A special group of Irish men and women have been responsible for preservation of the tradition of Irish ballad singing over the past 50 years. Derek Warfield is a distinguished name among them. Derek Warfield and They Young Wolfe Tones are bringing that musical tradition forward with a reverence for Ireland’s past and the energy and optimism of a new generation of Irish musicians.
Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones are thrilled to be celebrating 10 years On the One Road and are delighted to be celebrating it in style with the release of a new CD “Boys & Girls” planned for April release, and performances all over America including some great Irish American Festivals & Venues.
“We’re presenting an old tradition in a new package – and I’ve the same passion for it now as I had when it all started 50 years ago!”
DEREK WARFIELD (New York Society Dublin Man of The Year 2013) and (The AOH Spirit Of Freedom Award 2017)
DEREK WARFIELD & THE YOUNG WOLFE TONES(Official performers for ‘2015 The Friends Of Ireland Speaker John Beohner St Patrick’s Day Luncheon on Capitol Hill) for President Obama, Vice President Biden, Taoiseach Enda Kenny & many other distinguished friends of Irish America.
2015 and 2016
2016 Was a pinnacle for Derek and The Young Wolfetones was when they were chosen to perform on the 24th April at the 1916 centenary commemorations at the General Post Office in O’Connell Street Dublin at 12.o’clock noon. This was the exact same time the Irish proclamation was read by Padraig Pearse one hundred years ago to the minute. As Derek is quoted as saying “of all the honours bestowed on the Wolfetones old and young this privilege was the most significant. It was honour to perform the music and songs of remembrance and the patriotic ballads that were sung by the volunteers inside the building during the struggle for our freedom, and we performed them with the same passion and emotion. “The Foggy Dew”, “Wrap the Green Flag Round me” “The Soldiers Song” were some of the chorus’s that rang out along the main thoroughfare to the 30,000 people assembled.
Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones produced a powerful 20 track CD commemorative 1916 CD titled “The Call of Erin” that embraces the heritage of popular ballads that remember our hero’s and patriots in poem, song and music.
After spending nearly 40 years as founder, leader and front man of the legendary Wolfe Tones (named after the 18th century Irish Revolutionary Theobald Wolfe Tone), Derek Warfield is revered as a singer, songwriter, historian and entertainer in all parts of the world where Irish roots have been put down. The Wolfe Tones enjoyed phenomenal success with 13 best-selling albums, 3 number one hits, many television appearances and shows in esteemed venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall and The Royal Albert Hall in London.
Derek has been proudly presented with the keys to San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles for his contributions to Irish Song & Music over the years and was honoured as “Dublin Gael of The Year 2013” by the New York Dublin Society.
Since breaking away from the Wolfe Tones in 2001, Derek’s solo career has yielded 11 albums to date, the most successful of them being “A Nation once again” “On the One Road”, “God save Ireland” “Sons of Erin” ‘The Bonnie Blue Flag” “Washington’s Irish” and “Let Ye All be Irish Tonight”. With the formation and ongoing success of The Young Wolfe Tones, the legend of Derek Warfield continues.
LEGACY – THE YOUNG WOLFE TONES
In 2001, after nearly 40 years performing, the legendary Wolfe Tones parted with their founder and leader – Derek Warfield. No other Irish folk group, before or since, told the story of Ireland so completely and unapologetically. But for Derek’s hunger and desire to continue to further the story of Ireland through song, an ancient tradition might have lost perhaps its most iconic figure. In 2005 Derek put together a band containing some of the finest musicians and singers in Irish music – The Young Wolfe Tones.
Damaris Woods – Banjo
Damaris Woods from Co. Meath and is recognized as one of the foremost banjo players in Irish music.
She has made a major contribution in popularizing the banjo within Irish traditional music. Damaris has performed an extremely hectic touring schedule over the last decade across the world. She has appeared on the Irish Spring Tour in Germany and been part of performing groups in North America, Australia and the prestigious Celtic Colours Festival in Cape Briton, Canada.
Damaris has appearances on many radio and television shows including Ireland’s The Late Late Show (RTÉ).
Damaris is also a gifted music and many of her students have been prominent prizewinners in traditional music competitions over the last number of years. On an annual basis Damaris organizes the hugely popular traditional arts camp – The Ag Seinm Traditional Arts Camp in Co. Cavan, Ireland.
