Somewhere tonight, across the country or across the sea, a singer, sitting on a stool on a pub’s corner stage, is belting out a Kevin McKrell song, and the crowd is singing along. McKrell pioneered American Celtic music beginning in 1979 with Donnybrook Fair. The original trio’s 1982 album, “Tunnel Tigers,” remains a landmark of the form, with its blend of Clancy Brothers swagger and upstate NY attitude. McKrell honed his powerful performance style further in the 80s with The Fabulous Newports, a rambunctious harmony group known as much for its antics, cut-up comedy and long list of eventual members as for its sweet singing.
In 1998, McKrell—who has three solo albums to his credit—formed a powerhouse band under his own name, merging the Irish sensibility of Donnybrook with a steely, world class bluegrass edge. The McKrells toured harder than Donnybrook, bringing its music, with McKrell’s lusty vocals supported by hot string band picking, to Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Folk, Irish and Bluegrass festivals and concert venues around the country.
Offstage, McKrell, is a respected painter, with his work hanging in many of the halls he’s haunted, here and in Ireland, Scotland and Italy.He is best known, though, for his indelible songs—classics like “Home In Donegal,” “ You and Me”, “I Miss the Rain” and the eternal “All of The Hard Days Are Gone”—which, in addition to the raft of pub singers mentioned afore, have been sung and recorded by artists like The Kingston Trio, Bob Shane, Hair of the Dog, Wood’s Tea Company ,Get Up Jack, from Ireland The Furey Brothers, Seamus Kennedy ,The Druids, The Dublin City Ramblers from Scotland North Sea Gas, from Australia Pat McKernan.
$25 advance/ $30 at the door