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The Chieftains

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The Chieftains


After the demise of the Dubliners, the Chieftains became the warhorses of traditional Irish music. The group formed in Dublin in 1962, when uilleann pipe player Paddy Moloney gathered a bevy of traditional players to record a one-off traditional album, The Chieftains 1. It seemed like that would be all the world would hear from the musicians, but in 1967 Moloney re-formed the group, enlisting fiddler Sean Keane, among others. Two years later they released The Chieftains 2, but it wasn't until 1975 that the band could quit their day jobs and become full-time musicians. With an ear for the eclectic, the group began to experiment with Celtic music in the diaspora, collaborating with musicians from Cape Breton, Brittany, Galicia and the American South. Harpist Derek Bell had joined in 1973, and in 1979 they added flautist Matt Molloy (of Bothy Band and Planxty fame), two additions that greatly expanded the group's musical reach. Over the years the Chieftains have become unofficial (and official) musical ambassadors for Ireland, traveling the world to perform and collaborating with giants like Van Morrison, Mick Jagger and Sinead O'Connor, among many others.
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