The Kerry Boys
The Kerry Boys are Mark James, originally from the county Kerry Ireland now a Cheshire, CT resident, and Pierce Campbell, (CT’s official State Troubadour 2007/08) from Prospect, CT. These two dynamic and popular Connecticut Irish Balladeers combined their talents to form an exciting Irish music duo over 25 years ago, and they have dazzled fans of all ages from Maine to Pennsylvania with their humorous high-energy performances and engaging style of Irish ballads and sea songs ever since.
What makes The Kerry Boys so special is the rare combination of talents that Mark and Pierce possess. Both are strong vocalists and instrumentalists with Mark playing guitar and Pierce playing mandolin, guitar and banjo and writing great pub songs. This enables them to sing pristine harmonies rarely heard anymore, while backing them up with powerful and expressive instrumentation, as well as having original material that fits so well with their traditional songs. Their performances are truly a shared experience as they engage audiences of all ages in singing and clapping. Joining them for many shows are Paul Neri on banjo and Tony Pasqualoni on bass.
In their years performing together they have been welcomed into Irish festivals, library and municipal performances, Irish pubs, clubs and festivals, including The Connecticut Irish Festival, the Danbury Irish Festival, the Fairfield Irish Festival, The Hunter Mountain Celtic Festival ( NY ), The Scranton Celtic Festival and The East Durham Irish Festival ( NY ). Response from promoters and audiences alike is, without exception, enthusiastic. The Kerry Boys are also members of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and have released four CD’s.
The Kerry Boys got their start at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA where Vince McDonald who was the Lion’s Den manager at the time dubbed them The Kerry Boys. In a conversation with Vince one day during a solo performance at the Inn, Pierce mentioned that he had a friend from Ireland who was also a performer and that it would be fun to do a show as a duo with the focus on Irish music. Vince, originally from Ireland himself, quickly agreed and The Kerry Boys were born. Since Mark and Pierce could not think of a name for the group they ignored the subject. When they showed up for their first performance, Vince had dubbed them The Kerry Boys after the county, which Mark is from, and the name has stuck ever since.