace ..
check him out - village voice


Discography

"In the Light" 2003
"BE HERE STILL" 2007

Photos

Bio

Brendan O'Shea, from Killarney South West of Ireland, has written and recorded a beautiful bombshell of a record. It's understated in comparison to the power-pop rockers that command the airwaves but confidently delivers radio friendly, real deal songs that wrap around the listener, enticing them to contentedly hum along, shuffle their feet and smile.

After leaving Ireland in the late 90's, O'Shea has by now become a veteran of New York's East Village songwriter scene. He's shared stages with The Cowboy Junkies, 10,000 Maniacs, Elliott Smith Interpol, and in 20008 with the oscar winners THE SWELL SEASON as well as with many Irish indie superstars on both sides of the Atlantic.

With or without a guitar in hand, O'Shea excels at drawing people in, using a palate of warm colorful moods and phrases. Whether on his newest release, "Be Here Still", his follow-up to the well received 2003 debut,
"In the Light", or on stage in a club on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, he is the consummate host and creates no less than a menu of chorus laden delights.

With it's supremely uncluttered production, courtesy of Ed Tinley, Karl Odlum, and Ike Reilly, "Be Here Still", recorded in Chicago, NYC, and Dublin is up there with David Gray's "A Century Ends", with its grounded stories of ordinary peoples' lives. It evokes images of candelit conversations with friends and lovers past and present. It's melodic, warm, and imbued with quietly rousing arms in the air of immediacy, thanks to a tight, yet dynamic rhythm section, and strings by Julia Kent and Rob Moose of Antony and the Johnsons.

The opening track "Tired Eyes" is a sauntering tale that plants Irish immigrants in the hustle of NY yet firmly represents, not the lost, but the young, savvy, cosmopolitan Irish and their integration and advancing in the New World. Throughout this record, there appear touches of this new american home, with faint nods to southern roots songs, which seamlessly attach to hints of O'Shea's past musical affilliations. You'll see the shadows of Irish rockstars of late, Irish traditional melodies and the poetic flair of the countryside, as on the track, "Still", but it's not soaked with sentimentality and none of it ever wielded so much, as to hide the man himself.

"Be Here Still" is like the jumper you always reach for first when the autumn comes around. It's all very late Saturday and into Sunday morning, when you've had your fill of all the fuss in the city; any city. It's inviting, familiar, yet quietly invigorating, like a slow motion dance of such power that it fixes you where you stand....

Picture an Irishman, in New York, standing with arms open wide....telling you the kettle is on and he's got something he wants you to hear. And having toured EUROPE in july 20008 and 20009, since the summer he has been gigging around the east coast of AMERICA and when not on the road he is putting together all the you song demos for the new record [his 3rd cd] and will leave for CHICAGO NOV 1ST to start a 10 day stint in the studio, the new record brenda hopes to have finished very early in 2010 . .

Brendan's album "Be Here Still" will be available in January at CD baby and local independent records store for sale January 2007.