‘False Deceiver’ from Kern - a force to be reckoned with in contemporary folk

(July 13, 2016)

Breaking through the 'background noise’ in any form of music is never easy, coming at your chosen genre from a ‘different angle’ can make the job harder, depending on talent and skill. The debut Kern False Deceiver albumalbum ‘False Deceiver’ from County Louth trio Kern, achieves precisely what it sets out to do – differentiates itself from the rest and breaks through.

The words ‘contemporary folk’ sometimes fill me with dread, will I be listening to re-hashed tradition or something strange from far left-field? Well, this particular blend of contemporary folk takes itself to wide and varied places around and about ‘the tradition’ and makes a fine job of doing it. The diverse fare on ‘False Deceiver’, arranged or written by Kern, comes to you from various sources through eminently listenable and clearly skilled musicianship augmented by rich, warm vocals, with little doubt about the calibre of either. Featuring tune sets like ‘Misty’, ‘Aga’ and ‘Louth Set’ incorporating marches, slip jigs, polkas, reels and waltzes, and relishing in songs like ‘Leaving’, ‘Rocks of Bonnie Gibraltar’ and ‘William Taylor’ this album amply reveals why there’s little doubt that Kern is a force to be reckoned with in contemporary folk.

Kern are Brendan McCreanor (uilleann pipes, whistles, backing vocals) SJ McArdle (vocals, 6 and 12-string guitars, mandolin, harmonica) and Barry Kieran (fiddle) with on ‘False Deceiver’ Trevor Hutchinson (double bass) and Eamonn Moloney (bodhrán). Website:

Review: Charlie Elland

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