Banish the Blue Days
Brenda Kennedy was born and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her route to becoming a singer song-writer has been far from straightforward. She studied music to A level and obtained a Foundation Certificate from Ulster University, but then decided not to pursue a career in music. Instead she enrolled in Queens University Belfast to study law. Brenda assumed she would always return to music - but in the years that followed, with a busy career and two children, life just always seemed to get in the way! After obtaining an honours degree in law, Brenda qualified as a solicitor, setting up her own successful practice. However, when her youngest child Kenneth was eight, he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (high functioning autism). A difficult but gifted child, at the age of ten he wrote a highly acclaimed book about his experience of the condition. Brenda soon found herself becoming less and less interested in law and more and more involved with autism. Since 2001 she has written three books on the subject, including one children's novel, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Her parenting book is still a number one best seller in it's genre on Amazon in 2009. (published under the name Brenda Boyd) As soon as her children were old enough to be independent, Brenda made a fundamental decision - to change her life and devote her time and energy to something more meaningful than practising law. She gave up her solicitors practice and began working as a volunteer in the Marie Curie Hospice. She also decided to revisit the creativity she had left behind so many years ago by enrolling on a painting course. This resulted in her discovering a talent for pastel landscapes, some of which can be seen on her latest book and the artwork on her own album. During the summer of 2007, Brenda bought herself a new guitar and enrolled on a song-writing workshop run by renowned singer songwriter Bap Kennedy (brother of singer Brian Kennedy). At the conclusion of the workshop, each person was given the opportunity to perform their own composition; and a vote was held among the participants for the best song. Brenda won the vote and claimed the prize, which was to perform her song with Bap and his band at the Grand Opera House, Belfast. This was her first live gig; and she took to live performance like a duck to water, receiving a standing ovation. In the months that followed, Bap encouraged Brenda to keep writing songs, and was so impressed by them that by early 2008 he was producing her debut album, 'Banish the Blue Days', - an interesting Euroceltic fusion of folk, jazz and country, featuring the musical talents of various former Van Morrison band members. The songs feature a rich tapestry of organic instruments supporting Brenda's warm, unpretentious Kirsty Macoll-like vocals and heartfelt understated lyrics. The title track could easily be imagined wafting out of a Parisian cafe. While working together, Bap and Brenda formed a close creative partnership. In October 2008 they were married. The two of them now live together in Holywood, Northern Ireland.