Folk Music The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists  

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2.5k votes 850 voters 54.9k 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.

list ordered by

1
205 56
The Dubliners is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Live at the Albert Hall, Whiskey in the Jar, A Parcel of Rogues

2
131 36
The Chieftains is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Irish Heartbeat, The Chieftains in China, The Best of the Chieftains

3
102 33
The Clancy Brothers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
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
82 27
Christy Moore is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Burning Times, Prosperous, The Iron Behind the Velvet

5
59 17
Lúnasa is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Merry Sisters of Fate, Otherworld, Redwood

6
61 19
Altan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Another Sky, The Blue Idol, Local Ground

7
65 22
Luke Kelly is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Collection, Dubliners (with Luke Kelly), The Best Of

8
52 14
Planxty is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Well Below the Valley, Planxty, Cold Blow and the Rainy Night

9
48 12
The Bothy Band is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Bothy Band 1975: The First Album, The Best of the Bothy Band, Live in Concert

10
40 7
Ronnie Drew is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Pearls, The Best of Ronnie Drew, Guaranteed Dubliner

11
39 7
Paddy Reilly is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Very Best of Paddy Reilly, 20 Golden Irish Ballads, Paddy Reilly's Ireland

12
73 32
The High Kings is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The High Kings, Memory Lane, A Celtic Family Christmas

13
36 7
Tommy Makem is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Makem & Clancy Concert, The Tommy Makem Songbag, Two for the Early Dew

14
44 13
Mary Black is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
No Frontiers, Twenty-Five Years, Twenty-Five Songs

15
46 15
The Irish Rovers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Songs of Christmas, Another Round, Children of the Unicorn

16
46 15
Clannad is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Legend, Landmarks, Clannad

17
44 14
Liam Clancy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Lark in the Morning, Irish Troubadour, The Dutchman

18
63 30
Wolfe Tones is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Wolfe Tones, The Wolfe Tones Greatest Hits, Rifles of the I.R.A.

19
14 1
Donal Lunny is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Coolfin, Dónal Lunny, Journey: The Best of Donal Lunny

20
35 11
De Dannan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
A Jacket of Batteries, Ballroom, The Star Spangled Molly

21
27 5
John Sheahan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

22
18 2
Martin Hayes is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Virginia, The Shores of Lough Graney, The Lonesome Touch

23
26 5
Solas is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Words That Remain, Waiting for an Echo, Solas

24
17 2
Liz Carroll is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Liz Carroll, Lake Effect, A Friend Indeed

25
20 3
Danú is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Dual, Up in the Air, Think Before You Think

26
21 4
Bobby Clancy is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

27
39 20
The Corrs is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Talk on Corners, Best of The Corrs, Forgiven

28
37 19
Celtic Thunder is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Hard New York Days, Storm, Mythology

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

30
17 3
Dolores Keane is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Solid Ground, There Was a Maid, Night Owl

31
17 3
Patsy Watchorn is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Hearts on Fire

32
20 6
Máire Brennan is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
An Irish Christmas, Signature, In Christ Alone: New Hymns of Prayer & Worship

33
15 2
Cherish the Ladies is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
On Christmas Night, At Home, Out and About

34
15 2
Barney McKenna is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

35
20 7
Eamonn Campbell is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

36
11 1
Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Tríona, Idir an Dá Sholas, Idir an Dá Sholas (Between the Two Lights)

37
18 7
Karan Casey is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Seal Maiden: A Celtic Musical, Songlines, The Winds Begin to Sing

38
6 0
We Banjo 3 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Paulina Johansen added

39
6 0
Nightnoise is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Something of Time, At the End of the Evening, A Different Shore

40
6 0
Mícheál Ó Domhnaill is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Nightnoise, Reprise - Athchuairt, Celtic Folkweave

41
13 3
Seán Cannon is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

42
11 2
Liam O'Flynn is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Pilgrim (The Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor: Iain Sutherland), The Given Note, The Piper's Call

43
12 3
Frances Black is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Sky Road, The Smile on Your Face, Don't Get Me Wrong

44
14 5
Andrea Corr is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Ten Feet High, Lifelines, Shame on You (To Keep My Love From Me)

45
16 7
Jim McCann is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Best of Jim McCann

46
8 1
Patrick Clancy is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

47
11 4
Máirtín O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Chatterbox, Perpetual Motion, Crossroads

48
7 1
Willie Clancy is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Minstrel From Clare

49
7 1
Maura O'Connell is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Blue Is the Colour of Hope, Helpless Heart, Just in Time

50
8 2
Gráda is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Endeavour, The Landing Step, Cloudy Day Navigation