This year we are delighted to once again welcome Paul Kelly to Music Under The Mountains. No stranger to Hollywood, Paul has been present at many past festivals, both as a performer and a teacher in our workshops, which always prove to be a great success!
Paul Kelly is an experienced multi-instrumentalist musician from Tallaght in Dublin, Ireland, who is equally at home in a variety of different styles of music. At 12 years of age, and already playing the guitar for 5 years, Paul was introduced to Irish Traditional Music by neighbour and well known fiddler Des Carty. During his teenage years he developed as a banjo and mandolin player, making many trips to Fleadhs (Irish Music Festivals), as well as many weekends in Co. Clare, where his style was honed, playing regularly with the Russell brothers from Doolin, Noel Hill, Tony Linnane and other great Clare musicians.
Around this time Paul started to play fiddle and gig with different folk bands in the Dublin area.
In the early eighties he discovered Bluegrass and spent four years as fiddler with ‘The Sackville String Band’, the legendary Dublin outfit who played at concerts and festivals all over the country. The band’s reputation was such that many visiting U.S. musicians would jam on stage with them and so Paul got to hear and play with Bluegrass legends like Peter Rowan, Tex Logan and Kenny Baker.
Snapshot from Paul’s mandolin workshop at Music under The Mountains 2012 (Photo credit Paul O’Connor)
He then joined forces with Irish singer/songwriter Mick Hanly, whose band Rusty Old Halo, he helped to form. Their only release, Still Not Cured, played a large part in establishing a “New Country Music Scene” in Dublin, with bands like The Wilf Brothers, Hank Halfhead, Chris Meehan and his Redneck Friends and the biggest of them all, The Fleadh Cowboys, all touring the country on a regular basis. Although Paul had played with all the above bands at some stage, he joined up with The Fleadh Cowboys 1989, who were one of the hottest bands in Ireland at that time, touring regularly around the country and also playing monthly in two of London’s best known venues; The Mean Fiddler and The Powerhouse.
In 1992, after Paul had established himself as a studio session musician, recording with Mary Black, The Dubliners, Townes van Zandt and many others, he returned to his traditional roots by joining with Trevor Hutchinson and Gerry O’ Beirne as fiddler and mandolinist in The Sharon Shannon Band, touring America and Europe that year, in a hectic schedule which culminated with a Late Late Show TV Special which was dedicated to the Clare accordion wizard.
In 1997 Paul founded a record company called Malgamú Music, which tapped in to the new eclecticism in Traditional Irish music, and encouraged its artists to experiment with other musical styles, although keeping Irish Music at the core. This project saw six releases including those by the exciting band Lia Luachra, fiddler Kevin O’ Connor, guitarist Sean Whelan and Paul’s own offering “a mandolin album”, which received excellent reviews and is often quoted as a defining CD in Irish music for the mandolin.
In 2002 Paul began teaching music in BCFE, a third level college in Dublin. He has also given mandolin & fiddle workshops in Haapvesi, Finland, Milwaukee University USA, Tesserete, Switzerland and in the University of Limerick, Ireland. In August 2011, Paul was delighted to be asked to teach Irish mandolin at world renowned classical mandolinist Carlo Aonzo’s International Mandolin Academy in Ferrara, Italy, an engagement which was repeated in 2012.
A book of 110 mandolin tunes selected from his vast repertoire (including some of his own compositions) was published in 2007 and is widely distributed in the States by Mel Bay.
From 2005 to 2010 Paul was a member of The David Munnelly Band, with whom he regularly toured America. The band, which mixes Irish Traditional Music with swing rhythms, and draws inspiration from the 1920s melting pot music of New York, are much in demand, and have also performed in Holland, Denmark, Scotland, Spain, Italy and Israel.
At present Paul works with ex De Dannan singer Eleanor Shanley with whom he has toured Holland, Denmark, Austria and Italy as well as performing regularly all over Ireland. He is also touring with The Dublin Legends (ex Dubliners) through 2014 as a temporary replacement for Banjo wizard Gerry O’ Connor who is currently treading the boards with the world renowned blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa.
Paul Kelly will host a mandolin workshop at Music Under The Mountains 2014, Sunday September 21st
Venue: Hollywood Centre
Time: 11.00 am