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The Chieftains In Concert On 'A Celtic Sojourn'

The Chieftains kicked off their North American tour at WGBH's Fraser Studio in Boston. (WGBH)

During a tour celebrating 50 years as one of the world's most celebrated traditional Irish bands, The Chieftains stopped by Fraser Studio at Boston's WGBH this week to share some tunes and have a few beers with fans and members of the WGBH Celtic Club.

Accompanying the legendary group were several guests, including bluegrass icons Jeff White and Deanie Richardson, celebrated Scottish vocalist Alyth McCormack and the Rhode Island-based band The Low Anthem, who also appear on the new Chieftains album, Voice of Ages.

During the performance, Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains shared a recorded phone call he had with Irish-American astronaut Cady Coleman while she was serving on the International Space Station. To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, Coleman played a tune for Moloney on a pennywhistle he had loaned her for the trip into space.

Moloney introduced the last number of the evening as "The Chieftains Reunion," a session that gives each player a solo moment for a different version of the melody. Tommy McCarthy, co-owner of Somerville, Mass. pub The Burren, joined in to show he can turn a phrase on his fiddle.

Set List

  • Opening Medley
  • "The Foggy Dew"
  • "Port-a-Beul"
  • "The Chieftains in Orbit"
  • "Planxty Fanny Power/Carolan's Concerto"
  • "The Frost is All Over"
  • Medley: "Morning Dew/Wabash Cannonball/Cotton-Eyed Joe"
  • "Love and Altar" (featuring The Low Anthem)
  • "School Days Over" (featuring The Low Anthem)
  • "The Chieftains Reunion" (featuring The Low Anthem)
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More Photos

Nathan and Jon Pilatzke flank Cara Butler for some show-stopping Irish stepdancing.

Special guest Alyth Mcormack joins the Chieftains for this Boston session.

The Chieftains' longtime flutist Matt Molloy in action.

Guitarist Jeff White leads the vocals in "Wabash Cannonball."

Irish harper Triona Marshall.

Celtic dancer Cara Butler wows the Fraser crowd with her steps.

The Low Anthem crowds around the mic in their tune "Love and Altar."

Low Anthem lead vocalist Ben Miller.

Fiddler Deanie Richardson takes a turn on the mandolin.

A relaxing moment with the Chiefs' legendary leader Paddy Moloney.

The Chieftains' Old Guard, making music for 50 years: Kevin Conneff and Paddy Moloney.

A soulful moment on the Uilleann pipes from Paddy.

...and the tin whistle!

Triona keeps the beat on the Fraser Steinway.

14 musicians, 3 Irish Dancers = A Fleadh in Fraser!

Step Dancers keep it lively!

Fiddler Jon Pilatzke.

The WGBH Fraser studio: Filled to the gills!

Paddy Moloney leads the Chieftains and special guests The Low Anthem.

Paddy pauses between solos.

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