The Chieftains: Still Going Strong

Aidin Vaziri | The Chieftains have been stomping around the Earth as long as the Stones. This year, the traditional Irish group celebrates its extraordinary half-century run with a world tour and new album, “Voice of Ages,” which features collaborations with young folksy collaborators like Bon Iver, the Punch Brothers, Civil Wars, Paolo Nutini and Lisa Hannigan. Recorded between Dublin and Los Angeles, it’s not just one of their best LPs (out of some three dozen) but also a testament to the Chieftains’ immense influence across generations. Paddy Moloney, 73, the group’s founder and tin whistle player, talked to us by telephone from his home in Naples, Fla.

Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains  
Q: The band has been around for 50 years. Do you have any secrets I can pass on to Mumford and Sons?  
A: We just kept going and going. My wife says I’ve been in rehearsal for retirement for the past 20 years. This year is going to be the busiest year of our career. There’s a lot happening: Japan, China and South America. San Francisco is my favorite city to play. I remember coming out there in 1974 for two weeks. Jerry Garcia brought us to a radio station and interviewed us for an hour. The times we had out there were unbelievable.
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