Smithwick’s Kilkenny Roots Festival 2017 | Kilkenny Tourism

Smithwick’s Kilkenny Roots Festival 2017



Friday 28th April to Monday 1st May 2017

Winner of the IMRO  Best Small Live Music Festival 2014 award! 

The Smithwicks Kilkenny Roots Festival will return in 2017 during the May Bank Holiday.

Since 1998 the festival has attracted some of the finest names in the Americana/Roots canon, including  Calexico, Giant Sand, Ryan Adams, Alejandro Escovedo, Guy Clark, Chuck Prophet, Ray LaMontagne, Richmond Fontaine, Rodney Crowell, Phosphorescent, Sturgill Simpson and  Alabama Shakes.

Audiences wind their way through the medieval streets sampling the huge range of music in the 30 plus venues, hosting over 40 Irish and international acts, with over 90 ticketed and free shows from early afternoon until late into the night.

There’s a mixture of old and new acts on the free pub gig trail and all styles are catered for, from swing to bluegrass, rockabilly to cajun, folk, blues and beyond.

The 2017 festival features an international line-up of Roots/Americana acts. In addition, there will be over 70 gigs on the free Smithwick’s Music Trail including

  • The Handsome Family (USA)
  • Marah (USA)
  • Holly Macve (UK)
  • Chip Taylor (USA)
  • Yola Carter (UK)
  • Andrew Combs (USA)
  • The Americans (USA)
  • Western Centuries (USA)
  • Paul Cauthen (USA)
  • Joan Shelley (USA)
  • Carter Sampson (USA)
  • David Kitt (Ireland)
  • Arborist (N. Ireland)
  • John Blek (Ireland)

A full list of artists for 70 shows on Smithwick’s Music Trail is currently being programmed.

Contact Number: 056 7763669/086 814 6421


Friday 28th April

  • Western Centuries - Billy Byrnes, John St - 7.30pm, €15
  • Joan Shelley - Ryans, Friary St - 9pm, €15
  • Trad Session - Bollards, Kieran St - 10pm
  • The Gruffalos - Club House Hotel, Patrick St - 10pm
  • Loudest Whisper - Kilford Arms, John St - 10pm
  • Tomcat & The Zodiacs - Langtons, John St - 10pm
  • Delta Dog's - Paris Texas, High St - 10pm
  • Jezzebelle - Rafter Dempsey's, Friary St - 10pm
  • Prinz Grizzley - The Pumphouse, Parliment St - 10pm
  • Skinny Elvis - Left Bank, Patrick St - 10pm
  • Beef Supreme - Shems Bar, John St - 10pm
  • The Americans - Cleeres, Parliment St - 10.30pm, €15
  • Peter Bruntnell - Ryans Bar, Friary St - 10.30pm

Saturday 29th April

  • The Americans - Cleeres, Parliment St - 1pm - €15
  • Joan Shelley - Billy Byrnes, John St - 3pm - €15
  • John Blek - Ryans, Friary St - 3pm - €12
  • Prinz Grizzley - Biddy Early's, John St - 4pm
  • The Savage Jim Breen - Breathnachs, John St - 4pm
  • Isolated Frequency - Hotel Kilkenny, College Road - 4pm
  • Pyschedelic Pill - Left Bank, Patrick St - 4pm
  • Peter Bruntnell - Ryan's Bar, Friary St - 4pm
  • Western Centuries - Kytelers Inn, Kieran St - 4.30pm - €15
  • Carter Simpson - The Pumphouse, Parliment St - 5pm - €15
  • Mother's Little Helper - Langtons, John St - 5pm
  • Fenton & The Phantoms - Lanigans - Rose Inn St - 5pm
  • Holly Macve - Billy Byrnes, John St - 6pm - €15
  • Daddy Naggins - Syd Harkins, John St - 6pm
  • One Horse Pony - Christys, Patrick St - 6pm
  • TV Jones & The Tomahawks - Ryans Bar, Friary St - 8pm
  • Arborist - Cleeres, Parliment St - 9pm - €15
  • Marah - Kytelers Inn, Kieran St - 9pm - €20
  • Acoustic Session - Bollards, Kieran St - 9.30pm
  • Daddy Naggins - Billy Byrnes, John St - 10pm
  • Delta Dogs - Breatnachs, John St - 10pm
  • The Savage Jim Breen - Front Room, John St - 10pm
  • Woodbine - Club House Hotel, Patrick St - 10pm
  • Fentom & The Phantoms - Kilford Arms, John St - 10pm
  • Loudest Whisper - O'Gormans, John St - 10pm
  • Beef Supreme - Ormonde Hotel, Ormonde St - 10pm
  • Prinz Grizzley - Paris Texas, High St - 10pm
  • One Horse Pony - Pembroke Hotel, Patrick St - 10pm
  • Psychedelic Pill - The Pumphouse, Parliment St - 10pm
  • Mongrel State - Rafter Dempsey's, Friary St - 10pm
  • Tomcat & The Zodiacs - Shems Bar, John St - 10pm
  • Isolated Frequency - Ryans Bar, Friary St - 10.30pm
  • Yola Carter - Set Theatre, John St - 11pm - €15
  • Mother's Little Helper - Cleeres, Parliment St - 11pm
  • Peter Bruntnell - Kyteler's Inn, Kieran St - 11pm

