It is generally considered the ultimate in professionalism when a performer can catch the attention and affection of an audience within minutes of taking the stage. I don't think Paddy Reilly knows how or why but he does it every time. The affection is freely given because it is so obviously mutual. When Paddy chats to an audience, those listening feel that they could just as easily be chatting to him over a pint. Which in fact is true. And who could fail to be attentive when he switches moods from a table-thumping rebel-rouser like "Come out you Black and Tans" to a moving and sincere rendering such as his version of "The Ballad of Joe Hill".
As I write this, Paddy Reilly is in America, where, apart from his very evocative name, he epitomizes everything that is best in Irish music and song to those home-sick Gaels on the far side of the Atlantic. We, of course, are spoiled. We can see and hear the man from Rathcoole whenever we want to!
We can't see Paddy Reilly on this album but we can hear him. And that's not so bad, is it?