Kennedy's Kitchen www.kennedyskitchen.com
Kennedy's Kitchen plays tear-up-the-floor, heart-thumping Irish music:: traditional dance tunes, pub and original songs, stories, jokes, and astonishingly large lies. They (Hey, who are we kidding here. I'm writing this myself.) have been together since 1998, when they (we) formed on Saint Patrick's Day at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in South Bend at the suggestion of a little green man who was wearing an astonishing hat.
Never letting the facts get in the way of a good story, our instruments include: fiddles, flute, whistles of various sizes and colors, mandolin, bouzuoki, guitars, bohdran, and electric (yes, electric) bass. That's an electric bass. Two actually.
In 2001, Kennedy's Kitchen (we!) appeared in the Shaheen Music Series at Saint Mary College along with Dervish, Colcannon, and The Baltimore Consort. In 2002 WE performed a concert at Notre Dame with world champion step dancer Paul Cusick and USA national champion Caitlin Allen. The Kitchen has played some of the region's premier venues for acoustic and folk music: The Front Porch in Valparaiso, LVD's in Goshen, Indiana, and Kfaftbrau Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We released our first CD, self-titled, in July of 2003. It was mastered by Emmy Award winner, David Glasser and selected by WVPE FM 881's The Back Porch as one of the top 25 folk releases of 2003.. Our second CD, a live recording, entitled "Music in The Glen" was released in September of 2004.
The rest of this is the usual self-congratulatory, carefully edited list of personal accomplishments meant to impress you. I can assure you that we've left out quite a bit about ourselves that you'd just love to know about. Stay tuned for the reality TV-Show: "Kennedy's Kitchen: So You Think That You'd Like to Be in a Band? ... or.... Fighting Like Family!"
Tin whistle, Low D Whistle
Nolan, age 16, has been playing music since he was six years old. He began learning from his uncle, joHn and has also
studied with David James. He has attended the Comahltas Irish music school three times and studied with a number of
Ireland's master tin whistle players. He recently began composing tunes for Kennedy's Kitchen. He took first place in his age category for tin whistle at the 1999 Midwest Fleadh and competed in Ireland that year. In 2004 Nolan played soloist for his uncle joHn's all-Ireland Silver Medal in the Accompaniment Category.
His sisters, Tara and Mary, often dance as a part of Kennedy's Kitchen concerts. Nolan appears with joHn, Autumn, and Tim O'Neil on the nationally distributed CD, Notre Dame Experience. Together with Autumn Rhodes and Sally Joyce,
Nolan is a member of the band Mira which performs regularly at Fiddler's Hearth and throughout the area.
Fiddle, various whistles
Sally, age 18, has been playing Irish music for four years and has already established herself as a force in the area music scene. She has taken tin whistle classes with Mary Bergin and is currenctly studying fiddle with Brendan Bulger and flute with John Williams. Sally took first place in the 2004 Shady Grove Fiddle Contest in the teen category. Sally is also an accomplished pianist.
Together with Autumn Rhodes and Nolan, Sally is a member of the band Mira which performs regularly at Fiddler's
Hearth and throughout the South Bend area.
Guitar, bohdran, and vocals
Bob, the eldest of the group, and the only member to sport a silver-gray coif started dabbling with the acoustic guitar when
he was ten. In the early days, he was drawn to and influenced by the haunting and twangy sounds of Ferlin Husky, Jim Reeves and Kenny Rogers. Later the harmony and unique lyrics of the Kingston Trio, and Peter, Paul and Mary was added to his repertoire of listening pleasures. Bob has been a person unto himself playing and singing the songs he loved, basically for his own enjoyment, seldom stepping into the limelight at gatherings.
In 1995 while preparing for a trip to Ireland he became immersed in the sounds and cultural nuances and rhythms of Irish music ultimately composing and singing his first Irish tune 'The Rustic Stone Bridge.' He is much influenced by the styles of Dublin Balladeer PaddyReilly and Noel Nash from County Kerry, Ireland. While visiting Ireland this new love was cultivated and enriched as he embraced the tunes, songs, ambiance and culture found in the local pubs.In recent years this newly found joy has been kept alive through his participation in local seciuns and wherever musicians
gather to play Irish tunes. This is how he met John Kennedy and he now plays acoustic guitar, bodhran and vocals for
Bob holds a B.S. from Purdue University and an M.S. from Notre Dame. He can be observed sharing his knowledge of
biology, chemistry and anatomy/physiology with his high school and college students in South Bend, Indiana. When he is not in the classroom or crooning a tune with his guitar, one may find him in the garden admiring and analyzing one of his newly hybridized daylilies.
Fiddle, banjo, and vocals.
Chris O'Brien learned to play violin and viola in school orchestras. She went on to play old-time, folk, and Irish music with three-time all-Ireland Champion David James. After a fifteen year absence from the music scene, she has returned to focus on traditional Irish music. She recently took up the tenor banjo.
Chris O'Brien works in art restoration; she also finds and restores antiques and collectables..She is an avid, accomplished gardener, but just for the joy of taking care of flowers that have no other place to go. She is currently working towards a bachelors degree in English.
Bass, guitar, and vocals.
