Saturday 15th June 2024
Location: Cleeres Bar and Theatre, 28 Parliament Street, Kilkenny
The thousands of miles that troubadour Josh Okeefe traveled from his birthplace to his current home of Nashville, Tennessee, tell just one small part of a nomadic life in music which actually spans generations and encompasses myriad genres, traditions and disciplines. Although a relatively new artist, the young guitar-and-harmonica-playing singer-songwriter delivers unforgettably potent lyrics with the gravitas of a seasoned veteran. Attesting to his versatility and wide appeal, Okeefe has also had his songs recorded by Nashville-based major-label artists Ashley Monroe and High Valley, among others.
Having performed sold-out shows from Nashville to New York, Belfast to Kilkenny, London to Manchester and beyond. Okeefe has shared stages with legends including Kris Kristofferson, playing for a crowd of 10,000 at London’s Kenwood House for the iconic songwriter’s birthday celebration. He’s also performed with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Alison Krauss, John Spillane, Rufus Wainwright, The High Kings among many others. In addition, he has joined Bernie Sanders for a ‘Virtual Town Hall Meeting’, standing up for social justice at protests, amplifying the voices of the Black Lives Matter movement, and bearing witness to the somber site of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in West London, commemorating the tragedy with an original, haunting composition.
Okeefe dropped out of school at age 16. Living briefly in numerous places including London and the seaside resort town of Brighton, Okeefe often slept on the floors of recording studios, music coffee houses and other small venues. After traveling to America in search of the places his music idols once roamed, he began writing songs at an astonishing pace. Okeefe has earned coveted spots at major music events on both sides of the Atlantic including the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, Black Deer Festival and England’s prestigious Glastonbury Festival for the first time in the summer of 2019, at the invitation of English folk musician and political activist Billy Bragg. He has received airplay on RTÉ and BBC Radio and is a featured artist on the popular YouTube channel GemsOnVHS
A rebel artist, a protest singer, the heir to Bob Dylan, or – when he’s doing one of his lighter satirical numbers – a harmonica-tootin’ Mr. Bean… with raw, topical storytelling and a voice that crackles with authentic folk tradition, Okeefe is all of those and more.
Saturday 15th June 2024