“As adventurous as it is accessible, The Counsel of Owls is a splendidly idiosyncratic record from a original talent” 5/5 fROOTS magazine
“Mikey Kenney is a multi-facetted talent; fiddle, guitar and banjo all flow capably in his hands… Kenney’s music is thoughtful and refreshingly unique. There is much to admire here.” Maverick Magazine
“Could well be a long-deleted album from an obscure psych-folk genius… The beauty and originality of this album stopped me in my tracks. Don’t wait until that Nissan advert in 2035 – discover this now” Stirrings Magazine
Mikey Kenney has been playing fiddle since the age of six. Originally classically trained, he eventually found his way towards his true love for Irish dance music at the age of ten before attending seisúns at the Liffey pub on Liverpool’s Renshaw street until being kicked out for being underage.
After obtaining a degree in musicology from Lancaster University, Kenney moved to a bungalow on the edge of the North Lancashire moors to focus on his Irish & English fiddle & folk music. There he composed his two albums of ‘Ottersgear’ songs about life in the Trough of Bowland; ‘The Quest for Rest’ and ‘The Counsel of Owls’. Both would attract acclaim from national publications… ‘The Counsel of Owls’ gaining 5/5 from international magazine fRoots and featuring as part of Dublin’s New Years celebrations in 2016.
Kenney began to tour extensively across Europe and USA both under his own name and with others; Dan Haywood’s New Hawks, Anja McCloskey, Alabaster dePlume’s Copernicus Quartet, Josephine Foster & Victor Herrero… discovering American Bluegrass along the way, something that would influence his music greatly.
In 2014, Kenney moved back to his native Liverpool to re-immerse himself in the abundance of traditional music to be found there, not to mention the ease of making frequent musical trips over to Ireland. Around this time he founded the Liverpool Irish outfit, Saltcutters, and joined the historically famous Liverpool Céilí band. Whilst in Ireland he became deeply interested in regional fiddle styles, something he now devotes most of his time to studying; particularly the styles of Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim. Kenney also began studying the Irish tenor banjo around this time.
As well as being a devoted researcher of English and Irish traditional music, he is also a passionate teacher, setting up traditional music school, Melody Makers, in Hoylake with fiddler Jo Pue, as well as going on to teach Irish fiddle styles to students at both Liverpool and Liverpool Hope Universities. Kenney also teaches fiddle with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, an international organisation promoting traditional Irish music.
Recent developments see Kenney promoting his project, ‘HOP THE SEA; Irish Trad from the Ports’ – a band of traditional musicians from Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin. He’s also a member of the Band of Burns, a supergroup of International musicians who have come together to commemorate the work of Scottish poet Robert Burns. The Band of Burns live album release is due soon.