The Chieftains Live in Montreux 1997
The Chieftains stand alongside the likes of U2 and Van Morrison as icons of Irish music. Forming in 1962, the year in which the Beatles first came to fame, they have been active for an incredible 47 years at the time of writing. They have won international acclaim for their musicianship on an array of traditional instruments and have performed with an impressive list of artists including Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Roger Daltrey, and Art Garfunkel. This memorable 1997 concert from Montreux Jazz Festival draws to a close with "Did You Ever Go A-Courtin’ Uncle Joe," on which everyone gets a chance to solo, including Derek Bell on honky-tonk piano. Rapturous applause greets the assembled company and an encore inevitably results.
The Chieftains and their guests and friends delivered wonderful entertainment on that Montreux stage, and it is worth noting with some regret that this line-up of a unique group of hugely talented musicians will never be seen in this form again. Derek Bell died in 2002 and, in the same year, Martin Fay retired. However, Paddy Moloney, Matt Molloy, and Kevin Conneff were to be seen on the boards again in 2009. Long may they continue to enchant us!