That doesn't mean they feel they can Album) on their laurels, however. Their love of music and performing remains undimmed and with Moloney's indefatigable energy pushing them ever onwards, they work hard to ensure value for money in their concerts with only slight alterations to their original concept.
Their sound, built largely on Paddy Moloney's pipes, is otherworldly, almost entirely instrumental, and seems as though it comes out of another age of man's history. That they became an international phenomenon in the '70s and '80s is testament to their virtuoso musicianship.
The Chieftains were first formed in Dublin duringas a semi-professional outfit, from the ranks of the top folk musicians in Ireland. Until that time, and for some years after, the world's and even Ireland's perception of Irish folk songs was rooted in either the good-natured boisterousness and topicality of acts Album) as the Irish Rovers or Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers, or the sentimentality of Mary O'Hara.
Ceoltoiri Cualann, which specialized in instrumental music, stripped away the pop music inflections from Irish music -- the dances were played with a natural lilt and abandon that came from deep within the music's origins, and the airs, stripped of their worst modern inflections, came across with even greater poignancy than anyone had recognized them for in decades, and perhaps centuries. Tempos were changed in midsong, from reel to polka to jig to slow air and back again.
Paddy Moloney came out of Ceoltoiri Cualann to found the Chieftains inseeking to carry this work several steps further. They were a success virtually from the beginning, their music weaving a spell around audiences in Ireland and later in England, where they quickly became popular as The Tarbolton / The Pinch Of Snuff - The Chieftains - Live! (Vinyl a performing and recording act -- the only thing holding them back was the decision by the members to remain a semi-professional, part-time ensemble until the early '70s.
Their first four albums, spread over a period from throughwere originally available only from the Claddagh label in Ireland, but were later picked up by Island Records for release in England and America The Tarbolton / The Pinch Of Snuff - The Chieftains - Live!
(Vinylafter the group had achieved international renown. The s saw the group break big in America. A new, younger generation of Irish-American listeners, who enjoyed folk music and whose cultural and musical tastes weren't limited to songs about "the troubles" i.
By that time, the group had elected to go professional, and to expand its lineup. Following the recording of Chieftains 4, they'd added Ronnie McShane percussion and Derek Bell harp, oboe, timpana classically trained musician, The Tarbolton / The Pinch Of Snuff - The Chieftains - Live! (Vinyl. Bell's harp lent the group's sound a final degree of elegance and piquancy.
The group's big breakthrough in America, however, occurred when they provided the music for Stanley Kubrick's movie, Barry Lyndon. The film itself wasn't a hit, but the Chieftains were, especially one track called "Women of Ireland," which began getting played heavily on FM progressive rock stations, and even managed to get onto the play lists of some Top 40 stations.
The version appears in the album, in an Irish reel. The Grey Fox. The Chieftains in China. The Ballad of the Irish Horse. Paddy had been commissioned to write the score of a National Geographic special on Irish horses, and began to jot down his inspiration for the score while on the US tour in There was 52 music sequences involved, and it took Moloney almost a year to compose.
By that time, the group had elected to go professional, and to expand its lineup. Following the recording of Chieftains 4they'd added Ronnie McShane percussion and Derek Bell harp, oboe, timpania classically trained musician. Bell 's harp lent the group's sound a final degree of elegance and piquancy. The group's big breakthrough in America, however, occurred when they provided the music for Stanley Kubrick 's movie, Barry Lyndon.
The film itself wasn't a hit, but the Chieftains were, especially one track called "Women of Ireland," which began getting played heavily on FM progressive rock stations, and even managed to get onto the playlists of some Top 40 stations. Suddenly, the Chieftains were hot in America, and a U. By that time, Island Records had contracted to release both of the group's latest album, Chieftains 5and their four previous records in England and America.
With their newfound audience, Chieftains records started coming out every year instead of every two or three years -- Bonaparte's Retreat inChieftains Live inand Chieftains 78and 9 in, andrespectively, although for their U. Ever since the dawn of the CD era, their music has been available on compact disc from Shanachiewhile their more recent work has shown up on the BMG label, on both compact disc and home video.
The latter have included a Christmas concert and a mixed-ensemble performance interweaving the group with orchestras, American folk and country musicians, and rock musicians, and an album Irish Heartbeatrecorded with Irish-born folk-blues shouter Van Morrison.
Additionally, the group has been engaged steadily for film work. Since the late '70s, the group's recordings have settled into an effective but not fully inspired level of creativity. The band has kept its sound fresh with the periodic addition of new members and a search for sounds beyond the boundaries of Ireland -- as distant as Spain -- as sources for its music.
Inlongtime harp player Derek Bell passed away while on tour in Phoenix, Arizona. The group continued to play and record, and released a tribute in called Live in Dublin. While the band continued to tour, they didn't record again for a number of years. Moloney had long been obsessed with the historical account of the San Patricios, a band of immigrant Irish soldiers who deserted the American Army during the Mexican-American War in to fight for the other side, against the Manifest Destiny ideology of American president James Polk.
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