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Kilkenny Rhythm n' Roots Weekend
Carlsberg Kilkenny Rhythm n' Roots Weekend
April 29th-May 2nd 2005

See how good the 2003 and 2004 were.

The acclaimed Carlsberg Kilkenny Rhythm n' Roots Weekend will take place in venues throughout Kilkenny on the May bank holiday weekend, from Friday 29th April through to Monday 2nd May.

In the eight years since it first kicked off, the festival has hosted many an unforgettable gig by some of the most renowned acts in the world of roots music. Festival-goers talk of their delight at seeing well-loved performers play barnstorming shows in the intimate surroundings of the medieval city's pubs, as well as their surprise and pleasure at discovering new acts seemingly waiting around every corner to amaze them.

"One of the best coordinated and produced music events anywhere in the world, attracting the cream of blues, country and folk talent, irrelevant of birth place" -Mark Philips, Americana UK

"A utopian mix of Americana, alt-country and general roots-based music" -Gerry Quinn, No Depression.

"An event by and for music fans" -Tony Clayton-Lea, The Irish Times

"Without doubt, three days of heaven on earth" - Colm O'Hare, Hot Press.

"One is caught between the impulse to tell the rest of the world about it and or keep it as a guilty secret"- Nick Kelly, Billboard.

"The Kilkenny Roots Festival is an incredible festival, the intimacy of it is something that people should try to replicate around the world" - Joey Burns, Calexico.

Early booking is advised for all shows and early arrival at all venues is
recommended in order to avoid disappointment. Safety capacity restrictions
may apply to smaller venues.

Information and tickets from the
Festival Office, 29 Parliament Street,
Phone 05677 90057.
Fax 05677 90069.

Bands appearing at Kilkenny April 29th to May 2nd 2005:

Son Volt is Jay Farrar's popular rock band persona.. "Son Volt represent a certain spirit of songwriting with an emphasis on trying to capture what four musicians playing together can do," says Jay. He started Son Volt in 1994 after quitting his previous band, the highly regarded folk-punk band Uncle Tupelo. Ask anyone who was lucky enough to squeeze into Cicero's Basement Bar in St. Louis in 1989 or the Blue Note in Columbia. Missouri in 1993 to watch Uncle Tupelo play a show. Even way back then, Jay Farrar was a riveting live performer.

Th' Legendary Shack * Shakers- The ultimate in demented moonshine-fueled cowpunk. Think of a hillbilly Ramones, with manic frontman Colonel JD Wilkes leading his band on an inspired trip into trailer-trash punky tonk hell. The Colonel has been called "the last great rock 'n' roll front man" by the Dead Kennedys' Jello Biafra. Th' legendary Shack * Shakers started their hell-for-leather Penta-caustic roadshow over two years ago and the legend continues...(US)

Ray LaMontagne- The story goes that Ray was a recluse living in a log cabin in Maine when he underwent a sudden conversion to music. He has been compared to both Van Morrison and Al Green and is well on the way to becoming a legend. He is a natural-born songwriter who seems to have fallen out of the skies armed with classic songs sung with raw emotion, tenderness and joy. (US)

Patrick Street -Kevin Burke, Andy Irvine, Jackie Daly, John Carty and Ged Foley - collectively known as Patrick Street - are known throughout the Irish music world as five of its most brilliant players. On a repertoire steeped in traditional music, the band's tightly executed arrangements and unparalleled musicianship know no equal. (IRE)

The Waifs have been doing their thing for a decade now, and it finally looks like the big time is beckoning for the Australian trio. The group is known for story songs, folksy acoustic arrangements and easy-swing vocal harmonies, they opened for Bob Dylan on his recent US tour. ( AUS)

The Hacienda Bros are fronted by two living legends, Dave Gonzalez and Chris Gaffney. Gonzalez is the singer, songwriter and guitar slinger from long-running roadhouse rocking blues country combo the Paladins; Chris Gaffney is ubiquitous in Americana circles, currently playing in Dave Alvin's band and fronting his own band Cold Hard Facts. Together, and with several other ace players, they are the Hacienda Bros., a smokin' honky tonk combo with more than a touch of country soul, making music they call... Western Soul. (US)

Hayseed Dixie Paraphrasing the album's liner notes " From the fertile valley of Deer Lick Holler, deep in the heart of Appalachia, this band of acoustic musicians grew up playing the traditional music of their forefathers. Then one day, a stranger passed through the holler. The stranger crashed his car into a stately old oak tree at Devil's Elbow Curve. Sadly, the stranger expired, but his legacy lives on. For under the back seat of his car, the boys found some old black vinyl records. The boys agreed it was some mighty fine country music. So, in memory of the stranger who had perished the boys set about learning these songs." The records in the car were by a band called AC/DC. ( US)

The Czars rise above musical fads and trends in their search for something richer and more enduring. John Grant leads the quest, his rich baritone voice supported by catchy melodies and layers of vocal harmony. Fans include ex-cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde and the Flaming Lips, who they've also supported in concert. (US)

Eliza Gilkyson -The daughter of successful songwriter Terry Gilkyson, Eliza is a third generation musician who grew up in LA. It's folk-roots music for the 21st century befitting her edgy, intelligent songwriting. Her lush and passionate voice doesn't pull any punches, in equal parts, raw, brutal yet delicate. ( US)

Ben Weaver Band- Ben spins eerily comforting Northern Gothic yarns, stuck with pitchforks and tinged with black humour. His way with words makes his vivid Americana noir storylines jump to life. "...strange, skin-prickling tales picked up from the Moebius strip of a lost highway he's been compelled to travel on.... like a hillbilly Leonard Cohen."- Sylvie Simmons, MOJO. ( US)

