Fifty years is a pretty long time by anyone’s measure. If we look back at what’s happened over the past 50 years, it suffices to say that the world has seen some pretty outstanding and some pretty radical changes and developments. And when was the last time we heard of a band reaching a 50th anniversary? Well, we can name one, and it’s one that have put together a very special album to mark the occasion of their golden birthday, Dublin’s The Chieftains.

The Chieftains, one of the most celebrated traditional Irish bands of all time have just hit that incredible milestone that is 50 years of existence, and to celebrate, they’re set to release one of their most ambitious pieces of work to date. The band, formed in 1962 by Paddy Moloney and “top folk musicians in Ireland” have collaborated with some of the most prominent names and figures in the alternative, folk and Americana circles to create Voice of Ages. Bon Iver is involved in this project, as are The Low Anthem, The Civil Wars, The Decemberists, The Secret Sisters, Imelda May, and even Paolo Nutini.

After 50 years, six Grammy Awards wins, world tours and establishing themselves as the reference point when it comes to traditional Irish music, The Chieftains prove with this record that now is not the time to be looking back, but very much the time to be looking forward. As influential and inspired as ever, Voice of Ages is a celebration of all that the Irish outfit have created, and it’s available to stream in its entirety below.

Voice of Ages will be released on the 23 April 2012 via Hear Music/Concord.