Brendan Monaghan, singer and songwriter


I recently came upon an EP by Brendan Monaghan which has some lovely music on it, most of these five songs very likely being available on some of his longer releases.  I want to let you know something about these songs.

The first on the EP, which is titled “i love how you love me”, and is also the title of the EP itself is an old song, one from my youth, which I liked very much.  I looked it up in wiki, and discovered that perhaps the version I remember most was put out by Bobby Vinton in 1968, but I also seem to remember it being a fave even earlier than the years of the Brit Invasion, when all music seemed to change, at least pop music.  It was a song that Phil Spector liked, and there were several groups that did it.  But, since this is supposed to be about Brendan, I’ll leave it there.  Other than to say that Brendan does a very lovely version of the song, and it features a young woman, who sings on a couple of the other pieces, named  Shell Roberts who sings at Mass with Brendan.  It is a beautiful pairing.

The next song is titled “leaving Portaferry”, and is a typical Celtic/Irish song about someone leaving a place they love to find out what else is out there in the world.  But you know that the singer loves the place he is leaving.

Another song is called “39 days”, and as I listened to it, I thought it sounded very much like someone who is trying to overcome a lost love, or perhaps alcoholism, or some other addiction, and was saying he/she had now managed 39 days.  But that it was still going to be a struggle to continue on, though the will was there to make it.  I wrote and asked Brendan about it, and he told me I had made a good guess, but I think I will not reveal what he said to me because I would rather you listen and decide for yourself what you think it all means.  And perhaps, if you are struggling with an addiction of some sort, you will use this song to empower you to try and beat your own addiction, or will use it as an anthem as you are overcoming an addiction.  It is a song of hope, and again, it is a very lovely song.  Brendan has a real talent for writing.

In fact, I will say now that every song on this release was written by Brendan himself except for “i love how you love me”, and his co-performer, Niall McClean, co-wrote “after the rain”.

Which is the next song on this EP.  “after the rain” (he uses lower case, so I will as well) is a fast-moving song I call a jiggy song, and he  calls a march song.  There is added an accordion and a penny whistle, and it is very upbeat and happy.  “after the rain the sunshine will come again, after the storm, a brand new day”, and in that vein.

Finally there is “please come back to me”, and it is kind of funky, saying things like if you will come back to me, you will find out how I will be good for you, though those are not the exact words.  I sort of heard it as perhaps someone talking to another he loves, and telling that person that there will be a change.  I do not, however, get any feeling of there being any sort of hurt, just a feeling of I’ll try to be better for you.

Brendan does quite a lot of traveling, though I have no dates for any American tours at the present time.  If I hear of any, I will certainly let you know.  I think he is a worthwhile performer, worth the money and time spent to see him in a live show.  Certainly I recommend his music – I didn’t ask him where his releases are sold, probably cdbaby and amazon, like most other performers, and if he lets me know differently, I will pass it on.  I should ask him anyway.  He is also being played regularly on the Internet radio station CelticRadio, which is available at http://www.celticradio.net, and one I listen to regularly when I am on the computer.

One last note.  I have referred to Brendan as “the other Brendan Monaghan”, which I will not do any longer.  To me it sounds like relegating him to second place.  It was a fluke that I found him while looking for another Brendan, and it turned out to be a lucky fluke.  So anytime I write about him from now on, it will simply be Brendan Monaghan, and if you read it, you will soon learn which Brendan I am talking about.

Carol

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About carolstepp

Music is about the most important thing in my life, and I follow a large number of musicians, particularly Irish, Scots, Classical, Crossovers of any of these. I was writing a blog about Celtic Thunder regularly on MySpace, and now I have left them after a year, and will start writing my blogs here. I am 70, retired, living on Social Security, and have a lot of social network fans.
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