Dervish, Four Men & A Dog, & Altan @ TradFest Temple Bar
Steeped in the musical traditions of Ireland’s north-west, Dervish formed in 1989 when four of the founding members met while playing informal sessions in the pubs of Sligo. At the end of 2019 they were honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the BBC, a fitting tribute to the band after over 30 years of recording and performing all over the world. Together this group marries technical brilliance with a rare sensibility, born of an understanding of the music and many years of playing together. The Irish Times said their “integrity makes the group a formidable heir to the throne abandoned by The Bothy Band, if not a serious contender for The Chieftains’ international space.” Expect virtuoso performances and compelling, soulful interpretations.
Four Men & a Dog made a name for themselves with their eclectic and spirited blending of traditional Irish music with a wide spectrum of other genres – including rap, southern rock, jazz, blues, bluegrass, polka, country swing and even salsa. They made their debut performance as a band in Murphy’s Bar in 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 combined furious traditional dance tunes with irreverent new music and inimitable covers, the band have recorded six albums to date and have headlined some of the biggest festivals around the world during their thirty years touring together.
Few Irish traditional bands have had a wider impact on audiences and music lovers throughout the world than Altan. With their exquisitely produced, award-winning recordings, ranging dynamically from the most sensitive and touching old Irish songs to hard hitting reels and jigs (along with their heart warming, dynamic live performances) they have moved audiences from Donegal to Tokyo. Although they released their debut album in 1987, Altan’s international status and success grew when they were signed in 1996 to Virgin Records, the first Irish band of their kind to be signed by a major label. Altan continue to realise their vision of bringing the beauty and joy of traditional music to audiences everywhere.