Music » Livewire

The Young Dubliners

Saturday, July 22, at the Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival, and Sunday, July 23, at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.

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The Young Dubliners 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 stand alongside Great Big Sea as a true purveyor of Irish rock that's thrilling to hear, fun to watch, and certain to swing your shillelagh.

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