The Chieftains

Probably the easiest observation one can make about these champions of Celtic music, after 40 albums and 42 years as a band, is that people like them. Can't argue with success or longevity. But it would be foolish to assume that Bill Kirchen look-alike Paddy Moloney and his brethren just go around whanging away on their bodhran drums, tooting Uilleann pipes and Pied Piper flutes, and fiddlin' like a leprechaun at a hoedown, constantly recycling the ancient sounds of Ireland. The six-time Grammy winners have never been averse to a wide range of musical styles and have worked with a diverse group of artists that includes Paul McCartney, Chet Atkins, Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Mick Jagger and Gary Moore. In fact, it is their almost perverse ability to play with such a range of artists that keeps the Chieftains evergreen and fresh -- aided, of course, by their amazing virtuosity and historical depth.
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William Michael Smith