Young Dubliners return to Carson City

The Young Dubliners bring their blend of Irish and American rock to Carson City on Saturday.

The Young Dubliners bring their blend of Irish and American rock to Carson City on Saturday.

The Young Dubliners love competition, and they want to be the best band you see this summer. Keith Roberts said he’s looked over the Levitt AMP lineup and there are quite a bit of good bands, but he said he wants to blow everyone away with their show this Saturday.
“We want this to be the best one they see all summer, so we’re bringing it,” he said.
The band last played Carson City in 2017 as part of the concert series. Roberts remembers Carson by wandering the town and hitting the local bars after the gig.
“It’s a little fun spot and it’s kind of a secret,” he said.

The band has gone through some changes since their last visit to Carson City. They have a new guitar player and bass player for the first time in about 18 years, Roberts said.
“Both stories with each guy are kind of one of those special things where you’re sad they are leaving, but then you find someone new who changes the vibe a little bit and brings some new energy,” Roberts said.
A new lead guitar player joined in 2018. They had to find a new bass player in 2020 and they hired Roberts’ guitar tech for 12 years who moved away. Roberts said the guitar tech nailed the audition, and the band played about eight shows then everything shut down due to the pandemic.
This will be the first solid summer with a whole lineup of shows.
“This will be brand new for him seeing a lot of these places,” Roberts said. “Especially as a musician on stage instead of a stage manager.”
Roberts said the band is excited to get on tour together.
“It’s a breath of fresh air in a band like us who has been going on as long as we have,” he said. “By getting new blood and new material and a new album on the way, there’s a lot of excitement building for this one.”

Roberts comes from Dublin, Ireland, and moved to America. The Young Dubliners sound is a fusion of the two. It’s a hybrid mixing Irish music and American rock and bluegrass with a little country in the blend.
“That’s what makes us stand out from others,” Roberts said.
Roberts’ influences growing up was Big Country, The Waterboys and The Pogues. His goal for starting the band was to find like-minded Americans who wanted to blend it all. He said everyone in his band contributes to the music.
“We feel like we’re just a rock band with a heavy Irish influence,” he said.

The band goes global with their music when they visit Ireland once a year. It’s unlike other concert tours. Roberts books his band across the country and takes 120 Americans with them on tour for a 10-day excursion.
“It’s sort of a ‘work-cation’ because I go home and see the family,” he said.
He said it’s a slightly lighter workload, but it is fun.
A travel agent gave them the idea, and it’s been very successful. After the pandemic hiatus, this year sold out very well. There are some seats still available for the next one.

When the pandemic hit, Roberts said he did nothing for the first year being in shock from everything being cancelled. He said by early 2021 he started getting his groove back and he started writing more and the band came up with ideas too.
This year they plan to record another album in the fall. The band is working on it currently, but Roberts said they’ll do a great amount of work in the studio.
“We find it easier to be creative in the studio, and we tend to push ourselves a lot harder and make the songs a lot more developed.”
The Young Dubliners are doing a grassroots campaign for the new album with crowdfunding. The band asks for donations from the fans, but Roberts said it is an investment because everyone gets their money’s worth. Depending on the tier someone donates, they can receive concert tickets, merch from the band or more specialized items.
“We call them our executive producers,” he said. “It’s fan-driven and we have amazing fans. Some donate and go above and beyond.”

WHAT: The Young Dubliners at Brewery Art Center’s Levitt AMP Concert Series
WHERE: The Change Companies Stage, 449 West King St. at the Brewery Arts Center
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, July 9


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