A night of music & song with Liverpool duo Kenney & McKeon, joined by Dublin fiddle player Danny Diamond (Slow Moving Clouds, Mórga).
Mikey Kenney has been playing fiddle since the age of six. Originally classically trained, he eventually found his way towards his true love for Irish dance music at the age of ten before attending seisúns at the Liffey Pub on Liverpool’s Renshaw street until being kicked out for being underage. At 14, heavier bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam were popular at school so Kenney would play Irish reels through a distortion pedal with a mandolin, much to the confusion of his peers. After obtaining a degree in musicology from Lancaster University, Kenney moved to a bungalow on the edge of the North Lancashire moors to focus on his fiddle & folk music. There he composed his two albums of ‘Ottersgear’ songs about life in the Trough of Bowland; ‘The Quest for Rest’ and ‘The Counsel of Owls’. Both would attract acclaim from national publications… ‘The Counsel of Owls’ gaining 5/5 from international magazine fRoots and featuring as part of Dublin’s New Years celebrations in 2016.
Kenney began to tour extensively across Europe and USA both under his own name and with others; Dan Haywood’s New Hawks, Anja McCloskey, Alabaster dePlume’s Copernicus Quartet, Josephine Foster & Victor Herrero… discovering American Bluegrass along the way, something that would influence his music greatly.
In 2014, Kenney moved back to his native Liverpool to re-immerse himself in the abundance of traditional music to be found there, not to mention the ease of making frequent musical trips over to Ireland. Around this time he founded the Liverpool Irish outfit, Saltcutters, and joined the local Liverpool Country Dance band. Whilst in Ireland he became deeply interested in regional fiddle styles, something he now devotes most of his time to studying; particularly the styles of Sligo, Donegal and Co. Down. Kenney also began studying the Irish tenor banjo around this time.
Mikey Kenney’s biggest influences and fiddle pin-ups are; Kevin Burke, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Bríd Harper, Cathal Hayden, Michael Coleman and Johnny Doherty.
Charlie McKeon – Born in Liverpool, Charlie began playing guitar and writing music aged ten. Originally influenced by The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, he later started exploring folk and classical music, drawn to the historical and musical attributes of both. Intrigued by the ethereal nature of Nick Drake’s playing and the Celtic styling of Paul Brady, he started to develop his own guitar sound, applying it to arrangements of folk songs from Ireland and America as well as his own material.
Whilst obtaining a BA Honours at Leeds College of Music, he studied the harmonic nature of music by Classical composers Debussy and Chausson as well as writing many pieces of music for film; something that would influence his approach to folk music, the songs and his accompaniment to fiddle tunes. Inspired by learning that there was Irish musical heritage on his fathers’ side of the family, he began to focus more deeply on Irish songs and tunes; something that would be invigorated by his return to Liverpool and teaming up with fiddler and kindred spirit, Mikey Kenney.
Over the past year he has been playing and teaching music around Liverpool, the UK and Ireland. He and Kenney spent the summer playing Irish Traditional Music up and down the festival circuit. As a solo artist he has supported the likes of Martin Simpson and James Yorkston. 2017 will see Kenney and McKeon release their debut album..
Danny Diamond is a fiddle player, composer, researcher and recording engineer based in Dublin, Ireland.
In his music Danny creates a unique soundworld, rooted in the rich heritage of Irish traditional music, but incorporating wider influences from Nordic and American folk to baroque music to electronic music.
Danny plays with the contemporary Nordic/Irish band Slow Moving Clouds, with whom he has released an album, Os (2015), and created a score for Teac Damsa’s acclaimed dance theatre work Swan Lake / Loch na hEala (2016).
His solo album Fiddle Music (2014) and duo fiddle album NORTH (2016, with Conor Caldwell) were both widely acclaimed as contemporary classics, with NORTH being nominated for The Irish Times Traditional Album of the Year 2016. Danny is currently working on a follow-up solo project, Elbow Room, which combines new and traditional music with analog electronics.
In addition, Danny is one of the founder-members of Mórga, a band which grew out of the vibrant traditional music scene in mid-2000s Galway. Mórga have been universally acclaimed for rekindling the energy of the seminal Irish traditional recordings of the 1970s & 1920s; with Mórga, Danny has gigged extensively around Ireland, Europe and the USA, and released two albums, Mórga (2009) and For the Sake of Auld Decency (2013).