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Artist Profiles: The Chieftains

The Chieftains

 

The Chieftains started in Dublin, Ireland, in November 1962, introducing the world to the timeless sounds of traditional Irish music. The original line-up consisted of band leader Paddy Moloney (uilleann pipes and tin whistles), Sean Potts (tin whistle), Martin Fay (fiddle), David Fallon (bodhran), Mick Tubridy (flute, concertina), and Sean O’Riada.

Although their early following was purely a folk audience, the range and variation of their music very quickly captured a much broader public, resulting in their present fame worldwide. “We didn’t go to college to learn this music,” said group founder, Paddy Moloney, about their music. “It was passed on to us through our families, from our fathers and our grandparents. I was fortunate to have this music be such an important part of my life. It was like learning a language. It came naturally to me.”

 

The Chieftains

 

Kevin Conneff joined the band on vocals and bodhran in 1976. Bothy Band flute player Matt Molloy was added in 1979. In 1983, The Chieftains became the first group to ever perform on the Great Wall of China. In 1988, they joined forces with fellow countryman Van Morrison on Irish Heartbeat which began an historic series of collaborations including recordings with James Galway, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, The Rolling Stones, Sting, Tom Jones, Sinead O’Connor, Linda Ronstadt, Los Lobos, Ry Cooder and many others. They also continued their acclaimed work in soundtracks, on such films as Treasure Island, Tristan And Isolde, The Grey Fox and Far and Away.

In 1992, The Chieftains recorded the double Grammy-winning Another Country, with performances by such country and bluegrass stars as Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Willie Nelson, Chet Atkins and Don Williams. They returned to Nashville in 2002 for Down The Old Plank Road, their 40th career album, featuring such special guests as Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, Earl Scruggs, Alison Krauss, Martina McBride and others.

In 2003, the CD Further Down the Old Plank Road continued the groundbreaking collaboration between The Chieftains and some of country and bluegrass music’s most original and influential artists, celebrating the Irish roots of American country and folk idioms. Featured on the album are artists including Carlene Carter, Rosanne Cash, Allison Moorer, Nickel Creek, and Jerry Douglas. The album also contains some of the final performances from multi-instrumentalist Derek Bell, a long-standing Chieftains member who passed away in 2002. The band recorded in Nashville, incorporating country sounds with Irish.

The Chieftains earned a Grammy in 1998 for Best Traditional Folk Album for Long Journey Home. Their score for Stanley Kubrick’s 1995 movie Barry Lyndon won them the Oscar, while they received an Emmy for their music in the play Playboy of the Western World. Besides ‘live’ performances and music, The Chieftains have also composed the scores for other Hollywood movies such as Rob Roy, Circle of Friends and Far and Away.

Live From Dublin: A Tribute to Derek Bell, was released early in 2005, and celebrates the life and legacy of the long-standing member who passed away suddenly in 2002. Recorded live at Ireland’s premiere performing venues, the Gaiety Theater and National Concert Hall, LIVE FROM DUBLIN includes a medley – “Derek’s Tune” – composed by Paddy Moloney as an appropriate goodbye to their friend. The landmark recording is also filled with other brand new selections that exemplify and enhance the group’s traditional sound, rounded off through the distinctive artistry of harpist Triona Marshall and Spanish pipe virtuoso Carlos Nuñez.

 

The Chieftains

 

Throughout the years, the band has performed with countless established rock and jazz music stars including Sting, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Sinead O’Connor, Natalie Merchant, Diana Krall, Art Garfunkel, Los Lobos, Loreena McKennitt and Tom Jones. They also recorded two albums with flutist James Galway.

The 2006 version of the Chieftains included Paddy Moloney on the Uilleann pipes and tin whistles; Kevin Conneff on bodhrán and vocals; Seán Keane on the fiddle; and Matt Molloy on the flute.

