Can anyone tell me about The Chieftains (Irish folk, old duffers music) ?

I should know a whole lot more about these guys. In fact, I should know something abut these guys but I don’t own a single recording. Until now.

Had a sniff around online but you seem to get pages and pages of ‘Buy your CD’s here’ crap and little genuine information.

I did come across this about the ‘Down the Old Plank Road’ release, a CD from 2002 that (being a fusion/crossover with both sides of Nashville) seems right up my alley, Matron – but, as a band, they’ve been knocking stuff out for 30-35 years . . .

Given that I’m into what seems to be called ‘alt.country’ and (other/deeper) roots music in general, is ’Down the Old Plank Road’ as good a place as any to start with The Chieftains?

What else might I get at the same time ? What about background info ?

You might like The Long, Black Veil, which features guest performances from a wide variety of “mainstream” singers, from Mick Jagger (who sings on the title cut) to Sting to Sinead O’Connor. The Chieftans are usually considered Irish folk, but Veil has a pretty broad country streak.

Personally, I’m more of a Silly Wizard fan. It’s not much of a stretch to say that if you like one band, you’ll like the other. Keep an eye out for Live Wizardry while you’re looking: you won’t be disappointed.

I actually have sitting in front of me The Chieftains: An Irish Evening, a live album of theirs, which is awesome. I saw them perform here maybe 10 years ago, and the folks at the concert said this album would be most like the concert, so I got it. IMO, it’s the best recording they’ve made, with a lot of great tunes and impressive musicianship.

I’ve seen The Cheiftains several times (about 8 or so) over the last 15 years.

They’re a great band who very carefully have branched out into other genres of music to cross them with their Celtic sound. It really works.

I prefer Irish Heartbeat in which they crossed with Van Morrison. It’s brilliant.

For what you want (alt-country) I’ve say your best bet is to get Another Country. It’s their first country crossover CD from 1992 and it’s got more of a country feel to it. LBV is great as well.

Here’s a link to some info:

http://members.shaw.ca/chieftains/another.html

Note that there’s now Further Down the Old Plank Road as well. Country and Celtic cross over pretty well given Country’s roots in Scots/Irish scales and melodic structure.

Oh, I recommend Natalie McMaster, too. She’s a fiddle player from New Breton, NS. I’ve seen her play with the Chieftains and she brings a great new world feel to Celtic songs.

And she dances like a whirling dervish.

I don’t know a whole heck of a lot about the Chieftains, but I’m a fan of Irish folk (and I am NOT EITHER an old duffer!) and I’ve recently discovered some of their stuff. I like it, but it seems to have no real “signature” sound to me. A lot depends on who’s guest-singing with them.

They did a kick ass version of “Foggy Dew” with Sinead O’Conner doing vocals. Now, granted Sinead has a few screws loose, but she’s got one hell of a voice.

They were in town several years ago, and I got a kick out of their radio commercial. It boasted them as the only band to open up for both the Rolling Stones and the Pope.

Nothing much to add, except to agree with Mr. Chance on Another Country and The Long Black Veil.
Also, seeing as country has a base in Irish/Scots/Celtic music, the Chieftains are in a unique position. They are taking the music in a new direction, as well as bringing it home to its roots.
I saw them in Chicago when they were on tour for TLBV. Amazing concert and a real treat when Marianne Faithfull came on to sing Love is Teasin’.
But, let’s hope that MikeG does vanity searches. He’s one of the Dopers who really knows his stuff when it comes to Irish music.

“Mr. Chance”!

Now that’s a bloke who gets respect!

Old Duffer’s music!

I’ve been listening to them for going on 10 years…maybe more, but it’s time for my Alzheimer’s medication.
If I had half a mind I’d beat you over the head with it.

I cannot add to what everyone here has said about where to start, but if you are branching into celtic folk music and want an excellent listen:

http://www.greenlinnet.com/shopping/search_detail.cfm?ProductID=2

Green Linnett 20th Anniversary compliation. I received mine as a gift about seven years ago and it is in my top three Desert Island Picks.

I’ve seen those guys in concert, and for old duffers, they rock the house! Too bad Derek Bell died, though. :frowning:

The holidays approach, and one of my favorite CDs is the Chieftains’ Bells of Dublin.

They have such guest players as Nanci Griffith, Marianne Faithful, Jackson Browne, the McGarrigle Sisters, Rickie Lee Jones. Burgess Meredith intones some poetry.

Best track on the album is the very funny and tuneful St. Stephen’s Day Murders, featuring Elvis Costello.

Agree with Shirley Ujest that Green Linnet is an excellent source of celtic music.

Mr. Chance is correct about the Irish Heartbeat, it is a wonderful recording. The leadoff tune Star of the County Down is one of my all-time favorites.

Try track 13 of The Chieftains CD entitled “Santiago” released in 1996 by BMG Music on RCA Victor record # 09026-68602-2. The inside cover has a write-up about the group by its producer: Paddy Moloney.

Another recommendation for Irish Heartbeat with Van Morrison. I guess you have to like Morrison’s vocals, though. I think the Chieftains are astoundingly proficient musicians, but their stuff is generally too “light” for me; pairing with Morrison gives it a little more weight.

That said, Boil the Breakfast Early (AKA The Chieftains 9) is my favorite of their albums. It’s all folk, but some of it fairly rocks.

And An Irish Evening, which has already been mentioned, is also pretty good. If only for “The Mason’s Apron,” which is the most amazing flute-playing I’ve ever heard.

Not to be giving you an impossible task, but if you can find a tape of the time Peter Gzowski (longtime Canadian Broadcasting Corporation deity) had as a guest an autistic savant whose talent was confirmed when he returned from a symphony concert and played every note the orchestra had, including the tune-up, and they brought in Paddy Moloney with his penny whistle to play with the guy, you’d have something worth having.

It was kind of like the duelling banjos scene from “Deliverance”, only with Bach and Mozart.

I’ll second Natalie McMaster, and add Solas, Eileen Ivers (of Riverdance fame), and Steeleye Span.

A musician friend of mine asked, “Have you heard the new Cheiftains album? If you play it backwards, it sounds just like Irish music!”

An Irish Evening- I saw them tour in support of it, along with Nanci Griffith and Roger Daltrey (awesome version of Behind Blue Eyes). I also love The Long Black Veil- funny how I never knew it was a Johnny Cash song!

Oh, and along with them on that tour was a cute young step dancer, about 16 or so, who was just fantastic. I remembered her name because she really struck me with her talent and presence. It was Jean Butler, later to become semi-famous as the lead dancer in Riverdance.

The Celtic wedding album is also very nice.

Come to think of it, I haven’t heard a Chieftains album I haven’t liked!

Ahh the Chieftains - Good Craic!
(pronounced: ‘good crack’!)

Whack fol the Diddle - The Clancy Brothers and that Tommy Makem still be performin’ the Irish rebellion songs, sure as ye are!

Look for Ronan Tynan singing at Yankees Stadium Saturday night in the 7th inning stretch.

Thanks for the superb input, old duffers.

I still haven’t picked anything up as I felt an urgent need for more Johnny Cash and alt-country. But The Chieftains are next week!

Fwiw, I think I like the sound of * Irish Heartbeat* with Van The Man and * Another Country*. Also the more folky suggestions like * Boil the Breakfast Early* seem like places to start before moving onto the other ‘guest appearance by . . .’ stuff.

Shirl – Your * Green Linnett 20th Anniversary compilation* is on the list, and thanks for that very handy link!

But there are a lot of very good suggestions here and I’ve jotted everything down. Thank you each!

I think that sums up my problem nicely! Could be worse though.

Again, thanks all.