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Louth folk favourites Kern are back this autumn with the trio’s eagerly awaited new album, their first since their critically acclaimed debut False Deceiver.
The Left & 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.
Like the first album, 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.
Kern have been hard at work since the extensive press and radio coverage which accompanied the first album’s release, clocking up the miles on Ireland’s highways and byways. Along the way the band have also 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 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 appearances on Fleadh TV, RTE Radio 1’s John Creedon Show and Raidio na Gaeltachta. The release will be marked with an extensive Irish tour.
Praise for Kern’s first album, False Deceiver:
“Outstanding … an intriguing release. Those interested in trad music that crosses over into singer/songwriter territory will find this album particularly attractive, but its accessibility will have easy appeal to general audiences"
- Irish Echo
"A solid grasp of traditional and contemporary forms. Rich sonorous blending of uilleann pipes and fiddles lift the instrumentals while SJ McArdle's gritty voice and dexterous songs add an interesting extra lustre"
- fRoots Magazine
"The band's dashing blend of traditional folk and contemporary songwriting is brilliantly captured on its debut CD, False Deceiver ... Steeped in the tradition yet boasting a contemporary poetic sensibility, it will be a surprise if Kern doesn't go on to bigger and better things"
- The Thin Air
"False Deceiver remains lively and full of musical life to the very end. This album never wavers in its musical flair. It succeeds in combining all three members' diverse traditions in a very contemporary way"
- Irish Music Magazine