Despite her own hectic schedule she still manages to find time to teach at the Joe Mooney Summer School in Drunshambo every year as well as The University of Ulster, Coleraine.
Ciaran Cooney – Guitar and Vocals
Ciaran Cooney is a former student of BIMM Dublin (British and Irish Modern Music Institute) Ciaran, from the heritage town of Birr, Co. Offaly, has played in some of Ireland and the U.k’s most prestigious and renowned venues such as Whelans of Wexford Street, Dublin, The Roisin Dubh, Galway, Temple Bars Button Factory, the Marquee in Cork, Walt Disney World Orlando, Barrowlands Glasgow
Currently, Ciarán is a full time session guitarist and singer! A career which has seen him share stages with the likes of Pixie Lott, Mundy, We Banjo 3 and now of course now Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones.
Cormac McGuinness – Vocals
Cormac is from Tallaght in Co Dublin. He has been playing music and singing songs from an early age. His love for music comes from his grandfather Paddy Doyle. Paddy passed on his love of Irish song to all of his family. Cormac has toured Ireland, England, Australia and is now making his way across the United States both as a solo artist and with the band. His love and admiration for the late Luke Kelly is very evident in his performances.
Cormac is “the festivous” of the band and his sense of humour brings a spirit of laughter to anyone who is fortunate enough to meet him. His nickname is the Foggy Dude.
Cormac has recently joined ‘Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones’ and is very excited at the prospect of singing and playing instrumental music with such a diverse and eclectic group that has such a passion for Irish culture and history, as well as performing to a wider audience.
Garry Gormley – Bass, Vocals
Garry Gormley from Carrickmore Co. Tyrone has spent his entire life immersed in the ballads of Ireland. Over the last decade, Garry has performed with many bands including The Dicey Reilly’s, Folk That and many more.
Garry has recently joined “Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones” and is very much at home performing the Patriotic Songs Of Ireland with the passion and enthusiasm that only a Co. Tyrone man could deliver.
Derek Warfield’s 50 years of experience coupled with the talent and energy of The Young Wolfe Tones brings the old tradition of Irish balladry into a new age. The story of Ireland is transmitted in their music and song and illuminated by the outstanding musicianship of three wonderful ambassadors of a new generation of traditional players. Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones deliver Ireland’s traditional music and folk songs with an energy and skill that shows the quality of contemporaries within that tradition. The patriotic spirit of Irish music carried through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s by the Wolfe Tones now marches on in the dynamic sound of The Young Wolfe Tones.
Irish festivals all over the United States have been host to Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones since 2007. Currently the band plays between 20 and 30 Irish festivals per year all over the country. In addition to musical performances, Derek also delivers lectures on Irish history and the history of the Irish in America. These lectures feature acoustic performances of ballads relevant to the subject matter.
Pat Byrne from Columbus Ohio, one of the organizing committee at the Dublin Irish Festival in Ohio, had this to say “Derek has always set high standards for his performances and this band raises the bar. The people loved them and gave them an unbelievable rousing and appreciative reception. These Young Wolfe Tones and their legendary leader were given a standing ovation, The Dublin Ohio festival were delighted to have them … they’re as good as it gets!”
Australia was the destination in April of 2011. The band played twelve concerts in two weeks with the highlight being four days performing at the National Folk Festival in Canberra. The same year saw the release of “Far Away in Australia” – a CD to coincide with their Australian visit. With 19 tracks the collection is a mixture of classic Irish songs music and literature that connect the two countries. “Far Away In Australia” fittingly highlights the Irish contributions to Australia in song and music.
They perform regularly at the Rí Rá Irish Pub at Mandalay Bay Casino, Las Vegas and are certainly regarded as a unique stalwart among Las Vegas’ many musical acts.
AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY AND CIVIL WARS
Many of the Irish festivals around the United States every year also play host to lectures/musical performances on the songs of the Irish in the American Revolution and Civil War by Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones. Derek deals with ballads of regret, joy, victory and defeat and clearly illustrates Ireland’s hand in defending the promise of the Declaration of Independence. The lecture/show has been an eye-opener for many folk and history enthusiasts from Ireland and America alike. The response and feedback throughout the festival circuit here has been wonderful and has added such a wide and important aspect to the legacy of Derek Warfield and his part in the history of Irish balladry. It is a rich legacy that was almost entirely neglected before Derek began putting together “Sons of Erin”, “Bonnie Blue Flag”, “Faugh-a-Ballagh” (“Clear the Way”) and “Washington’s Irish” — four albums dealing with the Irish in the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars. He has also written a book, The Irish Songster of the American Civil War.
