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Pat McCarthy  Guitar


I began playing guitar at age 12 (approx) after studying violin for several years. Left school at 16 and served an apprenticeship as a roof thatcher. Became a full time musician in 1981, playing for Raving Rupert (Elvis impersonator), a spot of working on cruise ships, a few months in France and then a couple of years' residency at The Café de Paris in Leicester Square. A couple more years' touring round Europe with Belgian singer Cindy Nelson, then back to England where I studied classical guitar with Ada Greetham. Joined the Paul McGrath Quintet where I met Rick Woolgar. Formed the Pat McCarthy/Rick Woolgar group. Next came the Pat McCarthy Quartet, which featured Ben Martin (saxes), John Perry (drums) and Warren Jolly (bass). This line up recorded a couple of CDs: 'Hetty's Dance' with guest Dave Newton, and 'Art's blues' with guest Phil Ware. The quartet worked regularly for several years - often working as a rhythm section behind the great and the good of the UK jazz scene - including Pete King, Jim Mullen, Alan Barnes, Dick Pierce and the like. I recorded a duo CD with Tom Mark (bass) called 'It's Behind You' around this time, and the quartet also formed the nucleus of the John Warren project, an eight piece contemporary group which featured the Canadian trumpet player Kenny Wheeler. After the quartet split up, I mainly worked as a freelance sideman with a variety of bands, including a couple of years with Val Wiseman's 'Lady Sings The Blues' tribute to Billie Holiday.At the moment i am enjoying working with the Shannon Reilly Trio, which also includes Warren Jolly on bass.This trio has recorded two CDs and toured for the NRTF, Shannon is a very gifted singer and i am having a great time.

I have been a pro player since 1981, and had the great good fortune to play with some of the UK's top musicians, plus a handful of visiting Americans. At this point, there usually follows an enormous list of those musicians, and you will inevitably draw the conclusion that I am equally great by association. I wish this were true, but it's usually luck or circumstance. I once played with Jamie Cullum, but if I am honest, I didn't really know who he was. I have played with some of the musicians on the list many times, and some only once or twice. Here goes...

Alan Barnes, Dave Newton, Jim Mullen, Gareth Williams, John Horler, Nikki Iles, Pete King, Any Cleyndert, Martin Shaw, Kenny Wheeler, Snake Davis, Andy Sheppard, Art Van Damme, Aaron Weinstein, Tim Kliphuis, The British Allstars, Roy Williams, Georgia Mancio, Liz Fletcher, Tina May, Gilad Atzmon, George Melly, Roger Beaujolais, Jim Hart, Brian Dee, Bobby Worth, Krzysztof Urbanski, Bruce Adams, Digby Fairweather, Steve Brown, Dave Green, Enrico Tommaso, The London Mozart Players, Dennis Rollins, The RAF bigband etc, etc - plus many others that I can't remember.