The Chieftains

John Glatt, Author
John Glatt, Author St. Martin's Press $26.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-312-16605-2
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-57511-033-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-57511-043-1
Hardcover - 978-0-517-70540-7
Paperback - 331 pages - 978-0-306-80922-4
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4481-0771-1
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The Chieftains, who perform on harp, bodhran (goat-skin drum), whistles, flutes, fiddles, pipes, drones and bones, have become world-famous for their revival of traditional Irish music. This comprehensive biography, based on interviews with band members, is a blow-by-blow account of the group's evolution from its early days in the 1960s, when they thought of their music-making as merely a hobby, to their superstar status in the 1990s. Starting with the guiding light of the group, gifted uilleann (elbow) pipes player Paddy Moloney, Glatt (Lost in Hollywood: The Fast Times & Short Life of River Phoenix) outlines each player's musical development and describes how the men have worked together over the years. He also emphasizes the influence of their many friends and collaborators, including Garech Browne, heir to the Guinness fortune, who recorded the original group in 1962 on Claddagh Records, and Jo Lustig, the audacious American who was their first manager. Throughout, the author stresses that, unlike many popular music stars, the Chieftains have remained unspoiled by success, stable as a group, devoted to their families and dedicated to their music. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
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