Paul J Bolger is what some might call a ‘Renaissance Man’, even if mentioning that makes him feel a tad self-conscious.
Everything Paul has done since entering the entertainment industry in the late 1980s has been from the heart. Whether it was lending his drawing, directing and design skills to films, books and graphic novels, the visual arts or writing, recording and performing his songs, PJB is a consummate creator.
It’s been almost a quarter of a century since he released his last album, The Moss House, to critical acclaim with top Irish music magazine Hot Press rating it 8/10 at the time. Paul followed this, and the wall-to-wall airplay the album received, by playing all over Ireland for the rest of the decade before returning to filmmaking.
A fateful 2015 meeting with an old friend, Gary Kehoe of Ireland's best little record store Rollercoaster Records, brought new opportunities and Paul leaped at them. He was invited to support the Indiana songwriter David Corley when Corley came to play Paul’s hometown of Waterford, Ireland and the rest is history.
Paul and WIR producer Hugh Christopher Brown hit it off like brothers from different mothers and the seeds of new a musical adventure were sown.
Paul had already begun to put down new songs with old friend and master guitarist/producer Dave Molloy in Northern Ireland which saw the release of an EP, The Start Of It, in 2018, with Paul directing a promo video for each song.
These sessions had spawned enough material for an album when Wolfe Island came calling. On a trip to Canada to consult on an animated movie adaptation of the stage show Riverdance, Paul visited the home of Wolfe Island Records where more songs than Paul knew what to do with were in the offing, so 2019 became a year of writing and recording.
What began as a slow return to documenting some old songs saw Paul and his producers complete two records at the same time on both sides of the Atlantic; a bit like a Dublin bus – you wait for ages for one and then two show up at the same time, full to the brim.
With a style Celtic Rock legends Horslips termed ‘Bog Gothic’, a genre the artist is happy to embrace and propagate, Paul will release the first of these albums, produced by Hugh Christopher Brown, through Wolfe Island Records, in summer 2020, making Paul the label’s very first East-of-the-Atlantic signing.
As Paul says, “after a lifetime spent shifting between music, writing, visual art and film I am doing what I want to do at an age some might say I should know better. Nothing can deliver instant satisfaction like writing, recording and performing a song you wrote for a live audience. Making this album has been a ‘never too late’ dream come true for this aging rocker who finally found his voice.”