McCrae’s Battalion is a Celtic rock band from San Francisco. The name of the band is that of a Scottish battalion raised from volunteers in 1914 (Click HERE for more info). One could say that this four piece band is a rara avis. They have a Scottish heritage, but the bagpipes are not featured on their songs. Besides, they are not based in Scotland, but in California.
Fraser McGill (lead vocals, guitars, banjo, harmonica), Kristen Vandling (fiddle, mandolin, bouzouki, vocals), Colin Hall (bass, guitar, vocals) and Drew Mayo (drums, percussion, vocals) have recorded 9 songs together with guest musicians Daíthí O’Keefe on tin whistle and Jim Wasco on keyboards.
The band follows two different paths on the album. Some numbers could be defined as folk-rock, with a keyboards and/or harmonica sound: “Skara Brae”, “The Only One”, “No One Goes”... IMHO, the other approach is more appealing, since McCrae’s Battalion are able to create a distinctive sound based on fiddle, banjo, the odd tin whistle and an interesting style of playing bass and drums. The catchiest song could be “Billy McConnell”. The opening track “March of the Cameron Men” has a similar structure, but I would pick up “Wind That Shakes the Barley” as best song on the album, together with “Larimer Street” (lyrics by Utah Phillips). Another outstanding number is “Gator Waltz”.
The album digipack packaging has a great artwork and all the credits and information are provided. There is no booklet with lyrics, but the link to their website lyrics page is clearly mentioned.
1 - March of the Cameron Men 02:46 2 - The Only One 06:33 3 - Larimer Street 04:00 4 - Acacia McCrae 04:16 5 - Wind That Shakes The Barley 04:44 6 - Gator Waltz 04:16 7 - No One Goes 04:36 8 - Billy McConnell 03:38 9 - Skara Brae 04:07
Tuca - Guitar Pecca Trummar - Drums, vocals Lukasenkow - Bass, vocals Pruža - Accordion, vocals Milda - Guitar, vocals
"Drobný za milion" (11 tracks, 2010)
01 - Drobný za milion 3:24 02 - Můj kámoš sklenice 3:00 03 - Nácek 4:01 04 - Čuníci 3:28 05 - Retro song 6:23 06 - Špatec 3:28 07 - Pojď mi na pomoc 3:44 08 - Mezihra 2:29 09 - Komunistická 3:57 10 - Love song 3:11 11 - BONUS - Hasiči 2:08
"Kam to saháš!" (13 tracks, 2012)
01 - Už Tenkrát 4:02 02 - Okjesní Pjeboj 4:18 03 - Pekác 3:50 04 - Jirka 3:02 05 - Cert a Rum 3:30 06 - Kravál kolem sebe 3:05 07 - Modelka 4:02 08 - Na pionýrským tábore 2:39 09 - Dríví do Lesa 2:05 10 - Sen 2:55 11 - Beranice 1:43 12 - Život není žádnej med 2:57 13 - Mám to na salámu 2:57
"Politik/Spinavej Titanic" (2 track single, 2013)
Bandzone (all the songs from the second album, some songss from the first one and the two songs from the single) Reverbnation (all the songs from the first album, some from the second one and the two songs from the single)
Creeds Cross "Gods & Fighting Men" Fiachra Records FR01401 Release date:3 March 2014 Running time: 37:08, 11 tracks
Creeds Cross is Bart Foley’s new project. As he clearly states at the Foreword (yes, the booklet has a foreword), after having spent a lot of time writing songs and performing for other people’s projects, he felt that he should go back to basics and write his own album. Even if he didn’t have a master plan, he knew that it should be a real Irish album, full of stories and it had to have a fiddle and a banjo.
He put together a lot of friends, Denis Dowling (guitars, bckg vocals), Pete Jupp (FM, drums & percussion), Bob Skeat (Wishbone Ash, bass), Pat McManus (Mama Boys/Celtus, fiddle), Brian Kelly (The Popes, banjo & mandolin) and Micki Hutchins (flute & whistle), and they recorded this 11 track album. With songs such as “The Irish Band”, “The Sam Maguire Cup”, “Gods & Fighting Men” and “Half a Chance”, it’s obvious that his project has been a huge success.
I’d say that the sound is very Irish on both the (hard) rock and the traditional ends. To put it in a nutshell, Creeds Cross could be defined as a cross between Goats Don’t Shave and The SawDoctors. The fiddle and banjo sounds make you travel to Donegal’s finest second album era, and the rocking attitude, guitars and lyrics move you to the band from Galway territory. If the SawDoctors have songs like “Red Cortina” and “Joyce Country Céilí Band”, Creeds Cross answer with “Half a Chance” and “The Irish Band”.
