Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones


26 July 2008
8:00 PM
Cultúrlann na hÉireann
32 Belgrave Square
Co. Dublin
00353 (1) 280 0295
View Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones Website
Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones

Derek Warfield & The Young WolfeTones come to Cultúrlann na hÉireann for a great night of traditional song and nostalgia on Saturday night, 26th July, 2008.

The man often described as ‘Ireland’s greatest ballad singer’ is bringing a new sound to his legion of fans in Ireland, across Europe and the United States. Derek Warfield, for many years the front man of the legendary Wolfe Tones, is now joined on stage by three of the finest Irish musicians from a younger generation. The Young Wolfe Tones are the singer-songwriter Padraig Allen, the outstanding banjo/mandolin player Damaris Woods and the accordion and bodhran player Jim Woods. The band, known as Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones, have already toured to acclaim in Ireland and the United States. They’re now releasing a double CD of classic Irish songs and tunes titled “The Night Is…Young” on the prestigious Kells Music label which will hit store shelves in North America on February 19th. Derek says, “I’m thrilled to be touring and recording with musicians of this calibre who share an enthusiasm for our great Irish song & music tradition. For me it’s a fantastic sound and I still have the passion and enthusiasm I started with – even after more than forty years touring around the world!” An outstanding singer, stage personality, composer of songs and historian of the song tradition, Derek Warfield is a legend wherever Irish roots have been put down. He enjoyed phenomenal success for some 37 years with the Wolfe Tones, with best-selling albums, number one hits, television appearances and shows in Carnegie Hall in New York and the Royal Albert Hall in London. His association with New York based Kells Music has been prolific, as a solo artist Warfield has released eleven albums in just over a decade.

In the Young Wolfe Tones, he’s joined by three musicians who’ve established reputations as top class performers & entertainers in their own right. Padraig Allen, given his first instrument by his Uncle Tony from Foster and Allen, is originally from Westmeath. He has toured both as a solo performer and as lead singer with the Celtic folk rock outfit The Whole Shabang, playing leading Irish festivals throughout the States. Eager to learn from the master he is the perfect stage compliment to Warfield and it seems as though they have always performed together.

Siblings Damaris and Jim Woods, hail from Luton, England where they were part of a ‘golden generation’ of young musicians born out of the Irish emigrant experience. Music has brought them home to Ireland where they are now based.

Damaris is an adroit picker on the banjo whose “deft, jaunty playing bobs and bounces merrily” throughout the tunes and songs (The Living Tradition). Jim, an inspired accordion player is acclaimed as one of the top bodhran players in the Irish tradition weaving tasty and complex rhythms into the Young Wolfe Tones mix. As performers the brother and sister combo bring a special magic to the stage creating, as the critics have observed an energetic and tightly woven sound that “snaps and sparkles with talent” – “a treat …!” (The Folk Mag)

Damaris is recognised as one of the leading Irish banjo players and was featured alongside Barney McKenna of the Dubliners and Gerry O’Connor in the ‘banjo extraganza’ on RTE television’s famed ‘Late Late Show’and is just as well known as a teacher as she is a performer. Damaris tutors over 140 students and has put together what’s thought to be the world’s biggest banjo band, ‘The Damaris Woods Banjo Minstels’, featuring twenty young players and ten other musicians, all of them her students. She and Jim have also toured internationally as the band Coisir. Their album ‘On the Right Track’ was regarded as one of the outstanding traditional Irish releases of 2004.

Jim Woods also a reknowned & sought after teacher, has played leading festivals internationally. He has performed with top names in the Irish trad scene such as Martin Hayes and Des Cahill, and has also guested with the Brian Byrne Jazz Band and the Apple Hill Chamber Players.

Derek says, “We’ve been getting a fantastic reaction to this line-up wherever we’ve played and I know that the new CD will also have a big impact. We’re really looking forward to an exciting time ahead.”

‘The Night Is…Young’ features a HUGE mix of songs and tunes, 33 tracks in total. The songs include many major hits from the Irish scene, including ‘Slievenamon’, ‘Grace’, ‘The Homes of Donegal’, ‘The Lonely Banna Strand’, ‘The Foggy Dew’ and ‘Streets of New York’. Warfield says “ We really had a brilliant time in the studio, really, the musicians, the engineers, just the folks hanging around… there is a buzz about the album because folks found out how much fun we were having.” A listen to the CD proves Warfield right. The band treats these songs with a reverence to the music rarely heard. Well thought out arrangements that use traditional instruments prove that NEW or YOUNG does not have to mean screaming electric guitars and drumsets. This album gives you the feeling that if, you were only half as good as them, you could gather your friends and have that much fun in your own kitchen.

‘Darlin Girl From Clare’ with Derek in the lead backed by the girls from the Ag Sienm Traditional Arts Group from Co. Cavan is destined to be the new standard of the old Percy French song. Padraig takes center stage on an amazing well done version of “Galway to Graceland”. The band even wraps the CD up with very upbeat ‘Celtic Symphony’, a fan favorite from Derek’s old WolfeTones days that will clearly become the jukebox favorite at your local pub. There is enough music on this that anyone can pick 12 or 15 favorites to put on their iPod. It really is a ton of music for less than twenty dollars, that is something you just don’t see on other debut CDs.

Derek adds, “It’s a pleasure to get the chance to present some stunning versions of songs which are really central to the Irish tradition. It’s surprising but there aren’t a lot of bands doing this material now, and it’s very important that it’s handed on to new generations. It’s really enjoyable for us putting our own stamp on these great songs, both in the studio and on stage. We hope to bring the music to many, many people in the coming months.”

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