Langer’s Ball – The Devil or the Barrel

When I listen to music I am going to review, for several days, that is all that gets played – in doing so, I subject a co-worker to the music as I don’t use headphones. Typically she bears with it and even knows some of the songs as her husband is a fan of the traditionals. This past week, she even had some favorable things to say about The Langer’s Ball.

The Devil or the Barrel is the newest release to come from The Langer’s Ball. This upper Midwest band deftly combines traditional styling with a rocking attitude bringing forth a wonderful unique album which one would be surprised to hear given how many covers it has. The key to the success of The Devil or the Barrel is how Langer’s Ball has changed the tempos and overall tones of the songs. A great example of this for me is All For Me Grog, a typically fast paced song, has been slowed (but not mellowed) making it more of a solemn song that instead of being the typical drinking song, brings one to contemplate the lengths one will go for the drink. Their version has quickly become my favorite! Some other notable cover versions are Rye Whiskey maintaining the American Folk styling but it is still beefed up to keep it rocking. I would have to say that one of my favorite songs on the album is The Little Vagabond, based on the William Blake poem. Not all is perfect, as Fields of Athenry left me flat- don’t get me wrong – it is very competent but perhaps as one of the most covered songs, it would really take something amazing to have that song stand out.

There are four original songs on the album; Whiskey Chaser, Kick Around, One More and Mackey’s Daughter. The original songs are the true stars of the album! The songs have the clear Celtic influence while bringing something brand new to enjoy. I really look forward to hearing more original pieces from Langer’s Ball. Finely crafted musically but the lyrics are truly stellar!

Overall, The Devil or the Barrel is a lovely piece of work and I would highly recommend it to anyone!

Tracklist:

  1. Whiskey Chaser
  2. I Know My Love
  3. Johnny Jump Up
  4. Rye Whiskey
  5. Real Old Mountain Dew
  6. The Little Vagabond
  7. Kick Around
  8. All For Me Grog
  9. MacKey’s Daugther
  10. Fields of Athenry
  11. One More
  12. Johnny You’re a Roving Blade
  13. Wild Rover Polka

Flatfoot 56 Toil Review

ToilFlatfoot 56’s new release, Toil, takes off where Black Thorn left off. The 2010 release of Black Thorn, produced by Johnny Rioux of Street Dogs fame, showed off the maturing off the band with smart lyrics and musical craftsmanship. Toil continues the trend with each song being a well crafted piece of work. In many reviews of Celtic Punk, bands seem to be always compared to DKM and Flogging Molly – I can kind of understand for the those just entering the genre, but there is no comparing Flatfoot 56 to either of those bands, their sound is their own. In the first listening, the energy and the melodies carry you through them album, second listen, start paying to attention to the lyrics and the intelligence and deftness that they contain. The songs contain elements that make it easy to relate to. Flatfoot 56 has made it difficult to pick some tracks to highlight! They each have their own bit of greatness. From the fast ripping pace of Brother, Brother to I’ll Fly Away are all great. This album is good for simple rocking out but yet when you are in the mood for thoughtful lyrics, you will find gems in every song!

the track listing is:

  1. Brother, Brother
  2. The Rich, The Strong and The Poor
  3. I Believe It
  4. Take Hold Again
  5. Toil
  6. Live Or Die Trying
  7. Work For Them
  8. Terrorizing Truth
  9. Strongman
  10. 6’10”
  11. This Time
  12. Winter In Chicago
  13. I’ll Fly Away

This album is in my opinion a must have and I highly recommend you buy it as soon as possible!

Slainte!

Lexington Field Midwest Missle Tour – St Louis

The last two nights have been incredible fun! From hanging out with Lexington Field on Tuesday and then watching them Wednesday night, it has been a great experience and I look forward to more visits from them.

The show was at Plush and was my first visit to the venue. It had incredible space and the acoustics were good. For those who imbibe, they had a nice selection of on tap beers and even had Guinness on special for the concert (I stuck with iced tea, so I can’t tell you how it was served.)

The evening started with local Celtic Rock band Rusty Nail who rocked out a fair number of their originals including my favorites Deadbeat Daddy Docket Day, Damned Violent Things and Yadier Molina. During their set, Beau hopped up on stage to sing Tell Me Ma with Rusty Nail, giving the crowd a hint to Beau’s energy to come later in the evening! It has been a while since I have been able to see Rusty Nail and it was a great pleasure to experience them live again!

Up next, the main event! It was great to see Beau still sporting his St Louis Cardinals hat for the show and glad his Redbird fever lasted at least 2 days! From the minute Lexington Field started playing, you could easily light a city block with their energy! Cami on fiddle was blistering on she definitely puts the rock into their American Fiddle Rock! Bryan and Casey (even with a hurt hand due to earlier shenanigans of other band members) were slamming  and Vince on the drums was incredible! Not only was Beau rocking out the songs but also being appreciative for the St Louis, from Chad and myself, for the tattoo artist Midwest Rick from TRX Tattoos on South Grand where they got their tour tattoos and for Rusty Nail playing with them.

The biggest highlight of the evening was them playing Poor Troubled Life for me. That song has really helped me through some of my dark days and helped get me through them – so thank you very much guys that meant a lot to me! The whole evening was incredible and too hard to pick more, Galway Bay was incredible, Selfish bastard was phenomenal, Chad Ross and Chris Otto joining the band for a song.

The evening went by too quickly and if i could, I would have followed them to Indianapolis and then up to Chicago to see them with the Fisticuffs! As their popularity grows, i would not be surprised if the get a bunch of traveling groupies like the Grateful Dead, Phish or Widespread Panic – better start thinking of a name for them! Alas the evening had to come to an end, however I saw a fantastic, rocking show and made some new friends! So Beau, Cami, Vince, Bryan, Casey and AJ well met thank you, and till next time!

Check out all the pictures from the concert here and below are just some teasers!

Slainté

My Night With Lexington Field

Lexington Field from San Diego is on tour this month and St Louis is lucky enough to be a stop for them, they are playing on Wednesday, August 8th. I was lucky enough that today is their off day between Kansas City and St Louis. Tonight I hung out with the band, plus Chad from Rusty Nail. If I can describe the evening in three words, it would be insanity fueled fun! Granted, the band will blame it being on day 6 of their tour, but I think it only accentuated their insanity.

The evening started with meeting them at their hotel room, then going to look for BBQ, but unfortunately it was closed. Instead we head to a local Irish/Welsh pub, had dinner and caught the trolley to the ballpark to catch the Cards play the Giants. As the band members are Padres fans, they were more than happy to root for the Cardinals, but sadly the Cards did not pull out the win.

After the game, we caught a group doing percussion with a 6 year old drummer that has a great musical future then headed back to the pub for the band to get additional drinks. Without going into details (bear with me, it is late and I do have to get some sleep!) the evening was a lot of fun and I have yet to see the band even play yet! Stay tuned for more as I will be writing about the actual concert with Lexington Field and locals Rusty Nail!

Slainte!