Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Interview with Kathy Kelly

The craze about The Kelly Family's concert video featuring Agur Jaunak continues. EITb has published an interview with Kathy Kelly. Even better, thanks to them now we get their version of Txoria Txori.

Here you have it:


Kelly Family sings "Agur Jaunak"

We met and sang in our bar in Pamplona with Mikel Laboa - Kathy


A week after a video of "The Kelly Family" singing a traditional song hit the headlines of and succeeded in Youtube receiving more than 50,000 visits, the Basque channel got in touch with Kathy Kelly.

As you already know, we recently discovered a video on the Internet of you and your family singing the Basque traditional song "Agur Jaunak" during a concert. Since then, it has recorded thousands of visits more. How did you find out about it?

I discovered the news through fans that saw the news, told me about it and I kept looking all time in the past week the profile in youtube.

I have been following the whole process, and much to my delight, I see it growing everyday by 10000 profiles more per day, kept myself informed through Google about all the different articles across the world as in the USA etc.. in your newspapers also

Have you received any kind of feedback on your web site after the recent success of the "Agur Jaunak" version?

Yes I have received feedbacks of fans and I am very happy of all this outburst towards us, and you beautiful song "Agur Jaunak".

What can you tell us about the video? When was it recorded? Where?

The Video was recorded in 1995 in one of the most beautiful outdoors venues of Germany "The Loreley" for a TV live show of ours, and just now talking to my brother Johnny who lives in your country, he told me it is the most sold Video ever in Europe, it could be 400000 copies sold ,its been our most successful Video in our career also as a whole show

Which is your connection with the Basque Country?

My connection with the Basque country was my youth years in the seventies where I studied music in the conservatoire of Pamplona and did ballet and met all kinds of thinkers of your country that introduced me to your culture and songs and popular dances.

It's a huge story and a very important time of our lives getting poised to go out to the world which we did later on, we lived in a small town called Belascoain in Navarra, and from them we gathered the vision to do what we did, and your songs specially "Agur Jaunak" followed us all along the way.

My Brother has a story of the biography of how this song had a huge impact on many occasions in our lives, and for other important personalities that we met along the way in our travels.

Why did you decide to include that song on the set list?

This song has always been in our hearts as the Basque people have been also, so whenever there is a very special moment and we feel like the crowd is ready, we give them the jewels that we gathered along the way and this song of yours is by far the song.

Once a great thinker of you Country told my father(Jorge Oteiza) "we the Basque people have a sense of our divinity", and there is no other song that expresses better this feeling than "Agur Jaunak", so when this feeling is really there with us and the crowd we sing it.

What else do you know of the Basque music? Any more traditional songs? Groups?

We sang very often "Boga Boga" that we produced in our first CD with "Agur Jaunak" back in the year 1978 Polydor Germany and we also sang often "Gernikako Arbola", "Haurtxo Polita" and many other folk songs of yours.

I belonged for a while to a dance group of yours in Pamplona called "Ortxadar" where I got lots of influence of the Basque Music.

We used to play in our home the songs of Benito Lertxundi with whom we also recorded for a Video of ours one of his songs, in the video called "A long time ago with Mum" "Kelly Family" and we met and sang in our Bar in Pamplona with Mikel Laboa etc.

The story is so big I am sure that I am leaving so many things unsaid, please excuse me for this because you have woken in me many memories now, I am so glad that we can be a source of joy and pride for your Country and give back in such way the gratitude we have for you all, and the fantastic treatment you gave us back then when we needed it

There have been many big bands that have recently come back to the stages. We could mention The Police, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Bruce Springsteen is back with the E. Street Band...Has the Kelly family any plans for the future?

Who knows never say nay? Things have their way and I believe it will some day happen when and how? Maybe you will have lots to do with it again? Some of us are still singing together and often, here and there, in our private family meetings we all sing together, and the impact is always there of the sound of our voices, so this has never left us

A big part of our audience has grown up listening to the music of the Kelly Family. However, the youngest ones do not know much about it. Just for them, could you please tell us what is history of the Kelly Family?

I will ask you to go to Kelly family or in and check it out its so large the story that I would have to write three books on it, there are different faces that we lived the older ones and the younger ones, check also The home Page"Kelly Family".

Thanks a lot Kathy

And if you still feel like going on listening to some more Basque songs sung by the Kelly Family, check the next video.

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