Published in the Hamilton Spectator, Thursday March 09, 1997

 

ONE BUSY CHIEFTAIN

 

BY NICK KREWEN

 

Move over JAMES BROWN: there's a new contender for the heavyweight title of "Hardest Working Man In Show business," and he's from Dublin.

At 56, having guided THE CHIEFTAINS for 32 years and as many albums, PADDY MOLONEY shows no signs of slowing down. This month alone, The Chieftains are in the midst of a 21-date, coast-to-coast U.S. tour, excluding additional appearances on David Letterman, Late Nite With Conan O' Brien (March 15); The Late, Late Show With Tom Snyder (March 16); The Today Show and ABC In Concert (both March 17).

In between dates, Moloney is conducting interviews for the band's just-released album, The Long Black Veil; writing a symphony; and handling requests from everyone from country bluegrass sensation RICKY SKAGGS to film companies for personal appearance.

Then there's the album of Galician music, featuring special guests LOS LOBOS and JERRY GARCIA, that the sextet is just a whisker away from completing.

"I've been pleading with the boys for just one more day in the studio," said Moloney last week in the Toronto offices of his record company, a tin whistle peeking from under his suit jacket.

"I think I can finish it off in just one afternoon. They said, `No! No! No! We don't want to do anymore.' There's always something going on."

Moloney's persistence and productivity finally seem to be paying off. The Long Black Veil, matching traditional Irish and Celtic melodies with rock superstars STING, ROLLING STONES, VAN MORRISON, SINEAD O' CONNOR and others, is gold in the U.S. in just four weeks, selling over 500,000 copies and firmly lodging itself in the top 30. In Canada, the album has moved over 35,000 units in the same time period.

Moloney said he just had one goal in mind when recruiting stars such as MARK KNOPFLER, MARIANNE FAITHFULL and TOM JONES.

"I was trying to get the atmosphere of a party going on all the tracks," he says.

Moloney concedes the best session was the Stones' participation on "The Rocky Road To Dublin", which initially worried him when the band showed up to a recording session five hours late.

"We were there for two o' clock, and by seven o'clock nothing was happening. Then at 7:00 p.m., they came down with their entourage and their own bar, and a party had struck up. It was full swing by 11:00 p.m., and we were supposed to have been done by 10:00 p.m."

Moloney says he first partied with The Stones at the mansion of the late BRIAN JONES.

"I remember in 1967 they were playing Chieftains albums at these parties, which I thought was really strange," recalls Moloney, " And I remember in 1966, Marianne Faithfull and MICK JAGGER were -- how should we say, stepping out -- and both came to this concert we gave in London."

For the "Rocky Road To Dublin" session, Moloney recalled his policy of no smoking in the studio fell on deaf ears.

"KEITH (RICHARDS), I asked him not to smoke because I have allergies," remembered Moloney."So at first they'd run out of the studio, smoke outside, and come back in again. At two a.m., after they had played `Satisfaction' in the middle of the song, Keith had a cigarette in one hand, his arm around me, and said, `You know Paddy, at the end of the day, music is music and musicians are musicians. That's what music is all about.' Of course, I had given up on the smoking policy by then."

Moloney said the session for "The Rocky Road Of Dublin" eventually ended at 4:00 a.m. at a local pub.

Recognized as traditional Irish music's most accomplished diplomats, the team of uilleann piper and whistler Moloney; fiddlers MARTIN FAY and SEAN KEANE; bohdran player KEVIN CONNEFF; flautist MATT MALLOY and harpist DEREK BELL has entertained THE POPE and played on top of The Great Wall Of China during their illustrious career.

On July 13, The Chieftains head to Quebec near Gross Ile to debut a symphony that Moloney is writing about Black '47, the great Irish potato famine.

Moloney says he'll be enlisting some Canadian talent for the debut, including COLIN JAMES,THE RANKIN FAMILY, fiddler ASHLEY MacISAAC and THE MONTREAL JUBILATION CHOIR. Irish actor RICHARD HARRIS will provide the narration.

"I have 15 minutes written for a 50-minute symphony," says Moloney. "I'm keeping my fingers crossed I have it finished by then."

-30-

DISCOGRAPHY

 

1963 -- 001. -- The Chieftains (Shanachie)

1969 -- 002. -- The Chieftains II

1971 -- 003. -- The Chieftains III

1974 -- 004. -- The Chieftains IV

1975 -- 005. -- The Chieftains V

1976 -- 006. -- Bonaparte's Retreat

1976 -- 007. -- Soundtrack -- Barry Lyndon

1977 -- 008. -- The Chieftains 7

1977 -- 009. -- The Chieftains Live

1977 -- 010. -- Un Taxi Mauve

1978 -- 011. -- The Chieftains 8

1979 -- 012. -- Boil The Breakfast Early

1981 -- 013. -- Cotton-Eyed Joe

1982 -- 014. -- Year Of The French

1984 -- 015. -- The Grey Fox

1985 -- 016. -- The Chieftains In China

1986 -- 017. -- The Ballad Of The Irish Horse

1987 -- 018. -- Celtic Wedding

1987 -- 019. -- Treasure Island...In Ireland (with James Galway)

