Kevin was born and grew up in Coventry. He started playing classical guitar at the age of seven. During his school years, Kevin took to playing other instruments too, such as the violin and the trumpet, and was often taking parts in the school orchestra and shows. He was also listening to country music continually, due to his parents musical taste, and eventually learned a few tunes on the banjo. At the age of 14, Kevin was invited to play banjo in a bluegrass trio, which was when he sang his first solo. It was also during the time with this band that Kevin made his first TV appearance.
THE DOWN COUNTY BOYS
After spending many years in mainly country bands as a bass / banjo player Kevin was eventually asked to play with “The Down County Boys”, a well respected bluegrass band, whom he had admired for many years. Kevin enjoyed his time with this band very much, playing alongside the man who taught him the banjo (Jim Irvine). They toured all around Britain and spent a month touring The States where he met Bill Monroe, Ricky Skaggs and many more country / bluegrass performers.
NEW DAWN TRIO
The time came to move on and in 1988 Kevin moved to East Anglia and promptly joined an established band called “Stealer”. Whilst playing the clubs, theatres and festivals he met with “New Dawn” (Julie and Lindy Dawn), two lovely sisters with great voices. He eventually joined them, as lead guitarist, to form “The New Dawn Trio”. They toured around England and many neighbouring countries. Kevin and Linda later married and started a family, hence Linda took early retirement.
THE HARMONY DUO
At the same time as being with “The Down County Boys", Kevin also worked with a local duo (The Harmony Duo) playing the clubs around the West Midlands and had a great time with his singing partner, Jim Hirons.
NEW DAWN DUO
Kevin and Julie continued to enjoy gigging as a trio with various other musicians and then as a duo.
KEVIN BARRY GOES SOLO
In 1996 Kevin played a couple of local gigs as a solo act and work has snowballed from there on. On 26th October 2006 Julie had a baby boy and so started to take gigging a little easier. Finally, on 31st December 2008, after 18 1/2 years together, Kevin and Julie decided the time was right to fold New Dawn and continue with solo careers.
Kevin now enjoys playing the clubs, theatres and festivals as a solo act.
Kevin says, “I love the music and the many friends I meet through it”