The High Kings bring Ireland to DeKalb


Irish folk band The High Kings is comprised of Finbar Clancy (left), George Murphy, Brian Dunphy and Darren Holden.

By Ginger Simons

The High Kings are bringing the sounds of traditional Irish folk music to downtown DeKalb Friday 8 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St.

The group unites musicians Darren Holden, Finbar Clancy, Brian Dunphy and George Murphy.

The High Kings have “moved the Irish ballad tradition into the here and now, carrying along with them the steadfast older fans while simultaneously bringing it to a new audience,” according to the band’s official website.

The band is currently in the midst of its Decade Tour across the world, with shows spanning the United States, Canada and Western Europe.

“The Decade Tour promises a joyous trip down memory lane, to the music and song of yester-year, this time performed in a contemporary style and arrangement which still remains true to the original,” according to the band’s official bio.

Brian Dunphy is primarily a vocalist for the band but also plays acoustic guitar, bass drum and bodhrán, the Irish hand drum. The piano, accordion and mandolin also make appearances in the lineup, and there are thirteen instruments played between the four performers.

Dunphy said each member of the band grew up with traditional Irish music, and as a group, the High Kings harness their love of folk music into a musically complex and high energy show.

“The folk bands were kind of retiring, shall we say, and [our manager] put together this group to pass on the music to a new generation,” Dunphy said. “We wanted to bring back some incredible songs that haven’t been heard in many, many years, and audiences latched onto it straight away. There was a gap in the market, and we filled that gap.”