I tell stories and play traditional folk instruments. From the Fillmore West to the Oregon Country Fair, from the former Soviet Union to Spain, from Alaska to Mexico, I've traveled to play with and learn from traditional musicians, to gather stories to share and to connect with folks through the ecstatic medium of music. I do solo shows such as "The Other Pipes - exotic and little known Bagpiping traditions of the World", " Stories from the Musical Realms - Concerning Inspiration and the Music between the Notes", "My Grandfather's Fiddle " "Fiddle Fables - Stories by and about Fiddlers" with tunes appropriate and appropriated. For more details on these shows see the Shows page.
I play with various groups :
Wake the Dead - Intergalactic Roots Music (formerly, the world's only all star grateful dead celtic jam band)
Hillbillies from Mars - traditional Dance music from mars, America, Ireland, Scotland, Galicia, and points East , South , West and North.
Les Tetes de Violon French Canadian fiddle music - the finest kind.
Winter's Carol, with Men of Worth - Holiday Shows in the Gaelic Spirit ( solstice and St. Pat's)
Verdegaio - I play with Alexandre Cadarso and Javier Blanco from Galicia whenever I get the chance; when they are in North America or I am in Spain or Ireland. Galician Music - pure and simple. And Grand.
The Family Carr - new arrangements of traditional music from Galicia, Ireland, Cape Breton, the American south, by Kevin,Daniel and Molly Carr and Josie Mendelsohn
I give FIDDLE WORKSHOPS on various styles - Irish, Old time, Galician, Quebecois.
I have been on the faculty as fiddle instructor at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend Washington several times, and have been coordinator of the tutorial program there for many years. I have been on faculty as a fiddle teacher at Alasdair Fraser's Sierra Fiddle Camp, at Lark Camp in Mendocino, I have been camp instrumentalist at Puget Sound Guitar workshop twice and at California Coast music camp, and have played for dances, told stories and given fiddle workshops at many dozens of dance and music camps across the country and in Canada and Spain.
My School presentations are informative ( see Shows page on this site ) and meet criteria for English education as well as history of music. Kids of all ages and teachers love them.
I play for Contra, Square, Irish and Scottish, and Galician dancing. Also when I am available, I love to play pipes at weddings and other rituals.
Please read on, and listen to whatever interests you on my site.
FURTHER BIO INFO
Kevin Carr - singer and storyteller, player of fiddle, bagpipes, accordion, and banjo.
I started guitar lessons at age twelve, and gave them up at thirteen after my jazz guitar teacher went on a bender. I played in rock bands throughout my teens, but quit when I discovered the open-tuned twelve string guitar, and the freedom of long Fahey-esque improvisation. "Can't you just play a song?" asked my father who, in later years, faced with my increasing interest in bagpipes of various kinds, would remember those moody noodlings wistfully. I also played french horn in the orchestra at school, attracted by its high lonesome sound. I gave this lovely instrument up when, after returning from a short holiday, I found that his mother had sold it. At eighteen I discovered the five string banjo - more open tunings! I took the guitar and banjo with me to Europe for a year and made my living as a street performer . In 1974 I traveled to Ireland, a roots journey, and I was completely gobsmacked by Irish traditional music. Truthfully it was the mysterious engine failure of my VW Camper (on a beach in county Sligo which he later discovered is most famous in Ireland for the experience of the 'faery music'), and my subsequent rescue by friends who introduced me to one of the richest veins of traditional music in the west of Ireland that changed my life. I came home and bummed around for a year, during which time I acquired a bodhran, a tenor banjo, and a fiddle, and hung out with a wonderful fiddler in Los Angeles named Bill Jackson. Listening to Bill play made me want to play the fiddle, and I've been learning ever since. Later on I began playing at the California Renaissance Faires, where I met a romantic host of music gypsies, whose musical imaginations and knowledge still inspire me. Around this time I met and began falling ever deeper in love ( a process that continues to this day) with Barbara Mendelsohn, as soulful and stunning a musician and artist as I have ever met, who was also an experienced and respected accompanist in Irish music circles. Against all reason, she married me. Since those days, I have become a licensed counselor, a dance musician, a storyteller, and a collector of bagpipes - up to 31 in 2020. Uilleann pipes were my first love, with Galician Gaita and Scottish Highland pipes coming later, along with various French, Italian, Eastern European, Scandinavian, other smaller pipes from Norhumbria following along. I am also fascinated with diatonic button button accordions. My storytelling was inspired by my storytelling grandfather, Dennis McGough (who also played the fiddle and called square dances, I found out many years after his death), and by my father, Richard Carr, who used to tell hi spellbound children the stories of his scripts as he was writing them. Most importantly I was encouraged to tell stories by the two major blessings of my life, my two children, Daniel and Molly.
