The Chieftans

This legendary traditionalist group first came together in 1962 and relased their first album, The Chieftans.  Many of its members, including uillean piper Paddy Maloney, fiddler Martin Fay, and whistler Sean Potts had already played together with Sean O'Riada's folk orchestra, Ceoltoiri Cualann.  While most folk singers of the 1960's were vocalists, The Chieftans introduced a new approach to folk music, centered around instrumentation.
The Chieftans 1975

The Chieftans did not produce another album for five years and during that time several players came and went.  When their third album, The Chieftans 3, was released in 1971, the group had gained a reputation for maintaining the traditional Irish spirit, but doing so in an innovative and contemporary way.  Not only were they gaining fame in their homeland, but they began to make an name for themselves abroad as well. 
The Chieftans

As the Chieftans gained international fame, they moved from the arena of semi-professional to professional acts.  In doing so, they brought the sounds of Irish traditional music to a wider audience.  Some of their most noted performances included a spot on Saturday Night Live in 1979, a performance at the United States Capitol Building in 1963, and a spot on NBC's The Today Show in 1986.  For the past 40 years, The Chieftans have brought traditional Irish sounds to millions of loyal fans.
The Chieftans harp

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