Coming to the Crossroads

Dear readers,

I am at a personal crossroads. This weekend I received a DWI. This experience has caused me to evaluate my past actions and I feel I have a problem with binge drinking. In admitting to my problem and to overcome my problem, I need to make changes in my behavior. Because of my problem, I will be not be going to live shows since they tend to be in locations in which alcohol is really available.

At this time, I plan to still promote the shows even if I will not be in attendance and to still write about recorded music. While drinking is a subject matter of some Celtic Punk and Rock music, by no means is that all this great music is about and I don’t want to forego the great artists that are out there.

Thank you for all the support I have received by my readers and all the great bands!

Sincerely,

Rocking the Craic

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Pub Review – O’Malleys

[Reader warning – the author is a few pints in and may have typographical errors especially since this post is done by phone]

Here it is a Saturday night with no shows going on, I decided to go for a few drinks. Blame it on a hard work well and four reviews this week, I really needed a well poured Guinness. Tonight I started at McGurk’s, the St Louis standby but bring a Saturday evening it was busy and not knowing the tables were reserved for diners only, I had a couple of pints after being moved once. The waitresses were kind and the Guinness served correctly as expected.

On a whim I went to O’Malleys Pub not too far away, hoping perhaps they would have some live music. Alas, today they had none. However, once I entered the pub, I was greeted exhuberently by Molly! She is a young English bulldog who is quite friendly and a nice welcome. The bar was quiet and lends itself to a neighborhood bar but as a stranger I was made to feel welcome beyond the happy welcome of Molly.

My Guinness was served still surging but from a well meaning  bartender doing her best, I will accept that. This is a nice cozy little bar that serves up DKM, Street Dogs, Flogging Molly, Tossers, Flatfoot 56 and Black 47 on the jukebox. While I would live to see some newer and more current bands in the box, you gotta love a bar that has some Celtic Punk.

The whiskey selection appears to be something desired. They have your typical Jameson’s and Bushmill’s plus some Tullamore Dew.

In conclusion, if you happen to be in St Louis and looking for a nice neighborhood Irish Pub (not frequented by the college and hipster crowd), check out O’Malleys and have a delicious pint of God’s elixr better known as Guinness!

Slainte!

Drinkhunters – With My Crew

This was my first experience listening to the Drinkhunters, and I gotta say their music is exhausting, and I mean that in a good way! Right from the gates with Welcome to Happiness you will be zipped through fast and raucous music with an incomparable amount of energy. I cannot even imagine what these guys are like when the play live and how they can maintain the energy for an extended set.

I got to  be honest, there were times it was hard to even keep up with what song was currently playing, the tracks melding right into the next. The music is more punk inspired than celtic punk but clearly has the folk punk feel due to the accordion and fiddle that are played with frenetic speed and agility. The Drinkhunters music plain and simple is just fun! As I typically do, I highlight 3 tracks that really caught my attention. My method of picking my top 3 songs is that if a song makes me stop doing an activity to really pay attention to the track it will usually wind up my list – the problem is when an album has a lot of those songs. The Drinkhunters falls into that realm. But the songs that kept getting my attention were I Don’t Need You, Drinking Song and She was 56. Basically, I would have to call these songs great party and drinking songs (yeah, I know what you smart asses are saying “Wow a song call Drinking Song can be considered a drinking song” to you I give the universal one finger salute.) While all the songs, regardless of the lyrics are upbeat and rocking by pure force of the energy being driven by these guys, the humor and joy of the three songs are evident and I kept finding a smile a my face whenever the songs were on and my head bobbing (and given my lack of rhythm, out of time.) What is great about these guys is the originality of their music, each song stands on its own and even my teen cannot complain that these guys sound like someone else in my library (a complaint she has made before.) I really hope these guys can make and sustain an American following so we can get them over to the States for tour! So get up and get yourself a copy of this great work – I will really be surprised if I don’t find it among the top 10 albums for 2012.

The track listing is:

1. Welcome to Happiness
2. It’s in your Hands
3. I Don’t Need You
4. Fucking Cops
5. All Night Drunk
6. With My Crew
7. Drinking Song
8, Scum
9. In Your Paradise
10. She was 56
11. In my Head
12. Warriors Souls
13. Molly Never Sleeps Alone
 

Slainte!

Brick Top Blaggers Coaster Review

The Brick Top Blaggers are a West Coast Celtic Punk band from southern California. They released their debut album in 2011 but by listening to it you would never think this was their first recording. The music is tight and balanced and the vocals have a great blend of melody and grit. Also, as a debut album, it is great to see all the original material The Brick Top Blaggers have included on the album. Finding my highlights was very difficult and within the last 3 days the number of times I have listened to album is beyond count trying to pick some of my top songs.

