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Formed in Massachusetts in 1996, the Dropkick Murphys are an American punk band with a heavy Celtic influence. They began touring in 1997 with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and went into the studio to record their first full length album in 1998, entitled 'Do or Die.' When lead singer, Mike McColgan left the band later that year to pursue a career as a firefighter, Al Barr stepped in to fill his shoes, and in 1999, the band released their follow-up album, 'The Gang's All Here,' which would also be the last record for guitarist, Rick Barton. With the 2001 release of their third album, 'Sing Loud, Sing Proud!' the band welcomed new members, James Lynch, Marc Orrell, Ryan Foltz, and Robbie "Spicy McHaggis" Mederios, who replaced the original bagpiper, Joe Delaney, who left the band due to other commitments. Before the release of their next album, 'Blackout' in 2003, Foltz and McHaggis also left the band, being replaced by Scruffy Wallace on bagpipes, and Tim Brennan, who played the mandolin. This album also welcomed female vocalist, Stephanie Dougherty of the Deadly Sins, who joined the band in an unofficial capacity. In 2006, their song, 'I'm Shipping Up to Boston' was featured in the Academy Award winning film, The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese. This gained the band even more notice, and the song became an instant hit, being used in additional films, various television shows, and even becoming the anthem for multiple sports entities around the world, raising the Dropkick Murphys to the next level, and helping to make them the instantly recognizable band they are today.