The High Kings - a band of four charismatic singers, songwriters and musicians from Ireland - fly the flag of the Irish balladeer high as they proudly continue the tradition, dominating the stage with their combination of personality, instrumental skill and broad, bass-driven harmonies. Fans with the High Kings tickets can rest assured that dramatic lighting and stagecraft are never in short supply, but it's the group's songs - by turns rousing and reflective, whether traditional or written by members of the band - that truly charm the audience into believing they've met with royalty.
The High Kings background
The High Kings were created in Dublin; the original members were Finbarr Clancy (guitar and banjo), Brian Dunphy (bodhran and guitar), Darren Holden (accordion, mandolin, guitar and keyboard) and Martin Furey (banjo, bouzouki, guitar, low whistle). Dunphy and Furey were both veterans of Riverdance. After Furey left the band in September 2017, George Murphy (guitar and banjo) was announced as his replacement.
Although all four members of the band have performed in other groups or on their own, Holden - who also acts as the High Kings' spokesman - is the one that fans are most likely to see performing solo when he's not with the group.
The High Kings discography and tours
The High Kings surged to the world's attention in 2008 with their self-titled debut album, The High Kings, which peaked at No. 2 on Billboard's World Music Chart. The album spent 34 weeks in all on the Billboard chart, and also topped Amazon charts worldwide. The group also toured the U.S. that year with Celtic Woman.
The High Kings' 2011 follow-up album, Memory Lane, did almost as well, peaking at No. 3 on Billboard's World Music chart and spurring another promotional tour through the United States. In 2012 they performed on two continents for St. Patrick's Day - first at the Mayor of London's St. Patrick's Day celebration in Trafalgar Square then, two days later, at the U.S. White House.
The group's next studio album, Friends for Life, once again hit No. 3 on Billboard's Top World Albums after its release in 2013, while their 2016 studio album, Grace and Glory, topped the Independent Artists Irish Albums charts and made impressive showings on the iTunes charts in the U.S., U.K. and Germany.
The accompanying promotional tour began at the very end of 2016 and continued through 2017. At the tail end of 2017 a new album, Decade: The Best of the High Kings, was released, to be followed by another tour.
Similar to the High Kings
It would be impossible to mention the High Kings without also highlighting their sister act, Celtic Woman, an all-female singing and instrumental group whose Celtic themes and heartfelt songs are sure to appeal to fans of the High Kings tour. If the powerful, male-driven harmonies appeal as much as the Celtic theming, fans should also consider the fun, funny and all-male a cappella act, Straight No Chaser.
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