Sunday 30th April

  • Andrew Combs - Cleeres, Parliment St - 1pm - €15
  • Carter Simpson - Ryans, Friary St - 2pm - €15
  • Mother's Little Helper - The Playwright, Parliment St - 2pm
  • Chip Taylor - Set Theatre, John St - 3pm - €20
  • Trouble Pilgrims - Billy Byrnes, John St - 3pm
  • Daddy Naggins - Biddy Early's, John St - 4pm
  • The Needables - Breathnachs, John St - 4pm
  • Desert Aces - The Front Room, John St - 4pm
  • Lands End - The Pumphouse, Parliment St - 4pm
  • Prinz Grizzley - River Court Hotel, John St - 4pm
  • Peter Bruntnell - Left Bank, Patrick St - 4pm
  • Arborist - Ryans, Friary St - 5pm - €15
  • Paul Cauthen - Billy Byrnes, John St - 5pm - €15
  • Joe Fury - Langtons, John St - 5pm
  • Ben Reel - Lanigans, Rose Inn St - 5pm
  • Fentom & The Phantoms - Christy's, Patrick St - 6pm
  • Loudest Whisper - Syd Harkins, Rose Inn St - 6pm
  • The Handsome Family - Watergate Theatre, Parliment St - 7pm - €25
  • Holly Macve - Cleeres, Parliment St - 9pm - €15
  • Delta Dogs - Ryans Bar, Friary St - 8pm
  • Yola Carter - Kytelers Inn, Kieran St - 9pm - €15
  • Joe Fury - Billy Byrnes, John St - 10pm
  • Daddy Naggins - Bollards, Kieran St - 10pm
  • Desert Aces - Breathnachs, John St - 10pm
  • Loudest Whisper - Egans, John St - 10pm
  • Bobbie Carey Trio - Hotel Kilkenny, College Road - 10pm
  • Tomcat & The Zodiacs - Kilford Arms, John St - 10pm
  • Mongrel State - Matt the Millers, John St - 10pm
  • Fenton & The Phantoms - O'Gormans, John St - 10pm
  • The Needables - Ormonde Hotel, Ormonde St - 10pm
  • Psychedelic Pill - Paris Texas, High St - 10pm
  • Isolated Frequency - River Court Hotel, John St - 10pm
  • The Gruffalos - Pembroke Hotel, Patrick St - 10pm
  • Trouble Pilgrims - The Pumphouse, Parliment St - 10pm
  • Mother's Little Helper - Rafter Dempsey's, Friary St - 10pm
  • TV Jones & The Tomahawks - Shems Bar, John St - 10pm
  • Woodbine - Springhill Court Hotel, Waterford Road - 10pm
  • Lands End - Marble City Bar, High St - 10.30pm
  • Marah - Set Theatre, John St - 11pm - €20
  • Peter Bruntnell - Cleeres, Parliment St - 11pm
  • Prinz Grizzley - Kyteler's Inn, Kieran St - 11pm
  • Ben Reel - Ryans Bar, Friary St - 11pm

