Released much earlier this year, 11 Short Stories just seemed to disappear from conscious. Unfortunately while it’s a solid enough album with some highlights such as Blood, Sandlot, Had A Hat and 4-15-13 there is no knockout tracks and if I’m going to spin some Murphy’s this isn’t the album I find myself reaching for.
Dropkick Murphys have announced a boxing and bands Irish festival at the Bank of America Pavilion in Gilford, New Hampshire on September 17th. Gilford is up in the woods of New Hampshire if you didn’t know. Support and boxing card to be announced…….and Kenny if your looking for any suggestion I’d be happy to oblige (Go Set, Rumjacks, Pubcrawlers and The Gobshites).
Scruffy, lots of people are very excited to hear you have become a Mahone. How did joining The Mahones come about?
I have been long time friends with Finny and Dom…they’re like family to me. Katie is like a little sister and the rest of the fellas have always been fun to hang around. I have played off and on with them and toured many times with them and it’s always been a great time.
What attracted you to join the Mahones, you go back a long time with them right?
I have known Finny and crew for over 20 years…we go way back. They’re great friends and I consider them family.
How will the sound of the Mahones change with you aboard?
I don’t think much about the signature sound of the Mahones will change much…I think the only change is that you may here some Bagpipes here and there. I will share whistle duties and some backup vocals.
Are you moving back to Canada?
I will always have a home in Canada, but I’m staying in Boston. I love this city and am quite content here.
How are relations with Dropkick Murphys?
I wish them all the best.
What are the Mahones upcoming plans to record and tour?
We are working out lots of dates and are excited to get to work. I will be in the studio for a few days coming up next week to do some preliminary work and you can expect to hear some great new music!
Bruins or Canadians?
Without hesitation…Boston Bruins.
What have you been up for the since you left DKM?
I have been working with a new charity called 22kill, bringing awareness to veteran suicide. Staying busy with arranging fund raisers and helping in my community as much as I can. I went to school to become an EMT and love helping people in need. Being a father to 2 boys keeps me pretty busy and I squeeze in as much playing with other bands as I can.
Favorite Mahones song?
Hmmmmm….I’ve always been partial to ‘Back Home’….has a lot of sentimental meaning to me. Of course the usual staples….Drunken Lazy Bastard, Is This Bar Open ‘Til Tomorrow and a night of debauchery that Finny and I shared in Hamburg, Germany a few years ago called ‘The Pint Of No Return’…haha. It was a hell of a night chasing the ghost of Brendan Behan….
Irish Whiskey or Scotch?
Scotch…I usually drink Lagavulin 16 or any Islay whisky….
‘Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum’ Your Piper-at-Arms, Josh ‘Scruffy’ Wallace
Millionaires is the second full length release from Continental, Rick Barton’s post Dropkick Murphys vehicle. If your familiar with Rick’s post DKM stuff it’s more of the same – big guitars, big hooks, Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer drinking cheap whiskey and riding boxcars, and not a single bagpipe wail in earshot. The album is on vinyl from the nice folks at East Grand.
Rick Barton is a Boston punk legend going back to the early eighties with The Outlets and then as a founder member of the Dropkick Murphys. Rick wrote I believe pretty much everything on the first two DKM album then left the band. Rick has spent the last decade or so off the music radar with the exception of a full-length in 2002 as Rick Barton and The Shadow Blasters. Rick couldn’t say away too long though and got into production, producing the Street Dogs 2010 self titled release. Rick put together Continental in 2009 with his son Stephen on bass and 2013’s All A Man Can Do is their first full length (following up on an earlier 6 track ep). All A Man Can Do is in very much in the vein of the Shadow Blasters, American punk’n’roll that pay’s homage to the roots of rock’n’roll. An easy reference would be the Street Dogs or early DKM meets Johnny Cash. Highly recommended.
The Hex Bombs to Release 7″ with Guest Vocalist Mike McColgan
6/17/2013 – Kalamazoo, MI
East Grand Record Co. and The Hex Bombs are excited to announce their latest release and their collaboration with Mike McColgan (Street Dogs) and Pirate’s Press Records. The 2-song vinyl 7″ is the band’s first new release since 2012’s self-titled EP. Release date is June 25, 2013.
A. None Shall Be Forgotten (featuring Mike McColgan)
B. Destination U.S.A.
There will be 3 color variations:
Color #1 – 100 pressed – available from the band
Color #2 – 100 pressed – available from East Grand
Color #3 – 200 pressed – available from Pirate’s Press, RevHQ
THE HEX BOMBS formed in 2006, likely in the same small storage unit that
currently serves as their practice space, littered with hand-written lyrics, set lists, and empty bottles and cans. You see, the Midwest produces a working/drinking class like no other and THE HEX BOMBS are no exception, working relentlessly to make ends meet, for their friends, their family, their music.
Naturally, much of their creative inspiration is derived from this lifestyle. Their
messages of survival, unity and rebellion might sound familiar, but this isn’t your ordinary, recycled, blue-collar punk. Passion and honesty drive every song from the hardcore blasts to the sing-along anthems.
Mike McColgan (Street Dogs) lends his distinct vocal talents to the song “None Shall be Forgotten”. THE HEX BOMBS “sing for the forgotten, the underdogs, the working poor and our men and woman in uniform. Obviously that appeals to me and l am honored that they asked me to sing on their amazing anthem”, says McColgan.
