5 Questions: Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains

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To purchase tickets to see the Chieftains perform at the Lynn Auditorium, March 18, 2018, visit www.lynnauditorium.com

5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –

Paddy Moloney is the founder and leader of The Chieftains. He grew up in Donnycarney, North Co. Dublin. His love of Irish music came from his parents’ native Co. Laois and the music that surrounded him at home. His first instrument was a plastic tin whistle and by the age of eight, he was learning to play the uilleann pipes from the great pipe master, Leo Rowsome.

The sound that Paddy created some 40 years ago has become the instantly recognizable sound of The Chieftains, which lives on fresh today and has always set them apart from any other traditional line up throughout out the world. It is simply the sound of The Chieftains.

SD: How do you cram 50 plus years of music into one show?

PM: We start the show by presenting a montage of photos of people that we have recorded with or worked on films with throughout the years. Also, my opening medley changes each year to cover off some of the 50 albums that we’ve made. Both the video and the opening medley keep it exciting and interesting for guests who have seen us before and are joining us for the first time. We have so much to draw from our various musical projects that I truly feel the show is never the same twice.

SD: What are the keys to your successful long-term career?

PM: First of all I put it down to this great folk art of traditional Irish music, which has been since the 4th century coming from the book of Leinster, one of the most brilliant music manuscripts of traditional music of the world. Along with the traditional music, through the years I have been able to combine them with my own personal contributions, my arrangements, and  counter melodies and compositions. This has created an imagery of how I inherited this music from my parents, grandparents, and long before that.

SD: Your music not only spans generations, but genres and styles. What do you feel is the draw for the listeners?

PM: The Chieftains are known for their unique sound since I first created the band (believe it or not) in the late 50’s. With the genius musicianship and personality of each member, everything fell into place. Since then, the world was my oyster including having my tin whistle played by Astronaut Cady Colman on the International Space Station along with a video that we’ll show in concert.  These kind of experiences are such great stories to share.

SD: In a recent interview with The Irish Times, Ed Sheeran, said he grew up listening to the Chieftains. What are your thoughts on that ringing endorsement?

PM:  I’ve always known that Ed was a fan from the beginning of his career, you can hear the wonderful melodies and genuine soul of his approach to his music.  I feel I could sit down tomorrow with Ed and do a full album with him.

SD: What can fans expect to see/hear at your show?

PM: Our audience will hear the Chieftains and our guests perform solo pieces to prove their wonderful talent of Irish music. In addition, we have local talent including a choir to perform the songs the song Shenandoah which was performed by Van Morrison on our album ‘The Long Journey Home’ and Elvis Costello’s song ‘The Anthem’.  Local Irish Dance Schools will participate a few times throughout the shows and a bag pipe band will play some of the music from our album ‘San Patricio’, a project we did with Ry Cooder.  To finish the show, we invite our audience to participate in an Ancient dance called ‘An Dro’. This never fails to excite and ignite the audience into a brilliant finale, where they wind up on stage with us!

For more information about Paddy Moloney and the Chieftains, visit www.thechieftains.com. To purchase tickets to see the Chieftains perform at the Lynn Auditorium, March 18, 2018, visit www.lynnauditorium.com

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