Joel plays has performed with area folk musicians joHn Kennedy, Judy Berg, and Noah and Irene Carver. He has recorded
with Noah and Irene Carver on their 2000 release You're Always There. He is working with joHn on his upcoming solo CD
and with Judy Berg on her upcoming CD.
He brings to folk and Irish music 15 years of singing tenor with various choral groups, notably with the Notre Dame
Chorale and the Vesper Chorale. He states that his last big choral gig was singing Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" with the
South Bend Symphony.
Joel is presently the Director of information Technology at Carleton College in Minnesota, a position he once held at Saint
Mary's College. He is known as Michiana's favorite bass player and returns regularly to the Michiana area to perform.
In Minnesota Joel is active in several musical venues including playing bass for the up-and-coming folk/rock band 'Old
Enough To Be Your Dad'.
He is also a singer and composer. His composition "Land By The Sea" is on the Kitchen's debut CD.
Bass, really low vocals
Rob, a musician since the age of twelve, lived in Texas and performed with many of the blues, jazz, and R&B artists for
which Texas is famous. His longest tenure was with the renowned 'Midnite Flyer Band', an eight piece R&B group
featuring Jimmy Luke, the Texas R&B singer and harmonica player. On his return to his hometown of South Bend, Rob
"fell in" with the session players at the Monday night sessons at Lula's. A writer with a novel and hundreds of short stories and novellas to his credit, Rob was completely taken with the story telling qualities of Irish music. "The cultural similarities of the Irish and the Jewish peoples have many touchpoints. The both value family, the home, music, and the traditions of passing the legends, myths, and the histories from one generaton to the next."
Vocals, guitar, tin whistle, bouzouki, bohdran, banjo
joHn is a songwriter, award winning multi-instrumentalist, and singer, producer, promoter, and the leader Kennedy's
Kitchen, a South Bend based group dedicated to playing Irish music. He helped to form and lead the traditional Irish band
Seamaisin in 1990 and co-produced two recordings with that group (Joseph Harvey's Fiddle was Left in the Rain,and
Seamaisin: Live at The Tin Shop). Seamaisin also produced music for the sound track of the short-film, Araby, an
adaptation of James Joyce's short story of the same name. Araby was nominated for an Academy Award in the Student
Narrative Film category.
joHn is the 2004 All-Ireland Fleadh Silver Medalist in Accompaniment, competing on guitar. He is also took first place in
the 2004 Midwest Fleadh in Ballad Singing, in English. joHn is the 2003 Midwest Fleadh Gold Medalist in
Kennedy's Kitchen's debut CD, which joHn produced and mixed, was chosen by WVPE FM 88.1 as one of the top 25 folk
releases of 2003. joHn's solo CD I'll Learn To Fly,was chosen by WVPE FM 88.1's TheBack Porch program as one of
the top ten folk releases of 1998. Other recording credits include: St. Patrick's Day at Notre Dame,recorded live with
David James, Dan Gellert, Kevin and Maggie Henry, Pat Max, and Rosie McCormick; The Notre Dame Experience,with
Nolan, Auturmn, and Tim O'Neil on the opening cut of this Pianobrothers production; and Extra Stout, Live at The Inn at
Long Trail a recording that joHn engineered and produced with Pat Max.
joHn (with help from Joel Cooper) is working on his second solo CD, All My Life. (See sound samples below)
"His voice is absolutely phenomenal" Helen Norris, Senior Life, October 2001.
"joHn Kennedy puts his whole heart into it." Andy Hughes, South Bend Tribune, March 16, 1996
"The best storytelling songs that I've heard since Harry Chapin", A fan, overheard in the lavatory at a show at Box Factory
for The Arts.
Appearing on the first and second CD but currently on leave from the band...
Mandolin, banjo, and v ocals
Jim is the founder and owner of Mr. Bradberry's Violin Shop. He started playing music on the back porch with his family
and in the seven ties played guitar with Jericho and TD Davis. He now enjoys playing country, bluegrass, Bulgarian and Irish music. His wife, Martha teaches Suzuki violin and they both play with a bluegrass band. Martha also plays with the
South Bend Symphony.
Appearing on our first CD and currently on leave from the band
Autumn plays with Nolan and Sally in MIRA, appearing throughout the region.
Check out the artist's website:
2. Pipe in The Hob Set (Jigs)
3. Music in The Glen (Recitation)
4. Coalminer's Set (Reels)
5. The Bonnie Light Horseman (Song)
6. The Roaring Barmaid Set (Jigs)
7. Introduction to Emmigrant Eyes
8. Emmigrant Eyes (Song)
9. Hornpipe and Dancers
10. Tottering into the Sunshine (Story)
11. Whiskey in The Jar (Song)
12. Introduction to Ripley's
13. Ripley's (Song)
14. The Earl's Chair Set (Reels)
15. Dublin in The Rare Ol' Times (Song)
16. Star of Munster Set (Reels)
17. Introduction to Immigrant Song
18. Immigrant Song (Song)
19. Land of Strangers (Reading)
20. The Golden Keyboard (Slow Reel)
21. Jackie Coleman's and The Mountain Road (Reels)
22. The Wedding Reel Set (Reels)