Paddy Moloney

There are people one encounters in life who are so exceptional in so many ways. Certainly, one of those people for me was Paddy Moloney. Back in the ‘70s when I first was exposed to Celtic music, I was introduced to the sounds of The Chieftains. They, along with a couple of other bands, led an undiminished fire of love for the musical genre. It was with sadness, that I learned of his passing on October 12th. In his own right, he was a musical chieftain.

I had the great pleasure of working with Paddy and the Chieftains, starting in 1995 when I toured Japan as one of their guests. It was a wonderful and madcap adventure and I witnessed first hand how congenial, talented and generous Paddy was to artists who were still in the development phase of their careers.

I would then go on to be a guest on one of their albums when we recorded Ye Rambling Boys of Pleasure. Not long after, however, I had the sad distinction of singing at harpist Derek Bell’s funeral in Belfast. I realized then, in the face of the finality of death, I had not only seen but been profoundly touched by the fabric of a rare and precious essence – the music of the Chieftains and Paddy Moloney. And I was forever changed by it.

My last connection with this band of musical wonders was two short years ago when for the final time I was asked to share the stage with The Chieftains on their Farewell Tour in Kitchener, Canada. It was a night I will never forget. Paddy, thank you so very, very much for all that you have given so many of us. May you play on forever with that puckish Irish smile.