The album begins with and instrumental intro, the well-known “She Moved through the Fair” tune. It’s an ethereal number based on keyboards and flute, but the second track, “The Harvest” set the tone to the rest of the album: excellent fiddle and banjo, brilliant guitars and a superb rhythm section.
The following number is the first single from the album, “The Irish Band”. This catchy song features “The King of the Fairies” tune. I guess that it’s a sort of a tribute to Horslips. “The Irish Band” will soon become a classic song, since it’s perfect to sing-a-long at the pub.
Track 4 is the second single of the album. It’s a poignant song about emigration that SIR REG’s fans will appreciate. Not only have the Swedish band written songs about the same topic, but there is a similar sound on this number.
“The Sam Maguire Cup”, a song about the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, is another number that stands out. I love the gang vocals, the epic feeling and the drumming.
Hard rock albums normally have a ballad, and Creeds Cross' debut album has two, “Good Enough” and the last song, “A Lullaby”
Track 7 is an Irish rock at its best number. Do you want to know what happens when the guys get their wages on Friday? Then listen to “Gods & Fighting Men”, one of the top 4 songs on the album. “One two three / Then we’ll drink to all the dear departed / Friday nights are for gods and fighting men / We’ll drink until we’re sober / And then we’ll start again / Fridays are for gods and fighting men”
If “One By One” was a song about emigration, “I’m Coming Home” is the other side of the coin. Good rocking number with a slight The Corrs twist.
The next song is another powerful number about the Catholic Church influence on the Irish population. Be careful guys! The (effigy of The) Virgin Mary is watching YOU!!!
Finally, “Half a Chance” is a wonderful song about a kid’s first love.
Creeds Cross “Gods & Fighting Men” is a fantastic disc. Bart Foley and his mates have been able to re-write the Ireland’s musical history of the last 40 years in one album. Enjoy!
01 - Intro / Irish Air 1:28 02 - The Harvest 3:24 03 - The Irish Band 4:03 04 - One by One 3:33 05 - The Sam Maguire Cup 3:35 06 - Good Enough 3:13 07 - Gods & Fighting Men 3:36 08 - I'm Coming Home 4:08 09 - The Virgin Mary 3:34 10 - Half a Chance 3:13 11 - A Lullabye 3:15
Craic "Amongst the Mischief and Malarkey" CDR-001 Release date: March 17,2014 Running time. 34:42, 11 tracks
Cleveland’s finest are back with their debut album, “Amongst the Mischief and Malarkey”. Craic’s 11 track CD is probably the most awaited album in 2014 (together with The Ramshackle Army’s debut album). The eight piece from Ohio jumped to the top of the EPs list of 2011, a list that was voted by fans from all over the world. In 2013 they released the single “Hold the Penny/Dirty Old Town” to whet appetites and finally “Amongst the Mischief and Malarkey” was released last Saint Patrick’s Day.
The six guys and two girls have worked again with ex-Dropkick Murphys member Ryan Foltz and the final result is a MUST HAVE album. If you are a follower of this e-zine, you’re already familiar with the two songs from the single and “The Irish Banshee”, since a video for that song was recently released. Then you know what you can expect from the rest of the album. If you’re a sceptic fan and you’re thinking that Craic have chosen the best songs for the videos and single, but the other tracks could be less interesting, you’re totally wrong. The album is really tight and there is no clunker from the beginning to the end.
There are three sorts of songs on “Among the Mischief and Malarkey”. The first group of songs would be the fast-paced, catchy numbers with the Craic’s Celtic/Bluegrass trademark: “Hold the Penny”, “The Irish Banshee”, but also “36 Bombs” and my faves: “Roads Less Traveled” (one of the best songs on the album), “Marching Orders” (another kickass number) and “Parallels” (Celtic punk at its best). Banjo, tin whistle, fiddle and electric guitar are showcased on all these songs. They’re perfectly backed by the brilliant rhythm section while frontman Brett Burlison does a fantastic job on vocals.
The second group would be the “slow” numbers: “Lonesome Lullaby” (excellent number; curiously it makes me think of a seminal Celtic pop-rock band from my area, Sorotan Bele), “Serenity” (not really a slow number since the tempo goes up and down and Craic show that they do really know how to master it) and “Lily & Nolan" (a sort of a waltz. If you can’t dance, don’t play this song when the missus is around or you’ll be obliged to dance with her! )
The last group would be the covers. Apart from Ewan MacColl’s classic song “Dirty Old Town”, Craic have decided to record their own rendition of “Fields of Athenry”. There are a lot of covers of this song and my usual advice is “Please don’t record this song, Neck, Greenland Whalefishers and Dropkick Murphys renditions can't be improved. “ However, I must admit that I have really enjoyed Craic’s cover because of the gang vocals, Brett and Nikki (tin whistle) lead vocals and the overall sound (guitars, banjo and fiddle).
