James Kilbane, singer, songwirter, producer.
The Story So Far.......
James Kilbane was born in London, England in 1970, and in his childhood he returned to the tranquil Achill Island, Mayo, Ireland. James married his teenage love, Christina in 1989 and their family home is on Achill with their teenage children Diana and Daniel. James in his first 37 years has had an exceptional life to date. From a child, he struggled with learning difficulties, which he overcame and went on to study and earn two qualifications, one in Business and the second a Degree in Heritage studies. However James' singing was his earliest career, started at the age of seven when he gave his first solo performance in his local choir. James then started competing in singing competitions form the age of ten, winning many County titles. Having been a member of several choirs and bands throughout his teenage years, James eventually became lead singer with his own band "Dollar Brand" until his success in the hit TV show You're A Star. You're A Star is the Irish version of American Idol, Pop Idol or X Factor. In this Irish television series, there were thousands of entrants from Ireland, America and England. After five months of television performances, James with his unique and incredible voice went all the way to the final where week after week he won the hearts of his nation.
James Kilbane is not a man to waste time. First, James recorded on a follow-up 'You're A Star' compilation album; James had a hit single 'Losing You', DVD, and stared in the sell-out nationwide tour. Since James has continued to be a top performing artist whose fantastic vocal range allows him to grace most any form of music or stage.
In 2004 James took the step that so many were waiting for him to do and recorded his debut album called 'King of the Road'. Since its release the album has proven to be a huge hit with the Irish public at home and abroad, for its Country, Irish and easy listening sounds. James has gone on to release his very successful Gospel music, first in the album 'Close to You. Hymns of Praise' followed by the single 'The Miracle of the Rosary' plus albums 'Divine Love', 'Life's Miracle' and his latest Gospel release 'Heart to Heart'. In July of 2008 James released a much requested Irish collection titled 'Songs of Ireland' and in November he released his first Christmas album titled 'The Christmas Collection' that has many Christmas favorites. In February 2010 James released a new album 'Glory and Grace' where we hear James' production style fuse between Country Gospel, Celtic World with a touch of Classical. This was an interesting combination for an inspiring album. In March 2012 Kilbane released his ninth album Gravel & Grace. Songs of Faith, Life & Hope. The album was launched at Lorain Correctional Institution, Grafton Prison in Grafton, Ohio, USA following an invitation extended from the institutions inmates to James to give a special concert at the prison that took place during St. Patrick's week 2012. The Gravel & Grace album includes many popular songs and previously released radio singles. Many of Kilbane’s albums are Nashville and Irish collaborations. Then in March 2013 James released his first compilation album is released in association with Gold Eagle Music and Veritas Publications in Dublin, Ireland who are the leading Irish Christian publishers and retail group for religious publications, media and goods. For the Year of Faith James is the voice of Veritas. The album was released to celebrate the Year of Faith and presents 20 tracks giving a flavour of 200 years of Irish Christian and faith based music that many have held dear in prayer and in their spiritual lives. In April 2014 Kilbane with Gold Eagle Music have released his lates album River of Grace that features hymns, psalms and prayers that capture some of the central moments and key people caught up in the river of God's grace as it flows through the biblical narrative from Genesis to Revelation. River of Grace represents some of the important stages in the unfolding story of the Scriptures and in the development of James' own personal Christian Faith. All of James Kilbane's music are available on CD and download.
Christian faith and James Kilbane's work:
James is delighted to promote the message of God and Christian values as a primary part of his life, music, recording work and career. James often performs for thousands of pilgrims in Knock, Ireland's Marian Shrine, and at Our Lady's House of Prayer, Achill. In 2006 James performed for the first time at the Inspirational Country Music Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. James regularly performs Christian Country and Gospel Concerts and is a leading voice for Christian music in Ireland. In the past year James has been a guest soloist at celebrated religious ceremonies in Ireland and America including the 2006 Papal Mass for Pope Benedict at Maynooth at Ireland that was celebrated by the Papal Nuncio to Ireland the Most Reverend Giuseppe Lazzarotto. In 2007 James was a guest of the Vatican Papal See at the United Nations when he attended the Path to Peace Awards in New York, USA. In 2007 also, James was asked to undertake the creation of a new anthem for the Marian shrine of Meryem Ana Evi or Mary's House in Turkey which was the Virgin Mary's final home in Ephesus and is an international pilgrimage shrine for Christians and Muslims. The new anthem, titled 'Mary's House. Our Lady of Ephesus' is now included on James' album 'Heart to Heart'.
