The Belfast Cowboys are a nine-piece band from Minneapolis that specializes in the music of Van Morrison. Powered by a four-piece horn section, the Cowboys have flourished in the renowned Minnesota music scene, and have consistently packed houses and wowed crowds since 2002.
On the day before Saint Patrick's Day 2020, Minneapolis' music venues were suddenly closed due to COVID-19. With no place to play on their 18th birthday, The Belfast Cowboys reverted to playing a live stream show from Robert Hilstrom's BryteSpot Recording Studios. The event not only raised over $7000 for the band's favorite non-profit Foothold Twin Cities, but also yielded a boatload of songs that are slated for release as a forthcoming album.
The band rarely leaves home, traveling for shows in Chicago, New York, and Ireland only when it tickles the players' collective fancy. And why should they? Between the smaller version of the band (known as St Dominic's Trio) and the full-throttle Cowboys, the lads average over 120 shows a year in and around Minneapolis, playing for three or four hours a night.
Along with any of the hundred or so Van Morrison nuggets in their repertoire, you might hear them do original songs, or selections by Springsteen, the Stones, Joe Cocker, the Beatles, the Who, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Wilco, Southside Johnny, Sam Cooke, Graham Parker, The Replacements, John Prine, Al Green, Elvis Costello, among many others.
"Playing Van Morrison covers a few nights a week for the past decade made them into a thoroughbred-class band. Then singer/songwriter Terry Walsh cut loose his horn-addled ensemble to run through his own champion-breed originals, which make up half this album, including the Slim Dunlap-wry “Rock Band” and majestic soul-tugging epic “Looking for the Northern Lights.”" - Chris Riemenschneider, 1/31/15