 

 

Discography

The Chieftains 1 (Claddagh Records CC 02, 1963)
The Chieftains 2 (Claddagh Records CC 07, 1969)
The Chieftains 3 (Claddagh Records CC 10, 1971)
The Chieftains 4 (Claddagh Records CC 14, 1973)
The Chieftains 5 (Claddagh Records CC 16, 1975)
The Chieftains 6: Bonaparte’s Retreat (Claddagh Records, 1976)
The Chieftains 7 (Claddagh Records CC 24, 1977)
The Chieftains Live! (Claddagh Records CC 21, 1977)
The Chieftains 8 (CBS 35726, 1978)
The Chieftains 9: Boil the Breakfast Early (Claddagh Records CC 30, 1979)
The Chieftains 10: Cotton-Eyed Joe (Claddagh Records CC 33, 1981)
The Year of the French (Claddagh Records CC36, 1982)
The Grey Fox (1982) (soundtrack to The Grey Fox)
Concert Orchestra (1982)
The Chieftains in China (Claddagh Records CC 42, 1985)
Ballad of the Irish Horse (Claddagh Records CCF, 1986)
Celtic Wedding (RCA 6358, 1987)
In Ireland, with James Galway (1987)
Irish Heartbeat, with Van Morrison (Polydor 834496, 1988)
The Tailor Of Gloucester (WD-0710, 1988)
A Chieftains Celebration (RCA 7858, 1989)
Over the Sea To Skye: The Celtic Connection (1990) (with James Galway)
The Bells of Dublin (RCA 60824, 1991)
Another Country (RCA 60939, 1992)
An Irish Evening (RCA 60916, 1992)
The Celtic Harp: A Tribute To Edward Bunting, with The Belfast Harp Orchestra (RCA 61490, 1993)
The Long Black Veil (RCA Victor 09026-62702-2, 1995)
Film Cuts (RCA Victor 09026-68438-2, 1996)
Santiago (RCA Victor 09026-68602-2, 1996)
Long Journey Home (1998)
Fire in the Kitchen (1998)
Silent Night: A Christmas in Rome (1998)
Tears of Stone (1999)
Water From the Well (2000)
The Wide World Over (2002)
Down the Old Plank Road: The Nashville Sessions (2002)
Further Down the Old Plank Road (Arista/BMG, 2003)
Live From Dublin: A Tribute To Derek Bell (2005)
The Essential Chieftains (2006)
San Patricio, with Ry Cooder (2010)
Voice of Ages (2012)

Videos

Down The Old Plank Road TV special, filmed at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.

Web site: www.thechieftains.com

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The Chieftains Debut Begins The 2007- 08 World Music Series At Walt Disney Concert Hall

The Chieftains

Ireland’s premier musical ambassadors, The Chieftains, make their debut appearance at Walt Disney Concert Hall to kick off the 2007/2008 World Music series on Thursday, February 21, at 8 p.m. With a career spanning 44 years and 43 albums, six Grammy Awards, 19 Grammy nominations and an Academy Award, The Chieftains are the most enduring and influential creative force in establishing the international appeal of Celtic music.

The Chieftains’ performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall is part of their Celtic-Scottish Connection 2008 Tour, incorporating a trio of renowned musicians from Scotland as special guests. Fronting the trio is Alyth McCormack, a singer/actress who received critical acclaim for her first solo album An Iomall (The Edge) released by Vertical Records. McCormack is accompanied by pianist and singer Brian Mcalpine and guitarist/fiddle player Jonny Hardie. Says chief Chieftain Paddy Moloney, “The connection between Irish and Scottish music is undeniable and I’m excited to finally be celebrating this with these great talents.”Joining this group of musical multinationals is notable Irish harpist Triona Marshall, the young Canadian acrobatic dancing team of brothers’ Jon and Nathan Pilatzke, as well as traditional Irish dancer Cara Butler. The dancing Pilatzkes have been a part of The Chieftain’s show for just over five years dazzling audiences with their acrobatic and musical abilities. Rounding out the group is Maureen Fahy (fiddle and vocals), and Irish vocalist Carmel Conway.

