When Kieran Hanrahan told the world on RTE that Irish Folk raconteurs Kern were, “Future legends in the making”, he wasn’t wrong.
KERN blends the driving uilleann pipes and poignant whistles of Brendan McCreanor with the dynamic fiddle playing of Barry Kieran featuring the heartfelt vocals of special guest Seamie O’Dowd who also lends his mastery of guitar, bouzouki, fiddle and mouth organ to create a powerhouse trio.
2 men from Louth with a Sligo man’s twist. This is reflected in their repertoire, which includes tunes and songs from all over as well as self-written new ones. They too have many influences from rock, country, bluegrass and folk music from around the world.
The new Kern sound is enjoying a new Kern attitude and approach to all things related to their craft. High art endeavour with a dedication to sincere and genuine creative output gilded with a happy and humorous outlook has inspired the first series of their podcast The Folk Waffle, produced in association with An Táin Theatre, Dundalk.
Kern has accomplished much. They have performed live at Folk Alliance International in Montreal, Milwaukee Irish Fest as Templebar Tradfest Showcase Winners, Fleadh TV, Vantastival and Other Voices. The band has been featured on TV and radio around the world and a regular on RTE 1 and Lyric FM in Ireland. They have recorded 2 critically acclaimed albums to date: False Deceiver & The Left and the Leaving whilst touring the USA, Italy, Germany, Canada and their native Ireland.
Described by the Irish Times as “A revelation of style and panache..” Seamie O'Dowd is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter who also plays fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, and a plethora of other instruments. His commitment to his craft over the years led to his nomination for the Best Folk Musician award in 2018 in RTE's inaugural Irish Folk Awards.
During his career, Seamie has travelled worldwide playing music and has shared stages and played with many great musicians and bands including the following;
Christy Moore, Declan Synott, The Chieftains, Tommy Emmanuel, Dervish, Steve Wickham, Matt Molloy, Liam O' Flynn, Dick Gaughan, Cathy Jordan, Rick Epping, Kieran Quinn, John Joe Kelly, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill.
He was awarded The Freedom Of The Borough in 2004 by Sligo Corporation while a member of internationally renowned traditional group Dervish and acknowledged again in 2010 at a civic reception given by the Mayor of Sligo for his personal contribution to the cultural life of the area.
As part of the Masters of Irish Music project devised by Martin Hayes, he, along with Mairtin O'Connor and Cathal Hayden played the group's concerts in the Sydney Opera House as well as a flagship performance at the Lincoln Centre in New York.
He played and recorded with Dervish for six years, during which time he played with them at the legendary Rock in Rio festival in Brazil.
Sit back and watch. Sit back and listen. We’ll put the kettle on…