The Ruffians: Naked & Famous

The Ruffians are a young Celtic Rock band from the NY area, who’ve been giging in and around the Tri State area since ’98, regulars at Black 47’s NYC gigs should be well familiar with them.

The basis of the band is brothers Sean (Guitar, Vocals, Bodhran) and Dan Griffin (Bass), Jerome Morris (Drums, Percussion) and Charles Butler (Banjo) assisted by guest traditional players (Uileann Pipes, Fiddle, Button Accordion and Tin Whistle) to fill out the trad. Sound.

“Naked & Famous” is a six-track (well five and a half really) EP début. The first couple of tracks sound like they are live favorite’s (especially “More To Life”, a tale of Saturday night drinking and Sunday morning Catholicism) but they didn’t quite make that jump to CD as well as they could have. Things start getting interesting on the third track “Drunk Again”, with it’s Brit Pop crossed with Irish sound, imagine the Pogues kidnapping Morrissey, getting him real drunk and making him sing for them. “The Banker” is the best original, a slow powerful one with some really great uileann pipes. “All The Girls”, the half-track and introduction for “Never Will Marry” is similar to Flogging Molly’s “Grace Of God Go I” (with vocals almost as powerful as Mr. King’s). The final track is “Never Will Marry” an American/Irish folk standard but this version is a riff driven fuckin rocker with uileann pipes replacing the guitar solo, Linda Ronstadt never played it like this – excellent.

A good young band with plenty of potential, give’em a chance.

December 2001

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