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Young Dubliners, and more, play Breck

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI
summit daily news

The Young Dubliners is a band playing between borders of both emotion and geography.

Made up of musicians hailing from Ireland and North America, the band blends different cultural sounds to create a signature style.

“Having both countries represented in the band has probably had the greatest influence on our sound,” said vocalist Keith Roberts. “We grew up listening to very different stuff for the most part, but there were many crossovers too.”

To further vary their signature sound, musicians fold in stories of raw political situations and the travails of life in an internationally touring band while still maintaining a rousing enthusiasm that the world can become a better place.

For instance, political events, as well as experiences touring, inspired songs for their latest album, “Saints and Sinners,” a mix that energetically jumps from ballads to barn burners, complete with joy, wit and a touch of sorrow.

The most obvious example is the last tune, “In the End.” Guitarist Bob Boulding wrote music the band loved, so Roberts felt pressured “not to ruin it with sh*tty lyrics,” he said. After thinking about what he wanted to write for quite a while, he decided to use a National Public Radio interview he had heard in Denmark about how the United Nations allegedly knew about the impending Rwandan massacre that occurred years ago, “but did nothing but talk.” Based upon the information, Roberts developed the lyric “talk while they die.”

Another, more humorous, song on the album came from Chas Waltz’s (keyboard, harp, mandolin, violin, vocals) run-ins with backseat drivers, who always seem to think they know better than the driver how to operate the vehicle in present circumstances.

When it comes to producing a new album, the musicians basically lock themselves away for about a month, brainstorm wildly, then fine tune ideas.

“We work long and hard to try to give the fans something they can appreciate and know that we didn’t just hash out whatever came first and lash it down,” Roberts said.

And everyone partakes in the songwriting process, focusing on creating songs that tell a story first and foremost, with instrumentation to complement them.

“Over the years, we have become very aware of each others’ strengths, and it has allowed the songwriting to open up to all members and for all the styles to blend,” Roberts said. “We are first a rock band and then an Irish-influenced band. At this point in our careers, it is very often the U.S. guys who come up with a lot of the Celtic riffs.”

When it comes to their live shows, they pump up the energy and excitement to its peak. Saturday, Eric Rigler adds his unique flavor on the Uillean pipe and pennywhistle. Rigler is known for his work on the “Titanic” and “Braveheart” soundtracks.


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