Limerick folk singer-songwriter Paddy Dennehy has released his new song, Heaven Not Far, with a new album, Love Be Brave, to follow this Spring. We asked him the BIG questions . . .
Speaking about the song, he says, "This is my little humanist prayer. I'm not shying away from any of the problems that I think we all face - accepting death, the search for hope, the search for love, social media - but I wanted the main theme of the song to be the incredible potential to make something wonderful, wherever you happen to be, right now."
Now based in Cork, Paddy studied classical piano and says his first real sense of feeling a connection to music was listening to Mick Flannery perform Evening Train on The Late Late Show.
Paddy’s first album, Little Light, was released in June 2020.
He plays Upstairs Whelan's, Dublin - 11 December https://www.whelanslive.com/event/paddy-dennehy/ Upstairs Dolan's, Limerick - 17 December https://www.dolans.ie/gigs-events-live-music-listings/2022/12/17/paddy-dennehy
Tell us three things about yourself . . .
Before gigs I get so freaked out and nervous that I inevitability ask myself 'why am I doing this?' And when I get time to reflect after a gig, I find I've enjoyed myself and taken so much from it that I promise myself I won't be nervous before the next one.
For the first day or so after I've finished writing something, I think it's the musical equivalent of the second coming. Then it swings back to being absolutely horrible as you have the time to pick holes in it and stew in the ways the song has let you down. After about a week or so I balance out a bit and get an idea if the song is going to hang around or be scrapped for parts.
It takes me bloody ages to write a song!
How would you describe your music?
It's something that is pretty personal to me which can make it harder to share and perform at shows, but also more rewarding when you get the response you were hoping for.
Who are your musical inspirations?
Mick Flannery, Randy Newman and Nick Cave have been a part of the bedrock for quite some time now. Lana del Rey and Michael Kiwanuka would be more recent additions.
What was the first gig you ever went to?
Linkin Park and Queens of The Stone Age at some stadium or other in Dublin. I have the distinct memory of someone on this bus full of sixteen-year-olds pointing out that the petrol station at which we stopped was called 'Emo' and everyone thinking it was the best thing ever. Forgive me, I was young.
What was the first record you ever bought?
I honestly don't remember. Probably something Boyzone related. Please refer to my previous apology.
What’s your favourite song right now?
Hope is a Dangerous Thing For a Woman Like Me To Have (Bit I Have It) - Lana Del Rey.
Favourite lyric of all time?
"You're in my blood like holy wine, you taste so bitter and so sweet. I could drink a case of you, and still be on my feet." I'm not even a Joni Mitchell fan, but I'm yet to come across a lyric that gave me greater pause.
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
All seventeen minutes of Murder Most Foul by Bob Dylan. If I'm stuck with just one song, I'm going to want to get some mileage out of it!
Where can people find your music/more information?
Well, my website will be up and running in a few weeks (what a time to be alive!) In the meantime, shoot me a message on Instagram or Facebook.