A veteran of the New York music scene since the late 90’s, Irish singer-songwriter and East Village linchpin Brendan O’Shea has developed a delicate songwriting style and a vast following over the last two decades. His first three albums garnered critical success both here and abroad with Mike Morrone of XM radio calling O’Shea’s 2007 release, Be Here Still, “One of my favorite records of the year.” Hot Press says of the album: “Reflective rather than showy, this is introspective, and yet soul-searching has rarely sounded this warm and inclusive” and the Village Voice calls Brendan “A forerunner for you gig going dollar here in NYC with energy, truth, power and grace.”
Midatlantic Ghost (2016) is O’Shea’s most intimate venture yet. Recorded over a few days at the Blue Mountain House in the Catskill Mountains, (just a mile down the road from Big Pink, where Dylan recorded with The Band), the album is a tribute to the old way of doing things. Its expansive 8 tracks are recorded in one room with no more than a few takes of each song and with minimal overdubs. What results is a listening event that is all at once enduring and immediate. His simple storytelling and delicate guitar embody both the folk traditions of upstate New York and the sing-songs of the west of Ireland.
Alongside his own musical ventures, Brendan is also the founder and co-curator of The Scratcher Sessions – an acoustic concert series down at The Scratcher in New York’s Lower East Side. One of the great listening rooms of New York, The Sessions have championed songwriters and their projects for the past 11 years. They’ve also offered a starting point for Irish musicians in New York and positioned Brendan as the unofficial ambassador between here and there.
Mr. O’Shea has shared stages with The Frames, The Swell Season, Glen Hansard, Cowboy Junkies, Elliott Smith, Loudan Wainright, and Interpol as well as many others. In addition to headlining his own shows in both the United States and Europe, he has embarked on four tours of Japan with the Trinity Dance Troupe and is currently collaborating with Colin Dunne and Mike Kirkpatrick on new works for the company.
Brendan’s singing can be heard in Ron Howard’s Academy Award-winning film Backdraft as well as Karen Gehres’ popular documentary Begging Naked. His songs are also featured on ABC’s docudrama Boston Med. Brendan O’Shea has long been an integral figure in both the Irish and New York music scenes and his latest endeavor is a celebration of both here and there and the ocean in between.