Wolfe Tones | Gary og | Rebel Hearts
Reaching a 49 year milestone in any profession is extremely rare; however, when that profession involves remaining at the top of the Irish music scene for almost five decades, then the achievement is even more remarkable!
First seeing the light of day in October, 1963, The Wolfe Tones started out on a ballad career which has taken them to the heights of not just Irish, but international entertainment. Their achievements include receiving the Freedom of the cities of New York and Los Angeles, being presented with Philadelphia’s greatest honour – The Liberty Bell, appearing in New York’s Carnegie Hall on numerous occasions, Paris’s famous Olympia, Melbourne’s Victoria Hall, the list is endless! They have even received a special citation passed by the U.S. House of Congress on the occasion of their 25th Anniversary! Not bad for a bunch of lads who started off busking at the fleadh’s around Ireland.
Having an extensive catalogue of hit songs in their repertoire, ballads such as My Heart is in Ireland, Irish Eyes and The Streets of New York continue to make the rafters ring at venues across the World in The Wolfe Tones unique style.
No strangers to controversy over the years, the rebellious Wolfe Tones have remained unabashedly proud of their songs and ballads. It is their firm belief that it is the work of the ballad maker to reflect the times they live in, and there is no one could argue that the Wolfe Tones have not carried on that centuries old tradition. When many performers chose to avoid anything remotely controversial in pursuit of commercial success, The Wolfe Tones ploughed a lone furrow through the politics of Ireland over the past 49 years.
Having had their music unofficially banned from the airwaves for many years, even in 2013, you would be hard pushed to hear The Wolfe Tones on national radio or television today. This is despite the fact they are arguably one of Ireland’ most popular acts.
The Wolfe Tones have sometimes been branded as a group who perform politically pointed material, however, this accusation greatly underestimates the group’s repertoire. Their ballads from 1963 to the present day have encompassed every aspect of Ireland including emigration, famine, love songs, satirical songs, as well as those ballads which cover both the good and the bad events in Irish history.
A huge factor in the group’s international success is the fact that they have in their ranks a ballad singer who is widely considered to be one of the finest Ireland has ever known. When performed by Tommy Byrne, ballads such as Grace, The Loughsheelin Eviction and Kevin Barry, will show why this singer has gained a legendary status over the past 49 years.
Always creative, the group continue to release brand new material even after 49 years on the road, mostly from the pen of prolific songwriter, Brian Warfield. It is the Wolfe Tones’ banjo player and harpist who has composed such hits as Irish Eyes, Rock On Rockall and Joe McDonnell. Upcoming shows will feature the group’s numerous hits from over the years, but will also give their fans a glimpse at their most recent work.
Talented musician, Noel Nagle, The Wolfe Tones whistle player and uillean piper, completes this legendary trio. It is Noel’s musicianship which adds that distinctive sound to some of the Wolfe Tones most rousing ballads.
After almost five decades, The Wolfe Tones remain one of the world’s most popular live acts.
Rebel Hearts are a five piece group from parishes within Tipperary. The band consists of Jamie Mockler, Tom Doran and Paudie Skehan from Moycarkey/Borris and Liam and Padraig Coen from Rossmore/Clonoulty. They have been together now for over 5 years and have enjoyed every minute of travelling around Ireland, England and Australia. The lads sing songs that tell the story of the struggle for freedom from the British establishment for over 800 years now. The boys sing with passion and a hunger to entertain you with the bold sound of the banjo and haunting sounds of the flute and many songs sung by Jamie, Tom and Paudie Coen. Rebel Hearts are the band that will have you on the edge of your seats wanting more.