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Biography

  • Years Active

    1996 – present (28 years)

  • Founded In

    Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States

  • Members

    • Al Barr (1998 – present)
    • James Lynch (2000 – present)
    • Jeff DaRosa
    • Ken Casey (1996 – present)
    • Marc Orrell (2000 – 2008)
    • Matt Kelly (1997 – present)
    • Mike McColgan (1996 – 1998)
    • Rick Barton (1996 – 2000)
    • Scruffy Wallace (1996 – present)
    • Tim Brennan (1996 – present)

Dropkick Murphys is a band formed in Quincy, Massachusetts, United States in 1996. First playing together in the basement of a friend's barbershop, the band made a name for itself because of its relentless touring and for its annual St. Patrick's Day weekend shows in Boston. The band's songs often deal with influences, and the working-class environment in which the band members grew up.

The band put out a series of EPs and was signed by Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong's label Hellcat Records. In 1998, the Dropkick Murphys released their first full-length album, Do Or Die. Lead singer Mike McColgan, who left the band later that year, was replaced by The Bruisers lead singer Al Barr. In 1999, they released their followup album, The Gang's All Here. In 2001, they released their third album, Sing Loud, Sing Proud. The album showcased the group’s developing sound and included collaborations with The Pogues' frontman Shane MacGowan and Cock Sparrer's Colin McFaull. It also marked a significant lineup change for the band. Original guitarist Rick Barton was replaced by former The Ducky Boys' guitarists James Lynch and Marc Orrell; instruments were added and played by new members Ryan Foltz and Spicy McHaggis.

The Dropkick Murphys' next album, Blackout, was released in 2003. The new album included the radio hit "Walk Away," as well as the songs "Fields of Athenry" and "The Dirty Glass." The latter features female vocals by Stephanie Dougherty (Deadly Sins). Around the same time, the band released a re-working of the Boston Red Sox anthem "Tessie," which then became the official song of the team's 2004 World Series run. "Tessie" was also used throughout the major motion picture Fever Pitch and was included on the EA Sports MVP Baseball 2005 soundtrack. In 2005, the Dropkick Murphys released Singles Collection Volume 2, featuring covers, B-sides, and other material that didn't make it onto previous albums, and the band contributed a recording of "We Got the Power" to Rock Against Bush, Volume 2.

The Dropkick Murphys' fifth studio album, The Warrior's Code, was released on June 21, 2005. It features the singles "Sunshine Highway," "The Walking Dead," "The Warrior's Code," as well as the bonus track "Tessie." It also includes a song that was inspired by a Woody Guthrie poem, which the group named "I'm Shipping Up to Boston." The song was featured in Martin Scorsese's 2006 film The Departed. Scorsese mentioned the band in an interview after winning his first Oscar.

The Dropkick Murphys released their sixth studio album, The Meanest of Times, on September 18, 2007. It was their first release not on the Hellcat Records label but instead on the label Born & Bred.

In early 2008, Marc Orrell left the band. Thereupon Tim Brennan, who had been playing mandolin, accordion, banjo, tin whistle, and guitar for the band since 2004, replaced Orrell on lead guitar. Tim's previous musical duties were taken over by Jeff DaRosa, former member of The Vigilante and Pinkerton Thugs.

In September of 2022, This Machine Still Kills Fascists was released. It's an acoustic album with unused words and lyrics written by Woody Guthrie, selected and given to the band to use by Guthrie's daughter Nora. It did not feature Al Barr, who was on hiatus for family matters.

The band will release their twelfth album, Okemah Rising, on May 12, 2023. The album was recorded during the same sessions for This Machine Still Kills Facists and like that album will feature songs using the unused lyrics by Woody Guthrie. The album was preceded by the singles "I Know How it Feels" on March 1, 2023, and "Gotta Get to Peekskill" (featuring Violent Femmes) on March 30, 2023.

Studio albums
Do or Die (1998)
The Gang's All Here (1999)
Sing Loud, Sing Proud! (2001)
Blackout (2003)
The Warrior's Code (2005)
The Meanest of Times (2007)
Going Out in Style (2011)
Signed and Sealed in Blood (2013)
11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory (2017)
Turn Up That Dial (2021)
This Machine Still Kills Fascists (2022)
Okemah Rising (2023)

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