According to those who know him (i.e. the bartender) Brendan Loughrey always puts on a show the crowd likes. He just knows how to make people feel good.
Loughrey said he has been performing so long, he doesn’t use sheet music anymore. He guesses he knows how to play and sing 970 songs from memory. Some are originals, some are classic Irish songs and still others are crowd requests. Without fail, almost every performance includes “Free Bird” and the talented artist obliges, putting his own Irish twist to the iconic rock song.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview Loughrey as one of many artists performing this Valentine’s weekend in West Lafayette and Lafayette. He comes to town often enough that he has developed a weekend routine. One night, he plays in the Nine Irish Brothers in West Lafayette and the next night he plays in the twin restaurant in Lafayette. Between this time, an entire Saturday morning is spread out in front of him.
“I like to head up to Natalie’s Second Chance and play for the families and the puppies,” Loughrey said. “If I didn’t, I would just sit around in the hotel. That gets boring.”
No word on if he will be there this Saturday morning, but those going out tonight can still enjoy his Irish tunes. And don’t think that this is “imitation Irish.” Loughrey moved from northern Ireland in 1999 to Chicago. Before that, his celtic rock music was falling out of favor by the surrounding European countries. Now, Loughrey’s music is gaining a following; one that comes out each time he is in town.
There is no cover charge and the performance starts at 9 p.m. If you are in the area, come out and enjoy the full bar and the boisterous music of Brendan Loughrey. Follow my Twitter for a live blog of the event or search #Irishbros.