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Irish rock for RFM

Ted AlvarezVail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily/David Safian
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You can’t deny it, Vail Valley: You love your Young Dubliners. Lucky for you, the perennial favorites are back to rock the house – this time in celebration of local radio upstart Radio Free Minturn. A portion of each $20 ticket sold goes to support RFM. Young Dubliners singer and former independent radio pirate Keith Roberts answers seven questions from the road. 1. You’re playing two nights at Mango’s. Do you have plans to play different sets each night?The thing is that Mango’s is like a little jewel in the crown. It seemed like such a wild idea – why would you go even further into the mountains? But the venue, the people and the response are just amazing. Weeknights at Mango’s are as rocking as any weekend anywhere else. That’s why we’re doing two nights – it’s too much fun to do (just) one. But I’ve got a drummer friend from Dublin who I grew up with, and we’ve invited his band Eject to open. And what we’ll do is mix it up each night; you’ll hear a few songs twice. But there will also new songs each night, our covers from “With all due Respect,” and mix it up with our own stuff. 2. Your two shows are in celebration of Radio Free Minturn. Is independent radio important to you?Absolutely – it’s terrific when you can actually go do interviews that aren’t controlled by some a-hole in an office in New York. This all aligned at the right time. We not only get to play Mango’s, we get to celebrate the birthday of one of the coolest radio stations in the country, not to mention Colorado. It’s nice to see the little guy doing well. Back in Ireland, you had a couple of pirate radio stations. I actually did that, I had a little station broadcasting in a 25-yard radius; we didn’t do much more than interrupting neighbors’ TV signals. If I didn’t do this, I’d try to get into radio.

3. You handled classic Irish songs on your last album. What’s next? In September, we start to write, and in October, we lock ourselves away. Hopefully, we’ll emerge around Christmas with a new album for some time in 2008. We really got to get stuck into our new original stuff. We come up with ideas on road, but we don’t get a chance to jam them out. You’re not going to meet in your hotel room to work on songs during the one hour you have off to work it out. But we’ve got some mad ideas – there’s a lot of expectations, but it’ll be lots of fun. People are going to be surprised. It’s not a massive departure, but we’ll add new elements. They’re top secret right now, in case it doesn’t work. 4. You recently toured Scandinavia and hit lots of out-of-the-way islands. What was that like?I’ll actually be uploading some video to our site soon – it’s unbelievable. Scandinavians are unbelievably great; the crowds are phenomenal. The last several days in Denmark, it rained and didn’t ruin attendance. We love parts of Norway where we traveled on little boats, trains and ferries, and you get to these remote locations. You’re like, ‘How could anyone know about this place,’ and 6,000 people show up. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing – well, hopefully not. We’re trying to go back in spring. 5. You’re extremely popular in the mountains. Is there a kinship between mountain folks and the Irish?

I think over the years we wondered what that was. Salt Lake City; Boise, Idaho; Montana, Wyoming – we do have a following in a lot of (mountain) cities. It’s probably because the Rockies are one of the first places we went. We were just sort of lucky enough to hit the market when Dave Matthews, jam bands and a lot of bluegrass broke, and the mountain fans have propped us up. We’ve never grown tired, and the people always enjoy us. We try to make sure every record is real and hopefully give thanks by showing up with songs and a show that earns people’s support. 6. You’ve recently added piper Eric Rigler to the lineup. Will he make it to Red Cliff?Unfortunately, he can’t make it. I wish he could – he’s just a phenomenal addition. He’s been on all our albums, he just never toured before with us. We just played Hard Rock in Vegas with us, but he had to go back. 7. What’s your new favorite thing on this tour?The best thing for me was I got Sirius satellite radio. I can listen to the BBC, flip over to Howard Stern and then listen to whatever music I like. There’s no such thing as radio when you’re on tour – it’s only AM country. So yeah, it’s my favorite toy.========



Sham-rockin’What: Young Dubliners play two nights in a row to celebrate Radio Free Minturn’s birthday.Where: Mango’s in Red CliffWhen: Tuesday and Wednesday. Show starts at 8 p.m.Cost: Tickets are $20 for each day and available at http://www.mangosmountaingrill.com.========Arts & Entertainment Writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or talvarez@vaildaily.com


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