Kildare Nationalist – German Grand Prize for a musician born in Kilcullen

Paul Durney with his award certificate

By Brian Byrne

KILCULLEN-born musician Paul Durney aka Saoirse Mhór won the Best Song of the Year award at the 39th German Rock & Pop Awards.

Saoirse works as a professional singer-songwriter in Germany and the 2021 Deutscher Rock & Pop Preis award is for “Ashbury Lane” from his current album Minor Tales Major Stories.

“It’s nice to end the year with the icing on the cake,” he said after being advised of the award last week. “That song was The Ugly Duckling during CD production and, well, there you go. Thanks to everyone who helped put it together with their amazing respective contributions: Katie Doherty, Andrew Cadie, Michael Busch, Steffen Knauss and Andy Horn.

The 7-song EP was Saoirse’s “lockdown production” after his normal summer of touring street music events and pubs in Germany with his band Fleadh was disrupted by the pandemic in 2020.

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Paul sang in his youth for the Kilcullen Community Capers in the 1970s, and his family later moved to Newbridge. In 1980, after a stint at Berney’s Saddlers in Kilcullen, he left Ireland and crossed England and Germany, where he settled in 1987.

On a trip to Ireland in 2004, after hearing Luka Bloom perform in The Riverbank in Newbridge, he chose his pseudonym Saoirse Mhór and began his life entertaining himself on the streets and on the Irish pub scene in Germany. He last performed in Kilcullen in 2014, with a night on the Town Hall stage.

This summer he was again on the circuits in Germany with his new group Siolta. The EP can be purchased on Bandcamp.

The Deutscher Rock & Pop Preis is a non-commercial entity and one of Germany’s most respected music awards. The competing presentations are ranked by a distinguished jury.

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