So after much mental deliberation, the highlights for me are No Prodigal Son, Lady Liberty/Limerick Rake and  Charlie Camden. No Prodigal Son is a great start to the album and sets the quickly for the craft Brick Top Blaggers brings to the musical world. I especially like the like about the black sheep can pretend to be white, as it speaks to me in that from outward appearance, I appear to be clean-cut and unassuming that hides my wild side. The tempo and beats are infectious and the gruffness of the vocals drives the tone of the song.  Lady Liberty/Limerick Rake is a song from the perspective of an immigrant. It starts slowly and builds to a fast and rocking tune driving the emotion of the song from heartache to the frustrations of a new life alone and bigotry but yet through it all Lady Liberty is the beacon of something better.  My third top song is Charlie Camden, a song of an outlaw that when I was not paying attention had me tapping me feet and when driving my steering wheel. I am sure there have been a few people thinking I have a bad case of road rage as listening to this stuck in the middle of rush hour traffic. The song is both melodic and gruff. All in all, I can’t really say there is a bad track on the album and even as I write this, listening to the album I find myself questioning the top songs. What a great freshman record! I look forward to seeing what else Brick Top Blaggers comes up with. The next question of course is when they will start their national tour and hit St Louis?

The track listing:

1. No Prodigal Son
2. Government Issue
3. Finnegan’s Wake/Whiskey March
4. Oregon Song
5. Goldstone Ground
6. How Many Times
7. Lady Liberty/Limerick Rake
8. The Bold Harpooner
9. Charlie Camden
10. Walk The Plank
 

Slainte!

Jasper Coal 1000 Feet Closer to Hell

Jasper Coal is a 6 piece band hailing from Birmingham, Alabama that plays acoustic instruments with hard energy and edge. Listening to Jasper Coal is like having a nice serving of your favorite homemade comfort food. Most of the songs on the album are traditional songs plus one Pogue’s song and one original song. My analogy of comfort food is fitting because the songs are ones that most fans of Celtic traditional music would know and thus comforting especially with the acoustic instruments but the seasonings have been ramped up but not overpowering.

While still honoring the traditions, Jasper Coal adds their own grit and energy to the mix. Continuing with the food analogy, you can’t have a meal with just one dish (usually anyways) and the side dish of Jasper Coal’s original song 1000 Feet Closer to Hell is the prime rib of the dish! From the fast beats from the introduction the tone is set is for a fast paced song, with the instrumentation it is reminiscent of Cutthroat Shamrock but more Irish and less Appalachian. The song has clear influences from folk music with themes of corporate greed at the cost of the workers.

If the song is indicative of original work that Jasper Coal can create, I look forward to more of their work. It is a great piece of original work created with great craft and delivered with speed and energy. Even if you are not one for bands that cover traditional, this album is worth it alone for 1000 Feet Closer to Hell! Hopefully Jasper Coal will start venturing out of Alabama and bringing their great music to the rest of us. Now, if you will excuse me, my food analogies have made me a bit hungry!

Slainte!

Track listing:

1. Paddy on the Railway
2. Donald MacGillavry
3. Twa Corbies
4. Finnegans Wake
5. Raglan Road
6. Rollin’ Down to Old Maui
7. The Merry Plowboy
8. Follow Me Up to Carlow
9. Paddy’s Lamentation
10. O Caide Sin
11. The Moonshiner
12. The Rocky Road to Dublin
13. Boys from the County Hell
14. The Trooper and the Maid
15. 1000 Feet Closer to Hell
16. Fionnghual

The Beer Barons EP Review

 The Beer Barons are a 6 piece outfit hailing from up north in Ottawa, Canada. According to their Bandcamp page, “The Beer Barons blend traditional celtic and folk music with the speed and intensity of punk. Drinking music that makes you drink faster.” I personally cannot attest to the drinking faster portion of the quote as most of my listening time was at work, which sadly my employer frowns upon drinking on the job. Before getting into the review and speaking of their Bandcamp page, I would recommend checking out the song Dicken’s Cider which is not on the EP and it brought a much-needed smile to my face today after having to retype my post (still have not figured out if user error or wordpress screwup.) Now, onto the review – the EP consist of 6 songs and here is the track listing:

  1. Flibustier of Martinique
  2. Pub Song
  3. 1812 (Hero of Wrightsville)
  4. GM Blues
  5. Back for the Empties
  6. Man Overboard

This EP is a lovely piece of work as each song was crafted as individual works and have their own sound. The top of my list is Back for the Empties with fast pacing and containing a lyric stuck in my head all week of “living belligerently in sin”. 1812 (Hero of Wrightsville) follows right on the heels for Back for the Empties due to the great drum intro into the song. I think what I love the most about the EP is how each song has its own sound and feel. From the maritime Man Overboard to the blues and country GM Blues (yeah I know, the title should give that one away), it was great to hear the range of styles from one band and while the songs have their own stylings, they all blend and flow nicely as you are listening to them. The songs still contain at the core the essence of the Beer Barons. If you can find this EP, snag it quickly, but if you are not able to find the EP, check out their Reverbnation page here! I hope someday The Beer Barons will decide to make a trek down south so I can see what magic they bring to a live stage!

Slainte!

New Tab – Upcoming St Louis Shows

Hey all, just a quick post to highlight a new page on the blog titled Upcoming St Louis Shows which I will work on keeping up to date with periodic reminder posts with updates to who I have added. For the next month and half, I have Rusty Nail, Red Rebel County, The Mighty Regis and a repeat visit from Whiskey of the Damned!

Slainte!