Feb 7, 2014 1:58 PM by Dan Shadwell
On March 4th, "The Young Dubliners" will release their ninth album and to promote it, they're about to kick off their next world tour, starting with a gig tonight at SLO Brew in downtown San Luis Obispo.
I sat down with the leader of the Celtic rock band--Paso Robles resident, Keith Roberts--to talk music, the fans, and the next chapter.
Over the decades, "The Young Dubs" have built a worldwide fan base, though occasionally the praise has required translation, as it did the first time they played in Denmark. After a set, the band was trying to gauge the applause.
"They clap in a strange way? what do you mean?" I asked Roberts.
"I think it's a Germanic thing, where here, everybody claps... there, they'll..." Roberts demonstrates a very slow, measured clap--one that looked almost a sarcastic. "Does that mean we're doing terrible or kicking butt now?..." Roberts laughs.
In fact, that plodding pace was no pan. The band regularly draws large crowds all over Denmark... and the rest of Europe, for that matter.
The latest tour will take them back to Denmark and Ireland, and to gigs stateside as well, here in California, in Colorado, Utah, Texas,Nevada, and Alaska... as band members introduce their new recording entitled simply, "Nine." It's a raucous mix, starting with the driving anthem, "We the Mighty."
"The whole Celtic Rock scene came from when a lot of these folk bands began to use drums and rock it up a little bit," Roberts explains. "For us, we were just writing songs and just happened to be Irish people playing with American people and it started to take on a bit of an Irish flare, because I was writing most of the stuff and using the americans to rock it up a little bit. We always laugh because we did it before there was a Celtic Rock, you know,... scene... and we just got blended into it."
Since Roberts relocated to San Luis Obispo County from Santa Monica several years back, tthe Central Coast has become part of that scene--and Keith says it's the perfect place to start the tour.
"I played here long before I ever moved up to the area and we always loved it here. We always loved coming up to San Luis Obispo. The Brew was where we had our best shows and we were always happy to see people who knew who we were. Now that I live up here, it's even more so," he says with a smile.
For more information on the band, the new album, "9", and Friday's concert at SLO Brewhouse, just go to ksby.com and click "links."
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