Paddy Moloney, the playful but disciplined frontman and bagpiper of the Chieftains, a band that was at the forefront of a worldwide revival of traditional Irish music played with traditional instruments, died in Dublin on Monday. He was 83 years old.
His daughter, Edin Moloney, confirmed death in hospital but did not specify a cause.
The Warlords toured extensively for nearly 60 years, releasing more than two dozen albums and winning six Grammy Awards. They were especially known for their Collaborations with artists such as Van Morrison, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Nancy Griffith And Luciano PavarottoI.
“Over the Sea to the Sky,” the Warlords’ collaboration with flautist James Galway, peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Classical Albums chart in 1996.
“Our music is centuries old, but it is a very living thing,” Mr. Moloney told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1989. “We don’t use any flashing lights or smoke bombs or acrobats that fall from the stage.” “We try to communicate the spirit of a party, and that is something that everyone understands,” he said.
In 2012, while he was vice president, President Biden told People magazine that his wish was to sing “Shenandoah” with the Chieftains “if I have any musical talent.” He invited them to perform at his opening ceremony this year, But restrictions related to Kovid stopped him from traveling.
Mr. Moloney was a master of many instruments: he played the ulien pipe (Ireland’s national bagpipe), the tin whistle, the bodhran (a type of drum) and the button accordion. He was also the band’s lead composer and arranger.
When asked on the NPR quiz show “Wait, wait… don’t tell me” what he thought was the sexiest instrument in 2010, he chose the pipe.
“I often call it the octopus,” he said, “and so, I mean, it’s something that moves every part of you.”
The Warlords performed in the Great Wall of China, Nashville and Berlin to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990, joining Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters to play “The Wall”.
His most famous recording included “Cotton Eyed Joe”. “O’Sullivan’s March,” “Bonaparte’s Retreat”” And “long black veil (with Mr. Jagger). Their 1992 album “Another Country”, a collaboration with country artists such as Emmylo Harris, Willie Nelson and Chet Atkins, won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
Her other Grammys included “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?” One for Best Pop Collaboration, a collaboration with Mr. Morrison from his album “The Long Black Veil”, released in 1995, and one for Best World Album, “Santiago” (1996), in which Contains Spanish and Latin American music.
Mr. Moloney was fond of country music.
“I always thought of Nashville like another part of Ireland down the south or something,” he As stated on the website of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in 2020. “When I came out there and played with musical geniuses like Sam Bush or Jerry Douglas or Earl Scruggs, they pick up on everything so easily. You don’t have to duck and dash.”
Last track on “Another Country” – “The last: Did You Ever Go A-Courtin’, Uncle Joe/Will the Circle Be Unbroken’ – Featuring Ms. Harris, Ricky Skaggs and the nitty gritty dirt band. Rambles, a cultural arts magazine, described it as “closest to an Irish Hooli on record”, in reference to an Irish party with music. The track, the magazine said, sounded like “some quirks had been taken and boxy bread was passed on before the assembled greats of music decided to go free-for-all for the music.”
Patrick Moloney was born on 1 August 1938 in Donycarney, North Dublin. His father, John, worked in the accounting department of the Irish Glass Bottle Company. His mother, Catherine (Conroy) Moloney, was a homemaker.
Paddy came from a musical family: one of his grandfathers played the flute, and his uncle Stephen played in the Balinese pipe band. Paddy began playing tin plastic whistles at 6 a.m. and shortly afterwards began to study the Yulian pipe under the tutelage of the man known as the “King of the Pipers”.
He took up the pipe with ease, gave his first public concert at the age of 9, and performed on the local streets.
“There were five Pipers around the Donycarney area,” He told his magazine of Ireland in 2019. “I’ll go around sports like a pied piper, and my friends will be following me.”
After leaving school in the 1950s, he began working at the building supplies company Baxendale & Company, where he met his future wife, Rita O’Reilly. He joined the traditional Irish band Seoltoirie Chualan in 1960 and formed The Chieftains in 1962; The name comes from the short story “Death of a Chieftain” by Irish writer John Montague.
In the 1960s and ’70s, Mr. Moloney was an executive at Claddagh Records, of which he was the founder, and produced or oversaw 45 albums in folk, traditional, classical, poetry and spoken word.
The Chieftains – who hit it big with sold-out concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall in the mid-1970s – were previously strictly an instrumental ensemble. But in the 1980s the band broke away from its initial purism, and Mr Moloney emerged as a composer who wrote new music steeped in Irish tradition.
The chieftains began to blend Irish music with styles from the Celtic diaspora in Spain and Canada, as well as bluegrass and country in the United States. He collaborated with renowned rock and pop musicians and an international assortment of musicians from as far-flung as Norway, Bulgaria and China.
On his own, Mr. Moloney went on to write and arrange music for films including “Barry Lyndon” (1975), “Babe: Pig in the City” (1998) and “Gangs of New York” (2002).
In addition to his wife and daughter, he has two sons, Onghus and Padreg; four grandchildren; and a sister, Sheila.
In 2012, on the 50th anniversary of their founding, The Chieftains teamed up with 12 folk, country, bluegrass, rockabilly and indie rock artists – including Bon Iver, the Decembrists, Low Anthem and Imelda May – on the album “Voice of”. to record. Ages. He also embarked on a tour that ended at Carnegie Hall Feather St. Patrick’s Day.
“What is happening here with these youth groups,” said Mr. Moloney the new York Times At the time, explaining the album’s concept, “Are they back to the melody, back to the real stuff, all those roots and folk spirit. I can hear any of them singing folklore.”