Kieran McGee
Gig Seeker Pro

Kieran McGee

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Sittin' In With Kieran McGee and Jeremiah Lockwood"

Despite Kieran McGee and Jeremiah Lockwood's level of notoriety and success at their young ages, they share something universal with all musicians, composers, and writers -- they like really cheap places where you pay seven bucks to get three plates full of food.

Hence, my sit-down with them the day after their fantastic set at the Crown Plaza lounge during the South x Southwest Music Festival and Conference in Austin, Texas, took place at the IHOP, five scant blocks from he hustle and bustle of 6th Street.

P. Kellach Waddle for FolkWax: Even though I am sure you are sick of explaining this, for those people who haven't read your bio and press material could you tell us where you came from, how early you started, and how and why you started to get immersed in this kind of music.

Kieran Mcgee: I started on drums when I was about seven. I started playing guitar when I was about twelve, and making recordings in my bedroom on a little tape deck. My mom played piano; so I started playing piano, too.

FW: So you did have music in the house; all of this talent with you didn't come out of nowhere spouting like from the head of Zeus or something.

KM: Yeah, a very musical household. So then I got a four-track and started making little recordings where I was playing all four tracks myself. And then I actually started sending out tapes; and that was when there were still a lot of cassette labels doing a lot of four-track recordings of their own. Wanted to try to see if anyone was interested and there was this label called Cleancuts. They were actually going to put out an EP of my stuff when I was about 14.

FW: Sorry to stop you for a second, but that age declaration is really amazing! I am interested, when you did start sending out your stuff...before you had bio or press or anything to accompany it...did you tell them how old you were?

KM: No, I sure didn't. Actually, on some of the tapes I sent out to labels I would do something to the speed on the four-track to lower my voice so it sounded like I was older. But of course once this label got back to me they knew; I knew they were eventually going to find out I wasn't thirty.

FW: Yeah, you couldn't exactly meet them at a neighborhood bar to hammer out terms of the deal or anything.

KM: So the EP, after I kept sending them more tapes of songs, ended up turning into a whole album called Left for Dead that they put out when I was fifteen and it was really just me playing the instruments; a few guest musicians, but it was mostly just me in the studio for a couple of weeks doing the same thing that I was doing in my bedroom.

FW: I noticed this in the bio; go on with that because I am not sure if this is at the same time in your life, but I noticed all the places you visited, when you went to Mississippi and such. And also what did your family or whoever took you think about a fourteen-year-old from Manhattan wanting to go to Roots land?

KM: Well, I had been taking these summer road trips with my dad who is also a music writer. So even when I wasn't showing an active interest yet he was taking us to musical landmark spots all over the country. But eventually I did take an interest and got heavily into Blues and we saw some musicians near Bentonia, Mississippi, Jack Owens and such. And going to places like the Helena Blues Festival when I was about fifteen; just sort of a half-ass tour for the record that I had done.

FW: But you grew up in Manhattan and that's still where you live. Did that ever stick out? Especially at that age when you are with some hardcore Roots people in a place like Arkansas, and here is this veritable child of fifteen...much less one that's a Yankee! Were they ever like, who the hell is this? But then of course you start playing and open your mouth and I am sure you blew everyone away just like you do now.

KM: I certainly would get some laughs when I walked into their open mics! But you know it didn't really faze me at the time because I guess it just didn't really bother me. So I just kept playing out as much as I could and it eventually became something I had to be doing on my own, because most of the musician friends I had sure were not playing this type of music.

FW: Yes, let's do a timeline. You are 23 now; this was eight or nine years ago. This is about the end of the Grunge phenomenon; so your buddies are all playing Soundgarden covers and such looking at you like you are from Mars, I reckon?

KM: [Laughter] Yeah, pretty much.

FW: (To Jeremiah Lockwood) Now how did you all hook up, were you on this same sort of wavelength with

Kieran, too? Jeremiah Lockwood: Well, I am also from Manhattan and Kieran's older brother and I were classmates, so we had school playdates when we were in elementary school and such. Then we met up later again when we got older and I had become a musician as well. And we played in the subway and I played with some old Blues fellows in town when I was also fourteen. I am al - Folkwax


Left For Dead - 1997
Ash Wednesday - 2001
Anonymous - 2005
The Golden Age Of Paranoia - 2008



At age six, when his friends were getting G.I. Joe for Christmas, young Kieran McGee's father gave him a cassette of Robert Johnson, and gave Kieran's older brother a Guns N' Roses cassette. "I immediately liked both albums," Kieran recalls, "but Robert Johnson was the more lasting impression, I think." The bipolar extremes of rock and folk - the King Of the Delta Blues and hair-metal's primal scream - have been the heart and soul of Kieran's music ever since. Along with the influences that have washed up on the rocky shore of his life - Woody Guthrie, Skip James, Black Flag, Nirvana, the Carter Family, and of course Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones - Kieran McGee is, as one New York journalist proclaimed, "the real thing."

Kieran's albums have featured other artist as diverse as Levon Helm, Olabelle, Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth, Sean Costello, Catherine Popper of Ryan Adams & The Cardinals and The North Mississippi Allstars