There is a new blog helping spread the word from Argentina, Celtico, who has been quite active on Twitter. I look forward to reading more by him and welcome him to spreading the gospel of Celtic Rock and Punk. His page is at http://www.celtico.com.ar/en/ and has a great review of Sir Regs new album 21st Century Loser. Enjoy!
Tonight I caught local St Louis band Plaid To The Bone. They have just recently started playing shows and I look forward to seeing a lot more of them. The band is a six piece outfit, consisting of lead guitar, bass, full drum kit and three pipers. All the music is instrumental, so if you want singing, you will need to provide that yourself. The best way to describe them would be bagpipe rock. They fuse traditional piping with hard-hitting rock and also fuse classic rock from the likes of The Beatles, Rod Stewart and Ozzy Osbourne.
I caught them at a local suburbanite place called Sky Music Lounge as the middle act (and I will admit, I am guilty of not sticking around for the third act so I could get home to write this review) and unfortunately their act was about an hour-long that went by too fast. The music was fun and their energy was great. Plaid to the Bone is one of the more unique bands I have heard given the prominence and number of pipers in the band.
So for any of my St Louis readers, look these guys up and catch them live and for my readers out of the St Louis area, if you roll through town, look them up as well!
The Tossers new album, Emerald City has just come out this month. This long running band from Chicago has produced a thoughtful piece, that gives tribute to their hometown. I was excited when I picked up my copy, hoping to be blown away by these great Celtic Punk veterans. Instead, this release is like the girl next door. She is cute, maybe even a bit homely, but underneath the exterior lies something very deep and mature. The songs for me blended into each other but all were solid musically. However, in reading the lyrics from the songs contain deep substance and are quite poetic.
The songs I enjoyed the most were “Emerald City” that has a lovely story of Irish immigrants and falling in love, not just of a woman but of the city and “USA” about the community of south side Chicago.
Going back to my metaphor of the girl next door, this album did not set my heart racing or fueling my muse like the wild girl in town. On the surface it ok, but when you dig deeper, get into the lyrics, it is very solid piece of work. And like the girl next door, maybe as time develops, and love affair can develop. We will see what familiarity will spawn as it goes into my daily playlist of Celtic Rock and Punk songs and mingles with other songs. Perhaps breaking the songs away from the others can help me see the trees through the forest.
- The Rover
- Here’s to a Drink With You
- Emerald City
- Wherever You Go
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Bombo Lane
- The Break of Dawn
- The South Side of Town
- Where the Beer and Whiskey Flow
- God Bless You
- Johnny McGuire’s Wake
- The Fermoy Lasses and Sporting Paddy
While I could update my Upcoming Shows page, I wanted to bring more attention to the events happening this weekend for Celtic Rock in St Louis. Without further ado, here we go:
- 3-13 Stag Night Solute to the Irish at the Blank Space wtih the Red Headed Strangers
- 3-16 Tigin from 3pm to 6pm
- 3-16 Urban Chestnut Brewing Company 8pm-11pm
- 03-17 Llewelyns in St Charles 4pm-8pm
Plaid To The Bone:
- 3-15 Old Rock House 7pm
- 3-16 Sky Music Lounge 6pm (I plan on catching these guys for the time here!)
3-17 Llewelyns in Soulard 6pm
show has been cancelled
- 3-16 O’Malleys 2pm-5pm
- 3-17 RT Weilers 1pm-4pm
- 3-17 O’Malleys 5pm-8pm
Ok my friends, get ready for an onslaught of reviews over the next couple of weeks – there have been a lot of fun releases (thankfully on Xbox Music for my poor, broke ass) and to start the month of St Padraig, I am kicking it off with the debut album of The Narrowbacks. The Narrowbacks are a five piece band from New York. Fire It Up is fun rollicking piece of work and a majority of the songs are original songs which I love to see.
The album starts with “The Leaving of Liverpool” and they do a very competent job with it. “The Temperance” is one of their original tracks and it really shines. The music is fun, infectious and the lyrics are fun. “Sean South/Britches Full of Stitches/ Tell Me Ma Medley” is a great foot stomper leading you into “Tell Me Ma”, which is well done. “The Confessional” is another sparkling gem that when you give a good listen to the lyrics will put a smile on your face of poor Seamus’s decisions with the booze and women and the poor priests who has to hear the confession, this song is worth some repeated plays to truly get the flavor of it. “Muirsheen Durkin” is a nicely done song for the pub crowds. “Stay in Tonight” has a good swinging beat to it that hides a bit of relationship discord. “Lost Generation” can fall under the heading of a political song about being told to go to college, get a degree and you will have a job, but given the economy, the jobs aren’t there. The song has a great Irish feel to it with an addictive chorus. “Whiskey in the Jar”, another pub standard, is done well, more on the trad side than rock. “Murtys Publick House 4:45am” is a swaying instrumental tune. “Paddy’s Field” is a fun tune that will get your feet stomping and singing the chorus. The last song on the album is my favorite, “Doubt It”. From the acoustical start it quickly ramps up into a love song that is funny and sweet.
