Kevin sends 'Telegraph' to the
by Caoimhinn Barr, Inishowen
LIFE is good in the world of Kevin Doherty. Fresh from
the release of another stunning new album, the local
musician has just returned to the capital after a
storming set with the Pyros during a visit home for the
Buncrana Music Festival.
Doherty’s memorable music exists in a sublime space,
manned by Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.
His latest offering - Telegraph - Doherty’s third solo
record, achieved no less than five stars in the Irish
Times, who dubbed it ‘one of the year’s best albums’. It
is a beautiful haunting piece of work, of which its
creator is rightly proud.
A prolific talent, Doherty has recorded a total of ten
albums; six with former band, Four Men And a Dog, one
with the Pyros, added to three solo releases.
Now in his early forties, Doherty continues to play and
create music at a furious pace.
“I spend quite a bit of time travelling, touring and
gigging, however I write everyday. I try to sit down at
a desk at some point every day but failing that I am
writing in my head with almost every waking moment;
making connections, joining the dots and discovering new
continents. So if I look distracted as I go for the
milk, there is a reason!” he said.
Born in 1967, the son of
Michael and Veronica Doherty, Kevin grew up with
siblings, Jim, Mary and Patricia on St. Mary’s Road,
Buncrana. He developed an early interest in Irish
traditional music while constantly penning new songs and
“I started writing before playing and the music came
about as a means of self expression. I was lucky because
at that time there was a fantastically healthy trad
scene in Buncrana, with a mixture of home-grown and
visiting musicians. In this environment my music
developed leading me to join Four Men and a Dog,” he
Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, as they often do, played a
crucial role in the burgeoning career of the young
“In music my first hero was Bob Dylan. In the early
eighties no one seemed to listen to him much so I felt
that I was discovering something new. The voice that
spoke clearest and most directly to me was Leonard
Cohen. He still does,” Doherty said.
“There are a whole host of others that make up the
picture, The Band, Muddy Waters, John Coltrane, Henry
McCullough, James Delaney, Bill Evans, Lonnie Johnson,
Frank Sinatra, Hoagy Carmichael, Ray Charles, Bobby
Bland, Van Morrison, Tommy Peoples, Gustav Mahler,
Robert Schumann, Paul Brady, Hank Williams . . . I could
A former pupil of Scoil Mhuire, Doherty has spent much
of the last two decades in Dublin city centre.
“I always loved Dublin; from childhood holidays to
Ulysses,” he said.
Buncrana is home though.
“I get back to see the folks as much as I can. The
Swilly-side is where I come from and the 'place' stays
with you. It's good to get back and recharge the
batteries, fill up the depleted soul a little.”
A highlight of Doherty’s musical journey took him along
the east coast of America with Rick Danko, of The Band
An admirer of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and actor
George Clooney, Doherty has no time for politicians,
who, he said, are all hopelessly lost or ‘hurlers on the
ditch’. The Buncrana song man did confess to a liking
for Columbo and Clint Eastwood though.
When asked about his plans for the future, Doherty said:
“To keep working and keep working at the work. The only
hope I think anyone can have is to keep going, be
successful, prosper and pay the rent.”
Kevin Doherty’s latest offering is now available in all
good record shops and newsagents and online at