Barley Bree

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Barlee Bree
Origin Northern Ireland
Past members Tom Sweeney
Jimmy Sweeney
P.V. O’Donnell
Brian Doherty

Barley Bree was an Irish-Canadian band active in the 1980s and ‘90s. They comprised Tom Sweeney and Jimmy Sweeney (nephews of Tommy Makem), Donegal fiddler P.V. O’Donnell and Brian Doherty (currently of Evans & Doherty). The group was formed in Northern Ireland but moved to Canada in 1977. From their base in Nova Scotia, they widely toured North America. They released eight successful albums and fronted a weekly television series called Barley Bree which lasted for two years. Since breaking up, they have reunited several times at the Milwaukee Irish Fest.

Barley Bree appeared with Tommy Makem and Cherish the Ladies on the 1992 CD and video, Tommy Makem and Friends in Concert.

P.V. O'Donnell lived in Manchester, Connecticut, and taught private lessons while performing shows and travelling to Ireland. He died after a long battle with brain cancer on January 29, 2011.

Tom Sweeney now lives in Omagh, Northern Ireland, and has a very successful career as a folk singer. He has released several albums including Daisy a Day and Poems of Ireland along with several very successful children's albums.

Jimmy Sweeney still lives in Canada. His recordings include Come Listen Awhile with his brother Tom.

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