© 2022 All Rights reserved WUSF
News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Dermot Kennedy: Tiny Desk Concert

Dermot Kennedy took this assignment seriously. The Dublin singer-songwriter wasn't content with merely re-creating his songs as they sound in the studio, or stripping lavish productions down to simple acoustic arrangements. So he got himself a gospel choir.

More specifically, Kennedy and his band flew in from Ireland a day ahead of time to meet and rehearse with members of Washington, D.C.'s Howard Gospel Choir. Every arrangement was painstakingly plotted ahead of time, so that every note would be perfect.

Two of the songs Kennedy performs here ("Moments Passed" and "An Evening I Will Not Forget") pop up on an EP he released this year with hip-hop producer Mike Dean, and both sound radically different in this performance. They're still forceful — and still centered on the singer's elastic, bombastic voice — but also looser, warmer, more open.

Put simply, they sound like the work of a future star: a modest former busker (and current NPR Slingshot artist) with a voice built to fill stadiums in more ways than one.

Set List

  • "Moments Passed"
  • "An Evening I Will Not Forget"
  • "Glory"
  • Personnel

    Dermot Kennedy (vocals, guitar); Kieran Jones (keyboards/effects); Jonny Coote (piano); Micheál Quinn (drums); Keila Mumphord, Taylor Nevels, Chamille Boyd, Jazmine Thomas (backing vocals)

    Credits

    Producers: Stephen Thompson, Bronson Arcuri, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineers: Suraya Mohamed, Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Bronson Arcuri, CJ Riculan, Khun Minn Ohn, Niki Walker; Production Assistant: Catherine Zhang; Photo: Eslah Attar/NPR.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Tags
    Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
    WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.