Category Archives: Review

Clovers Revenge: Truants and Absolution

Clovers Revenge are three unrepentant former parochial school delinquents from the trashy part of Florida who play spunky & speedy interpretations of traditional Irish ballads mixed with similarly spunky & speedy originals as on display here on Truants and Absolution, their second full length. Influences include the Dubliners, the Pogues, shots of Paddy whiskey and may I say The Gobshites as well as the much-missed Ceann. Sr. Mary Margaret must be scratching her head on where she went wrong with these bhoys. The rest of us will really enjoy them.

DropKick Murphys: Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding

Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding is the new digital only (boo!) single release from our favorite Boston hooligans, the Dropkick Murphys. Side-A, the title track, is the classic Murphys we’ve come to know and love – punkie, spunky, shout it out Celtic-punk. The B side is a cover of Black 47’s James Connolly, one of the songs that was my gateway drug into Celtic-rock when I heard it first in 1992, the Murph’s do a very fine job of a classic.

Black Star Riders: Another State of Grace

Some classic hard rock here for yah. Black Star Raiders have their roots in iconic Irish rockers, Thin Lizzy. BSR started life as a post Lynott touring version of Thin Lizzy, until the band then decided to write new material and did not feel it was right to put it out under the Thin Lizzy brand (the absolute right decision in my book). Black Star Riders are fronted by Belfast man Ricky Warwick, a rocker and poet in the mold of the late Phil Lynott. The guitar harmonies are pure Lizzy with one half of the BSR guitar duo being long time Lizzy legend, Scott Gorham. Fans of Celtic-rock will love the title track, Another State of Grace, which rocks out like Lizzy’s Emerald. Fans of classy, guitar driven hard rock will just love this.

The Wild Irish Roses: Full Bloom

Here is a case of keeping it all in the family. The Wild Irish Roses are the family band of head Templar of Doom, Michael X. Rose with his wife and five of the family’s eight kids (God bless ‘em) ranging in age from early twenties to early teens. The music is rooted in the Irish ballad tradition format mixed with bagpipes and a wee bit of a punk edge and a Velvet Underground cover just to keep it subversive.

Hugh Morrison: The Other Side

A bit of class here from Scottish troubadour Hugh Morrison. Some of you may know Hugh from Texas Celtic-folk rockers Murder the Stout or his long standing collaboration with the Street Dogs. The Other Side sees Hugh take his interpretation of the Scottish tradition on a road trip from his base in Texas to The Big Easy picking up the sounds of New Orleans and south Louisiana along the way – Cajun fiddle, horn and lap steel guitar – then blending them into his original Celtic folk-rock.  Like I said class here – a lot of it.

Greenland Whalefishers: Based On A True Story

Based On A True Story is the eight album by my count from one of Celtic-punks fines and longest running bands, Norway’s Greenland Whalefishers. I think that maybe only The Mahones have been around longer. If you are unfamiliar The Whalefishers play galloping old school Celtic-punk with a strong Pogues influence yet with their own distinctive fiddle and whistle infused melody while vocalist Arvid Grov channels Shane MacGowan better then even Shane MacGowan does these days. The Greenland Whalefishers are consistently great album after album and they keep up that greatness on Based On A True Story. There are a few of songs I want call out from Based On A True Story the Celtic-ska of K Says and outlaw country-ish duet (with guest Åse Britt Reme Jacobsen) Darkness as well as the straight ahead Celtic-punk Joe’s Town. Check this album out.

Gary Miller: DLI EP

For those of you who are unaware of Gary Miller, he was the co-founder (with twin brother Glenn) of legendary English folk-punks The Whisky Priests. Now a solo artist Gary explores on the DLI (Durham Light Infantry) EP the horror of war through the eyes and experiences of the enlisted man from the coal mines of Durham and the banks of the Nile to the western front and untimely death. The Ballad of Lance-Sergeant William Stones is particularly tragic, after surviving the Somme he was accused of cowardice (though strongly disputed) and executed. 

DLI is the precursor to the forthcoming album from Gary, ‘From Coalfield to Battlefield’, which based on the 4 tracks from DLI I’m very much looking forward to.

Handsome Young Strangers: tHE BLEEDING BRIDGE

The Bleeding Bridge is five tracks of Aussie folk punk heaven. No frills, knock back another one folk with a punk attitude. There are three originals here, a cover of The Triffids “Wide Open Road” and a fantastic version of the Aussie standard “Limejuice Tab” – the song about sheep shearing  (not shagging) in New South Wales for us non bushrangers. Check’em out in all their handsomeness below.

Dropkick Murphys: Smash Shit Up (12”)

The Dropkick Murphys juggernaut gears up for their annual St. Patrick’s Day run of gigs with a new digital / 12” vinyl (white with gold wax) release. Smash Shit Up is classic DKM shout it out, sing along O’Hooligan Celtic-punk that completely plays to their base. Backed with the electro-pop, The Bonny…….just joking its a cover of Scottish folkster Gerry Cinnamon given the DKM treatment. The boys are back.

12″ 45-RPM color vinyl on


Bodh’aktan: Ride out the Storm

Could the new princes of hard Celtic rock be a bunch of French speaking Canadians? Seriously! I’m very, very impressed by Ride out the Storm, the 2018 English language album from these Québécois.

Ride out the Storm album opens with some short Celtic orchestration that would do Horslips proud then charging into a full fledged jig and roll drinking ode that is Nothing But A Game. Get Loud came as a complete throwback surprise back to me, classic 1980s radio friendly metal with a fiddle – this could have easily been a standout track on Mama’s Boys 1985 Power and Passion album (my first introduction of Celtic meets hard rock). The maritime Heave Away gives fellow Canucks, Great Big Sea, a run (sail?) for their money. While the legendary Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains guests on the traditional Black Velvet Band and having Paddy on your album is about the biggest endorsement you can get from one of the true greats. Ride out the storm is a magnificent Celtic-rocker and The Bridge another hard rock throwback while Reels is just that and shows Bodh’aktan can reel with the very best of ‘em.

In all, a really great album with top notch songs and musicians a tight as that ducks ass.  Very highly recommended.