Written by Charissa Roberson
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, popular Irish folk group the High Kings released their newest album, “Home from Home,” on Mar. 5.
Like countless musicians, the High Kings have been forced to cancel or postpone many tour dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their album release comes shortly after the band announced that their 2021 U.S. tour would be rescheduled from spring to fall because of continued safety concerns. “As much as we wanted to be with you all again, it is just not safe yet,” read the band’s official announcement.
Live performances are an integral part of the High Kings’ identity. The four musicians play a total of 13 instruments, lending a rich, layered quality to their songs, which range from lively anthems to soul-stirring ballads. Since their formation in 2007, the High Kings have played sold-out concerts across Ireland, Europe and the U.S. Dedicated fans have been known to return to show after show, eager to see the band perform and to sing along to their favorite tunes.
Now, unable to connect with fans in-person, the High Kings have decided to bring the world to them through their new album “Home from Home.” The collection of 11 songs, recorded live at Concert Deck in Dublin, follows a geographical theme. The High Kings selected folk songs that focus on specific locations throughout the world, from Irish towns (“Carrickfergus,” “Galway Races”) to the European continent (“Green Fields of France,” “The Dutchman”) and across the pond in Canada and the U.S. (“Farewell to Nova Scotia,” “Streets of New York,” “City of Chicago”). One well-known folk song is set in Australia (“Wild Colonial Boy”).
“Each city, each tour, seeing familiar faces in the crowd, and the welcoming we get year after year – that is our home from home… and to be separated during this last year has been so hard for us,” said band member Darren Holden. “[W]e decided to come together to record and film these songs for release at a time when we should be playing them live to our fans.”
In an effort to further connect with their global audience, the High Kings announced a livestream concert on St. Patrick’s Day, where they will play a selection of tunes both old and new. “This show is a labour of love from our hearts to yours,” said Holden. “We never thought we wouldn’t see our beloved fans for so long, so this is a glorious opportunity to reconnect with everybody virtually until we can be together again.”
Tickets for the virtual concert are on sale now. The livestream will begin at 5 p.m. EST and will be available for 48-hour playback.