Packy Brown

Packy Brown

Artist: Kevin McKrell

Oil on Canvas
Size: 24″ x 30″

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About the Artist


Somewhere tonight, across the country or across the sea, a singer, sitting on a stool on a pub’s corner stage, is belting out a Kevin McKrell song, and the crowd is singing along.

McKrell pioneered Celtic music beginning in 1979 with Donnybrook Fair. The original trio’s 1982 album Tunnel Tigers remains a landmark of the form, with its blend of Clancy Brothers swagger and upstate attitude. In 2018, that lineup (featuring Jeff Strange and David McDonnell) reunited, recently playing shows for a St. Patrick’s Day regional tour.

McKrell honed his powerful performance style further in the 80s with The Fabulous Newports, a rambunctious harmony group known as much for its antics, cut-up comedy and long list of eventual members as for its sweet singing. In 1998, McKrell—who has three solo albums to his credit—formed a powerhouse band under his own name, merging the Irish sensibility of Donnybrook with a steely, world class bluegrass edge. The McKrells toured harder than Donnybrook, bringing its music, with McKrell’s lusty vocals supported by hot string band picking, to Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and festivals and concert venues around the country. The band, in its current incarnation, many members on, released its eighth album, My Big Old Broken
Heart, in 2018.

Offstage, McKrell is a respected painter, with his work hanging in many of the halls he’s haunted, here and in Ireland, Scotland and Italy. He is best known, though, for his indelible songs—classics like “Donegal,” “I Miss the Rain” and the eternal “All of The Hard Days Are Gone”—which, in addition to the raft of pub singers mentioned afore, have been sung and recorded by artists like The Kingston Trio, Bob Shane, North Sea Gas, The Furey Brothers, Seamus Kennedy and others. Few artists of any stripe in the Capital Region have left a mark as bold and lasting as Kevin McKrell

Visit Kevin’s website for more information

Artist Statement


Mr. Shakespeare said “The eyes are the window to the soul “

Cicero claimed “The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter.”

I paint faces… I love them dearly… each and every… I love the angles, the planes, the colors and the contours, but most of all: it’s about the eyes. Portraying the emotions in the eyes is simply a joy to me. I spend a lot of time in old world places. Places that still hold to the traditions that harken back to simpler days. Ireland and Scotland, Italy and the UK . I take my camera and photograph my subjects in their natural element. Having a pint, selling a horse, buying a lamb, cutting and piling the turf,an evening walk down the lane, playing the music that thrills the soul. These photos come home with me and find their way to canvas . I paint in oils , the layering of the tones of greens and blues, browns and reds that slowly make the parts become a whole. I am a storyteller, I think of my work as a narrative and though I have a story in my head for the second prior to the scene in the painting and most importantly what happens next, there is always enough ambiguity to invite the viewers’ own interpretation. If need be you could include me under the Outsider Art definition, as I am self taught , not by choice, but certainly by circumstance. I am representational, a realist, a naturalist. My inspiration comes from Manet and Wyeth, Paul Henry, Lucian Freud and Burton Silverman , Rockwell and Singer-Sargent ,Saratoga’s Trudi Smith and always and ever Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec.