Tuam songwriter Padraig Stevens has a rare gift in that his songs elevate ordinary lives and people out of the ordinary. By shining a fresh light on the everyday, his often-humorous lyrics allow listeners to see what’s special about the mundane.
As co-writer of some of the Saw Doctors’ biggest hits, including I Useta Lover, Still the only One and That’s What She Said Last Night, Padraig has left a lasting mark on Ireland’s musical scene.
More recently, Christy Moore recorded Tuam Beat, in which Padraig offers a glimpse of the north Galway town in its glory days. Country singer Mike Denver, meanwhile, has had commercial success with his version of Padraig’s Ireland for the Summer.
And, of course, anyone who has ever experienced Galway’s rain will raise a wry smile at Streets of Galway, in which Padraig sings how “the rain came lashin’, splish-splashin’ down the town in a Galway fashion” as he describes a day out in Galway. That features on his album, Puddles and Rainbows, one of two solo albums the quiet songmaster has released – the other is Sound.
Fans of Padraig can witness his talent first-hand when he joins Leo Moran of the Saw Doctors for two concerts in Galway next week. The first, in the Kings Head in the city, is on Thursday February 23, and the second is at Campbell’s Tavern, Cloughanover, Headford on Friday February 24.
“Leo was at a loose end because the band can’t do gigs at the moment,” says Padraig of how these shows came about. As fans will know, the band’s lead singer Davy Carton is currently recovering from problems with his vocal cords, meaning that Leo and the others have had to reschedule a planned Saw Doctors’ tour. So, he decided to team up with his old bandmate Padraig, who served as drummer with the Saw Doctors in their early years.
Leo organised the venues for the two Galway shows, and Saw Doctors’ manager Ollie Jennings is promoting them, which just leaves Padraig “doing a bit of cramming”.
And given that his songwriting career spans some 50 years, he might need to cram up on his back catalogue!
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.