Folk Music The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists  

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2.4k votes 824 voters 53.3k 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
196 55
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
126 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
98 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
78 25
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
51 13
Planxty is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Planxty The Well Below the Valley, Planxty, Cold Blow and the Rainy Night

6
58 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
56 17
Lúnasa is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Lúnasa The Merry Sisters of Fate, Otherworld, Redwood

8
47 11
The Bothy Band is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
61 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
37 7
Paddy Reilly is listed (or ranked) 10 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

11
37 7
Ronnie Drew is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Ronnie Drew Pearls, The Best of Ronnie Drew, Guaranteed Dubliner

12
43 12
Mary Black is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Mary Black No Frontiers, Twenty-Five Years, Twenty-Five Songs

13
43 13
Liam Clancy is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Liam Clancy The Lark in the Morning, Irish Troubadour, The Dutchman

14
43 13
The Irish Rovers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Irish Rovers Songs of Christmas, Another Round, Children of the Unicorn

15
69 32
The High Kings is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The High Kings The High Kings, Memory Lane, A Celtic Family Christmas

16
45 15
Clannad is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Clannad Legend, Landmarks, Clannad

17
34 7
Tommy Makem is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Tommy Makem The Makem & Clancy Concert, The Tommy Makem Songbag, Two for the Early Dew

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

19
34 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
26 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
13 1
Donal Lunny is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Donal Lunny Coolfin, Dónal Lunny, Journey: The Best of Donal Lunny

22
24 5
John Sheahan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

23
17 2
Liz Carroll is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Liz Carroll Liz Carroll, Lake Effect, A Friend Indeed

24
17 2
Dolores Keane is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Dolores Keane Solid Ground, There Was a Maid, Night Owl

25
17 2
Martin Hayes is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Martin Hayes Virginia, The Shores of Lough Graney, The Lonesome Touch

26
39 19
The Corrs is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
The Corrs Talk on Corners, Best of The Corrs, Forgiven

27
19 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
20 4
Bobby Clancy is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

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
35 19
Celtic Thunder is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Celtic Thunder Hard New York Days, Storm, Mythology

32
15 2
Cherish the Ladies is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Cherish the Ladies On Christmas Night, At Home, Out and About

33
16 3
Patsy Watchorn is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Patsy Watchorn Hearts on Fire

34
11 1
Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill is listed (or ranked) 34 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)

35
14 2
Barney McKenna is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

36
18 6
Karan Casey is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Karan Casey Seal Maiden: A Celtic Musical, Songlines, The Winds Begin to Sing

37
18 7
Eamonn Campbell is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

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

39
6 0
Mícheál Ó Domhnaill is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Mícheál Ó Domhnaill Nightnoise, Reprise - Athchuairt, Celtic Folkweave

40
13 3
Seán Cannon is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

41
11 2
Liam O'Flynn is listed (or ranked) 41 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

42
12 3
Frances Black is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Frances Black The Sky Road, The Smile on Your Face, Don't Get Me Wrong

43
14 5
Andrea Corr is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Andrea Corr Ten Feet High, Lifelines, Shame on You (To Keep My Love From Me)

44
16 7
Jim McCann is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Jim McCann The Best of Jim McCann

45
11 3
Máirtín O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Máirtín O'Connor Chatterbox, Perpetual Motion, Crossroads

46
7 1
Patrick Clancy is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

47
7 1
Maura O'Connell is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Maura O'Connell Blue Is the Colour of Hope, Helpless Heart, Just in Time

48
8 2
Gráda is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Gráda Endeavour, The Landing Step, Cloudy Day Navigation

49
10 4
Líadan is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists

50
5 0
Eileen Ivers is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Irish Folk Bands/Artists
Paulina Johansen added Eileen Ivers So Far: The Eileen Ivers Collection, Crossing the Bridge, An Nollaig: An Irish Christmas