It was my Father and my Uncle Bill who first  introduced me to the music that I would spend a good part of my life performing.  The music my father listened to was more about his Irish roots than his love of music. His Irish heritage was very important to him and a feeling he instilled in me that remains a part of me to this day. It was his favorite album 'The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem ‑ In Person At Carnegie Hall' that  transported me at that first listen to a wonderful place that would become my life's work. In those early days, I submerged myself in Irish Folk music: The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, The Dubliners, Sweeney's Men, The Barleycorn, all became my religion and led to the formation of my first band Donnybrook Fair with Jeff Strange and Davey McDonnell.  I remember as though it was yesterday the day I met my Uncle Bill, my Ma said that her brother would soon be walking in from town so I went up to the hill  near our house to watch for him. There, I sat and waited , wondering who is this man, what was his story. Up the road off in the distance came a figure of a man that as he got closer I saw he was carrying something that would, in the years to come, be an extension of my arm, a guitar case. He was tall, rail thin, Levi jacket and cowboy boots, looking like he fit perfectly in the pantheon of my musical heroes whose stories of the road filled my head. Folks like Woody Guthrie, Burl Ives, Rambling Jack and … my Uncle Bill. In my mind, which had nothing to do with reality, Uncle Bill was a Knight of the Rail, a King of The Road, Hobo jungles and fighting the Bulls. That Christmas, Uncle Bill gave me Roy Clark's ‘Family Album' that began a lifelong love affair with American folk/bluegrass music that culminated in the formation of The McKrells. Along the way I was lucky enough to meet and play with many of the musicians I’d admired over the years.  I fondly recall a conversation I had with Tommy Makem who said to me “You should be playing your own country’s music! It is all well and good to love and play Irish music but you have a tradition and a music of your own.”  I have in my own way, been able to combine a love of Irish music with a love of Bluegrass and Americana music which has taken me from the ‘Irish Alps’ of upstate New York to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, as well as pubs, theaters and festivals throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland and Scotland including such diverse venues as the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Winterhawk Bluegrass Festival and Milwaukee Irish Festival. I am lucky and proud that such names as: The Kingston Trio, Bob Shane, North Sea Gas ,The Furey Brothers, Seamus Kennedy and many others  have seen fit to record songs I have written .That they do is always a joy and a wonder and inspires me to keep writing and working at my craft every day.

Kevin McKrell