A brief history of Kilkenny Krew
Blaine Lambe and Leigh Brockerville formed Kilkenny Krew in St. John’s in 1998.
According to Brockerville, he and Lambe found themselves together in the city at the same time.
Brockerville had graduated high school in Lawn and had moved to St. John’s to continue his education. Lambe had recently moved back to the province from Alberta.
They began playing together, frequently at Henry’s Haven, a venue owned by Lawn native Jimmy Rogers.
According to Brockerville, one by one bass player Reg Edwards, also from Lawn, instrumentalist Al Samms and drummer Kurt Bambury came on board to round out the original lineup. Lambe had previously played in Voice Versa with Edwards and Samms.
Shortly after solidifying the five-piece lineup, the band entered the studio with Ray Lake, a St. Lawrence native, to record their self-titled album, released in 1999. It contains 13 traditional Newfoundland/ Irish songs, five sang by Brockerville, five sang by Lambe, one sang by Samms and two jigs.
“It was probably one of the best experiences of my life,” Brockerville says, of recording the album.
Edwards says the CD sold about 10,000 copies over a long period of time.
Finding one up for sale these days is a tough task, however.
“I have a few copies, but they’re very limited,” Edwards said, noting he kept the 10,000th copy for a display he has for himself.
Brockerville left the group in 2003. Edwards, Samms and Bambury continued on for a few more years with the band before also leaving. After their departure, Lambe brought in other musicians and kept the name.
The original lineup reunited on a few special occasions in the past couple of years, according to Brockerville.
Kilkenny Krew travelled extensively throughout the province during their heyday as a band and were among the best-known traditional Newfoundland/Irish groups on the island during that period.