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Kinnfolk Presents: Star Above the Mountain

Join Kinnfolk on Friday, June 30 at The Spot on Kirk for "Kinnfolk Presents: Star Above the Mountain," an evening of brand-new Celtic tunes inspired by Roanoke, Virginia. Photo on left by After Eden Photography.

Tickets Now Available!

Last fall, we announced that we'd been selected to receive an Art Matters Grant through the City of Roanoke and the National Endowment of the Arts. The project was simple enough: pen a collection of Roanoke-themed songs and tunes that embraces the Celtic motif of place—exploring our city, its history, its people, and its stories through traditional music. We promised that the project would culminate in a live performance showcasing the new material...

And now that day has come! Our project, Star Above the Mountain, is coming to The Spot on Kirk stage on Friday, June 30. Click below to grab your tickets!

The Process

Josh Kinn takes a selfie as Julie Kinn talks with Dolores Vest in Book No Further
Interview with Dolores and Swade of Book No Further

For the past eight or so months, we've been exploring the nooks and crannies of Roanoke, Virginia. What is the history of our region? What are its stories? Who are its people? We've conducted interviews, visited museums, and done more than a few deep dives into the online archives of The Roanoke Times. We've thought about our own relationship with this wonderful city that has become our home.

And we've been writing. Four original songs. Nine brand-new tunes. Some, we've already begun sneaking into our live sets...some have never been heard before.

We always wanted to highlight as much of the local Celtic community as possible through this project, so several of our friends from the Roanoke traditional Irish session will be joining us on stage for the main performance, with opening music provided by the Appalachian Piping Academy.

The Official Event Description

One night only at The Spot on Kirk: Kinnfolk presents Star Above the Mountain, a collection of traditional Irish tunes and brand-new Celtic folk music celebrating Roanoke, Virginia.

Celtic music brims with references to place. From the rocky road to Dublin to the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, these tunes are played in sessions not just in Ireland and Scotland, but all around the globe. Traditional music, like other forms of folk art, draws heavily on themes of place, history, people, and legends to tell stories of community. These are precious cultural memories and they live anew each time a singer lilts a melody or a fiddler touches bow to string.

Star Above the Mountain seeks to bring our hometown, Roanoke, into the global tapestry of Celtic traditional music. For the past year, Josh and Julie Kinn have explored the Star City and channeled their inspiration into a new collection of original compositions. You will hear songs about the railroad. You will tap your toes to tunes named after familiar local landmarks like McAfee’s Knob. You may even hear an Appalachian story sung in Scots Gaelic.

Since releasing their newest album, "The Knotted Circle", last fall, the duo have continued to explore what it means to create and participate in Irish traditional music while living in America. “Traditional music is less of a line and more of a circle,” says vocalist and bodhran-player Julie Kinn. “It’s constantly self-reflecting, reaching backward as it weaves the present and looks to the future. And with people from countless countries around the world participating, that circle has become quite knotted…in a very beautiful way.”

Kinnfolk will be joined onstage by Paul Brockman (fiddle), Brandon Davis (uilleann pipes and whistle), Dennis McKim (guitar), Burt Mitchell (whistle and Irish flute), and Tim Sauls (banjo and bouzouki). Opening music will be provided by the Appalachian Piping Academy.

Star Above the Mountain is made possible by support from the Roanoke Arts Commission and Local Colors. The project is funded by an Art Matters Grant through the City of Roanoke and the National Endowment for the Arts. To learn more about Roanoke’s 2022-23 Year of the Artist, visit

Friday, June 30th 2023

Doors 7:30pm | Starts 8:00pm

$10 Advance | $15 Day of Show

We'd like to extend a big thank-you to the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Roanoke for funding this project as part of the 2022-23 Year of the Artist. And also to Local Colors and The Spot on Kirk, for partnering with us to bring our music to the stage. Thank you all for everything you do to support the arts in Roanoke!

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