The Wolfe Tones have been singing out for the freedom of a united Ireland for 25 years. Through their words, music, songs and their charismatic presence they transform audiences around the world into a positive force for a united Ireland through peace. Through the awareness created by their music and its message, the Wolfe Tones hope to "build figuratively a house in which all Irish people can live in unity and peace."
It all began in 1963 when Derek and Brian Warfield and their friend, Noel Nagle, met Tommy Byrne at the Elphin Fleadh (Irish Music Festival) in Rosecommon. The common factor that let to 26 years of international success became apparent that first weekend together. It comprised four talented men and a burning love for Ireland and its people. That has not been altered over the years. The Wolfe Tones' love of Ireland and pride in its people and history are evident in their choice of musical selections and in the songs they write. The Wolfe Tones took their name from the great l8th-century nationalist and patriot, Theobald Wolfe Tone.
Derek Warfield, the leader, takes you on a journey through Irish history. Derek plays mandolin, sings and composes many of the songs the Wolfe Tones perform. Brian Warfield, Derek's brother, is an extremely gifted songwriter and has composed a large majority of the songs performed by the Wolfe Tones; Brian plays the guitar, banjo, harp and bodhran, the traditional drum of the Celts. Noel Nagle sings, plays the tin whistle, uilleann pipes and he is an intricate part of the unique Wolfe Tone sound. Tommy Byrne is the lead singer and plays the guitar; his high, lilting, full voice brings great feeling to the ballads he sings. The group creates a magic in the theatre that is unequalled. The New York Times said of their performance at the Ritz; "the audience stomped and shouted along with the songs so vociferously that the entire room shook with every beat."
The Wolfe Tones are seasoned, professional entertainers. They are men with a purpose — to promote a love of Ireland and to entertain their audience. They accomplish both. As Derek Warfield says, "Like any folk music, Irish music is a mirror image of what is happening in the country, and our songs cover every issue in Ireland, past and present."