Continental, featuring Boston punk legend and original Dropkick Murphys guitarist, Rick Barton, release a new album, Hello, on March 17th. The album is out on Rum Bar Records and was recorded in Nashville.
December 23, 2010
Somewhat a secret gig this one – a fund-raiser for the Boston Fire Fighters Fallen Veterans Fund – the gig was billed as Continental, The Fenian Sons and Special Guests. It wasn’t hard to figure out who the special guests were – punk-rockers, firefighters and ex-members of Dropkick Muphys (and especially since Continental opened for The Street Dogs at the legendary Paradise club the prior night).
Up first were Boston’s The Fenian Sons playing for the first time “over the river” in the Peoples Republic of Cambridge. Solid workman-like Irish ballad/rock group – most of the songs were well know standards with a few originals mixed in – “Boston Irish” was a stand out. I’ll definitely go see these guys again.
10.00 saw Rick Barton and his new band Continental hit the stage and they hit the stage hard. It would be unfair to call these guys a great punk band cos that would be so limiting – maybe a great LOUD rock’n’roll band. Barton at 50 (and he proudly told us so. A lot.) plays with the energy and passion of a man half his age in fact I’d say most 25 year olds would struggle to keep up and certainly would not have the shitty life experiences that Barton bleeds through his songs. Unfortunately, the Patriots football game as playing on a big screen behind the bar and as good as the band were the game as a bigger draw.
The Street Dogs were wise enough to come on after the game ended, ensuring full attention from all. Now, the last (and only time) I saw the Street Dogs play was opening for The Pogues in Boston’s Orphium theater a few years back – big stage, empty seats cos most of punters were off buying booze somewhere else prior to The Pogues set (opening for The Pogues is tough). Tonight, TTs was the perfect place to see the Street Dogs – a small, sweaty rock club and the band was on fire and the audience lapping it up with moshing and circle pits galore. Mike McColgan was outstanding as a front man and easily broke down the wall of separation between band and audience as he brought friends and punters onto the stage and launched himself off the stage into the crowd.
It was great to hear lots of stuff off the early albums (especially since I haven’t heard the last 2 releases after their label stopped sending me their stuff to review……..bastards) – Jakes, Cutdown on the 12th, Savin Hill. Tonight, the Street Dogs were the best damn rock’n’punk band in the world.
July 27, 2010
Just around the corner from Boston’s North Station and the home of The Celtics and The Bruins, is McGann’s Pub. Although only average-sized in square footage, the place is laid out perfectly for a show like tonight’s.
The first act to go on was a single guy with an acoustic guitar. There was no fear of any James Taylor-like smooth and/or mellow stylings though, as the guy was Chris Skel, helmsman of New Jersey pub punk act, The Skels. With just his axe and his voice, he created a huge noise off of that stage! His set included a track or two from the Skels catalog, true, but the bulk of it came from his solo material. For those unaware, Chris has put out two solo project CD over the last eighteen months, so he had plenty of great material to choose from. (Look for a review of his newest 6-track EP, “Sudden Psalms” here soon!) Chris set the pace well and got the crowd on their feet.
Up next, (or ‘again,’ since they did the sound check earlier with some killer stuff!), was Rick Barton and The Continental. Rick Barton, a familiar face in this type of venue as the former guitarist for the Dropkick Murphys, assembled this new project with himself in the guitar and lead vocals role, (and his son on the bass.) An incredible performance from these guys, tight and sharp, with some fantastic guitar solos from his lead guitarist. (Oh, and an excellent rendition of DKM’s The Torch, by the way!)
The third band in the line-up was The Gobshites, who somehow manage to show up and play at every show I see in Boston!
Pete and the gang jumped right into action and proved, once again, to possess the largest catalog of drinking songs in the free world!
Apparently on a first-name basis with every member of the audience, the band’s conversational banter and audience participation portion, (which included alternating readers for the limericks, and some masterful beer-tray playing,) brings Gobshites’ sets as close to an open seisiún as punk rock gets.
The headliners, of course, were The Mahones. The band were in the midst of celebrating their twentieth anniversary tour, and a festive mood was running amok!
Unfortunately, the band was playing as a four-piece, without their mandolinist. As a mandolin player myself this was a bit of a let down, but the band seemed to compensate by selecting songs from the higher-energy end of their catalog! This was probably for the best, and the mood of the crowd was perfect for these tunes.
Tight, clean and in top-notch form, The Mahones blasted out a great set deep into the evening.
By the time the music had died down, the Newcastles and Patron were making their presence known to me. Fearless and bulletproof, I was feeling pretty good. The show, though, was a great time for all, and another huge success for Shite ‘n’ Onions.
Thanks a bunch to S’n’O’s John Murphy, for another fantastic show!
Review by Christopher P. Toler, THE Blathering Gommel
April 27, 2015
Millionaires is the second full length release from Continental, Rick Barton’s post Dropkick Murphys vehicle. If your familiar with Rick’s post DKM stuff it’s more of the same – big guitars, big hooks, Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer drinking cheap whiskey and riding boxcars, and not a single bagpipe wail in earshot. The album is on vinyl from the nice folks at East Grand.
August 31, 2013
Rick Barton is a Boston punk legend going back to the early eighties with The Outlets and then as a founder member of the Dropkick Murphys. Rick wrote I believe pretty much everything on the first two DKM album then left the band. Rick has spent the last decade or so off the music radar with the exception of a full-length in 2002 as Rick Barton and The Shadow Blasters. Rick couldn’t say away too long though and got into production, producing the Street Dogs 2010 self titled release. Rick put together Continental in 2009 with his son Stephen on bass and 2013’s All A Man Can Do is their first full length (following up on an earlier 6 track ep). All A Man Can Do is in very much in the vein of the Shadow Blasters, American punk’n’roll that pay’s homage to the roots of rock’n’roll. An easy reference would be the Street Dogs or early DKM meets Johnny Cash. Highly recommended.