Brian Joseph Friel is a Scottish folk/country/rock'n'roll singer/songwriter and guitar player.
He was signed to Dawn Records (an imprint of Pye Records) in 1973, where he released two albums. The first was released in the UK as 'Brian Joseph Friel' otherwise known as 'Second Hand Dealer' (catalogue number DNLS 3054) by Brian Joseph Friel and musicians included Colin Allen, Steve Thompson, Maggie Bell, all from Stone The Crows, Zoot Money, Tim Renwick, Gary Osborne and Paul Vigrass from the Chocolate Watchband and Jimmy McCulloch, later to join Paul McCartney and Wings (band) although Jimmy McCulloch is credited on the sleeve as 'The Phantom' due to contractual obligations. The album contained 'Song for Ralph', a dedication to Ralph McTell which was Brian's response to Ralph McTells' 'Zimmerman Blues', dedicated to Bob Dylan. It was produced by Mark London, most famous for writing 'To Sir, With Love' for Lulu (singer). The second album was titled 'Arrivederci Ardrossan' (catalogue number DNLS 3064) by Brian Friel. In the USA they were re-titled, the first album simply to 'Brian Friel' and the second to 'Ashes and Matchsticks', named after a strong track at the end of side 1.
To date, neither album has been re-issued on compact disc, nor are they available to download legally, although Universal Music are currently in negotiation with the artist to do so. In 1991 Sanctuary Records released a compilation CD of artists on the Dawn Records label, and it included 'Fat City' by Brian Friel. In an interview conducted in January 2009 with Paul Wohl, Brian Friel admitted that he had never received a penny in royalties from Pye Records or any of its future owners.
His music has been compared to John Martyn, Nick Drake, America (band) and Gerry Rafferty.
In 1983 Brian Friel recorded a third album on Lismore Records entitled 'Torc'. Since then there have been no commercially released studio recordings of his music, although he still writes and plays music in his spare time.
In August 2009, after a 30 year break from live performing, Brian announced a low-key performance at the function room at the Railway Hotel in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, where he played to an appreciative audience of around 100 people. He has spoken to The Guardian newspaper of a new recording of some of his previous songs.