Thursday, January 31, 2008

PADDY CASEY performing at Sundance

From an early age Casey spent a great deal of his time busking on the streets of Dublin and Galway, crossing paths with musical comrades Damien Rice, Shane McGowan and Sinead O'Connor, as well as a ragtag array of traditional Irish musicians. Paddy learned his craft the hard way, teaching himself guitar from songs books for The Smiths and Prince.

A Sony A&R scout first heard Paddy sing on Dublin's Grafton street, but after returning the next day, couldn't find Casey as he moved around the city so much. After tracking him down, Paddy signed a deal with Muff Winwood’s of S2 Records UK, and soon thereafter inked a management contract with Paul McGuinness and Principle Management Dublin & New York who also manage the careers of U2, PJ Harvey and The Rapture.

After the massive Irish success of Paddy Casey’s previous album, Living, eleven times platinum in Ireland, Casey felt he wanted to break fresh ground with his next release and came up with the blueprint that would include blues licks, funky wah-wah guitars and Stax-style trumpets. Paddy traveled to LA and met up with George Drakoulias, producer of records by Rhett Miller, Tom Petty, Tift Merritt and The Jayhawks amongst others. After hearing Paddy’s new material, Drakoulias rounded up a stellar circle of musicians, people who had played with everyone from Beck to Eric Clapton.

Casey crafted a powerful and moving canvas of sound, style and spirit. A moving 11-track song cycle resplendent in soulful melodies and heartfelt lyricism, the music found on Addicted To Company is a self-described marriage of the dirty funk grooves of Sly Stone and pastoral folk of Simon & Garfunkel. Casey sites a wide range of musical influences, everyone from Sufjan Stevens and The Strokes to Parliament and Jimi Hendrix, and while those touchstones are a part of the record's stylistic thread, what's most impressive is the manner in which he weaves those influences to make them his own.

One of the first songs finished was the title track, "Addicted To Company", a breeze of a song with a Philly Soul undercurrent. Paddy sings "Don't want to sell tragedy and confusion, Don't want to add to these tales of illusion" and he immediately establishes the lyrical pattern of the album - the most narrative-driven, people-centered songs Casey has ever written.

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