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.
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.
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.
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.
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 http://DKMStore.com
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.
I caught Mickey Rickshaw live for the first time earlier this year opening for The Tossers at the Middle East Club in Cambridge. The show was also the album release party for Home in Song, the Boston based Celtic punk outfits third full length album. Mickey Rickshaw are a massive band with 8 members, making a massive sound as they completely took over the small stage of the Middle East with a wall bodies creating a wall of Celtic-punk sound. The live sound translates very well to the recorded sound here on Home in Song. If pushed I’d say that Mickey Rickshaw reminded me most of Blood or Whiskey with their mix of Celtic, punk and some ska. A band to watch out for.