Irish Music: Meet The Dubliners

Irish Music: Meet The Dubliners

Katie Rhodes |

Irish Music: All About The Dubliners

When it comes to great Irish music and great Irish bands, The Dubliners spread the love from the small folk music pubs of Ireland's capital city to the world.

Since the famed Irish band got its start in 1962, their music has become intertwined with the modern history of Ireland. They sold more than 30 million records, and inspired new generations of musicians in Ireland and abroad.

You can hear their influence in the music of new Irish folk bands abiding by the classic and in the music of Irish-American Celtic punk bands like Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys.

More than 60 years later, long after the original band members were gone, The Dubliners evolved into what is today called The Dublin Legends. With YouTube, you can see and hear The Dublin Legends perform original classics like The Dubliners' song The Wild Rovers.

Who They Are

Like many great bands that endure for decades, The Dubliners have had different members at different periods in their history. The folk group originally started in 1962 with members Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, Ciaran Bourke, and Barney McKenna.

However, Luke Kelly left the band in 1964. The remaining trio was joined by Bobby Lynch and John Sheahan; this group of five is considered by many to be the original Dubliners.

Other members have floated in and out of the scene through the band's span of more than six decades. Today, a group that features Sean Cannon, Gerry O'Connor, and Patsy Watchorn tour as The Dublin Legends. Sean began playing with The Dubliners in 1982, and Gerry started playing with them in 2003 while Barney McKenna recovered from an illness.

Patsy has been playing with the group since 2005. Along with his brother Paul Watchorn and member Paul Kelly, these men keep the spirit of The Dubliners alive.

How They Got Their Start

The original foursome started playing at bars in Dublin, Ireland's largest city and its capital. After transitioning to the quintet, they were discovered by an executive with Transatlantic Records while playing at the Edinburgh Festival in 1963.

They started recording with the label and had their first major breakthrough in 1967 with the hit "Seven Drunken Nights." They broke into the charts and ultimately became a worldwide sensation.

Their fame continued to grow, both in Ireland and around the world over the next four decades.

Popular Tunes

  • "The Leaving of Liverpool" (1965)
  • "Whiskey in the Jar" (1967)
  • "Seven Drunken Nights" (1967) **Their first major hit.
  • "The Spanish Lady" (1976)
  • "The Parting Glass" (1979)
  • "Dicey Reilly" (1985)
  • "Grace" (2003)

Where You Can Hear Them Today

The Dublin Legends still perform. and have current concert dates throughout much of Europe. Visit their official website, for tour dates and tickets.

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