Ahead of an Irish tour, Folk and Tumble caught with Kieran Goss and Annie Kinsella to chat about their musical influences, their new record, and their upcoming shows together.

FT: Kieran, you grew up in Mayobridge County Down. What were your first musical memories and how did they influence you?

KG: I grew up in a big family and heard everything from old Irish ballads from my father, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby from my mother, The Beatles from older sisters and The Stones from older brothers. Somehow, my musical entry point came through Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. When I started playing acoustic guitar, I learnt Ralph McTell and James Taylor songs, so I was always surrounded by good music and it moved me in a way that nothing else did or has since. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a musician.

FT:  Annie, where are you from and what are your earliest musical influences?

AK: I grew up in rural County Roscommon, moving to Dublin city in time to start secondary school. My introduction to music was from the radio and from an ancient jukebox that a local newsagent had installed in the back of his shop along with a PacMan machine and a table football table. All the kids hung out there. I remember hearing ‘Can’t Stand Losing You’ by The Police on the jukebox one day and it blew my mind. I was probably eight years old at the time. I was hearing pop radio as a kid… Casey Kasem’s American Top 40, which was syndicated on Radio Nova, so all of that stuff.

FT:  You’ve just released a new duo album; ‘Oh The Starlings’. Tell me a little about the influences behind it.

KG: The album was recorded in New York with Kevin Killen. He’s a brilliant engineer and mixer with landmark records on his CV like Peter Gabriel’s ‘So’, and nine or ten Bowie albums. When we got to the studio we already knew the songs we wanted to record and the musicians we wanted to work with, but Kevin’s talent and experience in the studio was invaluable. 

AK: I love great melodies and I’m a fan of well-honed lyrics and good stories. I also love poetry. We included a version of W. B. Yeats’ ‘The Song of Wandering Aengus’ for that reason, and also as a nod to the fact that we live in County Sligo, just across the bay from where Yeats is buried. Many of the songs on the album are like complete three minute movies.

FT: You’ll be touring the new record in Ireland in late May and early June. What can your fans expect from this tour?

KG: We’ve just finished a long European tour to launch ‘Oh, The Starlings’ and we’re really looking forward to playing some shows at home in Ireland. We’ll be playing material from the new album along with a few songs from my back catalogue, but this is a new show for us, so it changes all the time. Even though Annie and I have worked together musically in the past, working as a duo has a different energy and the audience can expect to hear a lot more of Annie.

AK: As ‘Oh, The Starlings’ is our debut duo album, the audience can expect to hear a lot of the material from the new album… It’s a duo show, so we’ll be sharing lead duties. We like to give a bit of background about the songs, so we’ll be sharing that onstage too.

Kieran Goss and Annie Kinsella play the following Irish dates in late May and Early June:

Friday 31st May Naul: The Séamus Ennis Arts Centre
Saturday 1st June Cork: Live At St Lukes
Saturday 8th June Derry: The Playhouse
Sunday 9th June Belfast: Lyric Theatre