About Liam O'Brien
The older I get the more I appreciate how lucky I am to have grown up in such a musical family and area. Starting off learning tin whistle at the age of four I sat into my mother’s classes like any other child from the locality. Musicians came and went to my home back in Glendine, Miltown Malbay and I was happy out to play with them but back then I was just as excited to be out kicking ball straight after! People like Paddy Canny, Joe Ryan, Tommy McCarthy, Kitty Hayes and my grand-uncle J.C. Talty were frequent visitors to my home. After getting a concertina for my tenth birthday I attended Noel Hill’s classes for many years. My highlight every year was attending the Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy as a student. Now I’m a teacher there myself!!
At the age of sixteen I started teaching concertina with Mam’s music school, Ceol na nÓg. After finishing my BA in Irish Music & Dance in the University of Limerick, I decided to make a career out of teaching. Teaching with Music Generation, Ceol na nÓg, online at OAIM www.oaim.ie and other various schools around the county have fortunately allowed me to make a career from it.
It was a huge honour for me to receive the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana -Young Musician of the Year Award in February 2017. To get recognized with the greats of the past and present is something that I will always remember and appreciate.
I get to travel the world giving workshops and concerts. I have been to Japan, Tanzania, Germany, Romania, France, Austria, Switzerland and Scotland. I love travelling and am privileged to get to do it through music. But, for me, my favourite place to play is at home, whether it is in Glendine or Clancy’s on a Sunday or elsewhere. Nothing beats listening to Vincie Boyle singing in the corner of the bar, or John O’Neill telling all the stories of musicians long gone. That is what I tried to portray on this album. I’ve been all these places and have my different influences but you can’t forget where you come from. Tunes that Willie Clancy, Bobby Casey, Joe Ryan, Junior Crehan, Paddy Canny, J.C. and all the other greats used to play, there is nothing like them and they are some of my favourites.
I hope ye all enjoy the CD
Hon the Lane!