Michah P Hinson- With his old friends from Texas, the Earlies, Michah recorded his debut album with lush strings, beautiful keyboards and eerie backdrop harmonised perfectly with Micah's honest and exposed style. Michah's dark tales of love and loss are matched only by a cracked vocal and songwriting that belies his mere 22 years. With the simplest of bittersweet lyrics, he evokes the strongest of emotions. (US)

Jesse DeNatale is equal parts romantic bard, boxcar storyteller and late-night barroom balladeer. Now Jesse is bringing his compassionate and hauntingly soulful music to a broader audience. "Now it seems that all of the best ones have been driven underground. If there is a leak in the boiler room, it is the music of Jesse DeNatale, a unique and original American voice" - Tom Waits (US)

John Eddie Band- On his roller coaster of a career so far, John Eddie has had big breaks, hard luck, new beginnings, false starts to inspire a boxed set of country songs. He documents all of this on his debut album for Lost Highway called Who The hell Is John Eddie?, along with dreams, hopes, wishes, romances and regrets. A southern rock tinged sound backed by his East Coast rock attitude. (US)mewhere in the middle. Who the Hell, produced by ex-replacements Jim Dickinson in

Joe Whyte -Combining equal parts folk, pop, rock and Americana, New Jersey singer/songwriter Joe Whyte makes his first appearance at Kilkenny in support of his brand-new album, THE LOWER 48. "time-tested melodies..." (TimeOut NY) (US)

On the roller coaster of his career so far, John Eddie has had enough Preston Reed is a guitarist of many parts - so many parts that when he brings them all into play, first-time listeners often find it hard to believe that they're hearing just one musician, in real time. Reed is also a player of deep sensitivity who can compose and play a blues or a ballad with a touch reminiscent of his great jazz piano-playing hero, Bill Evans.(US)

Omar and the Stringpoppers - Omar Romero was born in Ensenada, Mexico and has spent the last couple of years headlining all the major rockabilly festivals. This guy is dynamite. Expect him to pass through Kilkenny like a tornado. (US)

The Chris Jagger Trio- Chris presents most of the songs, tells a few jokes & plays acoustic guitar, harp and washboard while Charlie Hart moves effortlessly from piano to accordion and fiddle. The guys play what they love: blues, zydeco, R n' B and rock'n'roll. (UK)

The Ranch House Favorites- From Holland, the band formed in 1992, influenced by the great western swing bands of the 1940's and 1950's, this 5-piece outfit achieve a sound that is at once authentic and timeless. Over the years, the band has grown to become one of the hottest European retro outfits to burn up a dance floor. (NL)

Spo-Dee-O-Dee- A real discovery, this. A supercharged, authentic rockabilly/hillbilly quartet from the deep south of.Germany. Their mix of originals and classic rockabilly stompers is sure to set Kilkenny on fire. ( GER)

John Lewis's Rock n Roll Trio- Sad as we are to see the demise of the Rimshots, you can't keep a good man down and John Lewis is back in Kilkenny, proving once again that you don't have to come from Memphis to make good rock n roll and Kilkenny will once again ring to the cheer of lechyd Da! ( Wales)

Ponchartrain - A four-piece outfit fronted by Paul Godden, specialising in vintage (almost acoustic) country music with Cajun, Tex-Mex and a whole mess of influences thrown in for good measure. Joining Paul in the line-up are fellow John Lewis and Mandy Davidson on guitar and vocals and double bass respectively (not forgetting Paul's wife Jean on fiddle and accordion). (Wales)

Niall Toner Band - Niall is a long-running stalwart of the Irish bluegrass scene and an old favourite at Kilkenny. The NTB's debut CD, There's A Better Way has garnered rave reviews, with Hot Press Magazine awarding it 9.5 out of 10 ! The NTB run the gamut of acoustic Country styles, with a mix of striking originals and classic covers, and always go down a storm. ( Ireland)

Prison Love are a young Dublin-based 8 piece bluegrass group who label themselves inmates of the Bluegrass Correctional Facility. This is no conventional bluegrass group, the band members play a variety of instruments, including guitar, double-bass, mandolin, fiddle, lapsteel, accordion, mouth-harp, kazoo and washboards. ( Ireland)

Two Time Polka - Based in Cork, this band has a reputation for turning out great live performances. Their first album "From Pana to Louisiana", which comes soaked in the humid swamp heat of high summer Louisiana, received buckets of praise. ( Ireland)

Rough Deal String Band- Appalachian, cajun, traditional American, Old-time country music and cowboy songs from the Tolka River Delta. What more could you ask for? ( Ireland)

The Lee Valley String Band- Keeping the bluegrass, old-time mountainy music flame alive, the Lee Valley String Band make a welcome return to the festival. ( Ireland)

Two Cow Garage hail from Columbus, Ohio. Among locals, Columbus is known as "Cowtown." Like their musical cousins, Slobberbone and The Drive-By Truckers, every show is drenched in sweat and volume and youth. The trio are raucous and road-hardened with their Southern Rock meets Alt. Country sound.

Holly Williams- Does the surname seem familiar? It's true: Hank is her grandfather, Hank Junior her dad, Hank III her half-brother but Holly Williams is fully her own woman, with her own stories to tell. Her music doesn't sound of the honky tonks of her grandfather anymore than it does the outlaw music of her dad. Holly Williams is plowing some far different musical acreage than her bloodlines might suggest. The influences of Elliot Smith, Neil Finn and Tom Waits are played out through the maturity of her own musical tales.

Check out the official site.

For accommodation information, please contact the Kilkenny Tourist Board on 05677 51500. Or try our hotel and B & B listings.