Bluegrass Generation

Seán Ó Sé catches up with Des Sheehan of Dr Fox’s Old Timey String Band after their recent gig in the Old Oak.

You play a mixture of bluegrass and folk. It’s not a genre a lot of people your age would be familiar with. Where did learn about this type of music?

We heard a band called Old Crow Medicine Show. We were watching television late one night and their song ‘Wagon Wheel’ came on. We were a rock band before that but we picked up banjos and fiddles and started playing this type of music. We have been playing together since 2002 but it was only in recent years that we started to play the type of music we play now.

Your version of MGMT’s ‘Kids’ has become a small internet sensation. Have you plans to reinvent any other modern songs in your own style?

Yeah Kids has got a lot of attention on the internet. In our live shows we cover the Strokes and Elbow’s ‘One Day Like This’ is our big finale at the end of gigs. People love it because it is a mix of the traditional and the modern. They are songs that people can sing along to.

Bands like Mumford & Sons have brought folk back into vogue recently. Do you see any similarities between their music and yours?

We were around before Mumford & Sons ever were.

There are three brothers in the group Fionn, Cormac and Ultan Lavery. Brothers often fight. Does constant gigging ever end in rows?

No, the three of them get on like a house on fire. It is the two of us who are not related who cause more hassle.

Have the band picked up any international attention.

Yeah, we get played on a German radio station so we have a few fans in Germany. We get a few messages from England and Germany. It’s mainly in Ireland we get attention though. We did a set with Alison Curtis on Today FM.

Whats next for the band? Are you planning to release any material?

We are recording at the moment and we should have an album out in the middle of next year.

For more info on the band go to

Originally appeared in the November 2010 issue of Motley

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