Spreading The Gospel Celtico Blog

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!

Slainte!

The Tossers – Emerald City Review

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.

Track listing:

  1. The Rover
  2. Here’s to a Drink With You
  3. Emerald City
  4. Wherever You Go
  5. USA
  6. St. Patrick’s Day
  7. Bombo Lane
  8. The Break of Dawn
  9. The South Side of Town
  10. Where the Beer and Whiskey Flow
  11. God Bless You
  12. Johnny McGuire’s Wake
  13. The Fermoy Lasses and Sporting Paddy
  14. Slainte

Slainte!

Godspeed 2012, Joyful Welcome 2013

As many of my faithful readers know, 2012 was a turbulent year for me. This was a rock bottom year in which I had to make the choice of wallowing or rising above and forging myself into something new and better. I chose the latter route and while I am glad to see 2012 depart, I will always take the lessons learned with me. I look forward to 2013 being a stellar year – musically and personally.

My year started with a resolution of writing more and being more proactive. I had a great start of the year till I made a poor decision one evening and went out, had too much drink and on my way home, wrecked my poor Paddy Wagon and was arrested for a DWI. The morning after, sitting in the impound lot, waiting for AAA to tow my car home, while filled with regret for my poor decision, I was quite thankful I did not hurt physically hurt anyone. It was at that time I made the commitment to sobriety. I was very public with my ordeal, my pain and my decision. While it may have been uncomfortable reading for some, I gained many words of encouragement and support that I cannot even begin to express my gratitude of receiving. Much it was from people in the Celtic Rock and Punk scene, which as many of you know, is quite alcohol fuelled giving me encouragement in my commitment to sobriety.

For months my writing languished as I struggled to work on the demons that drove me to drink and other self-destructive behaviors that have not only hurt me, but those that I love. It was a constructive time for me – I learned much about myself, what drove me and my decisions, learning to trust in myself and gain the inner strength that I never knew was in me. Alcohol has always been a crutch for me. Something to hide behind, something to give me the false sense of strength. Once I stopped hiding who I was, channeling my inner strength, the decision of sobriety was easy.

Over the next few months, I had to miss a few shows that rolled through St Louis – Cutthroat Shamrock, Mighty Regis and Red Rebel County as I was still in severe emotional turmoil.

My first real test of my new life decision was going to a Whiskey of the Damned show. It was my first time in a bar since my fateful night. I went with my friend Ron, who I knew would have my back. My strategy that night was to bring my new camera and take pictures. As the night wore on and I watched some of the most inebriated patrons, I started to feel a strengthening of my conviction. At the end of the show, a quite drunk Eoin McCarthy was attempting to tempt me, to give up my choice and go back home with the band to go to college show full of nubile co-eds. Needless to say, I rejected the offer, knowing I was doing the right thing, not just for me, but for my kids. On my drive home, I drove with calm and peace with the knowledge that I had nothing to worry about it – as far as I am aware, there is nothing illegal with driving with excessive caffeine and nicotine.

After the Whiskey show, I had to face my punishment and accept my loss of driving privileges. I unfortunately missed The Real McKenzies but accepted it with grace as I chose to make my whole experience a learning tool. Not something to bemoan my luck, the cops, the legal institution but to accept my failings and stand tall. Over the years, I had become disconnected from the person I was. I gave up not only my will, but my personality and my voice. I reached back to the last time I was alcohol free – my high school self. I held nothing back, I did not hide myself or my quirks. And during that time, as many of you know by reading (and may be tired of hearing of) “Poor Troubled Life” became the song that  got me through the rough days, the song spoke to me like no other song had before.

Come June/July, I got a message from Beau of Lexington Field they were going to be playing in St Louis in August, during the last two weeks of my restricted driving, which only allowed me to drive for employment or community service. So I could see the band, Beau agreed to hire me as a photographer for the show, so I could have a legal reason to drive. I wrote up a contract, had business cards made and included a pre-shoot consult the day before the show which was conducted at the Cardinals game. That night, Beau really encouraged me to get back to writing, that my voice was being heard. His words that night still help give me the drive to write.

Since that night, I have worked to become more proactive – instead of waiting for bands to contact me and send me their stuff, I have utilized my Xbox Music subscription to find albums to review. I have written a few things to help spread the word about upcoming works. In all, as I have rediscovered myself and become more comfortable in my sobriety I have found my ease in talking to bands has not diminished. I no longer need the social lubricant, I just need to be myself.

So after boring you all, here are some of my top moments of the year

  1. Hanging out Lexington Field on their night off with Chad Ross of Rusty Nail. They are wonderfully down to earth, funny a joy to spend time with
  2. Going to the Weston Irish Festival – yes it was a long day, but it was a blast seeing Flannigans Right Hook up close when the rain ran them off stage. In addition, it brought back some good memories seeing Eddie Delahunt play. Third, it was great to see The Langers Ball play live and meet with the band and get some more grief over my views of their version of “Fields of Anthery” – I still stand by my point of view though!
  3. Yes another road trip – this time going to Urbana, IL to see The Mahones and meeting Finny and Katie. The gratitude of their words about my review of Angels & Devils has been a great motivation to keep writing. I look forward to seeing them play again (they told me they are planning an US tour in 2013 and said St Louis would be a stop!)
  4. In general, the music community of this genre is outstanding! All the friends I have made, even virtually has been fantastic – I hope some day to meet you all in person!
  5. Some of my favorite albums this year, in no order of preference has Hoist the Colors, the Kilmaine Saints, the Killigans, Lexington Field, Flatfoot 56 and Celkilt.

