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!

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!

The Muck Savages – My New Years Gift To You

Happy New Year! 2011 has been a great year for me as a music fan. I started my blog earlier this year to try to help bands get more exposure and to hopefully be a resource for like-minded individuals wanting to find new bands in the Celtic Punk/Rock genre.

I have worked on helping out St. Louis locals Rusty Nail by going to more shows than I can count and have talked them up here and on Facebook. I also got to see Cutthroat Shamrock and The Dropkick Murphys twice this year in addition to my almost nonstop trip to Columbus, OH and back for the Shamrock N Roll Fest where I got to see The Mahones, The Bloody Irish Boys, Street Dogs, Stiff Little Fingers, Parkington Sisters, Chuck Ragan and my second experience of DKM. I also got to see Murder the Stout along with the Street Dogs for a second time. I have also made friends outside of the States with great bands like Between The Wars, Ramshackle Army, Sir Reg and Mr. Irish Bastard. I hope 2012 continues with the great support I have gotten and given and I wish all bands the greatest success.

As my present to you, I want to introduce you to The Muck Savages. A raw, hard rocking band from Oklahoma City, OK. I hope 2012 brings me the opportunity to see these guys live. If you go their website, you can download their 4 track demo and 7 track EP Golden Molly for FREE! That is right, these have their music up for free, so grab some tracks and enjoy! Once you are on their website, just click on the Music link.

From their Demo, they have a great version of Come Out Ye Black and Tans along with my favorite We The People that starts with the preamble and quickly ramps into a great Irish inspired song with drive and energy.

From the Golden Molly EP, the stand out for me is Michael O’Malley. While not has hard-driving as some their other songs, the story of Michael O’Malley even touches my cynical heart. Fighting Man is another song that I have enjoyed – it is one of those great songs when you are in a “fuck you” mood and have the music burn your anger off after a long hard day.

But don’t take my word for it, you have nothing to lose since these guys are giving their music away. Give em a listen and enjoy! Hopefully I will be able to get myself down to OKC or they can get up to St. Louis so I can support them in person and buy some swag from them – I think the Paddy Wagon is in need of a Muck Savages sticker if I can find the room.

 

 

Special Delivery from Sweden

Time for another review! This time it is Sir Reg’s self-titled CD from 2010. Sir Reg is a six-piece band hailing from Sweden with great vocals and rocking violin and wonderful melodies. My kids were quite curious as to who would send me something in the mail from Sweden and when I opened the package, it was like a mini Christmas.  The parcel included the CD along with 2 pins and 2 stickers.

 

The sticker was promptly put on the empty canvas of the Paddy Wagon.

The album has garnered rave reviews and was selected as top album of the year from Paddy Rock along with Celtic Fold Punk.  Sir Reg was also named band of the year from Celtic Folk Punk. After listening to the CD, it is easy to see why.

The track list of CD is:

  1. Feck the Celtic Tiger
  2. Arrive on St Patricks Day
  3. Drink Up Ya Sinners
  4. Straights of Magellan
  5. Coi’mhthich
  6. Golden Days
  7. Capti’n’s Jig
  8. Tomorrow’s The Day

While the music is upbeat, the CD has themes of leaving for greener pastures and the longing of home, great staples of Irish music that is still current today.  Feck the Celtic Tiger and Tomorrow’s the Day show a hope and desire for something better, even though it means leaving your past behind. Far Away is a soldier’s lament, of the promises made by recruiters and the reality of war.  The album has music with great drive and spirit, ideal for passive listening, as well as deep and moving lyrics, for more active listening.

I easily see why this CD has earned the accolades it has received, and I look forward to hearing more from this band!

Slainte!