James Kilbane is not a conformist and has not always aligned his work or beliefs to the usual practices of the Irish music industry. Grand Ole Opry legend George Hamilton IV bestowed Kilbane with the title “The Lone Ranger of country music” after hearing his music and story. Kilbane has experienced most of his success through working in an independent manner through the label Gold Eagle Music. Independently he has been able to explore and develop alternative music ideas to great success. For a number of years Kilbane was mentored by the double Grammy award winning and music legend Steve Popovich Sr. of Cleveland International Records. Popovich took a keen interest in Kilbane’s career and contributed a great deal of knowledge and advice to Kilbane’s development and to several of his album releases. Over the years Kilbane has worked with other leading music, media and production personalities as Gavin Murphy, Bill Shanley, Maire Breathnach, Ciaran Byrne and James Blennerhassett.
In 2012 Kilbane was voted "Irish Gospel Singer of the Year" for his music and work. In June 2012 James and his country band were invited to perform a selection of his Country Gospel music as part of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in RDS Arena in Dublin, Ireland. Kilbane continues to contribute to other major religious events in Ireland which include major events at the international shrine of Knock. He has been involved in Irish cross border religious music events and projects. He continues to record and tour at home and abroad. He is currently working on three major projects that will be worked and released in 2013 and early 2014. Over the past six years James has also been a leading member of the cast in the hit Irish Celtic Summer stage show "The Legend of Grainne Mhaol". James has also contributed to heritage publications that include the book "Traditional Coastal Boats of Ireland" published by Collins Press.
Media and Events:
Over the past number of years James has been in demand for many prestigious shows, events and press publications. His Gospel and Country music feature regularly on Irish radio. In Ireland and America James has featured and performed on television shows and music channels that have included RTE's The Late Late Show, Nationwide, Phil Coulter and Company, Eternal Word Television Network EWTN, You're A Star, Live At 3, Ear To The Ground, TV3's Ireland AM, RTE's Spirit Level and Sunday Presbyterian Service as well as the USA's Gospel Channel, WKYC's Good Company and Cleveland's Channel 19. James and his family have appeared on all leading Irish press publications. James has also featured on radio at home in Ireland but also in America and Australia. He has performed at various festivals including the International Rose of Tralee Festival, where he also was asked to sing 'The Rose Of Tralee' for the winning Rose in 2004 as well as the Path to Peace Awards at the United Nations in New York city. James has performed at Irish Cultural and Irish Country music festivals in America and Europe.
Other Talents in History and Ethnography:
Kilbane is also known for his historical and ethnographic research. This research was into a traditional class of boat indigenous to Achill Island, the Achill yawl. He also undertook studies on land use practices in his region of Ireland. In 2001 he completed a thesis titled "The Achill Yawl" for a Humanities in Heritage Diploma from the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology GMIT, which is considered an authoritative work on the social history of this vernacular watercraft. In 2002 Kilbane completed a second thesis titled "The Heritage of Mountain Grazing In Achill. The Booley, Land Use, And Commonage" for a Humanities in Heritage Degree at the GMIT campus. He has also co-authored a chapter on the Achill Yawl subject in the 2008 publication "Traditional Boats of Ireland" published by Collins Press and his other research has been referenced for other publications and studies.
Over the years James Kilbane has gone from strength to strength. He has continued to win and earn the respect of his public though his work, performances and recordings. Years of experience have helped make James Kilbane a versatile performer and music producer who produces and sings a mix of Gospel, Country, and Irish Folk. It is all just simply, nice music.