This year has been filled with great music and new friendships. I cannot even place a value on what has meant to me and the reforging of myself into something new and better. So with that I say Godspeed 2012 – you were rough on me, but you have taught me some invaluable lessons.

To 2013, I give a heartfelt and joyful welcome to 2013! This upcoming year should hold many new reviews, with many great bands releasing new albums this year, I am anxious to hear them and write about them. New concerts to see and new bands to discover and new road trips to take. Personally, I look forward to continuing with my personal growth and making new friends (hopefully some that will take said road trips with me, lol.)

So to all my readers and friends, I bid you a happy new year and slainte!

Forged anew, the Red Wolf rises!

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

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!

Lexington Field National Tour!

PRESS RELEASE

JULY 16, 2012 LEXINGTON FIELD SET TO EMBARK ON FIRST NATIONAL TOUR SAN DIEGO – The American Fiddle Rock band Lexington Field, out of San Diego, CA, announced today they will be going on their first national tour August 2 through 25, 2012.  The name of the tour is titled the “2012 Midwest Missile Tour” since most of the dates will take place in the Midwest part of the country.   After a successful Kickstarter Project in June to help fund the rest of the costs, Lexington Field is now ready to go.

They will be playing 22 shows across 20 American cities, including debut stops in Chicago, Denver, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Seattle, and San Francisco.  Lexington Field will also share the stage with some great Celtic Rock bands such as The Fisticuffs, Screw City Saints, The Langer’s Ball, Hounds of Finn, Wild Colonial Bhoys, Rusty Nail, and many more talented bands across different genres.

“We are extremely excited to finally put our American Fiddle Rock experience on the road and give the rest of America a taste of what we have been trying to do here in the Southwest since 2009.  It is the next big step for Lexington Field and a great way for us to promote our new EP, Poor Troubled Life, which we released on New Folk Records back in March of this year.  Not to mention we get to play with some awesome bands, and see the rest of this beautiful country” – Beau Gray, Lead Singer/Guitarist of Lexington Field

Here are the details:

August 2 – Las Vegas, NV – McMullan’s
August 3  – Salt Lake City, UT – Piper Down Pub
August 4 – Denver, CO – Scruffy Murphy’s
August 5 – Lincoln, NE – Duffy’s Tavern (w/ On Approach, Aim Your Arrows, A Summer Better Than Yours, All My Friends Are Dinosaurs, Dude Won’t Die, Hoo Doo Buzzards)
August 6 – Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room (w/ Flannigan’s Right Hook, Three Dollar Band)
August 8 – St. Louis, MO – Plush (w/ Rusty Nail)
August 9 – Indianapolis, IN – The Rathskeller (w/ Highland Reign)
August 10 – Midlothian, IL – Sullivan’s (w/ The Fisticuffs, The Ridgelands)
August 11 – Racine, WI – McAuliffe’s Pub (w/ The Fisticuffs)
August 12 – Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon (w/ The Fisticuffs, Screw City Saints)
August 13 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s Music Joint (w/ The Fisticuffs)
August 15 – Des Moines – Vaudeville Mews (w/ The Robby Michael Band, KICK)
August 16 – La Crosse, WI – Bodega Brew Pub (w/ Wild Colonial Bhoys)
August 17 – St. Paul, MN – Shamrocks (w/ The Langer’s Ball)
August 18 – Minneapolis, MN – Cheapo Records (In-Store Acoustic Set)
August 18 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Cafe (w/ The Langer’s Ball, Hounds of Finn, The Union Suits)
August 21 – Missoula, MT – Sunrise Saloon
August 22 – Spokane, WA – Carr’s Corner
August 23 – Seattle, WA – High Dive (w/ The Fun Police, The Bog Hoppers)
August 24 – Silverton, OR – Mac’s Place
August 25 – San Francisco, CA – Hotel Utah (w/ The Dirt Floor Band)

Visit Lexington Field online…

Official Website:  www.lexingtonfield.com
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/lexingtonfield
YouTube:  www.youtube.com/lexingtonfield
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/lexingtonfield

Thank you!

As you all know I am going through trying times. I started feeling like I was going though this alone, but from the outpouring of tweets, Facebook messages, email and physical support from my friends I see I am not alone.

I want everyone to know I appreciate all the kind words, encouragement and hugs they have given me. It has been an eye opening experience for me, letting me see that I have more friends than I thought. I see even in this dark time I am blessed. Appreciate those around you and don’t take their friendship and love for granted!