The Young Dubliners are quite possibly Celtic rock’s hardest working band, playing hundreds of shows to thousands of fans across the US and Europe every year. In recent years they have twice appeared on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live Good Morning America, had songs featured in TV shows (Sons Of Anarchy, Human Target) and toured extensively as a headliner and as the opener for such a diverse list of artists as Collective Soul, Jethro Tull, Johnny Lang, Los Lobos and many more.
Although the Young Dubliners sound is most commonly called ‘Celtic Rock’, that label, as labels often can be, is misleading. The Irish influence is there, certainly, but it’s not the only influence that rears its head on their albums, or in live shows. After all, several of the band members have no Irish roots of any kind. “That was always the idea”, Keith Roberts, lead singer for the band explains. “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 we’ll end up with when we start on a new album.
The last album (Nine) was the bands first independently released effort. “We had a few label offers but decided we were well overdue to take things into our own hands,” says Roberts, “After eight albums on various labels it just seemed right to go it alone for once and maintain full creative control.”
However “going it alone” did not mean without financial support and for that they turned to their fans. After only a month the band had received the necessary funds to complete the recording and the result is considered one of their greatest achievements to date.
But recordings aside this is still predominantly a live band. Relentless touring has garnered them a “following of the faithful” and this has allowed them to follow their dream year in and year out. “We are very appreciative of how the fans have continued to support the live shows. It makes for a crazy but enjoyable year despite the hectic travel schedule” says Roberts.