Quick Q and A with Kevin May (Guggenheim Grotto)

Guggenheim Grotto is a folk-pop duo from County Mayo, Ireland.  Kevin May and Mick Lynch have been playing as a duo for nearly a decade.  Their sound has a pop feel to it but it’s definitely hugely influenced by the folk / singer-songwriter tradition.  In fact, Guggenheim Grotto won a coveted Independent Music Award for “A Lifetime in Heat.”  Their music has also appeared on major network TV shows.  Their lives shows have been greatly received in the United States, especially after their tour with Ingrid Michelson.

For more information about  Guggenheim Grotto, visit their website.

They will be performing at the me&thee in Marblehead, MA on Friday, December 7.


Guggenheim Grotto: Kevin May (left) and Mick Lynch

Tell us about your new CD,This Time Round.  How does it compare to your last recorded effort, The Universe is Laughing?
Our newest album This Time Round (Not Yet Released) was a fan funded album. We used a site called PledgeMusic.com to allow our fans to help us realize the recording of the album while also allowing them an opportunity to be more a part of the process. It differs to our previous album in many ways but mostly because we had access to working with a producer for the first time. Chris Kuffner not only brought a fresh new perspective as producer and engineer to the process but he also played bass and electric guitar on the album which brought a whole new muscle and weight to our sound.

Where did you record the CD?  Did you have some guest musicians participate?
The album was recorded almost entirely in Brooklyn which again was a departure from previous albums which were recorded in Dublin, Ireland. I say almost entirely as I had to leave the country during the recording sessions to renew my visa and while at home I took advantage of the down time to record some intimate vocals. With the right microphone, pre-amp and a few bed quilts it is impressive the quality of recording you can achieve at home. Regards other players who performed on this album, we were extremely fortunate to have Elliot Jacobson drum for us. Not only is he a superb musician but he and Chris have a great musical relationship bordering on telepathy and as a rhythm section we would have been hard pressed to find a better one. We also had a number of great guest vocalists join us such as Lelia Broussard, Katie Costello, Bess Rogers and Hannah Winkler.

You’ve played gigs all over the world.  Do you come to expect certain types of audiences in various geographic locations? 
Whenever we play a new place I don’t have any expectations and allow the show to be what it will be. But when we return to a place where we’ve played and had a really good show my expectation is to have that same experience again and to deliver it again.

Have you discovered any cool music that you’ve been listening to lately?
Michael Kiwanuka is a new favourite. Lisa Hannigan from home is also a songwriter to check out if you have not yet.

When you’re not playing music, what do you do to have fun or to relax?
I read a lot. Currently I am reading gardening books, books about making compost and growing herbs and vegetables. The last two years have been the first time in a long while that I have not been living a nomadic lifestyle and have had the right space to do a little digging in the dirt.

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