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Four Men and a Dog

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Four Men & a Dog made a name for themselves with their eclectic and vivacious blend of traditional Irish music with a wide spectrum of other genres, including rap, Southern rock, jazz, blues, bluegrass, polka, country swing, and even salsa.

Four Men and a Dog made their debut performance as a band in ‘Murphy’s Bar’, Dungiven, County Derry, in 1990 before going on to steal the show at the Belfast Folk Festival later that year, with a high-energy approach that combines furious traditional dance tunes with irreverant new music and inimitatible covers.

Barking Mad, their debut album from Cross Border Media, snagged an award for Album of the Year from Folk Roots magazine in 1991, marking the first time that an Irish group had ever won the prize. Four Men & a Dog’s music is enthusiastic and infectious.

During live shows it is also spontaneous, since band members do not rehearse. The group emerged in 1990 with a high-energy performance during the Belfast Folk Festival. Its name stems from the nickname of its original vocalist, Mick “the Black Dog” Daly.

Other original members included percussionist Gino Lupari, accordionist Donal Murphy, mandolinist and banjoist Brian McGrath, and fiddler Cathal Hayden. Kevin Doherty later replaced Daly as lead singer.

Around the same time, the group added James Blennerhassit on bass and Rod McVeigh on piano. Early in 1992,Conor Keane took over for Murphy on the accordion. By the following year, Gerry O’Connor stepped in for McGrath on banjo.

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