The O’Brien’s are celebrating their live album release Aug. 17 at St. Michael’s University

Musical family releases debut album

When Paul O’Brien uprooted his family from England and moved to Victoria eight years ago, he thought he’d left his music career behind.


When Paul O’Brien uprooted his family from England and moved to Victoria eight years ago, he thought he’d left his music career behind.

“We just fancied a change,” he said, recalling his attempt to settle down as a St. Andrew’s high school teacher.

But to satisfy his creative itch, O’Brien convinced his three children to start busking with him along Government Street in the summer months.

“The whole busking thing was absolutely a hobby,” he said. “We’ve been amazed by how popular it’s become.”

The musical family — made up of Millie, 18, Cormac, 16, and 15-year-old Fintan — has been creating a mix of Celtic, bluegrass and classic family voices ever since.

“The power of the four voices together is what it’s all about,” O’Brien said, who has since revived his solo career and has been picked up by an agent in Germany.

“My plan is to take the kids on tour to Europe,” he said. “I think it would really fly.”

To celebrate the recording of their first family album, the O’Brien’s are hosting a concert tonight (Aug. 17) at 7:30 p.m. at St. Michael’s University lecture theatre. Tickets are $10 at the door, and will include songs from singer-songwriter Madi Elwel as well as original songs and covers by the O’Brien’s.

“This year’s been the year when it really all came together,” O’Brien said, recalling a January performance at the Alex Gooldin Hall. The recordings from that concert are featured on the family’s debut album.

For more information, visit paulobrien.ca.

dpalmer@vicnews.com