Paddy O'Brien - Irish Music

Master: Paddy O’Brien, St. Paul, MN
Apprentice: John Everist, Brandon
Art Form: Irish music

John Everist has been playing music his whole life, starting on piano, then moving to guitar and banjo, and finally picking up the concertina to accompany Midwestern and Irish tunes. He met Paddy O’Brien of Minnesota through Irish music circles, and arranged an apprenticeship to tap into Paddy’s encyclopedic knowledge of Irish tunes. John says of Paddy, with great respect, “I’m basically reworking my whole style of playing, just by virtue of one or two or three things that he’s told me about how to play.” His style is “less is more,” and he believe in being grounded in the simple tradition before adding al kinds of ornaments and flourishes. John has also been learning the history of the tunes, which makes for a richer playing experience. Speaking of all the various kinds of traditional music he loves, John says, “To me it all comes from the same well. My journey in traditional music has been to try to discover that well and how to tap into it.”

Apprentice John Everist playing Irish tunes on the concertina.
Man (John Everist) seated, playing concertina.