Paddy Goes To Holyhead

The inception of Paddy Goes to Holyhead (PGTH) dates back to 1988. They were initially formed by singer Harald Schmidt as a hobby for part-time musicians. Several independent recordings were released between 1988-1991, including the LP-only Emigrants in 1990, which was comprised of traditional Irish songs. As word spread and concert dates mounted, PGTH became a full-time affair. Their rock-infused folk became increasingly evident with the release of Here's to the People in 1992 and the live album Supermegaultraliveshow in 1993. Fiddler Almut Ritter joined the band for that live recording, but her presence was really felt on their next recording, Ready for Paddy?, as she injected into their music a gypsy touch. The group's own songwriting abruptly replaced the traditional material and in addition to their Irish affinities, hints of Russian, reggae, and American music were introduced into their Europop style. 1996's E&OE yielded a more sophisticated and polished pop sound replete with Ritter's distinguished playing alongside the bevy of aforementioned influences. Replacement fiddler Helen Mannert joined the band for 1998's first offering, Hooray, a more stripped-down collection of original introspective songs. Live, released in late 1998, is an accurate representation of Paddy Goes to Holyhead's three previous studio albums. ~ Dave Sleger

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