You will very probably have seen or heard that great singer/songwriter Mick Ryan being ably accompanied by Paul Downes. You have possibly seen or heard him as a member of a duo with his long term friend Phil Beer of Show of Hands fame. And I'm sure most people will remember him accompanying the lovely Maggie Boyle for some years. If your music tastes are sufficiently catholic you may even remember him as part of a great crossover band called Arizona Smoke Review (who played at Edinburgh Folk Festival in the early 1980s). Or the Joyce Gang?
What you quite possibly have not seen is Paul Downes in his own right.Paul's sensitive and yet fun approach to his live performances puts him among the most respected artists on the British acoustic music scene today, but he rarely ventures north to play his solo set.If you HAVE seen him before I'm sure you will love the chance to see him again.If not, you are definitely in for a treat.
First, he plays guitar beautifully; very skillfully but in a very understated style.He has been introduced (much to his embarrassment) as one of the greatest acoustic guitarists in the world. It is easy to see why when you see the dazzling array of styles he performs with effortless brilliance, but at the same time he considers himself as a singer of songs, rather than a guitar technician. He plays the banjo rather well too, despite professing to hate it and has a huge repertoire of songs - traditional, self-penned and the work of other modern writers. And he sings them all with a beautiful tuneful voice. There's a heavy dose of humour thrown in too.
Eight albums with bands, three highly acclaimed solo albums and over one hundred and fifty session credits have still left time for Paul to tour every concert venue, theatre and festival in Britain, plus many tours in the USA and Europe. Cabaret in the West Indies and news-reading on US radio are but two other strings to his guitar.