Gerard Smith’s day job is being the leader of Detroit Celtic rockers, Bill Grogan’s Goat. In his off time, he is a prog rock guitar monster. What we have here on Lullabies In An Ancient Tongue, Gerard’s latest solo effort is unashamed, 1970s style prog rock. So, apologies if my prog rock references are off as I’ve not really scratched below the source of the genre and would struggle to tell the difference between ELP and King Crimson. The guitars remind me of early Sabbath or even Soundgarden while the vibe at times is a folkie Led Zeppelin. Gerard, hasn’t forgotten his Celtic roots and weaves Celtic instrumentation into tracks like Standing Stones and The Storm. Lovers of Horslips will really enjoy Lullabies.
Hi Gerard, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. Can we start with your musical history? Where are you from, who are your inspirations, how did you get involved in Celtic-rock?
Hey, John, I was born in Detroit, however, my parents moved us to a Christmas Tree farm in the township of Emmett, Michigan, about fifty miles North of Detroit, when I was three years old. I grew up out in the country.Continue reading Gerard Smith of Bill Grogan’s Goat
The Tossers – Johnny McGuire’s Wake
McDermotts 2 Hours – Dirty Davey
Gerard Smith – The Maid Of Cabra West
1916 – For Whiskey
Irish Whispa – Hot Asphalt
Greenland Whalefishers – Darkness
Hugh Morrison – Old Scotland
Jack Daw – Pigtail Man
The Mahones – Girl With Galway Eyes
Horslips – The High Reel
The Mickey Finns – The Ballad Of Duffy’s Cut
James McGrath – Race To The Bottom
Dangerous Folk – Shipping up to Brisbane
Brick Top Blaggers – Witness to My Own Wake
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Neck – Every Day’s St Patrick’s Day
The Skels – Have A Drink Ya Bastards
Black 47 – Green Suede Shoes
The Muckers – Let’s All Go To The Bar
BibleCodeSundays – Drinking All Day
Sons Of O’Flaherty – Dead and Gone
The Rumjacks – An Irish Pub song
The Mahones – Shakespeare Road
Big Bad Bollocks – Guinness
Bodh’aktan – Black Velvet Band Featuring Paddy Moloney
Charm City Saints – Dicey Riley
Bill Grogan’s Goat – The Galway Races
Jackdaw – Come out you Black And Tans
The Pourmen – Too Old To Die Young
Murshee Durkin – The Pogues & Whiskey
The Woods Band – Finnegan’s Wake
Irish Whispa – Bold O’Donohue
Pat Chessell – The Mother-in-Law
Greenland Whalefishers – Joe’s Town
The Tossers – St Patrick’s Day
Sharky Doyles – Everybody’s Irish
Kilkenny Knights – Dance!
The Gobshites – Alcohol
Horslips – The High Reel
Horslips – Dearg Doom
Kilmaine Saints – Foggy Dew
The Bucks – Psycho Ceiled In Claremorris
Blood Or Whiskey – Follow Me up to Carlow-Holt’s Way
The Peelers – A1A FLA
The Electrics – Seventeen Bottles Of Porter
Sir Reg – Stereotypical Drunken Feckin’ Irish Song
The Templars Of Doom – Mamma Weer All Crazee Now
November 18, 2017
Third Eye is the third full length release from Detroit Celtic rockers Bill Grogan’s Goat. The Goat are easily one of the most original bands in the whole Celtic-rock universe. Celtic meets primal Detroit rock’n’roll, and a few other influences just for good measure. Here is a blow-by-blow of the best of this very fine album.
“3rd I” is a short intro track giving off a Pink Floyd space rock vibe that merges into “The Newry Highwayman”, with its laid back but loud guitar sound. The guitars crank up further on the (almost) symphonic Celtic-metal instrumental, “Andro des Morts”. “The Burning of Cork” continues the vibe of “The Newry Highwayman” of laid back, big guitars and traditional melodies.
“Knockdhu Set” is pure Horslips ala “King of the Fairies”. Robbie Burns’ “Ye Jacobites By Name” builds from a gentle introduction into a full Celtic rock symphony. But just in case you have been suckered in to the progressive state of mind, “Paddy’s Dead” is Detroit primal punk that will slap you back into reality.
“Mary Mac” is straight ahead Celtic-rock with a funky undercurrent, while the Scottish standard “Wild Mountain Thyme” merges Celtic melodies and Americana. “The Devil’s Trumpet” is a Celtic jam in the style of Enter the Haggis at their finest. “The Blacksmith” is a traditional song of the South of England, though most folk would know this song through Planxty’s version – the Goat version gives the track a Johnny Cash twist at his hurting best.
In all a very fine, well crafted album from one of the most original bands on the scene.
January 25, 2012
Looks can be deceptive. Looking at the band picture on the back side of the Second Wind sleeve (the 2nd album no less), Bill Grogan’s Goat (apologies to the band) look like a middle-aged folk rock band permanently stuck playing the Sunday opening spot of some poorly attended, Irish festive in some middle of nowhere, mid-Western state – the track list (all standards) doesn’t take away from the assumption. The music? We’ll its all that but just louder, faster and dirtier and more Motor City guitar riffs then you could ever imagine Irish folk to be. Iggy and The Stooges meets The Clancy’s Brothers and its good and at times skull crushing amazing – the version of Danny Boy is my song of the year so far – post grunge, industrial with a riff and tone that would make Tony Iommi proud. Kick out the jams Paddy Rockers.
June 25, 2009
BGG hail from Detroit-Folk-City and members are all 20 plus year veterans of that city’s music scene. Here BGG present to us for review 14 tracks of mostly high energy yet laid back electric guitar driven Celtic rock standards with touches of blue grass coupled with sea shanties. I said mostly didn’t I? Cos’ on their version of The Wild Rover they go all out Detroit ala a guitar sound that wouldn’t go amiss from The Stooges or The MC5 and I frigging love it. On the next release I’m hoping to hear more Iggy and less Jerry.