ALT COUNTRY BAND
Darren, Hugh, Barry, Mike and Pete on the road again preparing for the Kilkenny Roots Festival 2016
Alt-Country band Desert Aces play a mix of original compositions, bluegrass standards and country trad songs that have been known to cause perfectly good, sensible and decent people to leap about stomping their boots and hollering like lunatics.
Who is in the band?
Over the years the band has been a movable feast of musicians. At the core of the group down in the engine room are the Kehoe Brothers and Pete McGuire: Pete (Banjo/vocals) Mike(Bass/vocals) and Barry(guitar/vocals). This year the Aces have grown to a six piece group again with the addition of Hugh McCabe (Piano/Mandolin), Helena Kelly (Vocals) & Darren Hurley from the original Desert Aces line up (Mandolin/fiddle).
Where did the band name come from?
Well, in 2003 the brothers Mike and Barry Kehoe stood in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park at the shrine dedicated to the memory of Gram Parsons. It was on or near this location that Gram had been cremated. As they stood at the base of a great sandstone boulder scribbled with messages of hope and loss, the silence was torn apart by a silver fighter jet as it buzzed the brothers and flew away across the clear blue sky. They stood there in awe and appreciation of the memory of one of country musics lost and lamented sons and knew that they had a mission to fulfill. They took the name inspired by the desert fly boys and went forth to form a Country Rhythm and Roots sensation.
In 2007 they produced their first album of Bluegrass, Old Time and Rhythm n' Roots tunes with Darren Hurley and Camille Champarnaud called: "Spades dig, hearts break, diamonds shine, clubs just beat it." The band are currently working on their second album.
Chilling before our first gig at the Kilkenny Roots Festival 2016