Tuesday 25 June 2019

WATCH: Extraordinary life of celebrated Irish Blues musician Paddy Smith captured in new short film

Freya Drohan

Irish musician Paddy Smith was a regular on stage at iconic Chicago club The House of Blues, before he succumbed to an addiction to alcohol.

The Navan native emigrated to the States in pursuit of a career as a harmonica player.

Due to his sheer talent, he was catapulted to the forefront of the music scene in Chicago, but his dependency on alcohol threatened to ruin everything he had worked so hard to achieve.

In 2008, Smith was involved in a bar brawl during an All Ireland Football Final and was imprisoned for two weeks in the notorious Cook County Jail. Shook from the experience, he returned home to Ireland and succumbed to alcoholism.

Paddy Smith
Paddy Smith

A catalyst came in the form of tragedy, when Paddy’s daughter Ciara died from Cystic Fibrosis aged just 17. The musician decided to give up alcohol and turn his life around.

Five years on, he is still sober and now helps other addicts face their demons. He is also due to return to America to perform for three top music producers as part of a New York song competition.

A film following Smith’s life entitled ‘Let Those Blues In’ will be shown this Sunday at the Galway Film Fleadh.

The film was directed by Paul Webster, a young Irish film writer also from Navan. The award winning director/producer has worked on productions including Glassland, Frank, and his own Irish language film Stuama.

The film was produced by Shay Casserley, a filmmaker also based in Navan, and a school friend of Paddy's.

Watch an excerpt from Let Those Blues In, above.

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