Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Friends For Life // The High Kings 2013

Annnnd here is the much awaited post! Still coming down from two amazing Irish festivals, seeing "the boys," getting a taste of their new material, and having a Folk 'n Rolling good time.

Anna and I have a long history of obsession. With four men. Irishmen. #cough You see, about five years ago we saw a video of an English Country Dancing group in Oregon. Long story short, not only did we love the dance (one of the many variations of the Scottish Gay Gordon, aka to fellow ECDers, 'Maries Wedding',) but the accompanying song was catchy, fun, unique. . .and Celtic.We did a bit of research, watched a couple youtube videos, bought a CD. . .

. . .and it's just about history from there. 


I'm sure you really don't want to hear about the months of raving, the constant, 24/7 playing of the Debut album and later Memory Lane (shhh. . .don't ask our parents, ;) ) the long walks around the neighborhood debating whether the guy with the mustache was Martin. . .or Darren? The website stalking. The loud singing. The crazy love of two Italian American girls for a little emerald green Isle. 

We don't fangirl often, but when we do, it's hardcore.

King Brian Dunphy doin' his stuff
Now, several years and ten concerts later, The High Kings aren't just our favorite Celtic music group. They are real people, friends, and man do they give the best hugs! 

Much as I adore all the guys, there is a special place in my heart for Darren. Laugh crinkles, gorgeous singing voice. What's not to love?

A lot of people ask us--"HOW do you know The High Kings?" Simple, really.  The lads started doing US festival tours several years ago, and not only does our area host two large Irish festivals, but it is also a "center for the arts," attracting worldwide musical artists, Broadway shows, etc. For Anna and I, it all started one day in 2010 on a website-stalking-spree (thankfully we've grown out of that. :P ) We noticed tour dates, screamed awhile, bought tickets. . .you get the idea. :P I specifically remember daydreaming about seeing the Kings in concert. . .little did I think we'd actually meet our "idols." Even crazier? They come back, year after year.

There is a small bunch of us (you know who you are, B) ) who are the "original" area groupies. You know, the people jumping up and down, waving signs, pointing in excited whispers--"Finbarr.just.LOOKEDATME!" don't think too hard on that.


I can't post the videos I took of the new material, but folks, let me just say--Friends for Life--is going to be awesome. It took some getting used to, but the guys played samples at both festivals we attended. . .and I'm sold. Some songs are less Celtic, more folk, even slightly country. A fusion of traditional sounds, contemporary twist, and nearly all original, served only as the Kings can. I can hardly wait for it's release. :) 

The Town I Loved So Well, by Mr. Darren Holden. It's one of my very favorite songs. Like someone said on Facebook, Darren makes it a classic. :)  


Finally went all green for a concert, from my hair clips down to my flip flops. Oh, and in case you can't tell, these photos were taken at two different festivals. I picked up these tiny Celtic earrings this past Sunday and couldn't be happier, especially since I got a discount. Win!!

And there you have it. Madi, this post was especially for you. Happy craic! 

All photos © Anna Olivia, 2013


  1. I have been a fan of the Kings for years... sadly, I've never been to a concert. :-( Thanks for sharing these fun pics!

    Love ya! Erin Go Bragh!

  2. *CHOKE* What did Finbarr do to his hair?? Yiiikes, tell him I miss it!!

    Seriously, though, thank you so much for these HK posts, even though they do always make me a trifle - *cough* - green. (Couldn't resist.) But the likelihood of my getting to a show is slim for the near future, so I love these little peeks into what the guys are really like!

    I'm sooooo excited for the new album at long last!!! :-D

    Fada beo √Čire!
    ~ Vicki

  3. Their music is beautiful! Thank-you for posting about this. :)

  4. P.S. Love the celtic earrings! Though I don't where any earrings myself, but the ones that you have are an exception. ;)

    Take care!

  5. Your outfit is so cute! I love The High Kings! It was so fun while I was in Ireland to occasionally hear them as well as Celtic Woman played in gift shops, it just made the experience that much more fun. :)

  6. Thank you thank you! Michaela, you're the best! I'm so glad you guys enjoyed (at least some of) the new songs! I have a special place in my heart for celtic music and the High Kings, and well, that just hit the spot. My grandparents and I always sing their songs together ;) and yes, you're green and earrings are very cute!
    Love to you!
    -Madi (Madison Lyerla)

  7. The High Kings are great! We're a bit obsessed with Marie's Wedding, thanks to English Country Dancing ;)

  8. Wow! I'm glad you had fun in Dublin...wish I could've gone. We had a family reunion that day. Its funny how everyone has a different "tale" how the met the you now, I saw them on pbs and fell in live instantaneously...then we bought their first cd and dvd...we met them in 2011and then I sang with them last year...I guess you could say that my "HK Bucket List" is complete.; )


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