All About The Barleyshakes
The Story of Award Winning Music
Brewed in Ireland and distilled in Australia, the Barleyshakes are a Celtic band with worldly influences, combining intense energy, beautiful harmony and driving dance rhythms in their live performances.
Queensland Music Award winners in the World Music category in 2011, the Barleyshakes are loved for their blend of traditional and original material, and their uplifting and joyous approach to live performance. The Shakes skilfully blend their “bent” Irish sound with many other styles in their fast paced songs and instrumentals.
Behind the Music
Alan Kelly founder member of the band and a true Dubliner. Alan began his musical career very early on the stage at the Olympia Theatre, he then went on to pick up this brother ‘s old battered acoustic guitar and busk his way around Europe before forming the Barleyshakes in Dublin in 1994 with Ray Mc Cormac and Dave Hingerty. He has won the Queensland Music Award for world music composition and recorded as a soloist for the Lord of the Rings soundtrack with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Howard Shore. A barefoot Peter Jackson made him a cup of tea at this memorable recording session. Recently Alan won the Producer of the year award for Australian Celtic Music.
Steve Cook is the Swiss army knife of musicians, there seems no end to the list of instruments he can master. To date he plays mandolin, banjo, fiddle, electric guitar and sings in the Barleyshakes. Besides collecting instruments, he also collects jokes and stories and covers for Alan when he breaks a string or has to switch tunings. Steve also runs the Maleny Celtic tunes class every Wednesday evening, running for 11 years now.
Kristin Kelly is the bands fiery fiddler and is a graduate of the Brisbane Conservatorium of music. She was an extremely popular roving strings teacher in Far North Queensland and after a number of years up North she craved something different and flew all the way to the Willy Clancy School of Irish Music on the West coast of Ireland, and it was here her love of Irish music began. She joined the Prague based Irish band Puca Rua before moving to Ireland to join the Shakes and tour their first album. She continues to teach today heading the strings program at Sunshine Beach State High School while performing with the Barleyshakes.
Joe Morris is Californian born and it was here he found his lover of Ska and Reggae, which he incorporates into the Barleyshakes songs and tunes with joy and life. Joe is he laid back one and can often be seen staring into space when all around him is in chaos. Joe or Mr Morris is a devoted and popular Film and TV teacher at Sunshine Beach State High School.
Mocara Kelly joined the Barleyshakes in 2020 on fiddle and vocals, having the voice of an angel. Based in Brisbane, Mocara is regular at "Good Tunes" and helps out on digital matters for the long running BUG series of concerts.
Rory Kelly at 19 years of age enters the Shakes already with the status of a veteran, having guested with the band since he was 9 years of age. Rory plays Bodhran, saxophone, guitar, sings, and keys and enjoys performing with the old guys, coz old guys rule! Rory is also a founder member of jazz funk outfit "Jam and Scones" a new exciting band to break onto the Queensland scene.
Belinda Tucker plays flute and whistles in the band and is a new mother of two young girls. Belinda has the ability to put on an amazing performance after very little sleep these days. Her unbridled positivity and high energy would put the annoyingly happiest Californian to shame. Belinda is one of two members of the band who live in Brisvegas and not on the Sunshine Coast. Belinda is a full time music teacher in Brisbane .