«The High Kings» - biography, albums, songs, video clips

The High Kings is an Irish folk group, formed in Dublin in 2008 by Celtic Woman manager Dave Kavanagh. The band consists of Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Martin Furey and Darren Holden. Together they play thirteen instruments during their performances. By February 2014, the group had released three studio albums, one live album, and one DVD. After the release of their first album, the new group moved from a highly staged format to a more natural performance style. Since the inception of the band, The High Kings has toured Ireland, the United States, and Europe on multiple occasions. The group's motto is "Folk 'n Roll," and their singing is especially noted for its close harmonies.


Finbarr Clancy toured the United States and Ireland in the 1990s with the Clancy Brothers, one of the most successful folk groups in the history of Irish traditional music. He sang and played electric bass and flute with the group, which consisted at the time of Finbarr's father, Bobby Clancy, his uncles Paddy Clancy and Liam Clancy, and his cousin, singer-songwriter Robbie O'Connell. As part of this group, Finbarr appeared in the Clancy Brothers' filmed "Farewell to Ireland" performance in 1996, which has since been released on DVD. He also performed on three albums with this father. He usually plays the guitar and sometimes the banjo with The High Kings.

Brian Dunphy got his first break as a performer in Riverdance: The Show. After two years as part of Riverdance, he became a member of The Three Irish Tenors. Dunphy had also been a member of the band Druid. He released a solo album entitled, "Timeless," as well. Brian is the son of Sean Dunphy who represented Ireland in the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest. He typically plays the bodhrán and guitar with the group.

Martin Furey, son of Irish folk musician Finbar Furey, formed the band Bohinta with his sister Aine in 1992. They had a top ten hit in France with the album "Excalibur," featuring Jean Reno as Merlin. Bohinta released two albums, "Sessions" and "Belladonna". Furey released "Howl" and concentrated exclusively on production and creative writing skills, working with Stuart Bruce (Feed the World), Paul White (SOS) and Martin Swan (Mouth Music). He plays the banjo, bouzouki, guitar, and the modern low whistle, which his father had originally helped to create and develop. His singing style is characterized by frequent use of vocal ornamentation.

Darren Holden starred in Riverdance: The Show on Broadway for 18 months. He followed this success by appearing in the Broadway musical "Movin' Out." Holden played the role of Billy Joel both on Broadway and on a national tour of the United States (January 2004-January 2007), as well as tours of Canada and Japan in 2006. Holden has also released three successful solo albums. "Suddenly" came out in 1998 and yielded three top 20 singles in Ireland and one top 30 in Finland. "Live and Learn" was released in the United States in March 2003, garnering three top 40 airplay hits on the country music charts. "Roadworks" followed in 2006 with success in Japan. It was produced by Bryan Steele and Tommy Byrnes (Stray Cats, Billy Joel). Holden plays the accordion, mandolin, and keyboard with The High Kings.


The High Kings' first album quickly climbed to the top of Amazon music charts worldwide. The self-titled release also reached number 2 on Billboard Magazine's World Music chart.

In 2008, the High Kings toured the United States with "Celtic Woman" as the opening act.

In 2011, the High Kings toured the U.S. again, playing in Chicago, Albany, New Haven, Philadelphia, Boston and Atlanta to promote their new album release "Memory Lane." On St. Patrick's Day, they played for an American audience on "Live with Regis and Kelly," and performed on stage in Boston that night.

On March 18, 2012 the High Kings headlined the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square to an estimated 15,000 people.

On March 20, 2012 The High Kings were invited to perform at the Official St Parick's Day Celebrations at The White House in Washington DC, United States. The event was hosted by US President Barack Obama and attended by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

On July 6, 2012 The High Kings were invited to perform at the residence of the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins.

On March 12, 2013 The High Kings announced a forthcoming third studio album produced by Sharon Shannon and John Dunford, consisting of eight original songs and a selection of classic ballads. The High Kings released their latest CD in October 2013.

On September 23, 2013 The High Kings released Friends For Life under the Sony record label.


Title Date of release Media format Record label
The High Kings 2008 CD Manhattan Records
The High Kings: Live in Dublin 2008 DVD The Blue Note Label Group
The High Kings: Memory Lane 2010 CD Universal Music Ireland
The High Kings: Live in Ireland 2011 CD Celtic Music Collections
The High Kings: Friends for Life 2013 CD Sony Music Entertainment


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