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 irreverent new music and inimitable covers.
Barking Mad, their debut album from Cross Border Media, swooped 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. The band have headlined some of the largest music festivals around the globe
Cathal Hayden from Pomeroy Co. Tyrone is a founding member of Four Men and a Dog and is one of the biggest names on the traditional music circuit to-day. His recordings whether solo or in collaboration with Four Men and a Dog, Maritin O’Connor Trio, and more recently with Bow Brother’s and Christy Moore, have become standard bearers for emerging musicians over the last twenty years. Cathal is one of the foremost fiddle and Banjo players of his generation. His long awaited debut banjo album ‘Hooked on Banjo’ was recently launched in 2016 and described by the Irish Times as ‘..a force to be reckoned with’.
Stephen Hayden, brother of Cathal, is regarded as one of the finest fiddle players of his generation. He first rose to fame as the fiddle player in energetic trad band Upstairs in a Tent, with renowned flute and whistle player Brian Finnegan, over 20 years ago. In more recent times Stephen has performed as a guest with bands such as the Mairtin O’Connor Trio and Four men and a Dog, before coming a full time member of the bandin recent years. He is also a member of the fiddle trio ‘Bow Brothers’ with his brother Cathal & Niall Murphy.
Kevin Doherty from Buncrana, Co Donegal joined Four Men and a Dog back in 1991. He is acknowledged by many as one of the foremost songwriters of his generation. Kevin’s debut album ‘Strange Weather’ was acclaimed as ‘nothing short of a revelation’ by Country Music International, followed by ‘Sweet Water’ which became popularized as the soundtrack to the hit TV series Watermelon, and then ‘Telegraph’, reviewed by the Irish Time as “..undoubtedly one of the year’s best albums”. His latest album ‘Seeing Things’ has been described by Folk Words as a future classic. Kevin’s lyrical creativity has long been central to the success of Four Men and a Dog, an irresistible synergy of Irish Trad and bluegrass.
Gino Lupari from Magherafelt Co. Derry, he too is a founding member of Four Men and a Dog. Gino is one of the most exciting and captivating Bodhran players to be found. He has travelled the globe, playing in all the major International folk festivals, including The Cambridge Folk Festival, Edmonton Folk Festival, (Canada) and The Woodford Fest, (Australia.) He is always in demand as a session and recording player and he has performed with top artists including Sinead O Connor, Shane McGowan and Lunasa. Recently he stepped in the world of TV, co-presenting the groundbreaking show on TG4, ‘Fleadh Live’ (from Derry.) He also has his own Radio show on BBC local radio.
….. and finally, Donal Murphy, the last surviving founding member of the original ‘Dogs’.
Over the years he has also performed as a member of Sliabh Notes, alongside Matt Cranitch and Tommy O’Sullivan, recorded three albums, ‘Sliabh Notes’, ‘Gleanntan’ and ‘Along Blackwaters banks’. Dónal released his long awaited debut Solo Album “Happy Hour” in 2009 to great acclaim, and when not performing with ‘Four Men and a Dog’ can be heard regularly with his new three piece Breaking Trad, along with Niall Murphy on Fiddle and Mike Galvin on Guitars, who’s recent album has been described as ‘Dazzling’, ‘unorthodox and unique’,