Paddy Homan from Co Cork, Ireland maintains a dual career in music and philanthropy. Now domiciled in the great Chicago Illinois, he currently is on tour, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Easter 1916 Rising in Dublin with his I AM IRELAND show.
HOMAN is one of the 'Boys of Fairhill', from Cork City, Ireland but now living in Chicago, Illinois. Fondly known as 'The Show-Man- Homan', Homan brings his quick witted Cork humor and spontanaeity onto stage. He comes from a large family in Cork city and was taught by the Christian Brothers at The North Monastery School on the Northside. Homan says, "I've been singing longer than I can remember talking. It's just always been in me. I always had a song in my head and remember staying awake at night just thinking about songs and going over their melody over and over again. In fact I'd sing them in my head even before I sang them. Some songs have a way of just grabbing hold of you and your job is to make the story come alive to the listener..... the singer is but the medium of story being told."
Having a passion for singing is one thing, having a gift for singing is another!
" I credit my mother mother, Lizzie, for passing on the tradition of music to me. We had literally 'nothing' growing up, but Mam always made sure she was able to 'scrape' money together for me to get me access to music....such was my insatiable appetite for singing!" Homan spent most of his weekends in the Cork City Music Library, listening to all types of songs, but Irish music always was his favorite. " Irish ballads grabbed hold of me, as I often heard so many of my family and neighbors singing such songs like Four Green Fields and The West's Awake."
Lizzie, recognizing the gift her son had, enrolled him in the Cork School of Music. "This was literally unheard of on the Northside of Cork city. I mean a fella from the Northside, crossing over the North Gate Bridge to go to Cork School of Music each week to study classical music! They'd be saying who did I think I was !! But it was a revelation as I was able to enter into a new relationship with understanding my voice and the technique in singing. I got to meet a wonderful trainer and mentor in Robert ( Bobby) Beare who was to be my only teacher. Bobby taught me some of the old Irish classic songs,like She is Far From Land and MaCushla. I was able to bridge these songs with the ballads I had already learned from my parish."
Homan's hard work paid off in in 2001 when he won the Gold Medal in the Feis Maitiu Tenor Solo and The Thomas Moore Cup for Moore's Irish melodies. "Tis funny really! I remember when I won these great honors, I called my friend Jim Cronin, who I knew was up in the Arch Bar by the North Cathedral. Jim would always answer with, "Where are ya and are ya coming up?"- meaning was I coming up for a pint! " In any case, I brought the two cups up to the local bar, and kept them in my school bag, not wanting to 'show off' what I won. Jim asked what was in the bag, and I told him, to which there was great applause. They later filled the two cups up with Whiskey and Cider and everyone had a little 'droppeen' out of it. Normally, if someone wins a cup, it's either for the local hurling & football club, but music was unheard of." Today, while the year 2001 is 'blank' for the winner on these cups ( Homan didn't want to put his name up on it), Homan is just as proud of that he still has the same schoolbag to carry his Bodhran 'drum'. " Having that bag on my back, means I carry all these wonderful memories of Cork with me."
His musical influences are Sean O Riada, Luke Kelly, Nicolas Toibin, John McCormack and his mother, Lizzie!! " I learned most of my songs out on the banks of the River Lee while trying to catch a trout or salmon."
While enjoying a full music schedule on the national and international front, Homan also works as Corporate Giving / Foundation Regional Director for Lutheran Life Communities. For more information go to www.lutheranlifecommunities.org " For me, music and service to others go hand in hand. I get no greater 'kick' out of being in someone's home, having a cuppa tea, hearing their story, and being present to them through the gift of song."
"It's all about connecting with people, be it on stage in the songs I sing, or in my work....... You just have to give it your all."
What The Critics Say!
- The Livies. liveIreland Irish Music Awards 2014
- "MALE VOCAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: The Hard Way Home by Paddy Homan
- "Paddy Homan was our Male Singer of the Decade for the years 2000-2010. We have all waited a long time for this new album, and it is well worth it, to say the least! There are these incredible talents in this music such as Paddy Homan for whom we eventually run out of words. All we can say is: Paddy is absolutely the best. And the album is a pure delight. We've run out of adjectives. A truly gifted and important artist." Bill Margeson
- Male Vocalist of the Year & Male Vocal Album of the Year 2010 -"This is the real voice of Ireland." - LiveIreland.com
- “Nobody sings like this, and nobody sounds like this. The voice never, ever grates. The range is stunning. The interpretation is perfect. This is the whole complete deal wrapped up in one voice, one talent.” – Irish Music Magazine
- “Chicago’s Paddy Homan is probably the best male Irish singer I’ve ever heard. Paddy Homan is the deal. Complete. I hesitate to say the next bit. He is a tenor. Stop. Don’t roll your eyes. Everyone- and I do mean everyone – says the same thing. “I don’t like Irish tenors- but Paddy Homan is not an Irish Tenor.” Well- yes he is. But that is like saying Secretariat was simply a horse.” – Bill Margeson Irish American News.
- “The voice. Oh the voice. Clear as a bell, and gift from Heaven…… In a world of lunacy and junk, there is this voice. And it sings to every one of us, reminding us all of what could be and should be.” – American Public Radio.
- “This is a guy who can sing a very traditional ballad and just a voice like a bell. You could also picture him in a tuxedo in front of a symphony.” Bill Margeson Master of Ceremonies & Music Critic, Irish American News, launch at Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago, December 5, 2009.
Homan was awarded Best Newcomer of the Decade 2000-2010 by Live Ireland 'Best of the Decade' awards.