He comments on the literature of the Civil War: “Looking at the tremendous quality of the songwriting and poetry among the Irish over generations in the United States, as recorded in libraries and collections across the country, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that Ireland lost some of its greatest talent in these years, that loss was greatest after the “Act of Union” and during the “Great Hunger”.
“I hope my labor of love will inspire others with greater resources to further research of the Irish Involvement in American History. Meanwhile my modest productions will help to keep alive the memory of the many Irish men who fought on both sides in the Civil War,”
Derek Warfield’s lifelong passion for engaging people in the music and story of Ireland is also very present in the other band members: “Communication with a live audience through music is what I believed to be of primary importance when I founded the Old Wolfe Tones in 1963. In performing with The Young Wolfe Tones, I continue to communicate with audiences while also passing on an important tradition to a new generation. But perhaps most importantly, it has been fun and enjoyable and every performance gets better. The experience has reinvigorated me and given the young players and singers the opportunity to display their skills and talents around the world”
And I believe that I am passing on an ancient Irish bardic tradition worthy of preservation to a younger generation.
- Faugh-a-Ballagh (Clear The Way)
- Bonnie Blue Flag
- Sons Of Erin
- Liberte 98
- Take me home to Mayo (Slán Abhaile)
- A Nation Once Again
- God Save Ireland
- Green White & Essential Gold Volume 2 (2 CD Set)
- Green White & Essential Gold Volume 1 (2 CD Set)
- The Night Is….Young
- On The One Road
- Far Away In Australia
- Let Ye All Be Irish Tonight
- The Call of Erin
(Available from www.theyoungwolfetones.com)
Selection of Quotes
“Derek has always set high standards for his performances and this band raises the bar. The
people loved them and gave them an unbelievable rousing and appreciative reception. These
Young Wolfe Tones and their legendary leader were given a standing ovation. The ‘Dublin Ohio Festival ‘were delighted to have them perform and the band were thrilled to be here, and that’s as good as it’s gets for any band.”
Dublin Ohio Festival Organising Committee
“Since the Old group disbanded, The Wolfe Tones’ front man and founder member Derek Warfield has hit a particularly creative streak. The impeccable versatility of ‘The Young Wolfe
Tones’ propels fresh and invigorating workings of old and new numbers with masterful
Arrangements of songs and highly absorbing tune sets.”
Editor of Rock ’N’ Reel Magazine
“Derek has performed at festivals for The Irish Cultural Club of Florida for over twenty years and he has delivered some memorable performances with his old band. With his new band ‘The Young Wolfe Tones’ he brings a youthful and energetic passion and spirit to the music and songs of Ireland.”
Director of West Palm Beach Irish Festival
“They had an audience of four thousand students singing swinging and cheering after the first song and they stayed that way for over an hour. The reaction to their music was electric! The UCD Ball has never seen or heard anything like it.”
UCD Students Union
“Derek has long been the best front man in the country. There is no performer that can move an audience with words and song with such natural ease. His talented young band ‘The Young Wolfe Tones’ are the best ballad band in Ireland and lends an extra dimension to Irish song, music and history.”
Former National Editor of Hibernian Digest
“Ireland has lately been full of compliments to our Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, who has just celebrated his 70th birthday. Lyric poetry is a grace, said Famous Seamus, who hails from Derry. Quite so. But there are other kinds of poetry and when a national identity is challenged, all poetry becomes political. As you might expect, there’s no lack of it here, and since Derek has got this fine professional group together, it’s proof there’s no lack of an audience.”
Irish Music Magazine
“The Young Wolfe Tones bring a youthful energy to songs like Some Say the Devil Is Dead and
Get out Ye Black and Tans I happened to be in the audience with my parents and two daughters who liken Irish music to Chinese water torture. Everyone enjoyed themselves, and it is a rare feat indeed to keep three generations of Irish people engaged. Some say this devil is dead, but I say he would be a welcome addition to your festival.”