Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Paul Brady, is known to many folkies from his days as a member of Planxty and the album he later made with Andy Irvine. However, a casual glance at his website reveals his collaborations, compositions and musical contributions run far and wide. As a musician's musician, he's worked with Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Kate Rusby, Curtis Stigers, Bonnie Raitt and Carole King to name but a few. The arrival of his new record, 'Maybe So', will therefore get attention from several directions in the world of music.
Brady has generally moved away from arrangements of traditional songs albeit he gets close with the instrumental 'Improvisations On The Galway Reel'. The rest of the tracks are songs composed by Brady or co-writes with friends from amongst his many musical associates. A standout moment comes with the gorgeous 'It's A Beautiful World (Now You Are Here)' and its indication of how new-born life will lift the mood in the worst of times. Co-written with Sharon Vaughn, the instruments are all played by Brady which must have been a handy virtuoso skill to have when recording through the isolated periods of the pandemic.
Whilst most of the album consists of gentle and dreamy material, it opens with the upbeat 'How Come I Feel Bad?' Co-written with Theo Katzman, it's a song that Brady describes as "a fun song about depression" and was inspired (if that's the word to use) by our recent viral experience. Another fine song.
Not all the tracks were born out of recent events. He revisits his own compositions, 'Love Goes On' (from the 'Trick Or Treat' album) and 'To Be The One' (from 'Back To The Centre'). Songs he felt that he "could do a better job on". In contrast, 'Stories' was written a couple of decades ago and recorded by others and he felt that now was the time to record his own version. All in all, 'Maybe So' will provide some good pickings for those looking for new songs to inspire them - no maybes about it.