The 2007-08 World Music series at Walt Disney Concert Hall continues with Eva Ayllón on Friday, March 7, when she performs her signature style of “música criolla;” legendary Bollywood playback singer Asha Bhosle performs on Sunday, April 27, celebrating her 75th birthday; and Kronos Quartet and Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, present a spectacular collaboration, Nunavut, and a world premiere by composer Derek Charke on Saturday, May 3.

Paddy Moloney founded The Chieftains in Dublin, Ireland in 1962 where the band’s traditional sounds were in sharp contrast to the slick commercial output coming from the Emerald Isle at that time. Touring worldwide in support of their first four albums, The Chieftains garnered international acclaim, an ever-growing fan base, and respect among their contemporaries. In 1975, they were asked by legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick to write and record the soundtrack for the film, Barry Lyndon, featuring the single “Women of Ireland” for which they won an Academy Award.

In 1988, they joined forces with fellow countryman Van Morrison on Irish Heartbeat which began an historic series of collaborations including recordings with The Rolling Stones, Sting, Tom Jones, James Galway, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Sinead O’Connor, Linda Ronstadt, Los Lobos, Ry Cooder  and many others. In 1992, they recorded the double Grammy-winning Another Country, with performances by veteran country and bluegrass stars such as Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Chet Atkins and Don Williams.

In 2002, they returned to Nashville for Down the Old Plank Road, their Grammy-nominated 40th career album featuring such special guests as Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, Earl Scruggs, Alison Krauss, and Martina McBride. Their 2006 release, The Essential Chieftains, serves as a gathering of the group’s greatest and most loved melodies. With classics like “O’Sullivan’s March,“ “Boil the Breakfast Early,” and “Santiago de Cuba,” it is a collection that rightly honors the band’s longevity in the musical world.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music — Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association’s involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children’s programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.

The Chieftains:

  • Paddy Moloney, uilleann pipes
  • Kevin Conneff, bodhrán, vocals
  • Seán Keane, fiddle
  • Matt Molloy, flute

Special Guests:

  • Alyth Mccormack, vocals
  • Carmel Conway, vocals
  • Brian Mcalpine, piano
  • Jonny Hardie, guitar, fiddle
  • Triona Marshall, harp
  • Jon and Nathan Pilatzke, acrobatics, fiddle
  • Cara Butler, traditional Irish dance
  • Maureen Fahy, fiddle, vocals

Tickets ($35 – $88) are on sale now at the l Box Office, online at LAPhil.com, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For information, please call 323.850.2000.

Thursday, February 21, 2008, 8 PM
Walt Disney Concert Hal is located at 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

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The Chieftains Go Further Down the Old Plank Road

The Chieftains - Further Down The Old Plank Road
The Chieftains – Further Down The Old Plank Road

The Chieftains

Further Down the Old Plank Road (Victor/BMG Music 82876-52897-2, 2003)

Imagine just for a moment that Paddy, Seán, Kevin, Matt or Derek called you up on the phone and asked if you wanted to get together and do a little something. The question is who, in their right mind, says ‘no’ to The Chieftains, right? And, it looks likes from their latest  Further Down the Old Plank Road CD, no one said ‘no.’ This CD features, just to name a few, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, Chet Atkins, John Hiatt, Nickel Creek, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Ricky Skaggs, John Prine and Doc Watson. If that weren’t enough enticement, there’s also Paddy Moloney, Seán Keane, Kevin Conneff, Matt Molloy and Derek Bell – you know, those guys – The Chieftains, Celtic music’s version of a food group.

Not to be confused with their Grammy-Award nominated album of 2002 Down the Old Plank Road or the TV special and DVD, Further Down the Old Plank Road features songs from the special not on the first album, as well some fine additions. The liner notes explain it away as, “It’s an album so nice they made it twice.”

