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All Music Guide:
Very few bands manage to stay together for several decades. Even fewer are able to do it when their prime focus is politics. But then again, there aren't many around like the Wolfe Tones. Taking their name from Wolfe Tone, one of the leaders of the 1798 Irish Rebellion, they've remained unabashedly loud and proud of their politics since they began in 1963, even when the Irish government was banning their records (which it did in the late '60s). Formed by Derek Warfield and his brother Brian, who recruited piper Noel Nagle, they added singer/guitarist Tommy Byrne a year later, and took the huge step of turning professional, establishing themselves first of all as traditional ballad singers, working at home and in England, then venturing on their first U.S. tour in 1966. They worked steadily, releasing records, but not afraid to walk the line -- they had their first record band in 1966. By the end of the decade their material was routinely banned at home, even as Los Angeles was handing them the keys to the City. Brian Warfield has proved to be as prolific and committed composer of songs, largely from an Irish Republican point of view (although the band has always denied any sectarian bias), but mixed with traditional and contemporary material -- a sort of more conscious version of the Dubliners. As time has passed, their music has changed little, but to their fans -- who've tended to love them as much for what they write about as the manner in which they perform -- that's hardly a handicap. And while the baton has been passed to a younger generation, leaving the Wolfe Tones as something of a nostalgia act, their core audience has remained faithful, allowing them to continue releasing records like 25th Anniversary, which is a virtual greatest hits collection, and tour frequently, including annual jaunts to America, where they continued to pack the house.
The Wolfe Tones are an Irish rebel music band who incorporate elements of Irish traditional music in their songs. They are named after the Irish rebel and patriot Theobald Wolfe Tone, one of the leaders of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, with the double entendre that a wolf tone is a spurious sound that can affect instruments of the violin family.
Formation and early years 
The origins of the group date back to August 1963, where three neighbouring children from the Dublin suburb of Inchicore, brothers Brian and Derek Warfield and Noel Nagle had been musical friends. They were later joined by Tommy Byrne whom they met when playing at an open air festival (a Fleadh Cheoil) in Elphin, County Roscommon in 1964.This subsequently led to the three friends playing at Fleadh Cheoil and music festivals around Ireland.
"The Split" 
In 1989, a contract was signed by band leader, Derek Warfield, signing rights to an American distributor. The contents of this contract were apparently misrepresented to the other members of the band, resulting in a clause that prevented them from recording. Unable to reverse this agreement, they continued to tour albeit without any new material.
In 1995, Derek Warfield released a solo studio album entitled Legacy as he was still eligible to record under his own name. With Derek on vocals and mandolin, the music on this album was performed by a new band, although he was still in fact touring with The Wolfe Tones. Derek's solo releases continued on bi-annually.
In 2001, after a show played in Limerick, Derek Warfield departed the band under circumstances that remain unknown to this day. Calling themselves "Brian Warfield, Tommy Byrne and Noel Nagle formerly of The Wolfe Tones" the three would later go on to release "You'll Never Beat the Irish".
The Wolfe Tones continue to tour but as a 3-piece band comprising Brian Warfield, Noel Nagle & Tommy Byrne.
The Wolfe Tones celebrated their 45th Anniversary with a special event at the prestigious Waterfront Hall, Belfast, on Sunday 26 October 2008, which was also filmed for their upcoming documentary.
Notable works 
The song Celtic Symphony was written by Brian Warfield in 1987 for the centennial of Celtic Football Club. Other famous songs written by the group include Joe McDonnell, a song about the life and death of the Provisional IRA member who was the fifth person to die on the 1981 Hunger Strike.
Their rendition of "A Nation Once Again" by Thomas Osborne Davis was voted the number one song of all time in a BBC World Service vote.
Their 1982 hit Admiral William Brown pays homage to the renowned Argentine naval hero and Irish patriot William Brown, while denouncing the British invasions of Argentina in the early 19th century as well as the usurpation of the Malvinas in 1833.
On Tuesday 8 January 2013, Brian Warfield announced via the group's newsletter that, by mutual consent, the band would retire from touring on completion of their 50th anniversary year in November, 2014. He went on to say that although not touring, The Wolfe Tones would still be available for special events and that it was their ambition to be involved in the 100th Anniversary Commemoration for the 1916 Rising in 2016.