The term Mucker is “Dublinees”. It’s short for Muck Savage which in Dublin terms is anyone in not from Dublin city. These Muckers are from Atlanta, Georgia, so I guess that qualifies them as Muckers in US eyes.
The self titled, self released CD mixes fiddle lead Celt-punk’n’roll with sea shanty’s, Gypsy punk (anyone remember the Domolites folks?) and just a touch of blue-grass. In short (and aren’t all my reviews) a strong debut.
Highlights include a great cover of Jackdaw’s Molly (fiddler Jeff Shaw is a transplanted Buffalo bhoy) and New York Girls. Eddie Connies is another standout and soon to be classic.
Sisters of Murphy are neither a Celtic-goth outfit or a girlie version of Dropkick Murphys but a highly polished Celtic rock seven price outta Rochester, New York. Working Stiffs United is the sisters (though with only one gal in the band) debut full length (two EPs proceed) with 11 original songs in all ~ tight, high energy, hook filled fiddle rock with great lead vocals and strong supporting harmonies. Reminiscent of Great Big Sea and The Prodigals at their best.
Must hear tracks:
40 Days At Sea – a Great Big Sea style sea shanty
Jack Heggarty – some Celtic waltz
Katie Dear – their number one single or so they claim
The Led Farmers are a new band to me, though the Switzerland based, Irish born band are onto their second album with Katie. Katie is everything Celtic-rock should be – high energy, great musicians who are tight as the proverbial duck’s arse. Think of a modern day Clancy Brothers meets The Great Big Sea.
…and now for the bit that may get me into trouble……The Led Farmers come across as just a wee bit manufactured – it may be just the boy band style picture on the cover of Katie or I’m just cynical to the whole made for the American market of Riverdance and Celtic Woman stuff. Hoping to be proved wrong and a cynic.
25 Years of Irish Punk celebrates, well, 25 Years of Irish Punk from our favorite Canadian hooligans, The Mahones. Whats cool about 25 years is its not just a collection of loved Mahones classics remastered but actually re-recorded by the current line up (including Mr. Scruffy Wallace). The whole album has a great consistency and a live in the studio feel – except Wild Rover which is live-live. 25 years also includes great covers of The Undertones (Teenage Kicks) , Stiff Little Fingers (Alternative Ulster) and Rancid (Last One to Die). Available online and in stores internationally via The Whiskey Devil Collective (Canada), eOne (Canada), Sailor’s Grave Records (USA) and Wolverine Records (Germany).
Sleeping Rough is the latest and greatest album from Sydney boot-boys The Rumjacks. Following quickly on the heals of 2015’s Sober & Godless we get another shot of pure Celtic-punk. Like Sober & Godless, Sleeping Rough with the exception of the single ‘A Fistful O’ Roses’ has noting immediately that grabs your attention like say ‘Uncle Tommy’ or ‘Irish Pub Song’ on the bands debut Gangs of New Holland but like Sober & Godless if you invest the listening time you will be duly rewarded with another classic. I want also to give a shout out to Frankie McLaughlin’s lyrics, he continues to be one of the finest wordsmiths on the scene combining a gritty realism à la MacGowan with the tough-guy romanticism of Lynott. In short, a very fine album that continues to get better with every listen.
The Whistle Before the Snap is the long awaited and much delayed album by Boston’s greatest Folk’n’Irish band The Gobshites. Now, while some bands claim to be influenced by the Ramones, some bands wear Ramones shirts, some bands even sing about the Ramones, well The Gobshites manage to have a Ramone (Ritchie) sit in on drums for the whole album. The Gobshites are famous for taking old punk rock standards and giving ’em the Irish treatment so of course we have Somebody Put Something in My Drink given The Gobshites once over as well as Mojo Nixon‘s ode to Shane’s Dentist. But unlike before everything else is original (though if you want split hairs four of the songs were originally recorded by head Gobshite Pete Walsh’s punk band Meat Depressed – written with the Gobshites in mind I’m assured). How does it sound? Great! slightly chaotic, tipsy to sloshed, pub-punk sing along’s with off color self effacing humor…….and oh yeah even a touch of maturity on a couple or three tracks (That’s why I drink, Hidden Meaning & No Fairy Tale)
The Evil of Drink
The small but enthusiastic crowd at Boston’s Great Scott were treated to a great night of music and banter by Pogues legend James Fearnley and friends. With accordion strapped on and in fine voice (despite complaints of a sweaty, smelly hand from holding the accordion), James took us through almost two hours of his post-Pogues material which he described in finest Yorkshire English as either “fast as fuck or slow as shite”. The material was pulled from the 1996 release he did with the Low and Sweet Orchestra and (I’m guessing) new material from the upcoming Cranky George release and despite early on telling us he would not play any Pogues material no matter how hard we stared at him the band ended the night with Drunken Boat (or at least that’s what I remember – corrections welcome). Tonight was a ton of fun and the band (basically a pick-up band for 3 shows – Boston, NYC and the Murphy’s Irish fest) had a tonne of laughs with former Dropkick Murphys Marc Orrell cracking up though out the night – I wish I know who the rest of the band were but introductions only got as far as the bass players first name – George – before taking a detour to a story about James trying to join Boy George’s Culture Club.. Mark Lind of Ducky Boys fame open up with some great acoustic roots rock with a nod to Springsteen.