Rip roaring tracks like “The Raggle Taggle Gypsy” with Nickel Creek, “Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel” with John Hiatt and “The Squid Jiggin’ Ground/Larry O’Gaff with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band speak to the intent of the original project, exploring the link between the music of Ireland and America. Allison Moorer’s throaty vocals stand out on “Hick’s Farewell,” as does Rosanne Cash’s rendition of “The Lily of the West.” It’s Emmylou Harris’ “Lambs in the Greenfield” that speak of the best of both shores, without the sickeningly gooey sound that plagues so many Irish ballads. Doc Watson’s guitar shines on “Fisherman’s Hornpipe/The Devil’s Dream, as Chet Atkins cracks a joke before accompanying the Chieftains on “Chief O’Neill’s Hornpipe” Ricky Skaggs’ poignant rendition “Talk About Suffering” is delicately soothed by flute and harp, creating a landscape of both the Irish and American folk traditions.

Further Down the Old Plank Road brings together a bevy of talent and it shows. It’s poignant, delightful and fun. Who could say ‘no’ to that?

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The Chieftains Continue their Exploration of Americana

The Chieftains - Further Down The Old Plank Road
The Chieftains – Further Down The Old Plank Road

The Chieftains’ latest album, Further Down The Old Plank Road (Victor/BMG), continues the groundbreaking collaboration between The Chieftains and some of country and bluegrass music’s most original and influential artists.  It celebrates the Irish roots of American country and folk idioms.

The album features Nickel Creek, Rosanne Cash, EmmyLou Harris, Ricky Scaggs, John Hiatt, John Prine, Don Williams, Jerry Douglas, Patty Loveless and many more. Further Down The Old Plank Road continues the historic musical and cultural collaboration with sixteen new tracks from an extraordinary array of artists, all backed by the Chieftains and produced by the group’s founder Paddy Moloney, along with Jeff White and Steve Buckingham. The album also contains some of the final performances from multi-instrumentalist Derek Bell, a long-standing Chieftains member who passed away late last year.

Selections on Further Down The Old Plank Road include vocal performances by Carlene Carter on “Bandit Of Love/The Cheating Waltz,” Rosanne Cash on “The Lily Of The West,” Joe Ely on “The Moonshiner/I’m A Rambler,” Emmylou Harris on “Lambs In The Greenfield,” John Hiatt on “Jordan Is A Hard Road To Travel,” Patty Loveless on “Three Little Babes,” Allison Moorer on “Hick’s Farewell,” Nickel Creek and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on, respectively, “The Raggle Taggle Gypsy” and “The Squid Jiggin’ Ground,” Tim O’Brien on “Shady Grove,” John Prine on “The Girl I Left Behind,” Ricky Skaggs on “Talk About Suffering/Man of the House’” and Don Williams on “Wild Mountain Thyme.”

Further Down The Old Plank Road also highlights instrumental performances by guitar great Jerry Douglas on a “Rosc Catha Na Mumbain/Arkansas Traveller/The Wild Irishman,” the legendary Doc Watson on “The Fisherman’s Hornpipe/The Devil’s Dream” as well as Chet Atkins, Béla Fleck and others on “Chief O’Neill’s Hornpipe.”

The previous collaboration with American musicians, Down The Old Plank Road, brought the Chieftains to Nashville, Tennessee, for recording sessions that featured guest appearances by Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Béla Fleck and a host of others. Interest in the project among Nashville artists was so intense that recordings extended far beyond the originally planned schedule and would eventually encompass an encyclopedic array of top performers in country, folk and American roots realms.

Together with the release of Further Down The Old Plank Road , PBS Television will broadcast Down The Old Plank Road, a concert special filmed at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and featuring many of the artists heard on the album. Check local listing for time and date.

With a career that spans forty-one years and forty-one albums, The Chieftains (Paddy Moloney, Kevin Conneff, Seán Keane and Matt Molloy) have become Ireland’s premier musical ambassadors and also the most influential and enduring force in establishing the global appeal of Celtic music.

Buy Further Down The Old Plank Road

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