The Dropkick Murphys are a punk band with a Celtic twist. They come from Quincy, Massachusetts.
As well as taking inspiration from traditional Irish music they also credit bands such as AC/DC, the Clash and the Pogues as early influences.
They believe in working class solidarity and punk rock spirit, and have one of the most loyal fan bases in the world. The fans sing every word to their songs. The band say that they want to promote an ‘all for one and one for all spirit’ because they and the audience are one and the same.
When they first formed in 1995, they played in the basement of a barbershop and people loved their style. They played several gigs and started to record their music.
Supporting the Mighty Mighty Bosstones
In 1997, the Dropkick Murphys went on tour as a support act for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones on their Let’s Face It tour.
The following year they signed their first record contract with independent label, Hellcat Records. They released their debut album, Do or Die. Following the release of the album the band found themselves without a lead singer as Mike McColgan left to become a fire fighter.
They replaced him with Al Barr who had been lead singer of The Bruisers. The first album to feature their new singer was The Gang’s All Here and was released in 1999. Barr’s influence could be heard on the album as it had a more punk sound than their first album and was reminiscent of The Bruisers. There was also more of a traditional Irish folk influence.
Sing Loud Sing Proud
The video for the single 10 Years of Service was played on MTV and helped introduce the band to a mainstream audience.
In 2000, they released an album called Mob Mentality with English punk band, The Business. The album featured the two bands playing each other’s songs and also featured tracks from other artists.
The Dropkick Murphys’ third studio album, Sing Loud Sing Proud, came the following year. It featured guest vocals from Shane MacGowan and Colin McFaull. The album also featured new band members Ryan Foltz, Robbie “Spicy McHaggis” Mederios, Marc Orrell and James Lynch. A traditional Irish style fused with punk rock was by now a trademark of the band.
Their fourth album, Blackout, was released in 2003. It included hits such as Fields of Athenry, Walk Away and The Dirty Glass which featured Stephanie Dougherty as guest vocalist.
The band are into sports and their song, Time To Go, was written about hockey team, the Boston Bruins. They played the song during the intermission at a game at the TD Garden, home of the Bruins.
The Following year, the band recorded and released a version of Tessie, which is an old Boston Red Sox song. It was a big success and was used in the movie, Fever Pitch as well as MVP Baseball 2005, an EA Sports video game. The song is still played after Red Sox home games if the team has won.