About Patrick Clifford
He was born to Irish immigrant parents in New York City in 1966 and lived in Washington Heights, in upper Manhattan, until the age of 13. As a child, he received his first formal music instruction, on the piano accordion, from renowned and influential Irish musician Martin Mulvihill, who was also an early mentor to fiddler Eileen Ivers.
As a teen, Clifford taught himself to play the guitar. Over the next few years, he played rhythm guitar in various high-school and college rock bands.
After receiving a degree in English and American Literature from Brandeis University in Massachusetts in 1988, he arrived back in New York. For the next few years, he honed his skills in musicianship, songwriting, and production. He also began playing bass guitar; recorded and performed with a number of alternative-rock bands; and produced his first commercial release, Sky in My Hand, by fellow singer-songwriter Liz Dacey.