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Kevin Burke

Kevin Burke is a master of the highly ornamental Sligo style of Irish fiddling. A former member of the Bothy Band, Patrick Street and a duo he shared with Irish guitarist Michael O'Domhnaill, Burke has also performed as a soloist and with his own band, Open House.

A native of London, England, Burke inherited his love of Irish music from his parents who had emigrated from Sligo County, Ireland. His music career began shortly after moving to Ireland in 1974, when he teamed up with singer-songwriter Christy Moore. who had just left the influential Irish trad-rock band Planxty. Replacing Tommy Peoples in the Bothy Band in 1976, he remained with the group until 1979 and was featured on three of their albums -- Old Hag You Have Killed Me, After Hours (Live in Paris) and Out of the Wind, Into the Sun.

When the Bothy Band seperated, Burke emigrated to Portland, Oregon. In addition to making a guest appearance on Arlo Guthrie's album, Washington County, he joined the Bothy Band's guitarist Michael O'Domhnaill for several tours and two albums -- Promenade and Portland -- as a duo. An early-1980s tour, Legends of Irish Music, brought Burke together with influential Irish musicians Andy Irvine (vocals, bouzouki, mandolin and harmonica) and Jackie Daly (accordion). Following the tour, they continued to perform together as Patrick Street.

Recording a solo album, Open House, in 1992, Burke assembled the musicians -- Mark Graham (harmonica, clarinet, vocals), Paul Kotopish (guitar, mandolin, cittern, bass) and Sandy Silva (percussion) -- who became his current band.

In 1992 and 1997, Burke toured and recorded with Scottish fiddler Johnny Cunningham and Breton fiddler Christian Lemaitre as the "Celtic Fiddle Festival." Burke has also recorded three instruction tapes for Homespun Tapes and Videos -- Music Instruction -- Fiddle, Twenty Irish Fiddle Tunes and Learn to Play Irish Fiddle. In Concert, his first solo recording in 15 years, followed in 1999. Sweeney's Dream was the follow up, released in early 2001. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Sweeney's Dream

1. Love At The Endings / John McGrath's Reel

2. The Humours Of Lissadell / Sweeney's Dream

3. Murphy's Hornpipe

4. The Sligo Maid / The Woman Of The House / The Sailor's Bonnet

5. The Strayaway Child

6. The College Groves

7. Toss The Feathers

8. The King Of The Fairies

9. The Mason's Apron / Laington's Reel

10. The Bunch Of Keys / The Girl That Broke My Heart

11. Bonnie Kate / Jennie's Chickens

12. Rise A Mile

13. Brendan McGlinchey's Reel (Spendid Isolation) / Sweeney's Buttermilk

14. Tuttle's Reel / The Chicken In The Saucepan (The Maid Of Michelstown)

15. The Kid On The Mountain

16. The Killarney Wonder Schottisches: Gurren Castles And The Finnea Lasses / The Long Note

17. George White's Favourite / The Happy Days Of Youth / Coleman's Cross

x

Track List: Open House

1. Lost Indian

2. Frailach

3. Porter For Three

4. Bourees

5. The Mullingar Races

6. Old As The Hills

7. The Congress

8. Glory In The Meeting House

9. La Partida

10. Clyde's Banks

11. Stan Chapman's Jig

12. Barn Dances

x

Track List: Up Close

1. Lord Gordon's Reel

2. A Polka / A Finnish Polka / Jessica's Polka

3. The Thrush In The Straw / A Health To The Ladies / The Boys Of The Town

4. Tuttle's Reel / The Bunch Of Green Rushes - The Maids Of Mitchelstown

5. The Shepherd's Daughter / Jerusalem Ridge / Michael Kennedy's Reel

6. The Bloom Of Youth / Molloy's Favourite - The Cabin Hunter

7. The Boys Of Ballycastle / The Stack Of Barley

8. The Raheen Medley

9. The Rambler / The Chapel Bell

10. The Peeler's Jacket / The Flax In Bloom / Eileen Curran

11. The Orphan / The Mist On The Mountain - The Stolen Purse

Comments

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Kevin Burke has to be the best Celtic fiddler that I have ever heard...He is that good!
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Whoa. I've played violin for 12 (nearly 13) years, and I'm telling you, this guy is amazing. :)
Report as inappropriate
Kevin's playing never ceases to amaze me. Absolutely stunning and his talent appears effortless live.

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