A flute player and piper, Kevin was born in 1929 in Cloonlarhan, Co. Mayo on the Sligo border, the eighth of eleven children. It was a musical family and region and with a fife and drum band tradition and house dances in his youth. Kevin went to England in 1947 where he worked in agriculture and construction seasonally and after three years went into coal mining. He left for Canada in 1953, stayed there for about nine months before crossing the border to New York. He then spent a few months in Florida before moving to Chicago, where, apart from four months in Butte, Montana, he has lived ever since, spending thirty-seven years as an ironworker. In his adopted home he keeps alive the musical traditions of his native area and the legacy of music collector Francis O’Neill.