‘Chieftains in Orbit’: They’ll play anywhere with anyone

I’m not sure just when or where I first stumbled upon the Chieftains, who’ve been a band for 50 years now. I’ve seen them in concert three times.

The current incarnation of the Chieftains

And you don’t have to go into orbit to see them. Last night the surviving members — fiddler Martin Fay died in November and harpist Derek Bell died a decade ago and others have retired — played the Smith Center in Reynolds Hall (Say, thank you, to all of those who slaved thanklessly for decades to earn Don Reynolds and Fred Smith the millions to pay for this grand performing arts center and don’t even get a ticket discount in return.)

Paddy Moloney, uilleann pipes and tin whistle, started the band in 1962. The band’s various incarnations have played with everyone from the Rolling Stones to Ry Coder and performers from all the Celtic regions, including those in France and Spain.

As is the band’s practice on tour, they brought on stage some young dancers from the local Martin Percival School of Irish Dance and the Desert Skye Pipes & Drums.

Sorry you missed them.

The riff in “Rocky Road to Dublin” (or Stoned with the Stones, as Moloney calls it) at about 1:10 always makes the audience laugh.

2 comments on “‘Chieftains in Orbit’: They’ll play anywhere with anyone

  1. Mike says:

    but lady hey ya heard the Boys of the Lough? No as famous as the Chieftains but ….oh my

  2. I have one track by the Boys.

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