Finbar Furey
Finbar Furey

Finbar Furey

About Finbar Furey

Finbar Furey has left his mark on the music of Ireland for more than four decades. As the lead singer and uilleann pipes player for the Fureys, the influential group he shared with his brothers Eddie, Paul, and George, Furey helped to guide the evolution of Ireland's traditional music. After leaving the band to pursue a solo career in 1993, Furey continued to attract attention with his gutsy approach to the music of the Emerald Isle.
A native of Dublin's Coombe district, Furey was raised, from the age of five, in Ballyfermot. Music played an essential role in the family home. His father, Ted, a horse dealer by profession, played fiddle and pipes and his mother played melodeon and five-stringed banjo. By 1958, Finbar and Eddie were performing, along with their father, at informal jam sessions at O'Donoghue's Bar. Finbar quickly exhibited extraordinary skills as a musician. winning three all-Ireland championships on Uillean pipes. In 1964, he placed first in the world championship. Together with Eddie, Finbar made a powerful impression at the Tralee International Festival in 1961, winning major awards in the main event, the pub event, and the street event.
Emigrating to Scotland in 1966, Finbar and Eddie were soon playing in folk music clubs, colleges, and universities throughout Great Britain and Europe. Their greatest break came when they were invited to be the opening act for the Clancy Brothers' tour of the United States in 1969. The enthusiastic response they elicited resulted in them becoming headliners, with Paul and George joining their older brothers. In 1993, Furey left the group to launch a solo career. His debut solo album, The Wind and the Rain, released in 1997, was followed by a reissue of the 1969 collection, Traditional Irish Pipe Music a year later. Another seasonal effort, We Dreamed Our Dreams: A Celebration of St. Patrick's Day, was issued in early 2001. Over the next several years, Furey made a foray into acting, appearing in Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York (2002) and a pair of Irish indies, Adam & Paul (2004) and Strength and Honour (2007). He continued touring, releasing another solo effort, No Farewells, No Goodbyes, in 2007, followed in 2011 by Colours. In 2013, Furey appeared on the Irish television talent show The Hit, recording the single "The Last Great Love Song," which won first place and topped the Irish charts. He returned in 2018 with Don't Stop This Now, a solo album which was paired with a live DVD captured during a 2017 appearance in Dublin. ~ Craig Harris

    Ballyfermot, Ireland
  • BORN
    September 28, 1946

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