There is a deep respect for heritage and culture,
even when it is often delivered through irreverent humor. His stories and his songs all have an underlying thread of love and respect for Irish and American culture and for life’s lessons.
~ Jed Marum
Seamus Kennedy’s music is a gleefully mixed bag of styles and traditions...
An enjoyably eclectic and often surprising collection.
~ Richard Middleton
With a thorough knowledge of the traditional and contemporary songs of Ireland and Scotland, Seamus Kennedy is equally proficient with American music, whether it be folk, country, bluegrass or a little Western Swing.
A 37-year veteran of the Irish/Celtic festival circuit, he was first influenced by the legendary Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, and from them he learned the importance of not only being a solid musician and singer, but also of being an all-round entertainer.
Seamus is at home in venues ranging from intimate house-concerts and folk-clubs to concert halls and festivals; from Alaska to Florida, from Maryland to California, he makes folks laugh, sing and forget their cares for a while.
This diversity is also reflected in over a dozen recordings, many of which were taped before live audiences, and which feature something for everyone, from the silly to the serious, from instrumentals to a capella vocals, with a healthy dose of humor thrown in.
Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Seamus been entertaining audiences all over the United States for the past 32 years. With a ready wit and a vast store of songs, he travels from Alaska to Florida, Maryland to California, performing for audiences which range from Popes and presidents to bartenders and bricklayers, from college students to kindergartners.
He encourages the crowd to sing along to silly lyrics and daft ditties or act out the choruses of children's songs. When he plays a lively Irish jig or a reel, Seamus will often coax someone to jump up and dance to the music of his guitar or bodhrán, to the delight -- and often amazement -- of their friends. His audience participation songs and tongue-twisters have amused the ablest of participants and the nimblest of tongues.
Seamus has an endless supply of rib-tickling jokes, stories and one liners which can leave an audience breathless from laughing so hard. Many a crowd has gone home from one of his shows giggling to one another, "Do you remember the one about...?" (Ask him to do the routine about Moms and Kids, the Nuns, or Murphy and the Snails.)
But the Irish have their serious side too, and when Seamus performs one of the more somber ballads such as Tommy Sands' "There Were Roses" or Pete St. John's "Dublin In The Rare Old Times" you can hear a pin drop as the words sink in. That moment of silence before the applause can raise goosebumps. Seamus' greatest influences have been the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem, the Dubliners' Luke Kelly, and the Irish Rovers, so it is no surprise to find many songs that they made famous, such as "The Wild Colonial Boy," "The Wild Rover," or "The Black Velvet Band" in his performance.
A multiple WAMMIE award-winner (the prestigious Washington Area Music Association Awards) for "Best Irish Male Vocalist," Seamus appreciates the fact that the recognition comes from his fellow performers and musicians, although he doesn't place much importance in awards and ceremonies.
In 2007, with four of his musical colleagues, Dennis O’Rourke, Frank Emerson, Robbie O’Connell and Harry O’Donoghue, Seamus took a leap in a new direction and wrote a collection of stories about the life of an Irish entertainer. Clean Cabbage In The Bucket has been called “... great story-telling, hilarious, ribald and sometimes poignant – a wild ride through the world of traveling musicians."