Liam O Maonlai
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Liam O Maonlai

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | INDIE

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | INDIE
Band Folk Adult Contemporary


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To Be Touched - Album 2009
Rian - Album 2006



Liam Ó Maonlaí - Biography
Born in 1964, Dublin Ireland
Liam is one of Ireland’s best-loved musicians and singers, both in rock and traditional music. Spanning over twenty years Liam’s career has seen him have number one hits in over twenty countries, to playing with Aboriginal musicians in Australia outback and recording with some of the worlds best musicians including Carlos Nunes, Donal Luney, U2, Rolf Harris, Van Morrison to name but a few. A master pianist, Liam also performs on guitar, harp, tin whistle and bodhrán. So far 2009 has seen Liam has perform solo at Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, Dublin’s National Concert Hall as part of a major Irish tour, feature on the renowned BBC music programme Transatlantic Sessions, he will tour Japan in May with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from the film Once and Czech Republic in June. He has plans for US and Australia tours in 2010.

Bono once described Liam as ‘The Best white boy soul singer in the world’ and he has been also been described as one of Irelands best Sean Nos (traditional Irish) singers.
In 1981 he won the all Ireland final as bódhran player under 18. He has been a finalist on the tin whistle, piano and as a singer many years over.
In Ennis in 1985 he and Fiachna Ó Braonain ,with the enchanting presence of Maria Doyle Kennedy won a music award called Gradam Shlogadh. They had put together a rhythm and blues group with all songs written in Irish. This was the seed beginning of Hothouse Flowers, which went on to be one of Ireland’s most successful rock bands and released seven albums.
All through the Hothouse Flowers years, Liam remained faithful to his traditional roots.
'Traditional music does not belong to me. I belong to it. The same as the land.'

Liam recorded his first solo album entitled ‘Rian’ meaning trace or mark in Irish, with his close friend, renowned producer John Reynolds in 2002. It was released in Ireland in November 2005 and has since been released in America, Canada, Japan, UK and Europe. He is releasing the album through Rian Records his own independent label. ‘To Be Touched’ Liam’s second solo album was released December 2008. Taking a different direction from Rian, To Be Touched is a intimate celebration of Liam as pianist and song writer. Recorded in Prague and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre Annaghmakerrig, Monaghan the album is a soulful collection of songs that touch on the many influences that are contained in Liam’s musical genius with songs in English and Irish and a traditional aboriginal song. ‘To Be Touched’ is release in Ireland through Rian Records.

Liam went to Mali in January 2006 where he played at the Desert festival with Uillean Piper Paddy Keenan and participated in the making of a documentary. Himself and Paddy played with musicians from the greater region from well known artists including Toumani Diabate and Alef Bacoum, to local tribes people. It was an amazing experience of communication between distant people and races through the medium of music, and he learnt of the close relationship the Irish harp and the African Kora. They returned in January 2007 to continue filming this journey of Irish music to the deserts of Africa. The film called ‘Dámbe – The Mali Project’ had its Irish premier at the 2008 Dublin Film Festival.

'I believe the style known as séan nos, carries a sense of the soul of the land and the people who are awake in that land. I feel, when in the company of other cultures, the singing of this style opens a window into what it is that connects us. Every country has it's own séan nos.'

'words particularly English words are not enough. They have been used to lie on a grand scale. They continue to be used to manipulate and confuse. Music has a purpose that remains to be seen. The potential is beyond imagination. '