The Bourbon Knights: Cry of the Banshee

Funny isn’t it how music moves through circular influences. Johnny Depp, he of the weird guitar noise credits on Shane MacGowan’s, “The Snake”, allegedly based Jack Sparrow in Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” on Keith Richards and Shane MacGowan. While The Bourbon Knights base their music on Jack Sparrow and his like, yet sound like Cpt. MacGowan and Richards. On the good ship Banshee, MacGowan is definitely the captain, with Richards a haggard ol’ deckhand. Other members of this motley crew would be Tom Waits, Ronnie Drew and The Dolomites.

“Cry of the Banshee” contains some of the most demented, darkest, heaviest, acoustic based roots music I’ve ever heard – with maritime, traditional Irish, British and American influences along with a big punk rock sneer and some swing/jazz influences just to show off.

Highlights include the brilliantly sparse drum/vocal combinations of “Santi Anno” and “Whip”. Steve Earl’s, “Heroin”, which sounds as evil as its title, and “Charles Stewart” (a trad song covered by The Pogues as “I’m a man you don’t meet every day” –“Gentleman Soldier” is also covered, but it not a standout.)

Demented, quite demented, must be the salt air of SE Illinois has driven ‘em all mad.

Aaaaarrrh!!!! Tickle me feather sword (got know a 2 year old for that reference.)

December 2003

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