Liam O’Maonlai plays Cafe du Nord tonight 

We would be seriously remiss if we didn’t punch up this last-minute tip for a truly great show.

You might have overlooked his name in the Café Du Nord ads, but Liam O’Maonlai — who’s rocking the house tonight — is one helluva considerable talent.

Once dubbed by Bono himself as “The best white-boy soul singer in the world,” the guy formerly fronted Ireland’s great Hothouse Flowers (remember their definitive “Don’t Go”?) before flying solo with his ’05 foray “Rian.” His second set — the keyboard-based “To Be Touched” — was recorded in Prague, and released in ’08. This current tour is his first stateside jaunt since that album came out.

And O’Maonlai isn’t just a whiskey-voiced crooner. He’s proficient on countless instruments, and in concert he often switches off between guitar, harp, tin whistle and the traditional Celtic hand drum, the bodhran.

He’s recorded with U2 and Van Morrison, and collaborated with players in Mali and even Aboriginal musicians, deep in the Australian Outback. He uses the Gaelic term “sean nos” to describe his own style, however, which, he says, “carries a sense of the soul of the land and the people who are awake in that land. I feel when in the company of other cultures, the singing of this style opens a window into what it is that connects us.”

So while he might have sung otherwise, we highly recommend that you do go! To see him tonight! Or check visit

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Tom Lanham

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