The Best Irish Folk Music Artists

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


There are many great Irish folk music artists out there. In this blog post, we will be taking a look at some of the best.

Irish Folk Music

Irish Folk Music has been around for centuries and has been passed down through the generations. There are many different artists who play Irish Folk Music, but only a few are truly considered the best. In this article, we will be discussing the best Irish Folk Music artists.

Origins of Irish Folk Music

Irish folk music has its roots in the traditional music of Ireland. This traditional music was brought to North America by Irish immigrants during the 18th century. The music was initially passed down through oral tradition, but eventually it was transcribed and published in songbooks. This helped to spread the music to a wider audience and preserve it for future generations.

The first commercial recordings of Irish folk music were made in the early 20th century, but it wasn’t until the 1950s and 1960s that the genre began to gain popularity outside of Ireland. In recent years, Irish folk music has experienced a resurgence in popularity, with bands like The Pogues and The Dubliners helping to bring the sound to a new generation of fans.

If you’re looking to add some Irish folk music to your collection, here are some of the best artists to check out:

1. The Dubliners
2. The Chieftains
3. Planxty
4. The Bothy Band
5. Liam Clancy
6. Dick Gaughan
7. The Pogues

Characteristics of Irish Folk Music

Irish folk music is a genre of folk music that developed in Ireland. Irish folk music has survived more strongly in the United States and Australia than in Ireland itself. The original songs and dances of Irishfolk music were brought to the US by Irish immigrants during the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of these songs are still sung today, such as “Danny Boy” and “Allister MacGillavry”.

There are several characteristics that are unique to Irish folk music, such as the use of Celtic instruments, such as the harp, fiddle, and tin whistle. Irish folk music is also known for its use of melody, harmony, and rhythm. The lyrics of Irish folk songs often tell stories of love, loss, emigration, and death.

Some of the most famous Irish folk musicians include The Dubliners, The Chieftains, Planxty, and The Pogues.

Famous Irish Folk Music Artists

There are many great Irish folk music artists out there. In this article, we will be discussing some of the most famous and popular ones. These artists have all made a great impact on the folk music scene in Ireland and have helped to keep the tradition alive.

The Dubliners

The Dubliners were an Irish folk band founded in 1962. The original line-up consisted of Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna, Ronnie Drew, Ciaran Bourke and Jim McCann. The Dubliners’ signature tune is “The Rising of the Moon”.

The Dubliners appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967, 1968 and 1969. They also toured the United States and Australia with great success. One of their most famous songs is “Seven Drunken Nights”, which tells the story of a husband coming home drunk seven nights in a row and his wife’s attempts to hide his condition from their neighbors.

The Dubliners were inducted into the Irish Music Hall of Fame in 2002. They continued to tour and record together until 2012, when Luke Kelly died. Barney McKenna died in 2012 and Ronnie Drew died in 2008.

The Chieftains

The Chieftains are a Grammy-winning Irish folk music group founded in Dublin in November 1962, by Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts and Michael Tubridy. The group has won six Grammy Awards and been nominated for eighteen. They are considered to be one of the most influential groups in Celtic music, inspiring many artists. The band’s current lineup includes Moloney, Matt Molloy, Kevin Conneff, Michael McGoldrick, and Cormac Breathnach.


Planxty are an Irish folk music group formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1972, founded by Christy Moore, Dónal Lunny, Liam O’Flynn, and Andy Irvine. One of the most influential groups of the Irish folk music revival, they did much to bring traditional music to a wider audience, and were Ireland’s most popular folk band during the 1970s.

Contemporary Irish Folk Music Artists

Over the past few years, the Irish folk music scene has seen a resurgence in popularity. A new generation of artists are bringing the traditional sounds of Ireland to a global audience. Here are some of the best Irish folk music artists making waves today.

The Gloaming

The Gloaming is an Irish-American supergroup consisting of five acclaimed musicians: singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, Martin Hayes (fiddle), Dennis Cahill (guitar), Thomas Bartlett (piano) and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (hardanger d’amore, fiddle). Drawing deeply from the well of traditional Irish music, The Gloaming create a brave new sound that is at once modern and rooted in the past.

The band came together in 2011 and released their self-titled debut album to critical acclaim in 2014. Their follow-up album, 2, was released in 2016 to even greater praise, with The New York Times calling it “an ambitious statement of purpose from a band that’s just getting started.” The Gloaming were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album for 2, and they won the RTÉ Folk Award for Best Album in 2017.

The Gloaming’s music is both timeless and forward-thinking, rooted in the traditional music of Ireland but with a contemporary sensibility. They are one of the most exciting and innovative bands working in folk music today, and they are sure to dazzle audiences with their stunning live performances.


Solas is an American-based Irish folk music band. The group formed in 1996 and has been active since, with their most recent album release in 2016. The band has won multiple awards and is considered one of the most successful contemporary Irish folk music groups.

Solas is made up of seven members, including Winifred Horan on fiddle, Seamus Egan on flute, mandolin, and guitar, Mick McAuley on accordion, Eamon McElholm on guitar and vocals, Manus Lunny on bouzouki and bodhran, and Leila Begley on piano. The band has had a rotating cast of members over the years, with only Horan and Egan remaining from the original lineup.

Solas’ musical style is a blend of traditional Irish folk music with a contemporary twist. The band has been praised for their innovative approach to folk music and their skilled musicianship. Solas has released ten studio albums, three live albums, and two compilation albums. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1996 to critical acclaim.

We Banjo 3

We Banjo 3 is an Irish folk music group from Galway, Ireland. The band members are cousins Enda Scahill and Martin Howley, and brother David Howley. They are joined by fiddler Tadhg Murphy. All four members of the group share vocals, with Scahill and David Howley playing the tenor banjo, mandolin and guitar, while Martin Howley plays the five-string banjo and Murphy plays the fiddle.

Similar Posts