If you are needing an album that will put a grin on your face, this is a great one to pick up and listen to. I really enjoyed all of their original songs, they had great energy and the vocals of gruff yet melodic. The standards on the album are fair, I would not say anything exceptional, but they were very well done. For a debut album, I wait anxiously to see how The Narrowbacks grow and mature and create more original songs. You can get their album on CDbaby,
- The Leaving of Liverpool
- The Temperance
- Sean South/Britches Full of Stitches/Tell Me Ma Medley
- Tell Me Ma
- The Confessional
- Muirsheen Durkin
- Stay in Tonight
- Lost Generation
- Whiskey in the Jar
- Murtys Publick House 4:45am
- Paddy’s Field
- Doubt It
Back in January, I had the privilege to ask Jay from Between The Wars some questions of their upcoming release Won’t Go Quietly. If you have not read it (or want a refresher) you can find my post here. Last week, Between The Wars posted the full album on SoundCloud to give their fans a taste and encourage them to pre-order. I will tell you know, go pre-order it, you won’t be disappointed! BTW continues with their great story telling in melody, their sound is more edgy, but the feel is definitely still BTW – old fans won’t begrudge the sound change and new fans can go back to their older stuff and appreciate it. One of my favorite facets with these guys, and has been from the beginning is how the tempo and feel of the music does not always match the lyrics so if you are listening to the music in the background, just enjoying the feel and having fun, when do you pay attention to the lyrics you are blown away by the depth and feeling.
To start the album out is “Worst Enemy”, it is easily identifiable as a BTW song, though the vocals are more gravely, the music is harder and gives you a great promise of what is to come and was quickly one of my top picks on the album. “My Seafaring Home” follows up with a song with quick lyrics and music that had me taping on my desk all week. “Goodnight Sweetheart” is the story of war-torn England and the blackouts. The fiddle work is exquisite and the pacing of the song fun though the subject matter is not fun. This song has really been growing on me with its depth. Speaking of depth, “First Train Out” is one of those songs that I referred to earlier, that it is on the surface an enjoyable song, then you get beyond its surface and the story of the song is incredible and melancholy. Appropriately, the next song up is “Afraid of Death” which was an early top song for me. The spirit of the song driven by the vocals and music, and again the great fiddle work make for a great tune. “Oh Penny!” is the lightest song on the album and the song is about past love moved on. The song is fast, you want to clap along with and sing out “Oh Penny!” Again this song tells a story, from the early stages of infatuation through the loss his love to someone else. “I’ll Dance On Your Grave, Mrs. Thatcher” is a political song by John McCullagh and features him on the song. I can see why BTW would want to include this song – it follows along with their MO of great storytelling put to music regarding striking miners. This is the hardest rocking songs on the album and their conveyance of the anger is fantastic. “I Won’t Ever Get Between My Woman and Her Whiskey Anymore” is more country feeling, and perhaps the greatest departure from previous BTW songs. It features some great tempo changes and once again, their new fiddle player steals the show of the song. “Rural Juror” brings the pace down to a song that has the music to match the lyrics, making it more poignant and thoughtful. “Ever Present Storm” brings the pace back up with a haunting tune of revenge with some brief guitar work reminiscent of spaghetti westerns. “A Sailor’s Lament” is a song that starts out slowly, with vocals and the sounds of water in the background before ramping up a bit, then at the 3 minute mark it ramps up again. Finishing out the album is “Frustrated From Berwick”, a song for those who chose for whatever reason of doing nothing instead of standing up for what they believe in. The song is catching not really in a fast way but through the repetition to drive home the point.
For new and old Between The Wars fans, this is one for your collections. In their interview they talked about how they enjoy telling stories with their songs and this album clearly shows that (along with their past works) and the skill they are able to craft music that belies the words of the song, so you actually have to listen, is what, to me anyway, really enjoyable about BTW. You have to think to actually get some of their songs and this world needs more people to think and not be sheep. To me that is the great thing about punk – don’t be a sheep, be who you are regardless of who the sheep want you be. So I’ve got my pre-order in, do you?
- Worst Enemy
- My Seafaring Home
- Goodnight Sweetheart
- First Train Out
- Afraid of Death
- Oh Penny!
- I’ll Dance On Your Grave, Mrs. Thatcher
- I Won’t Ever Get Between My Woman and Her Whiskey Anymore
- Rural Juror
- Ever Present Storm
- A Sailor’s Lament
- Frustrated From Berwick