Dropkick Murphys will release the Going Out In Style: Fenway Park Bonus Edition CD — an expanded version of last year’s Going Out In Style — on the band-owned Born & Bred Records March 13 (one week later than previously announced).
The Fenway Park Bonus Edition includes the Live From Fenway bonus disc, recorded on September 8 and 9 in front of 20,000 Dropkick Murphys fans at the band’s sold out headlining dates at Boston’s legendary ballpark.
Also included in the package is a download of the filmed concert at Fenway Park as well as the complete story of Cornelius Larkin by the band’s friend and best-selling author Michael Patrick MacDonald (All Souls, Easter Rising). The Cornelius Larkin story is an expansion of MacDonald’s Cornelius Larkin obituary that appears in the original Going Out In Style liner notes.
‘Dropkick Murphys’. Very few band names have ever looked so good written down, or spoken out loud. That was a pretty good start. We are born and our parents give us a name and we often are that name, somehow. Likewise with bands. The best ones sound like the music itself. The actual name ‘Guns’n’Roses’ – no matter what may have happened since – sounds like the music on Appetite For Destruction. Rose Tattoo SOUND LIKE a band called ‘Rose Tattoo’. One of the best pairings of bands I’ve ever seen was indeed Rose Tattoo and Dropkick Murphys. The combination somehow showcased DKM at their best; a raucous soulful rock band with some bagpipes in the mix. A simple and spirited equation. Mean and clean and going toe-to-toe with Rose Tattoo. It looked and sounded better than other combinations I’ve seen them with play with. Hardcore bands, or skinhead bands, playing in support of Dropkick Murphys always seems too flatulent & ‘underground’ for my liking. Rose Tattoo, for fuck’s sake?! THAT’S more like it, and the two bands’ respect was clearly mutual.
I bought a black t-shirt with a skull and hockey logo (what else??) and left the venue uplifted by the utter lack of bullshit.
And I’ve bought a few more t-shirts since. We all have. Again, that name just looks so damn mean and right, written down above a skull. Throw in a shamrock or two and you’re part of a mythology. A hundred other bands have copied it, but who do you reckon you’ll remember?
Doesn’t matter how many by-numbers punk dandyisms you might bear witness to in a DKM audience, the music and delivery, at its best, has always been more akin to a Springsteen-and-denim approach than anything else. And thus Springsteen’s appearance on the new album’s sentimental singalong Peg O’My Heart seems pretty earthy and right, and not novelty at all. And despite a merchandise catalogue that brings to mind Iron Maiden in its lurid flair and Madonna in its range of products (kids’ pencil cases), the paradox is that the Murphys maintain the credibility of Springsteen himself. They are mentioned in the same breath as fart-joke suburban mega ‘punk’ acts like NOFX (Fat Mike lends his tired whine to the new album) and yet they invite Dubliners and Pogues into their studios. The Church of Dropkick Murphys is a very broad church indeed.
But this Church has its tenets. From the mock-brawling skinheads who cheerfully incorporate the hockey skull into their own narrow regalia, right through to the lonely suburban kid with a cheap Dropkick Murphys flag pinned up in his bedroom, the audience know that the Murphys are on our side. The Murphys are on YOUR side! Solidarity must count for something, and there is power in the union.
And pirates are fun. The best song on Going Out In Style has to be the opening track, Hang ‘Em High. We don’t know who exactly the enemy is but we know we’re going to fight ‘em to the death, with our presumably vintage weapons, and that we’re all going to swing into action Captain Blood-style and the whole thing is going to be fucking mad fun. And only Dropkick Murphys can deliver that sort of fun. Jesus, they’ve out-pirated Flogging Molly ten times over by now. This song is like Master And Commander writ large in rock font. It’s got as much clout as Shipping Up To Boston and could only have been performed by the Murphys, (and I can’t even say for sure that the nature of the fighting is nautical, but there is a shark reference, so that’ll do).
Another tenet of the Church, of course is; Though Shalt Honour All Things Irish. Well, not all things Irish, but some things. Well, a couple of things. Irish equals tough. We’re in a black & white time capsule somewhere between James Cagney and On The Waterfront. That suburban kid in his bedroom, with his flags of punk piracy on the walls, he might be a Germanic Midwesterner, but if he squeezes his eyes tight, he can recall his great-great grandfather O’Flynn and proudly realize his imperative for clannish, rebellious, rough diamond behaviour. If he is, on the other hand, a lad in, say, the midwest of Germany, he can always get drunk on Guinness while listening to the new record, or settle for a show with some clone paddypunk band from Bavaria.
And so, everyone belongs, and everyone is sorta Irish. But there’s more to the Church than this, and also less than this, because the Murphys pepper their lyrics with in-jokes and hometown references – the title track is a case in point – in such a way as nobody can accuse them of over-tailoring their act for maximum audience haulage. This too is something of a paradox. In this sense, you can say they have stayed true to their roots, a cliché that has rarely meant much at all.
I saw a blaze of Dropkick Murphys t-shirts for sale at a market stall the other night, skeletons grinning away alongside Motley Crue and Iron Maiden, stacked up nicely against a leering AC/DC Angus-devil. Begorrah! Never mind all the blarney – and certainly don’t mind the bollocks, and the ever-present little punk mafias with Cock Sparrer patches pinned alongside Barroom Hero – we in Australia understand perfectly well that highland bagpipes belong in rock’n’roll. Those of us who saw the Murphys sing ‘Long Way To The Top’ as an encore, on the same bill as Rose Tattoo, certainly do hold this truth to be self-evident.