“Needs Must” from the album “Let The Dance Begin”

bvo3smallDublin born but living in Northern Ireland since 1983, I have been writing songs for many years now. Because I love many different genres of music I don’t feel limited to one genre when writing a song. I started learning how to play guitar aged around 10. At first I only had access to a guitar once a week or sometimes once a fortnight, so I made a ‘silent’ practice guitar neck (just a piece of 2 by 1 with paper stuck on it and frets and strings drawn on with a ruler and pen) and practiced on it until I could borrow a guitar and hopefully the things I practiced sounded OK on a real guitar.

My songwriting influences are many and varied but mostly the music I liked to listen to (and therefor influenced me in some way) were the songs of singer songwriters like Simon and Garfunkel, Jim Croche, James Taylor, Bread, Billy Joel, David Bowie and bands like America and Eagles. Quite a long list really. When I was very young I was very touched by some of the Beatles songs. Songs like Michelle and Yesterday would bring a tear to my eye. I guess I was just a sensitive soul.

brendan-fender-telecasterSo when I got to play guitar myself, the sound of some chords had a similar effect on me. It wasn’t long before I wanted to express some of my thoughts with music. Working with other musicians broadened my repertoire and skills as a musician. I also benefited greatly from the variety of work I did as a solo entertainer and as a band member. At first of course, my songs were the usual things of the heart. But in time I widened my viewpoint and felt the need to talk about the world events and relationships in general as well as thought processes, some healthy, some damaged. I started as a youth writing somewhat melancholy lyrics but as I got older I was able to find more positive subjects and I had something more up-building and hopeful to pass along. Once I got married and had children,  it was quite a natural thing for me to write songs for my children so I ended up with a catalogue of children’s songs.

bvo4Born in Dublin to a large family (originally 14 children) I suppose learning an instrument was (perhaps subliminally at least) my way of being heard amidst the large number of voices. Five of my older brothers also were involved in music, playing guitar or drums etc. I was actually a very young addition to this musical rite of passage that had gone before me.

In 1987 under my own independent label “Home Records” released my own albums, so far 5 albums, three of which were for children. Distribution was by online sales only. Based now in Northern Ireland for over 30 years.

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“Lullaby For Grown-Ups – Tuck Me In” from the album “At Last”

 

“Sunshine and Hope” From the album “Faithful Music”