1988 -- 020. -- Irish Heartbeat (with Van Morrison)

1988 -- 021. -- The Tailor Of Gloucester (with Meryl Streep)

1989 -- 022. -- Collection

1989 -- 023. -- A Chieftains Celebration

1990 -- 024. -- Over the Sea to Skye (with James Galway)

1991 -- 025. -- The Bells Of Dublin

1991 -- 026. -- Reel Music: The Film Scores*

1992 -- 027. -- Best Of The Chieftains

1992 -- 028. -- An Irish Evening: Live At The Grand Opera House, Belfast

1992 -- 029. -- Another Country

1992 -- 030. -- The Magic Of The Chieftains

1993 -- 031. -- The Celtic Harp

1995 -- 032. -- The Long Black Veil

1996 -- 033. -- Santiago

1999 -- 034. -- Tears Of Stone

1999 -- 035. -- From The Beginning: The Chieftains 1-4 -- Atlantic

1999 -- 036. -- The Chieftains....The Claddagh Years

2000 -- 037. -- Water From The Well

* - - re-released as Film Cuts in 1996

 

SOLO AND SIDE PROJECTS

 

DEREK BELL

1975 -- Carolan's Receipt -- Shanachie

1981 -- Derek Bell Plays Eight Different Instruments With Himself

1981 -- Ancient Music For The Irish Harp

1981 -- Carolan's Favourite

1984 -- From Sinding To Swing

1988 -- The Ugly Duckling (with Cher) -- Windham Hill

1989 -- Derek Bell's Musical Ireland -- Shanachie

1996 -- The Mystic Harp

1997 -- A Celtic Evening With Derek Bell

 

KEVIN CONNEFF

1988 -- The Week Before Easter -- Claddagh

 

SEAN KEANE

1975 -- Gusty's Frolics

1975 -- Jig It In Style

1975 -- The Fire Aflame (with Matt Molloy, Liam O' Flynn)

1975 -- contentment Is Wealth (with Matt Molloy)

1973 -- The Castle Ceili Band (with Michael Tubridy)

1973 -- Comhaltas (with The Castle Ceili Band)

 

MATT MOLLOY

1976 -- Matt Molloy

1984 -- Matt Molloy with Donal Lunny

1987 -- Stony Steps

1988 -- The Heathery Breeze

1989 -- Molloy/Peoples/Brady

1992 -- Music at Matt Molloy's -- Real World

1996 -- Various Artists, Sult -- The Spirit Of Music

 

PADDY MOLONEY

1974 -- Tin Whistles (with Sean Potts) Shanachie

1997 -- Various Artists, The Long Journey Home (as producer)

1998 -- Various Artists, Fire In The Kitchen (as producer)

2000 -- Soundtrack, Agnes Browne

 

WITH COELTEOIRI CUALANN (with Paddy Moloney, Martin Fay, Sean

Reacaireacht and Riadaigh

The Playboy of the Western World

O Riada sa Gaiety

O Riada

 

COLLABORATIONS

1992 -- Various Artists, Artists On The Move (with Roger Daltrey)

1992 -- Various Artists, '92 BMG Christmas Sampler (with Elvis Costello)

1996 -- Pavarotti & Friends, For The Children Of Bosnia

1997 -- Various Artists, The Long Journey Home

1997 -- Various Artists, Live On Letterman (with Van Morrison, Sinead O'             Connor)

1997 -- Various Artists, Largo

 

AS CONTRIBUTORS

1971 -- Various Artists, The Drones and Chanters  (Paddy Moloney)

1975 -- Mike Oldfield, Ommadawn  (Paddy Moloney)

1978 -- Various Artists, Prosperous  (Kevin Conneff)

1979 -- Michael Tubridy, The Eagle's Whistles  (Sean Keane)

1982 -- Mike Oldfield, Five Miles Out  (Paddy Moloney)

1983 -- Paul McCartney, Tug Of War  (Paddy Moloney)

1986 -- Don Henley, I Can't Stand Still  ( Paddy Moloney)

1995 -- Various Artists, Tower Of Song -- The Songs Of Leonard Cohen (With             Sting)

1996 -- The Rankin Family, Collection --  EMI Canada

1998 -- The Dubliners, 30 Years A-Graying (Kevin Conneff)

AWARDS

1992 -- Grammy, Best Traditional Folk Album -- An Irish Evening Live At The            Grand Opera House, Belfast

1992 -- Grammy, Best Contemporary Folk Album -- Another Country

1993 -- Grammy, Best Traditional Folk Album -- Celtic Harp

1995 -- Grammy, Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals -- "Have I Told You             Lately That I Love You?" (with Van Morrison)

1996 -- Grammy, Best World Music Album -- Santiago

 

 

The Chieftains:

Paddy Moloney (Uileann Pipes)

Martin Fay (Fiddle)

Sean Keane (Fiddle)

Derek Bell (Harp)

Kevin Conneff (Bodhran)

Matt Molloy (Flute)

THANKS: Jane Harbury, Charles Comer, Doug Foley

 

©1996, 1999 Nick Krewen, Octopus Media Ink

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