John is one of the most prolific figures on the English folk scene, performing solo, in duos, acoustic groups and electric bands, and has established an enviable reputation as an instrumental virtuoso (melodeon, Anglo concertina and button accordion), as well as a leading interpreter of English folk music. He has been a member of the Albion Country Band, Magic Lantern, The Richard Thompson Band, Umps and Dumps, Steeleye Span, Brass Monkey, Trans-Europe Diatonique, and Band of Hope, as well as numerous ceilidh bands.
As songwriter, composer, choreographer, and musical director, he has contributed to over sixty plays in the theatre and on radio. And as featured artiste, band member, or session player, his music can be heard on over 200 different commercial recordings.
John has lived in Shropshire since 1973, where he still dances with the Morris team he founded in 1975, The Shropshire Bedlams.
English Folk Dance and Song Society’s Gold Badge 2003 (Awarded for his outstanding contribution to English Folk Music)
“Kirkpatrick’s buoyant presence and lust for this music sounds more rampant than ever”Colin Irwin – fRoots Magazine 2009
Reviews of 2017 CD ‘Coat-Tails Flying’:
“This fine collection of songs and tunes is a joy to listen to. JK is still at the top of his game and long may he continue!” Barry Goodman in Shire Magazine
‘With his Coat-tails flying, Kirkpatrick – being able to play just about any kind of music on any kind of squeezebox (with buttons, that is) – is happily enjoying himself; and listeners will too.’ Songlines
‘There is something special about this one . . . a terrific sense of fun about it all. Needless to say his command of all things squeezebox is as masterly as ever . . .it captures a great musician with a new lease of life.’ The Living Tradition
‘Coat-tails Flying is nothing less than a definitively signature solo album from the good Mr K, on which he is in splendid voice (robust and upfront) and both nimble and sparky in his perennially expert squeezeboxery.’ Folk Radio UK
‘However enjoyable this and all his previous albums are, it must be pointed out that the recorded John cannot compare with the sheer exhilaration and magic of seeing the man Shirley Collins has called “English music’s mighty heart of oak” perform live. There are some of us who try to build regular attendance at his gigs into our well-being programmes.’ fRoots