The excellence of the band's live shows was witnessed and praised by the likes of Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, various members of the Rolling Stones and the Pogues, to name but a few. The hectic schedule eventually took it’s toll on the hard-living Energy Orchard boys and a farewell show at the Mean Fiddler in London on St. Patricks' Day 1996 brought that chapter to a close.
Bap Kennedy was then a solo artist and determined to make music as long as he could still breathe. As fate would have it his friend and highly-respected American songwriter Steve Earle was about to start a label for the maverick talents that he personally rated - and Bap was one of his first calls.
And so off to Nashville where Steve Earle produced Bap's first solo record, the critically aclaimed 'Domestic Blues.' With a stellar cast of Nashville musicians on board - plus vocal contributions from Nanci Griffiths – and the album was a roaring success. Domestic Blues made number eight on the Billboard Americana Chart and Kennedy emerged as a serious contender.
Four songs from the record appeared in two award-winning movies 'You Can Count On Me' and 'Southie' and on American network television soundtracks and more touring of the U.S.A. cemented the acclaim. Following in the footsteps of Earle, Bap set up his own Record Label ( Lonely Street Discs ) in London to release "Domestic Blues," and the follow up album 'Lonely Street.' 'Moonlight Kiss' - one of the stand-out tracks from the Lonely Street album – featured in the John Cusack / Kate Beckinsale Miramax movie 'Serendipity' ( The bass player on that record was none other that Herbie Flowers - the man responsible for the famous bass line on “A Walk On The Wild Side” by Lou Reed.)
When not touring or recording his own material, Bap was involved in development and production work for other London-based record labels. The most notable was The King –a strange Elvis tribute record produced by Bap and picked up By E.M.I. The Albun 'GraveLands' was a favourite of the late John Peel and celebrity fans included The Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
Bap's fourth album 'The Big Picture' ( 4 out of 5 stars - MOJO ) was recorded with the help of Van Morrison – a long-standing friend and mentor. Van also co-wrote one of the songs on the album with Bap – a very rare thing indeed and a measure of Bap's standing in the songwriting community. Shane Magowan appears on another of the songs and played several gigs with Bap and his band throughout 2004 as an unannounced special guest vocalist.
In 2005, Bap toured the U.S.A as special guest of Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, who is now a convert to the Bap back catalogue.
Bap's fifth album will debut in 2009.
< br/> In Nashville in 2006, Bap produced an album for an up and coming American singer songwriter ( Jana Light ) and musicians on that record included Bruce Springsteen's bass player ( Gary Tallent E Street Band)
Bap also has taken part in several of the Belfast / Nashville Twin Cities Songwriting Festivals, and has contributed to songwriting workshops over the festival periods.
He toured Australia in 2007 and played European dates in 2007 and 2008. He has played in the Belfast/Nashville Songwriters' Festival and the SXSW Festival in March of 2009.
Bap's music can be heard on the radio in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Quebec, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.
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Please note...this space has been custom-designed for Bap Kennedy and although emails and messages will be directed to Bap, I cannot guarantee his personal response. But I can guarantee that Bap will be reading all messages posted here! That aside, we’re very glad you’re here. [Shirley R.]
P.S. Much more information about Bap is found at BapsFriends, and Bap’s own website is Bap Kennedy Thank you...
- Status: Married
- Hometown: Belfast, Northern Ireland
- Zodiac Sign: Gemini
- Occupation: Irish Musician