Irish singer/songwriter/multi instrumentalist PAUL BRADY isn’t in the premier league of international music stardom, but in his homeland he’s a music legend. He’s recorded something like 16 albums and his songs have been covered by a stellar array of artists including Tina Turner, Cher, Art Garfunkel, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker, David Crosby, and even, God bless him, Cliff Richard! Paul’s also collaborated with icons Carole King and Van Morrison, so some years ago when Paul headlined a series of shows at Vicar Street Dublin, it was easy for him to call on some of his musical mates to help him deliver something rather special.

Those 23 shows in October 2001 were recorded but for all kinds of music biz reasons nothing was ever issued…. till now. Collaborating with Brady’s own Pee Bee records, Proper Music has just issued an evocative 13 tracker, cherry picking some of the best moments from those landmark shows.

Guests on the album include Mark Knopfler, Bonnie Raitt, Sinead O’Connor, Curtis Stigers, Mary Black and the king of curmudgeon himself, Van Morrison. Van joins Paul on a rousing and, yes, sentimental version of ‘Irish Heartbeat’… an album highlight. Other outstanding cuts include the Bonnie Raitt collaboration ‘Not The Only One’ and Paul’s own version of the Bob Dylan anthem ‘Forever Young’ which brings proceedings to an end.

Paul says of the concerts: “At times I was a spectator in my own show as my guests, my friends, took the roof off Vicar Street. I knew then we’d captured something special.”

Paul Brady’s ‘The Vicar Street Sessions’ is out now and as it’s labelled Volume 1, we can only assume there’s more to come!