The Young Dubliners are one of thee most famous and popular celtic rock/punk bands in the United States and have been up there at the top of the tree for well over a decade right back to when they were formed in 1988 in Los Angeles. With a whole host of national television appearances behind them, hundreds of gigs every year across North America and Europe and songs featured in movies and TV shows too numerous to mention their can be no disputing their position to the fore of the celtic scene in the States.
Although oft described as a celtic-rock band there’s plenty other influences included that all add up to making The Young Dubliners one of my all time favourite bands. Keith Roberts, lead singer of the band since formation says
“That was always the idea. The sound was always intended to be a hybrid because we all come from different backgrounds. Even though two of us are from Ireland, A lot of the music we listened to growing up wasn’t Irish at all but when we got here we got homesick and developed a new appreciation for Irish Music. In truth the celtic riffs can just as easily come from the American band members. Everyone writes now so you never know what you’ll end up with when you start on a new album.”
With eight amazing studio albums behind them plus a whole host of EPs, singles and the odd covers album it was time for them to release their ninth studio album rather imaginatively titled ‘Nine’!! After recording all their previous releases for various record companies the band took the decision to release ‘Nine’ themselves and set out to raise the funds. Within a few weeks the necessary had been raised and soon the album went into production.
“After eight albums on various labels it just seemed right to go it alone for once and maintain full creative control.”
And well what can be said about it. I had exactly the same thoughts as i reviewed the latest album from fellow American celtic-rockers Seven Nations a few weeks ago (here). As a massive fan of the band could I be trusted to approach the record with a open mind and write a honest review without either gushing over it like a lovesick teenager or dismissing it out of hand as its not as good as they use to be.
Well truth be told I am a fan and so I do infact gush a little bit as it is, like their other eight albums, fecking brilliant…just like Seven Nations albums are!! Hard to say if it is in fact their best but the very idea that it could even be considered to be their best shows what a high level of consistency The Young Dubliners maintain. Certainly the album does not contain a single weak track and some of the standout tracks ‘We The Mighty’, an uplifting ditty about Irish emigration to the States
“we’ll fix your lonely and your broken hearted”
‘Seeds Of Sorrow’, ‘Fall’, ‘One Touch’ are definitely among their best ever work. They can also do trad and ‘Abhainn Mor’ is as good a trad instrumental you’ll hear on any celtic record- punk, rock or just celtic. Slow or fast ‘Nine’ is an outstanding record and the album comes to a close with the beautiful ‘Only You And Me’ just voice and piano, stunning. As stated before their music is primarily Irish/Celtic rock but they are in no way one dimensional and influences of country, Americana, soul, old fashioned US folk and ,yes, punk abound throughout ‘Nine’ making it perfectly accessible to just about everyone. This beauty would I’m sure even get toes a-tapping on the Shankill!
Tagged: Young Dubliners