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The Young Dubliners

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The Young Dubliners are a musical group, who have developed a reputation early on for high-energy gigs fueled by musicianship, pints o’ bitter, and the thrill of a good Celtic-rock mash-up. Drawing on obvious influences (Waterboys, Pogues, U2), the group began as a musicians’ “revolving door” in the early ’90s, but finally hit its stride with a stable lineup to back founding singer-guitarist Keith Roberts a few years ago.

A Dublin native and University College Dublin grad (politics/sociology), Roberts thought about pursuing journalism upon his late Reagan-era stateside arrival. He thought better of it after an internship at PBS, deciding he’d share his homeland history by making news, rather than reading it off a teleprompter. The quintet’s still rolling after Roberts’ vocal cord surgery, and touring behind last year’s wry, sprightly tour de force, Real World. They are a true purveyor of Irish rock that’s thrilling to hear, fun to watch, and certain to swing your shillelagh.

Deep History: There is more to the story than what is written above. The Young Dubliners began in 1988 (maybe even 1987) as a duo, Keith Roberts and Paul O’Toole. Both played acoustic guitars and sang. The format was mostly Irish folksongs and Irish pop. Keith and Paul made an interesting contrast. Paul, an electrician by trade, was a multi-instrumentalist and true Dubliner, from the north side. Keith was a college-educated product of the pairing of two well-known Irish entertainers.

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