Dolphin Records, in capturing the recording services of Paddy Reilly, have ensured that their label and their recordings are worthy of the ballads and music of Ireland. Paddy, over the past decade, has developed into the forceful, professional and entertaining balladeer he now is.
His career has moved from the intimate and critical folk club scene, the difficult ballad house circuit to the sophisticated and developing cabaret scene. From each new venture Paddy Reilly has grown in stature as a performer and entertainer. He makes no compromise in his material or presentation.
His material is drawn from the better ballads of Ireland and overseas and is that for which he has a personal feeling for the story line, the sentiments or entertainment value.
Paddy's voice is distinctive, true and unaffected. In his live shows Paddy makes full use of story, comic line and audience reaction to complete his entertaining act. Even on record the distinctive Reilly atmosphere and feeling comes through. Paddy's two original Dolphin LPs indicate this distinctive talent which is complemented by his song choice, the colourful vocal renditions and special Reilly interpretation and phrasing.
On this third Paddy Reilly Special we have songs old and new, songs often heard and some seldom heard. The LP title is derived from the finest ballad of this year from the pen of the internationally known Phil Coulter "The town I loved so well". Other new material comes from Shay Healy "Come up the stairs" and Ewan MacColl "The moving on song". Paddy's version of "The Hills of Kerry" came from Tony Guerin while his version of "The flower of sweet Strabane" he attributes to Seán McGuirk from Paddy's home village of Rathcoole, County Dublin. "The Cliffs of Dooneen" "I once loved a lass" "The Galway Races" "Rathcliff Highway" "Sweet Carnlough Bay" and "The Bould tenant Farmer" came to Paddy over the years from the singing of long standing groups such as the Clancys and the Dubliners to the unnamed singer found in Clare, Kerry or Donegal.
Through the years of travel and performance one soon finds that song origins drift into the misty mental background. My progress along the road to folk comment has paralleled the singing life of Paddy Reilly and it has been my pleasure to see and hear the progressive development of this artist. He has worked hard at his chosen profession but has retained that individuality and that freshness which has carried him through his first decade as an entertainer and which is still with him assuring him of a continuing star place in the folk/ballad entertainment circuit for years to come.