folk music The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists  

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2.3k votes 785 voters 51.3k views 117 items

Folk music in Ireland remains one of the most aspects of their musical culture. Despite Irish rock music gaining acclaim towards the end of the 20th century, Irish folk bands has endured through the years and has served as a popular way for singers to share stories and voice their concerns of their time. Irish folk singers are beloved in their native land, and in some cases, their music has caught on with other Irish people across the globe. The best Irish folk singers resonated with their diehard fans and their music is part of the great Irish songbook.

So, what are the best Irish folk bands and artists? If you're familiar with Irish folk bands, you know that's not an easy question to answer. However, you're likely to include Irish folk bands like The Clancy Brothers, The Chieftains, The Dubliners among the best Irish folk bands. These Irish folk singers were instrumental in telling the tales and singing about Irish culture in a way that few were able to before. Irish folk music is the backbone of the country's musical identity, and it's not a surprise the best Irish folk singers are looked at so fondly.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best Irish folk bands. If you notice that one is missing, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best folk music of Ireland bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest folk music of Ireland musician ever?"

If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular folk music of Ireland bands that you might've heard of.

1
185 54
The Dubliners is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Dubliners Live at the Albert Hall, Whiskey in the Jar, A Parcel of Rogues

2
115 36
The Chieftains is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Chieftains Irish Heartbeat, The Chieftains in China, The Best of the Chieftains

3
92 32
The Clancy Brothers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Clancy Brothers Come Fill Your Glass With Us: Irish Songs of Drinking and Blackguarding, Best of the Vanguard Years, The Boys Won't Leave the Girls Alone

4
76 24
Christy Moore is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Christy Moore Burning Times, Prosperous, The Iron Behind the Velvet

5
46 10
The Bothy Band is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Bothy Band The Bothy Band 1975: The First Album, The Best of the Bothy Band, Live in Concert

6
57 18
Altan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Altan Another Sky, The Blue Idol, Local Ground

7
49 13
Planxty is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Planxty The Well Below the Valley, Planxty, Cold Blow and the Rainy Night

8
54 17
Lúnasa is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Lúnasa The Merry Sisters of Fate, Otherworld, Redwood

9
57 22
Luke Kelly is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Luke Kelly The Collection, Dubliners (with Luke Kelly), The Best Of

10
42 12
Mary Black is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Mary Black No Frontiers, Twenty-Five Years, Twenty-Five Songs

11
43 14
Clannad is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Clannad Legend, Landmarks, Clannad

12
33 7
Paddy Reilly is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Paddy Reilly The Very Best of Paddy Reilly, 20 Golden Irish Ballads, Paddy Reilly's Ireland^! Volume 1

13
33 7
Ronnie Drew is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Ronnie Drew Pearls, The Best of Ronnie Drew, Guaranteed Dubliner

14
65 31
The High Kings is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The High Kings The High Kings, Memory Lane, A Celtic Family Christmas

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15
32 7
Tommy Makem is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Tommy Makem The Makem & Clancy Concert, The Tommy Makem Songbag, Two for the Early Dew

16
62 30
Wolfe Tones is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Wolfe Tones Wolfe Tones, The Wolfe Tones Greatest Hits, Rifles of the I.R.A.

17
39 13
Liam Clancy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Liam Clancy The Lark in the Morning, Irish Troubadour, The Dutchman

18
38 13
The Irish Rovers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Irish Rovers Songs of Christmas, Another Round, Children of the Unicorn

19
33 11
De Dannan is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
De Dannan A Jacket of Batteries, Ballroom, The Star Spangled Molly

20
25 5
Solas is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Solas The Words That Remain, Waiting for an Echo, Solas

21
17 2
Martin Hayes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Martin Hayes Virginia, The Shores of Lough Graney, The Lonesome Touch

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22
17 2
Liz Carroll is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Liz Carroll Liz Carroll, Lake Effect, A Friend Indeed

23
38 18
The Corrs is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Corrs Talk on Corners, Best of The Corrs, Forgiven

24
12 1
Donal Lunny is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Donal Lunny Coolfin, Dónal Lunny, Journey: The Best of Donal Lunny

25
16 2
Dolores Keane is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Dolores Keane Solid Ground, There Was a Maid, Night Owl

26
21 5
John Sheahan is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

27
18 3
Danú is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Danú Dual, Up in the Air, Think Before You Think

28
19 4
Bobby Clancy is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

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29
19 4
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh Altan, Ceol Aduaidh, Imeall

30
20 5
Máire Brennan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Máire Brennan An Irish Christmas, Signature, In Christ Alone: New Hymns of Prayer & Worship

31
15 2
Cherish the Ladies is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Cherish the Ladies On Christmas Night, At Home, Out and About

32
15 2
Patsy Watchorn is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Patsy Watchorn Hearts on Fire

33
18 5
Karan Casey is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Karan Casey Seal Maiden: A Celtic Musical, Songlines, The Winds Begin to Sing

34
32 19
Celtic Thunder is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Celtic Thunder Hard New York Days, Storm, Mythology

35
12 2
Barney McKenna is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

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36
10 1
Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill Tríona, Idir an Dá Sholas, Idir an Dá Sholas (Between the Two Lights)

37
12 3
Frances Black is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Frances Black The Sky Road, The Smile on Your Face, Don't Get Me Wrong

38
16 7
Eamonn Campbell is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

39
10 2
Liam O'Flynn is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Liam O'Flynn The Pilgrim (The Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor: Iain Sutherland), The Given Note, The Piper's Call

40
13 5
Andrea Corr is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Andrea Corr Ten Feet High, Lifelines, Shame on You (To Keep My Love From Me)

41
15 7
Jim McCann is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Jim McCann The Best of Jim McCann

42
10 3
Máirtín O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Máirtín O'Connor Chatterbox, Perpetual Motion, Crossroads

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43
10 3
Seán Cannon is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

44
10 3
Líadan is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

45
7 1
Maura O'Connell is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Maura O'Connell Blue Is the Colour of Hope, Helpless Heart, Just in Time

46
8 2
Gráda is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Gráda Endeavour, The Landing Step, Cloudy Day Navigation

47
6 1
Willie Clancy is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Willie Clancy The Minstrel From Clare

48
5 0
We Banjo 3 is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Paulina Johansen added We Banjo 3

49
5 0
Mícheál Ó Domhnaill is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Mícheál Ó Domhnaill Nightnoise, Reprise - Athchuairt, Celtic Folkweave

50
5 0
Nightnoise is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Nightnoise Something of Time, At the End of the Evening, A Different Shore