The Dubliners first came together at the Edinburgh Festival of 1963 and in the months thereafter they swept on to the folk scene like a breath of fresh air, warming the heart of every Irishman and frightening and bewildering every Englishman who came into their path. The fear and bewilderment however was tinged with admiration, for one could not help but admire Barney playing the banjo with a dexterity unmatched by anyone else in Britain or Ronnie Drew singing in a voice like coke being crushed under a door or Luke Kelly in full vocal flight taking the froth off a Guinness at 50 yards.
What happened is history. The Dubliners became the most surprising and possibly surprised entrants into the Hit Parade in years, became the biggest thing the Irish entertainment business had ever known and trail blazed their way round the world, bringing Irish music at its best to America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Germany, France and England.
The Dubliners have made no musical concessions to commercial success. Their way with a song and with an audience is as uncompromising but as warmhearted as ever. These recordings are drawn from the period 1963/1966 during which, if anything, The Dubliners were singing and playing at their joyous best.