If the mark of a great songwriter is the number of artists singing their songs – then Kieran Halpin must be considered a great modern writer of songs. There can be few writers on the acoustic/folk scene in Europe today who have had more songs covered. Names like Vin Garbutt, Dolores Keane, The Battlefield Band, Ilse De Lange, John Wright, Flossie, Niamh Parsons, Chris Jones and countless more have recorded his songs. In fact his songs can be heard in folk clubs, pubs and festivals all over the world sung by the famous and not so famous. Often the songs are better known than the writer himself! Some have been translated into German, Finnish and Spanish! He has recorded albums in his native Ireland, Scotland, London, Nashville, Oxford and Sydney.
2011 saw the release of his 20th album – the devil and his dealing – a remarkable achievement over a 33 year recording career – consistently prolific and artistically inventive. The new CD has 11 new songs and as one reviewer remarked “……there’s plenty of material here to be plundered”
Whilst his albums are always something to look forward to it is live on stage where Halpin makes his mark. Powerful and passionate, intimate and intense, he is impossible to ignore. He has managed to marry his intelligent and thought provoking lyrics with great melodies and has developed over the years into a writer with a unique style. All this is underscored by an incisive wit in his introductions which helps an audience understand where the song comes from and hint at where it might be going.
Halpin is equally at home playing to a small folk club audience and a large festival crowd. He is also one of the hardest touring musicians on the scene today with upwards of 160 shows per year all over the world. October 2012 will see the release of the long awaited Songbook 3 containing all the songs from his last 3 releases.
Kieran uses AER amps and PA systems and pick-ups:
The amps are the much loved Compact 60 - a small 2 channel which can be used as a small PA system as it has an input for an instrument and vocal mike. The sound is wonderful, very powerful and has huge bass and treble response. It also has a great onboard reverb. Kieran also has the Domino 3 - a 4 channel amp which Kieran uses as his monitor and mixer. This means that what you hear on the stage is what you hear in the audience and he has recorded 2 live albums using this system. The PA speakers are AS 281 - again small and powered and only 100 watts but he has played to audiences of up to 350 and the amps were not even working very hard. Kieran uses the latest pick-up system from AER called the AK 30 - a version of the AK 15 - the only difference is appearance as the 15 has the controls just inside the sound hole - but since Kieran already has holes drilled for the pre-amp on the side of the body of the guitar - this seemed the most logical approach.