Finbar Furey is an Irish singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, storyteller and actor. He grew up into a musical family in Ballyfermot, Dublin.
His father, Ted a renowned tenor banjo and fiddle player, taught him to play the uilleann pipes, which he excelled at, becoming a master piper, and winning All Ireland Medals and Feiseanna during his teenage years in the 1960s. He then went on tour with his brother Eddie, bringing Irish music, songs and stories all over the world.
In 1968, Finbar and Eddie joined The Clancy Brothers and spent the next two years touring, performing and recording with them. Finbar and Eddie then went on to tour and perform as a duo, and were awarded Best Single of the Year by John Peel in 1972.
In 1974, Finbar spent the summer, with his friend Bernard Overton, designing and producing a new kind of whistle, since known as a 'low whistle', and nowadays played in bands worldwide.
From 1976, Finbar was the lead singer of The Fureys and Davey Arthur. They achieved international success with songs such as 'The Green Fields of France', ‘The Lonesome Boatman’ and 'When you were Sweet Sixteen’.
In 1996, after over twenty years as The Fureys' frontman, Finbar decided to pursue a solo career, and explore new pastures as a singer, songwriter, musician and producer.
A man of many talents he has added 'actor' to his list of credits, with roles in ‘Gangs of New York’ (2002), the boxing film, 'Strength and Honour’ (2007) where he shared credits with Michael Madsen, Patrick Bergin, Vinnie Jones and Richard Chamberlain, then in 2010 he had a main part in the award winning Scottish short film , Paris/Sexy, followed by a character role in the RTE series,‘Love/Hate’ (2011).
Finbar had a number one in the Irish Charts in 2013 with his Colours album, featuring Gerry Fleming's beautifully written ‘The Last Great Love Song'. It was his first number one in Ireland in over thirty years, since ‘When You Were Sweet Sixteen’ topped the charts in 1981!
Finbar was greatly honoured in 2015, in his hometown, to receive the accolade of the 'Lord Mayor's Award' presented by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke.
In 2016 he wrote and performed the music for the film ‘The Wild Goose Lodge’, and released his instrumental pipes and flute album, ‘The Slender Promise’.
2017 saw the release of his album, ‘Paddy Dear’, which the following year was re-packaged by BMG UK as ‘Don’t Stop This Now’ alongside a live DVD and a tour of the UK and Ireland.
July 2020, saw the release of a new single, the title track from his forthcoming album, ‘Blue Jewel in the Sky’.
Always at the forefront of musical change, Finbar’s successful career, and extensive touring, continues to bring a whole new audience to the music and songs.
'Finbar Furey proves that he is not just a massive force in Irish music's heritage, he is a massive force in shaping it's future as well'.
- Shane MacGowan
‘Only someone as tough as Finbar Furey can sing songs this tender. Only someone who has lived all the lives Finbar Furey has lived, can stop us in the busy street of our own life and still us into focusing on one very real soul in a song like ‘Annabelle’. We believe him when he sings of the lost and losing faith. We trust him with our own doubts, but strangely, with such balladry he gives us more faith and courage to go on’.
‘Finbar Furey, even his name sings defiantly. It's worth living long enough to hear that defiance and wisdom deepen, soften, yet never bend. It's so great to see him. Whenever I do I'm reminded of the promise I made to myself: stay the road, stay true to yourself and your song. This man has it in spades’.
- Glen Hansard
‘Finbar is the jewel of Ireland. A rough cut, perfectly polished, precious, invaluable treasure of ours. He lives and breathes every word of every song he writes and performs. It feels like he sings every one just for me. Watch him, he mesmerises. With each gesture, each movement, each expression, he draws you in with his unmistakable, deep, dulcet, husky and yet sweetly soft, intimate, often delicately vulnerable, voice. With every song he sings I am convinced he can see inside my heart and I into his. He is the master. This is an icon at his best... so far’.
- Imelda May