Formed in the same manner as Celtic Woman (under the direction of David Downes of “Riverdance”), the High Kings are a group of male singers and instrumentalists who sing a blend of traditional and modern Irish music. The band members have backgrounds in traditional music, pop and the theater—for instance, Darren Holden originated the role of the lead piano man in Billy Joel’s musical “Movin’ Out,” and also toured with the man himself, while his band mates (Finbarr Clancy, Martin Furey and Brian Dunphy) all come from families with extensive participation in their countries’ music scene.
Their music is highly enjoyable, but bear in mind that it is intended for mass markets. Among their songs is “Fields of Glory,” an all-out celebration of their football (soccer in America) heroes, and “Parting Glass,” a hauntingly beautiful tune that pays tribute to friends lost too soon. Their debut self-titled release reached #5 on the Irish charts, and they are coming to the US on their first massive tour to promote their sophomore disc “Memory Lane” (Universal Ireland). At their stop in Chicago, they will also be paying tribute to the legacy of music of The Clancy Brothers (Finbarr’s father was a member) and Tommy Makem. (Ernest Barteldes)
March 3 at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 North Knox, (773)282-7035, 7:30pm. $35.