Colm O’Brien was born, bred and buttered in Dublin. As a child he was surrounded by music. His father, grandfather, grand uncles and great grandfather were all members of the famed Fintan Lalor Pipe Band. His grandmother, May Keogh O’Brien, was a legendary fiddler in Irish music circles and played at the All-Ireland dancing championships for 50 consecutive years and at most of the world dancing championships in that period. Colm honed his skills as a live performer with numerous Dublin bands and appeared on Irish television and radio.
He first moved to the U.S. in 1999 as a member of “Fatal Flower.” After the group disbanded he played with the ballad group “Uncle Arthur” and then with “Hiring Fair.” Colm was recruited by famed Celtic rockers “The Prodigals” and spent a year and a half as their guitarist/vocalist touring The States, playing at some of the country’s largest festivals and recording the group’s fourth album “Needs Must when the Devil Drives.”
Colm then went on to record his first solo album, “It is what it is,”which gave him the opportunity to record some of his favorite songs alongside his own compositions. The album garnered wide critical acclaim and was voted as one of the top ten Irish albums of 2005 by “The Irish Voice,” America’s largest circulating Irish newspaper.
In 2007 Colm co-founded the group “Rud Eile” and recorded the band’s critically acclaimed self-titled album. As well as performing, Colm was also associate producer on the recording. This CD featured some of the finest talents playing Celtic music in the U.S. and has brought critical praise from such far-flung places as Ireland, France and Poland. Irish Music Magazine in Dublin described the album as “a Tour de Force.”
When “Rud Eile” disbanded in 2009, Colm chose to continue working with band mate Seán Connor on fiddle. The duo performed together for two years playing some very memorable shows, most notably at the inaugural Tartan Day South Festival in Columbia, South Carolina in April 2011. Colm has also had the great honor of being invited to open shows for such legendary Irish music figures as Finbar Furey and Andy Irvine.
Colm returned to solo performances in September 2011 and immediately set about recording his long awaited follow up to “It is what it is.” The new album, titled “Back to Work?,” once again showcases his songwriting ability alongside his interpretations of rarely heard traditional ballads. The album has already achieved widespread acclaim and will no doubt prove to be a stepping stone to a very bright future.