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
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