One of Ireland’s most popular folk bands have a new member – and he is a Laois man.
Rathdowney’s Paul O’Brien has become the fourth member of The High Kings and he will link up with them just in time for their upcoming tour.
The High Kings are an Irish folk group formed in Dublin in 2008 – originally consisting of Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Martin Furey and Darren Holden.
Martin Furey, son of Irish folk musician Finbar Furey, played the banjo, bouzouki, guitar, and the modern low whistle, which his father had originally helped to create and develop. However, Furey left the band in September 2017.
In October 2017, The High Kings announced that George Murphy, of You’re A Star fame, joined the group for their Canadian tour dates.
He continued to perform with the group from 2017 to 2019, playing guitar and banjo, before announcing recently that he would be stepping away to focus on his solo career.
That once again left a vacancy which has now been filled by Rathdowney’s Paul O’Brien – who is very excited to be taking on the role.
He said: “I have been involved in music for a very long time and have done the pub scene.
“I was approached by Darren Holden who told me that since Martin Furey left in 2017, they have been missing that whistle sound.
“I have played a couple of gigs with The High Kings in the past and now that I’m fully part of the band, I’m really looking forward to getting going.”
Paul won’t have much of chance to settle in though as The High Kings are due off on tour in a few months.
Details of the full Irish tour will be revealed on Friday with tickets set to go on sale then.