Kenny Speirs has been a well-known figure on the national and international folk circuit for over twenty five years ever since the John Wright Band burst onto the scene in the early nineties. From his beloved homeland of the Scottish Borders the band propelled Kenny from the pubs and clubs of his local area to some of the biggest festival stages throughout the U.K. and Europe. Turning professional in 1995, Kenny released seven albums with the JWB, earning a deserved reputation as a sensitive guitarist, singer and arranger, also finding time to release two solo albums to wide critical acclaim.
In 2002 Kenny moved on to form Real Time with his partner Judy Dinning of Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies fame. For the next eleven years they toured extensively all over Europe and also in the U.S.A. until Judy’s untimely death in October 2013.The six albums from this intimate collaboration have been the highlight of his career to date.
Kenny is also one of the leading figures of the Borders folk scene, from his early days reforming Peebles Folk Club and presenting the weekly folk programme on Radio Borders to the founding of Denholm Folk Club in 1993 which he still runs today. He is also Director of Denholm Folk Festival and the Scottish Borders Hogmanay Festival, The Land The Light The Locals.
Since losing Judy, Kenny decided to carry on with Real Time, and the band continues to enjoy huge success with Eilidh Grant taking on the main singing duties. It is only now, after a very emotional period of reflection, that Kenny has been inspired to write and release his first solo CD of wholly self-penned songs. “Sleepwalking” is a collection of nine new songs and four of his most popular tracks from his earlier career, marking a change of direction that moves Kenny from his familiar role of highly accomplished bandsman to centre stage. Featuring guest musicians that include ex Strawbs guitarist Brian Willoughby, stellar uilleann piper Catherine Ashcroft and long-time collaborators Tommy Roseburgh, Fiona Cuthill and Stevie Lawrence, these songs form the basis of Kenny’s live shows, while there is always room for a few songs from the Border country that has always inspired him.