Irish Folk Music Legends The High Kings Play The Lincoln
The true heirs of Ireland's folk heritage, The High Kings are internationally acclaimed singers and instrumentalists with a unique brand of high-octane balladry and folk that has won them numerous accolades. Touring in support of their 10th anniversary album, Decade: The Best of The High Kings (November 2017), their live shows are the stuff of legend around the world and have been enjoyed by millions.
CAPA presents The High Kings at the Lincoln Theatre (769 E. Long St.) on Friday, March 16, at 8 pm. Tickets are $35 at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000.
Almost 10 years ago, four Irish singers, performers, and songwriters decided to take a calculated risk. Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Martin Furey, and Darren Holden each had a wealth of history in the music business, but knew that in order to maintain any level of creative interest they would have to boldly go where no other Irish ballad group had gone before.
Within months, the four had clicked as a creative unit as well as friends. The self-titled debut album, released in 2008, reached an impressive number two on Billboard's World Music chart. However, it was during The High Kings second US tour in 2011 (having graduated from playing small venues to larger halls as they promoted their follow-up album, Memory Lane, which also crashed into Billboard's World Music chart), that everyone involved realised the fanbase was growing into something that no one had predicted.
Subsequently, the group's tour of Ireland sold out within hours. The High Kings had achieved what many thought impossible-they were moving the Irish ballad tradition into the here and now, carrying along with them the steadfast older fans while simultaneously bringing it to a new audience.
In 2013, The High Kings stepped out of the shadows with their third studio album, Friends for Life, taking the original song writing route and showcasing their own songwriting talents.
The development of original songwriting - ballad-style but with contemporary touches - from each member of The High Kings continues apace, but balance must be maintained. To a degree, expectations have to be met while still moving specific creative elements forward, which is why the group's fourth studio album, Grace & Glory, took them back to the essentials that kick-started their career in the first place.
To say The High Kings are charting a new course for Irish ballad music - equal parts rousing and reflective, energetic and insightful - is an understatement. They are essentially marking out a bright, new era for Irish folk music, and aiming to bring a broad demographic along. The High Kings have vowed to continue for another decade following the departure of Martin Furey in August 2017. Their first 'Best Of' collection, Decade: The Best of The High Kings, was globally released on November 3, 2017, and they kicked off an 18-month world tour in December 2017.
Photo Credit: Klinsman