Everyone knows the nursery rhyme you sing when you count the button on your shirt to find out what you will be when you grow up. Rich man, Poor man, Beggar man, Theft, Doctor, Lawyer Indian Chief, Tinker, Tailor… - that didn’t work out for Derek Warfield. Derek Warfield is one of Ireland’s great treasures. He was one of the founding members of the renowned Wolfe Tones. But Derek’s journey did not begin as a musician. He trained and apprenticed as a tailor, but it was no surprise that his passion for music was the path that he would take. He learned his craft from his parents and grandparents. His mother taught him songs and ballads that he still uses in his performances. His father taught him to play the mandolin and many other instruments.
Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones will be appearing at the IAANJ 31st Annual Irish Festival in Augusta on September 9th at the Sussex Fairgrounds. The IAANJ (Irish American Association of Northwest Jersey) were lucky to obtain the Young Wolfe Tones as entertainment for their event. The Young Wolfe Tones were nominated as Ireland’s Best Folk Group in 2011. Along with Derek Warfield, the group consists of Damaris Woods, Alan Murray, Dan Lowery, Fintan Warfield and Luke Ward.
Damaris Woods lives in Co. Meath, Ireland. She is one of the best banjo players of her times. Alan Murray is originally from Glasgow, Scotland but now lives in New York City. He has built an outstanding reputation as one of the best Irish traditional music guitarist. Dan Lowery is originally from Milwaukee, but now lives in New York City. Dan has played the flute for over 14 years winning awards throughout the USA. He is one of the top flutists in the states. Fintan Warfield the youngest member of the band and a cousin of Derek, resides in Dublin. Fintan’s voice projects his passion and enthusiasm for the Irish music. When Derek heard Fintan sing, he said, “I thought of his grandfather John Warfield and how proud he would be of Fintan’s great talent and ability, and indeed how this young singer had inherited so much of his grandfather’s talent and love of music.”
The “Wolfe Tones” began in Dublin in the early 1960’s. The name “Wolfe Tones” was in recognition of the lawyer Theobald Wolfe Tone, an Irish Patriot of the 1798 rebellion in Ireland. The Wolfe Tones originally consisted of Derek and Brian Warfield, Tommy Byrne and Noel Nagle. The Wolfe Tones are known for their rebel songs with such hits as A Nation Once Again, Some Say the Devil is Dead, God Save Ireland, and Broad Black Brimmer.
The Young Wolfe Tones are also known for Irish ballads and rebel tunes such as The Parting Glass, Streets of New York, On the One Road, and Sally Garden. If you grew up in an Irish home you will certainly recognize these tunes that should bring back some pleasant memories. If you haven’t heard these classic ballads and rebel tunes, you should give them a listen. Either way, you should join the Young Wolfe Tones when they perform at the IAANJ 31st Irish Festival in Augusta, Sussex County NJ.
Along with the Young Wolfe Tones there will be everyone’s local favorite The Willie Lynch Band. Willie Lynch and his band have been performing in the area for over forty years. Mark your calendar for September 9th. Come to the Sussex Fairgrounds to hear some Irish Music and have some Craic [it’s pronounced “Crack”, and it’s not what you think. - In Ireland Craic means having a good time.] In addition to Irish Music there will be competitions in Bagpipe, Irish Step dancing, soda bread, Irish art and music. In addition to the entertainment and competitions there will also be a mass service, children’s activities and all types of food and merchandise vendors. It should be a great event, that shouldn’t be misses.