The Chieftains present The Celtic Sessions, with Ry Cooder

Over the course of 53 years and 58 albums, seminal Irish exports the Chieftains have uncompromisingly popularized their country’s rich musical heritage, collaborating with some of modern music’s biggest names, and ultimately earning the group six Grammys and 18 Grammy nominations.

From July 7-11, at the bucolic Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs, New York, The Chieftains present The Celtic Sessions, with very special guest Ry Cooder. The five-day event will be an opportunity for fans — both musicians of all levels and non-musicians — to deeply experience the rich beauty of Irish music and soak up one of modern music’s most enduring and fascinating careers. http://www.celticsessions.com/.

The Chieftains have journeyed from rehearsing in Paddy’s home to symphony performances, and worked with landmark artists such as the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello, and Pavarotti, among many others. Reflecting back, Chieftains founder Paddy Moloney says, “Growing up, music was everything to me, and I was fortunate to get a lot of encouragement at home. I came from a musical family, and that grounding helped me to stay focused on the music I believed in as my career took off. It’s funny looking back now, but I remember in the early days we got big record label offers if we added drums and rock ’n’ roll guitars, but we held out without smokescreens and stuff. We just kept our focus on solid music.”

This once-in-a-lifetime experience grants fans unique and intimate access to a legendary world-music institution. Paddy and The Chieftains will offer master classes in traditional Irish music techniques and instruments, as well as conduct breakout sessions on songwriting and authentic Irish dance. There will be extensive Q&As where Paddy might discuss anything from the band’s stick-to-your-guns early days to teaching Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards a tricky traditional Irish rhythm. The musicians will also host private shows in which participants can actually jam with the band, and there will be a rare show with the Chieftains featuring Ry Cooder. The all-inclusive event will also include fine cuisine and a whiskey-tasting session.

“Paddy fits in everywhere he goes, and I do my level best to fit in with him when I get the opportunity,” says special guest Ry Cooder, known for applying an authentic feel and bold personal voice to myriad forms of roots music. “We’re the old-timers now, the ringmaster and the sad clown. We know a thing or two.” Cooder is sure to inspire some wonderfully freewheeling performances. In 2010 he collaborated with The Chieftains on the commercial and critical smash San Patricio. Paddy has said the concerts with Cooder were some of his favorite in the band’s half-century career.

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