James Mc Grath is a very talented singer/songwriter from Tipperary and currently the new, hot thing in Ireland. James’s style is very reminiscent to Irish legend, Damien Dempsey and to my ears at least, Hamell on Trial (at Hamell’s most sensitive of course), his songwriting reminiscent to another Irish legend, Shane MacGowan and his voice reminiscent of Eddie Vedder (well if Eddie was from Nenagh it would be). Check out the Live at the Shed – EP it won’t disappoint.
Another great compilation here from our continental cousins over at MacSlon’s Irish Pub Radio. As always if you want to know what’s going on with new bands on the scene (and especially Europe) then Raise Your Pints is the starting point. Twenty great tracks in all and not a bad one amongst them. Highlights include, The Flogging Molly-ish Brick Top Blaggers, Uncle Bard and the Dirty Bastards, the might Ferocious Dog, Black Water Country, the Do or Die era Tortilla Flats and The Fatty Farmers.
Providence Rhode Island’s favorite salty dogs are back with another collection of sea shanties and maritime malarky. The 11 tracks on WHEN I GET HOME FROM ACROSS THE SEA are very much rooted in the original sea faring tradition as opposed to say the punk tradition. I can imagine that this is how these songs would have sounded back in the glory days of sail – rough and tumble but in almost perfect unison.
The physical product itself is a double 10″ handmade lathe cut clear record – pretty cool.
Poor Tim Finnegan, after a life of drinking the sup, brawling and chasing the shady lady he fell from that bloody ladder, struck his head and died. After the infamous wake when he was finally bloody well dead his mortal remains were tossed into Shane MacGowan’s grave and his spirit went straight to hell. But for Tim like Bon Scott hell ain’t such a bad place to be and isn’t that grand lads.
Muirsheen Durkin and Friends might be the biggest band in the whole Celtic-punk universe! The Arnsberg, Germany based outfit list an incredible 10 members including two frigging pipers!!! I’ve really enjoyed listening to Muirsheen’s latest full length offering, 11 Pints & 3 Shots, straight ahead, high energy, rowdy Celtic-punk’n’roll with a nice mix of original and traditional – Wild Mountain Thyme and Donald Where’s Your Troosers? from the Scottish traditional, Old Maui, the sea song some of you will know through the Dreadnoughts and the bagpipers favorite, Itchy Fingers. Nice to see a band list the Skels as a influence as well as the more obvious Pogues and The Rumjacks (Botany Bay Reggae is a major nod towards our Aussie friends). Check this out (or oot as they say in Glasga).
Gary Miller who along with his twin brother Glenn was the driving force behind legendary North of England folk punk pioneers the Whisky Priests (1985 – 2000 and now reformed in 2018). Gary’s latest project, Mad Martins, is a highly ambitious piece of art, a 50-track triple CD, enclosed in a beautifully designed and illustrated (by Helen Temperley) book with the lyrics to the all the songs, poems and spoken word pieces. Gary collaborates with poet Keith Armstrong and producer Iain Petrie.
Mad Martins the story of the three notorious Martin brothers is told in original folk songs, poetry and spoken word. The three brothers, William, Jonathan and John were born in the late 1700s in Northumberland, England. Jonathan, a sailor, religious fanatic and arsonist who set fire to York Minster, dying in the infamous Bedlam lunatic asylum. John, a city planner, inventor, English Romantic painter, engraver and illustrator – biblical paintings of hell fire and general mayhem (I’m pretty sure some of his stuff ended up on as LP covers for heavy metal bands). William, a solider, inventor, scientist eccentric and self-described philosopher.
Like I said before this is a highly ambitious piece of art that has been pulled off to perfection. Check out the sampler below.
The latest from Chicago raised, Tennessee born Jeff Givens and his Mugshot Saints is not our usual fare of Celtic / Punk but since Bleeding Ink is rootsie and dirty it’s fair game for a review. Bleeding Ink is probably best described a old school rock’n’roll (Stones, Allman Brothers) meets Americana outlaw country (Cash, Waylon). Laid back but with enough dirty under the fingernails and grease on the fingertips from 30 plus years on the road that makes this so much more real then the usual corporate country whore stuff.
I’m a wee bit late with the review of Whitewashed Graves the 2016 released EP from Melbourne Celtic-punk hooligans Ramshackle Army. No real excuse since I’ve had this brute on rotation for the best part of a year. Whitewashed Graves is top notch stuff. Fast. Aggressive. Catchy. Each track a live anthem in the making. In fact, I like Whitewashed Graves so much I bought myself a physical copy (the review copy was digital). If that’s not an endorsement I don’t know what is.
Formed by veterans of the Boston HC scene; Mark Doherty (Nowhere USA and Dot Rats) and Bill Jolliemore (Third Knuckle and The Struggle). The Dirty Dozen is a dozen tracks of fast, aggressive. boozed up, no frills hardcore punk. The musical equivalent of a kick in the nuts……a hard kick.
Walk Like Kings the 4th full length original album from London-Irish band BibleCode Sundays is a highly polished affair and continues to prove that the BibleCodes are one of the most talented bands on the Celtic-rock planet. Ronan MacManus is an exceptionally talented singer and the rest of the band are no slouches either. While Walk Like Kings is more mellow and more mainstream friendly then the bands early albums they don’t lose that edge that made the band so attractive before. Walk Like Kings sees the band being joined by friends and family including the amazing Lorraine O’Reilly who duets with Russell Crowe (yeah him of Gladiator fame – he’s been a friend since hearing the BCSs tribute to Jim Braddock, The Cinderella Man). Brooklyn rappers Da Ded Rabbidz join the band on ‘Stand Up and Fight’.
Stand out tracks include the ska infused ‘Disorganized Crime’ (with help from members of The Specials and Bad Manners and ex London gangsters Noel ‘Razor’ Smith and Vincent Bradish for true criminal authenticity) and ‘Willie Redmond’s Volunteers’ a song Ronan pieced together from lyrics written by his late father Ross MacManus and featuring guest appearances by all of Ronan’s brothers including an up and coming young Declan MacManus who goes under the stage name of Elvis Costello (he may need to change that name before anyone takes him seriously though).