In addition to performing with my musical brethren in the venerable, yet still vital danceband, the Hillbillies from Mars, I play with the Celtic/Grateful Dead band, Wake the Dead, with OSPA, playing Basque traditional and contemporay music, with my wife JOSIE ( THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS BARBARA), both in a duo and as members of a couple of fine ensembles that feature the music of Québec ( Les Tetes de Violon and the Family Carr, with our son and daughter ). In addition to doing shows solo as both a piper and a storyteller, I have appeared in a seasonal show with the Men of Worth and Maureen Brennan, called " A Winter's Carol", and for most of the last 20 years I have spent my Decembers playing in Revels - the grand solstice traditional pageants that had their origins in Cambridge, MA., but now have spread across the country. Most every summer I spend a few weeks in Port Townsend, Washington at Centrum's Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, helping with the music tutorial program, and teaching at the Lark In the Morning camp in Mendocino.
Contact: Kevin Carr 541 301 5306
Musical Influences: Bill Jackson, Tommy Potts, Mose Allison, Johnny Doherty, Theresa McClellan, Seamus Ennis, Jules Verret, Lisa Ornstein, Liam O'Flynn, The Animals, John Fahey , Alexandre (Cano) Cadarso
Album Credits as featured performer:
ORUJO: Twisted Roots
OSPA ( Basque music from the diaspora)
Hillbillies from Mars (HFM CD1301)
Wake the Dead (GDCD 4074)
Buckdancer's Choice WTD
Blue Light Cheap Hotel WTD
Tony Furtado: Swamped (Rounder 0277)
Les Têtes de Violon: Airs Tordus - Crooked Tunes (Thirty Below TB-001-CD)
Les Tetes de Violon : Deux Rives
Yvon Mimeault: Y'était temps! (Thirty Below TB-144-CD)
Carolyn Cirimele: Lookin for Ida Rose (Wilder Shore 102)
Glasnotes: Live from Contrafornia (Avocet 103)
Patrick Ball: Fiona (Celestial Harmonies 13065-02)
Patrick Ball: Christmas Rose (Celestial Harmonies 17077)
Topanga Canyon Banjo and Fiddle Contest Anthology
A Winter's Carol, with Men of Worth and Maureen Brennan
The Big Music - storytelling
King of the Pipers - storytelling
Parcel from Ashland, at the with Barbara Mendelsohn and Patricia Maureen O'Scannell
Band Credits: Hillbillies from Mars
Wake the Dead (Celtic/Grateful Dead songs)
QuébecQuasi (Quebecois fiddle music for Contra Dance)
Les Têtes de Violon (Quebecois fiddle music)
Ziggizon (songs and tunes from Quebec)
Big Green Chair (kid's songs)
The Family Carr ( Kevin Carr, Josie Mendelsohn, Daniel Carr and Molly Carr)
OSPA ( Basque traditional and contemporary folk music)
ORUJO ( Medieval and modern folk music duo )
Christmas Revels, Oakland, California 2001,2002,2003,2005.2010, 2012, 2016- is now a permanent Artistic Associate
Revels Tacoma 2017
Revels Portland 2015, 2018