With a number of renowned national musical acts scheduled for the winter 2011/12 ski season, Alyeska Resort’s Sitzmark Bar and Grill is particularly excited to announce a special one-night performance by ‘The Young Dubliners’ on Saturday, January 21, 2012. Known for their loud, high energy style of Celtic rock & roll, the “Dubs”—as their fans fondly call the band—will perform two separate shows during their visit to Alaska. The band also plays the Blue Loon Theatre in Fairbanks on Friday night, January 20th.
Seamlessly blending their rock and Celtic influences into a high energy, anthemic and lyrically poignant mix, the band whose lineup since 2002 includes co-founder Keith Roberts (vocals, guitar), fellow Dubliner Brendan Holmes (bass, vocals), American-born members Bob Boulding (guitar, vocals), Chas Waltz (violin, keyboards, harp, mandolin, vocals) and Dave Ingraham (drums, percussion), jumps energetically from ballad to barn burner, documenting as they go the vibrant yet chaotic world they find themselves in.
“We really set a very high standard for ourselves as songwriters”, says Roberts. “We live on the road, but were aware that if every few years we don’t give our fans the highest quality songs we can, that level of excitement and anticipation may not last forever. We’ve never been about hit singles, but we have always been focused on making the 12 tracks per project the best they could be. We consider ourselves songwriters first and never just jammed styles together to sell albums. Our goal has always been to keep getting better and make the songs mean something.
Beyond the power and energy that infuses and defines their must-see live performances, Roberts believes that the Young Dubliners success over the years is a direct result of the strong songwriting on acclaimed releases like Rocky Road (1994), Breathe (1995), Red (2000), Absolutely (2002) and Real World. As the band developed and its members became better acquainted with their individual strengths and weaknesses, the writing process became more fully collaborative. Rather than simply having individual members bring in fully developed songs, now for the most part they come in with songs in progress and flesh them out together, staying open minded about their individual contributions and being cool about tweaking where it’s warranted.
Building a fervent fan base comparable to that of jam band rockers like Phish and Dave Matthews Band, The Young Dubliners have over the years become notorious for the whirling jig pits that erupt at their live shows. Keith Roberts and Paul O’Toole first met on L.A.’s vibrant pub scene circa late 1980s at a time when Roberts was composing some Irish ballads and thought casually about assembling a rag-tag team of fellow Irish transplants and like-minded American rockers. From their humble beginnings at the Irish Rover, the band evolved through various personnel changes into a pugnacious, crazy but coolly irresistible force of nature that eventually made its way into the studio to record their debut EP Rocky Road.
After participating in a number of headlining and co-headlining US tours (Johnny Lang, Collective Soul, Great Big Sea, and others), the quintet settled down to record Real World—an album influenced by their predecessors (Waterboys/Pogues/U2/Big Country) and most importantly, life on the road. During the interlude between Absolutely and Real World, came an event which drew the band in. Roberts underwent a throat surgery which required months of vocal cord rehabilitation. Reflecting on that time, he says, “My surgery made us all aware of how close we came to losing it all. Our determination to succeed is even stronger than before”. The raw live energy of their next project With All Due Respect, The Irish Sessions, was a unique and inspiring way to fill their audience in on the great writers and poets whose legacy the Young Dubliners are, album by album and show by show, boldly carrying on today.
The Young Dubliners are deep into writing and recording their ninth studio album. The band set the month of November aside to concentrate on the new recording, not an easy feat for a band that spends most of its life on the road. “We just find it very hard to write when we are constantly moving so every few years we have to lock ourselves away and focus exclusively on writing new material” says Keith Roberts, front man for the group. “What made it fun and refreshing is when we realized how many song ideas we had, now we are all excited to get these songs done and out there”.
Sitzmark Bar & Grill concerts start at 10:00 P.M. and shows are for ages 21 and over. Tickets for The Young Dubliner show are $20 in advanced or $25 day of show and can be purchased in person at any Alyeska Ticket Office or at the Sitzmark, by phone at 907-754-2275, or on the Alyeska Resort website.
For a complete Sitzmark music calendar and to purchase concert tickets, please visit AlyeskaResort.com