Andy Kenna was born and bred in Liverpool, playing and singing traditional music from an early age. His early influences were predominantly Irish, playing concertina with the Shannon Star Ceilidh Band and singing and playing at sessions and concerts throughout the North West of England. In the 60’s he became involved in the folk revival and ran clubs in Liverpool and Manchester.
A taste of the sea
In common with many of his fellow ‘scousers’ Andy’s family also had strong connections with the sea. It was only natural that his interest in traditional music should involve sea shanties. He was one of the original members of the Mersey Shantymen backing the likes of Stan Hugill and Bert Lloyd. He also performed as a solo traditional singer, recording a number of sea songs and shanties for the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
In 1969, he emigrated to Nova Scotia, Canada, where he extended his repertoire of sea songs. He lived in Lunenberg County the home of the Bluenose. While there he played with several groups and extended his repetoire of maritime material.
On returning to England, several years later, he settled in Bacup, Lancashire and continued his interest in all forms of traditional music. He has won various medals at fleadhanna ceoil and has played in numerous ceilidh bands.
In 1995 Andy and Bernie Davis formed Liverpool Forebitter. They performed at all the major maritime festivals in Britain, and also in Holland, France, and even Estonia! They recorded two CDs, one of shanties and forebitters, and one of the sea poems of John Masefield that Andy had set to music.
Andy now performs solo, singing most of the mainstream sea songs, some of his own material, songs from the Liverpool-Irish Tradition as well as playing a wide variety of tunes. He also performs the Masefield Show based on the sea poems of John Masefield. He has produced a solo album “Emigrants Served” consisting of mostly self-penned songs displaying his Liverpool/Maritime influences.
A multi-instrumentalist, Andy’s main instrument is the concertina: as well as the Treble instrument he also plays the Baritone.
Andy also runs a successful ceilidh band “The Valley Band” who perform throughout the North-West and occasionally beyond.
Contact Andy Kenna to enquire about availability for your concert or festival or for further information.