Monday 1st May

  • Paul Cauthen - The Pumphouse, Parliment St - 1pm - €15
  • Loudest Whisper - Rafter Dempsey's, Friary St - 3pm
  • David Kitt - Cleeres, Parliment St - 4pm - €15
  • Deep Down Detox - Ryans Bar, Friary St - 4pm
  • Barflies - Ryans Bar, Friary St - 7.30pm
  • Andrew Combs - Kytelers Inn, Kieran St - 9pm - €15
  • Bobbie Carey Trio - Marble City Bar, High St - 10pm



UNSEEN: “Beguiling tenth album from American husband and wife duo” #47 BEST ALBUMS OF 2016,

8/10 UNCUT


"Marah blow the roof off with their barely contained energy. It's street music, soul music, music to walk you off a skyscraper to... You're left with your hair standing on end, shaken up, exhilarated, that hole in your heart temporarily fixed, which is all you can ask of great rock & roll. And God knows, this is great rock & roll."" - UNCUT.



A heavenly voice couched in spell-binding country & western ballads, with a devastating emotional delivery: Her album Golden Eagle is one of the most remarkably assured debuts of this or any other year. On stage, she’s a magnetic presence; it’s not just voice and songs. Audiences who caught her supporting the likes of John Grant, Villagers and Benjamin Clementine were doubtless stopped in their tracks. Golden Eagle is surely going to have the same effect.



“If you only know him as the guy who wrote ‘Wild Thing’ and ‘Angel Of The Morning’ – you don’t know him! Chip Taylor is making some of the most distinctive acoustic music around today.” - NEW YORK TIMES



“Having sung with Massive Attack and Katy Perry and written for Will Young, she turned heads as a solo artist this year at the Americana Music Festival in Nashville...Her range was formidable, by turns flawless and reckless, and allowed her to reach sweet, yodelling high notes and take the male part in duets.” **** THE TIMES

UK Americana Awards – UK Artist Of The Year.



"In just a year's time, Andrew Combs has grown into one of Americana Fest's most magnetic acts ... Some have called him the next Guy Clark — and the shoe (or at least the denim-on- denim) seems to be fitting pretty damn well." - ROLLING STONE



"Genius twenty-first century musicians that are reinventing American heritage music for this century. And it sounds even better this century." - T BONE BURNETT



"If it seems crazy to compare any band today to giants like the Band and the Flying Burrito Brothers, then call me crazy, but Western Centuries is the country supergroup we've been waiting for.” — Kristin Cavoukian, EXCLAIM! MAGAZINE



“A triple-barreled blast of Texas country, soul and holy-roller rockabilly, delivered by a big-voiced crooner.There's plenty of gospel here, but these songs also worship at the altar of Muscle Shoals soul and groove-heavy country, packed with all the drive and drama of Roy Orbison's work." - ROLLING STONE



“Her voice is unglossed by electronics, and she sings mostly without bravado, echoing the clarity of English folk singers like June Tabor. I like the way a fellow musician compared Shelley's way of landing on a note to a laser hitting a diamond.” - NPR MUSIC



“Carter Sampson's fourth full-length album Wilder Side is a soulful and soft country masterpiece. This record is haunting and mesmerizing and simply beautiful.”  - OKLAHOMA LEFTY



Acclaimed singer-songwriter David Kitt has just recorded his eagerly-anticipated new album, entitled Yous. It's been over seven years since the release of Kitt's last record, The Nightsaver; in that time he's released several EP’s and contributed to two albums by Tindersticks, while touring extensively as a session musician and producer working for the likes of David Gray and Lisa O’Neill.



“The spare singing of Arborist main man Mark McCambridge, together with the economy of his lyrics, which dwell on success and failure and the passing of time, bring to mind Leonard Cohen or Bill Callahan. In particular, A Man of My Age feels like an instant classic: it has the world-weariness of the Go-Betweens, its quivering strings hanging like a question mark over the melody.” **** THE GUARDIAN



John Blek has released his highly anticipated second solo album entitled “Cut the Light. A collection of eleven original contemporary folk songs carefully crafted and documented with the help of Davie Ryan (Drums), Brian Hassett (Bass Guitar) and Brian Casey (Producer). With a sound that harks back to that of Bert Jansch and Liege & Lief era Fairport Convention, “Cut the Light” is likely to become a favourite amongst both new listeners and existing fans. John will be appearing solo at this year’s festival.