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The Chieftains Shares Sounds Of Ireland With The World

When Paddy Moloney formed The Chieftains in 1962, he wanted to take the sounds he loved from his Irish upbringing and share them with the rest of the world. Little did he know things would go so well that eventually, The Chieftains would help take the sounds of Ireland to outer space. In 2010, the band sent instruments with NASA astronaut Cady Coleman to the international space station.

In this session, Moloney tells the story of how The Chieftains ended up being the first Western band to play on the Great Wall of China and explains what Irish traditional music has in common with traditional American music. He continues to share tales about working with The Rolling Stones at Dublin's Windmill Lane Recording Studios — the very same spot where we recorded this session — and reflects on touring at 80 years old.

While Paddy played whistle and pipes, he assembled a seven-person team for this session: Seán Keane on fiddle, Redmond O'Toole on guitar, Triona Marshall on harp, Kevin Conneff on bodhrán, Matt Molloy on flute, Nathan Pilatzke dancing and Alyth McCormack as lead singer.

Hear it all in the player.

Copyright 2021 XPN. To see more, visit XPN.

Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.