- 24 Oct 16
Rising act to keep an eye and ear on!
As veterans of the Irish music scene, singer-guitarist SJ McArdle, uilleann pipes player Brendan McCreanor and fiddler Barry Kieran had all forged their own separate paths before forming Kern.
What originally started off as a trad band, organically morphed when SJ joined the group three years ago. “We call it contemporary folk,” McArdle explains. “It does have very strong elements of trad, mixed with my contemporary singer-songwriter influences. It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it does!”
Kern’s 2016 album, False Deceiver, was produced by Lúnasa bassist Trevor Hutchinson. “He was able to marry our converging sounds together very naturally,” acknowledges SJ. The record blends the past with the present, digging into the genre’s roots, while creating a new chapter that is steeped in Louth’s rich history.
Indeed, their home county is a huge influence on Kern’s sound. “There’s a real sense of place and home in what we do,” the singer admits. “I think all of the songs on the record are about departure in one way or another. In some ways Louth would not be seen as a hotbed of traditional or folk music, but actually it is. North and south Louth are really rich in songs.”
Hear: Their new album False Deceiver is available on iTunes.
Have a taste of Kern with the video for 'The Hard Wind.'