Finbar and Eddie had enjoyed success as a duo in the 1960s and early 70s and had supported the Clancy Brothers on their American tour
Meanwhile their brother, Paul, was also making a name for himself as a musician. He was a member of the band, The Buskers, along with Davey Arthur and Brendan Leeson. They released their debut album, The Life of a Man, in 1973.
The youngest brother, George Furey joined the Buskers in time for the release of their second album, The Buskers, in 1974. Finbar and Eddie continued to record and release albums and over the next few years the brothers gradually started to perform together more and more often at various folk festivals.
Finbar and Eddie’s final album as a duo came in 1976 and was called The Farewell Album. It was a double album and the second disc featured all four brothers as well as Davey Arthur.
The following year the brothers and Arthur formed the group, Tam Linn, which later became The Fureys and Davey Arthur. They signed to Polydor Records and released two albums in 1977, Emigrant and Morning on a Distant Shore.
Both releases were big successes and the group started to develop a big international following. The title track of their 1979 album, The Green Fields of France, gave them a number one single in Ireland.
They had another international hit single two years later with When You Were Sweet Sixteen and their 1984 album, Golden Days, reached the top 20 of the UK charts.
The bands are close friends with the great English songwriter Ralph McTell and have recorded several of his songs. On one occasion, The Fureys were appearing on the same bill as McTell when his PA system failed. The band allowed him to use their system but refused to accept any payment. Instead, they said half jokingly, “just write us a song instead.”
McTell took them at their words and went away and wrote From Clare to Here. The band were delighted to record it and it has since become a standard on the Irish and British folk scene.
The group continued to release albums throughout the 1990s although Davey Arthur and Finbar Furey had both left to pursue other projects. Finbar would later appear in the 2002 movie, Gangs of New York, singing the traditional folk song, New York Girls, in a bar room scene.
Paul Furey died aged just 54, in 2002. Davey Arthur rejoined the band following Paul’s death and they continue to perform and record together.