Kern weave together various influences, prompted by their diverse formative experiences
and sensibilities. Their music is a distillation of reflective and skilfully- executed traditional
elements including a deep respect for native songlines, combined with fresh and often raw contemporary perspectives. Mining the fertile depths of the vernacular riches of their native Co Louth, Kern present thrilling interpretations of the music of the past and blistering,
sometimes heart-wrenching lyrics.
Kern is a contemporary folk trio from County Louth who have just launched their second album, The Left and The Leaving. Kern’s first album False Deceiver met with universal critical acclaim upon its release in 2016 and earned the band extensive press and radio coverage. As a result Kern clocked up the miles on Ireland’s highways and byways and played shows in Germany, Canada and the US, including at Milwaukee Irish Fest and Folk Alliance International in Montréal. The band also won the 2018 Temple Bar TradFest showcase.
The Left and The Leaving is a similar showcase of the band’s unusual mix of personalities: Barry Kieran is a former Leinster champion fiddler, steeped in the raw, pure music of Oriel; Brendan McCreanor is an uilleann piper of rare passion and versatility whose distinctive playing is at once both modern and rooted in tradition; and SJ McArdle is a critically-
acclaimed songwriter and singer who has previously toured and recorded internationally.
The Left and the Leaving is a blend of original songs and tunes written by the band members themselves alongside traditional material from their home county of Louth. The tracks were once again produced by Trevor Hutchinson and feature the Lúnasa/Waterboys man on double bass throughout. There are also appearances by Dónal O’Connor (Ulaid, At First Light) and Eamonn Moloney (Full Set, Aoife Scott).
The new album’s release comes hard on the heels of the band’s sell-out showcase concert at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2019 and resulting live appearances on Fleadh TV, RTE Radio 1’s John Creedon Show and Raidio na Gaeltachta.