By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There will be a little Philadelphia flavor in tonight’s concert by Paddy Moloney and the Chieftains at the Kimmel Center.
Thirty-nine-year-old Paraic Keane was born and raised in Ireland, but now hangs his hat in Chestnut Hill. Although he usually works on a variety of music projects, when the Chieftains are in town, he grabs his fiddle and heads on down for a reunion with band members, both family and almost-family.
“Over the last years, they’re not as busy as they previously have been. They’ve taken it easy a bit. My dad is semi-retired, I guess. He doesn’t tour with them as much, because he’s spending time with the family.”
Keane says the band sometimes surpasses just its music. “The lasting success of the Chieftains has acted like music ambassadors. They were the first western band to tour even in China and, when people start saying Irish music, it’s the Chieftains CDs they listen to.”
Keane will appear with the Chieftains tonight in Philly and then on St. Patrick’s Day at Carnegie Hall, mostly because he’ll take a stand with the band when they’re close by.