Bap's initial flush of fame began in 1990 with the release of "Energy Orchard" by his group of the same name. Energy Orchard were a legendary live band, all from Belfast and highly regarded on the tough London gig scene. They were discovered by Steve Earle playing at the Marquee club in London and on his recommendation the band signed to M.C.A. Records. As the reputation of the band gathered momentum they began to tour extensively in Europe and America, including support slots with Steve Earle and Van Morrison - another major musical influence on Kennedy and the band. (in 1993 Bap joined Van on stage at 3 gigs to sing 'Gloria')
Energy Orchard came to an end in 1996, and just a few weeks after a farewell concert in London , Bap received a long distance phone call from old friend Steve Earle, recently released from prison. He had heard that Bap was now a free agent and a plan to record a country blues album in Nashville was conceived.
And so off to Nashville where Bap’s first solo record - the critically acclaimed "Domestic Blues" – was produced by Steve Earle. With a stellar cast of Nashville musicians on board (Jerry Douglas & Peter Rowan) plus vocal contributions from Nanci Griffiths – the album was a roaring success.
Domestic Blues made number eight on the Billboard Americana chart and Kennedy emerged as a serious contender. Four songs from the record appeared in award winning movies “You Can Count On Me” and “Southie “ - and on American network television soundtracks. More touring of the U.S.A. cemented the acclaim.
Following in the footsteps of Earle, Bap set up his own record label (Lonely Street Discs) in London in 1998, to release "Domestic Blues" and the follow up album "Lonely Street"
"Moonlight Kiss" - one of the stand-out tracks from the Lonely Street album - featured in the John Cusack / Kate Beckinsale Miramax movie “Serendipity” (The bass player on that record was none other than Herbie Flowers - the man responsible for the famous bass line on “Walk on the Wild Side” by Lou Reed)
Bap’s next album “The Big Picture” (4 out of 5 MOJO ) was recorded with the help of Van Morrison –a long standing friend and mentor. Van also co-wrote one of the songs on the album ("Milky Way") with Bap - a very rare thing indeed and a measure of Bap’s standing in the song-writing community. Shane MacGowan appears on another of the songs ("On the Mighty Ocean Alcohol").
A tour of the US and Europe followed, as special guest of Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) who is now a convert to the Bap back catalogue. The tour included five nights at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
Bap has also been involved in the Belfast / Nashville twin cities festivals. In March 2009 he formed part of a Belfast contingent of singer-songwriters who performed in Nashville and Austin. Much of 2009 was taken up with extensive touring in Ireland, the UK ( including the Glastonbury festival) and Europe following the release of Baps 4th solo album, the critically acclaimed “Howl On”, which received 4-star reviews (out of a maximum of 5) from Mojo, Maverick, Hot Press, UK newspaper the Daily Mirror, and many other publications
Bap is married to Brenda (Boyd) Kennedy, a writer and artist who has recently completed her first album (Banish the Blue Days) produced, of course, by Bap. When not touring together they live in the hills of Holywood, County Down.
His music can be heard on the radio in Ireland, the UK, USA, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong King, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Phillipines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand & also Vietnam.