They've been on the road for a staggering 20 years now but the Saw Doctors are still having a ball.

The beloved Irish folk-rock band are winding up their U.S. tour – which included two sell-out shows at New York’s Nokia Theatre - by finishing up in in Maine, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

Lead guitarist Leo Moran and lead singer Davy Carlton are the only two founding members still in the band, which has seen numerous personnel changes over the years.

“We’re having as much fun now as we’ve ever had – maybe even more so,” he says.

The band have had something of a renaissance over the past year in Ireland.

They won the lifetime achievement award at the Meteor Irish Music Awards (the Irish Grammys) and went to Number One for the first time in 17 years with the charity single "The Hay Wrap."

This is a major turnaround for a band which was far more popular outside Ireland than they were in their native country.

"People would stop me in the street and ask me if I was still playing in the playing in the band," laughs Moran. "We were better appreciated outside of Ireland than at home."

The Saw Doctors built their loyal fan base on the road and they still spend months on the road in the U.S. and Britain.

Their early shows drew mostly homesick Irish people but then people started bringing their friends along.

"People brought their friends, and their friends of friends and it spread out through the community," says Moran. "Our following is really based on people telling their friends about us.”

Moran is hopeful that the band can get a new album out later this year, although it will be a challenge given their hectic schedule.

Moran says it's impossible to write songs and tour at the same time.

 “We’ve never been people who would write songs while we are on tour. It’s like the difference between an actor and a playwright. To come up with the songs and record them, you are in playwright mode. On tour, you are in actor mode.”

The band are proud of their rural Irish roots in Tuam and they've often been called the Bruce Springsteen of small-town Ireland.

"Tuam is no metropolis or tourist destination. But we all love where we live," says Moran.

“It’s an environment that we all grew up in and enjoyed. I suppose we are celebrating that – even if we also put in the slightly darker side of it as well."

Guinness-march2019