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Meet Colm O’Brien of Colm O’Brien in Holbrook

Today we’d like to introduce you to Colm O’Brien.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I began singing as a very young child and taught myself guitar from around age 15. In May 1996 I made the decision to turn professional with my music while playing with rock band Fatal Flower in Dublin. In order to make a living, we decided to move to the U.S. in November 1999. By February 2000 two members had left the band so, with the remaining members, I went on tour with Celtic band Hiring Fair.

In May 2001 I joined Celtic Rock band The Prodigals and toured and recorded the album “Needs must when the Devil drives” with them. I left in September 2002 to pursue a solo career and recorded my first solo album of original and traditional Irish songs titled “It is what it is” in 2004. In 2006 I began a collaboration with bodhrán player, Martin Butler, that resulted in the highly acclaimed “Rud Eile” album and touring band of the same name. In 2011 I returned to my solo career and released my second solo album, “Back to Work?” in 2012. I recorded and released a live DVD titled “A Night in Boston” in 2014. All of my recordings are still receiving extensive radio airplay. In June 2015 I recorded a full concert of original songs for Dedham TV’s “502 Sessions” show. In between all of this I have collaborated on many other recordings including Martin Butler’s critically acclaimed album on the life of Irish patriot and executed 1916 leader, Tomás Mc Donough. I continue to play throughout the Boston and New England area and am looking forward to forming a new touring band to play nationwide in 2018.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Playing music for a living is a very interesting road to travel. I have traveled the length and breadth of this country by bus, van, train, and plane. There have been many physical struggles to be contended with such as broken down vehicles, canceled gigs, delayed trains to being stranded in Denver CO due to forest fires and mental ones like exhaustion but every bit of it is worth it for the time you’re on stage. By and large, though, it has been a very rewarding road.

Please tell us about Colm O’Brien.
I am an Irish folk musician, originally from Dublin. I like to play old songs that are rarely, or no longer, played. I do include some of the more well-known songs as well as my own original work but what I really like doing is diving into the vast well that is Irish traditional music and finding songs that haven’t been sung in years. Throughout my live show, I give the background and history of each song to give the listener a full appreciation of the song in its proper historical context.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have made the decision to turn professional earlier.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Facebook: Colm O’Brien Music

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