The album package is a jewel case with an inlay card, but no lyrics to the songs. This is the only weak point. All the credits are stated and Craic have not forgotten to dedicate the album to their biggest fan, the late David Scott Rasile a.k.a. Drazzle, who run the Paddy O’Punk podcast. Thank you guys!. Not only are you great musicians, but you’re also true gentlemen.
Normally I try to use different words to say the same thing again, but I feel that this time I won’t do it. There is only one way to put into words what Craic have done: “Amongst the Mischief and Malarkey” is a MUST HAVE album. ‘nuff said.
01 - Hold the Penny 2:44 02 - Lonesome Lullaby 3:38 03 - 36 Bombs 2:44 04 - Dirty Old Town 2:42 05 - Roads Less Traveled 2:42 06 - Irish Banshee 3:01 07 - Serenity 3:19 08 - Marching Orders 2:40 09 - Parallels 3:52 10 - Lily & Nolan 3:51 11 - Fields of Athenry 3:24
Avast mateys! This be arr second video, an' we thought this time we be
goin' fer a live video ter try an' capture sum o' the energy we be
unleashin' in arr live shows! If yer ain't seen us before, come along
ter a gig sometime - we be makin' sure there's rum fer ya an' all!
vid were shot at Studio Bar, Penzance, one o' arr fave'rite venues!
Thankin' them kindly fer lettin' us shoot, and big thanks ter arr
director Ben Fullman, 'oo kindly worked 'is magic fer us again!
The Pokes "Mayday" Tollshock Records TS015 Release date: 7 February 2014 Running time: 60:11, 14 tracks (the last one is not credited)
The “Not irish, not traditional … just poking the fire!” band The Pokes released in February their fourth album. I was expecting a yellow cover, since their previous albums artworks were in green, red and dark violet, almost blue. Nevertheless, the six guys and a girl from Berlin decided to feature the frog again in a blue cover. Anyway, the packaging is a labour of love: a 16 page booklet with the lyrics to all the songs, credits and pics of all the band members and guests, together with a sort of a music box. When the packaging is unfolded, a device starts to play the “Mayday” theme. Hats-off, Ian and co.
Regarding the music, the Anglo-German septet follows the path that they have been walking since their very beginning. The songs are based on excellent accordion and banjo together with an amazing fiddle. And all these elements are wrapped by Ian’s vocals and their surreal lyrics. The Pokes are proud to state that their folk-punk is unique. And it’s true. Maybe some songs can be reminiscent to the likes of The Shanes or The Waxies, but those old German bands were basically polka and standard Celtic punk bands. And there is a lot of different musical styles on The Pokes “Mayday”: Eastern music, ska and even calypso.
The songs that I would pick up are the following ones: “God Save The Popes” (if you didn’t know who they were, this is their business card), “Bottoms Up” (amazing accordion and banjo on this Russian sounding song), “Get Out of This” (male and female vocals and great fiddling), “Bitch-cow-darling” (a catchy number), “I Wish” (Pogues style banjo playing and funny lyrics), “Skip this song” (a sing-a-long number with gang vocals) and “Neverending” (interesting song that finally arrives to the end).
There is a track no 14 with two hidden tracks. After two minutes there is an out of tune German version of “Yesterdayman”. It ends at 5:40 and at 14:34 there is another “joke”.
Before the album was released, some line-up changes took place and the band has been reduced from 7 members to 6 members. Currently there is no fiddler, but the band’s trademark (banjo and accordion) is still in fine form.
Thanks to The Pokes for remaining faithful to their own Folk-Punk and for trusting in the CD format. Come on, get a hard copy of the “Number 1 folk-punk Band from Berlin” new album! Mayday, mayday, mayday …
Tracklist: 1. God Save The Pokes 3:24 2. Bottoms Up 3:12 3. Mayday 3:44 4. Get Me Out Of This 3:28 5. Countryside 2:58 6. Bitch-Cow-Darling 3:00 7. I Wish 3:25 8. Yesterdayman 3:30 9. Skip This Song 3:50 10. What I Don't Know 2:57 11. Touch Me 3:50 12. Brooding 4:17 13. Neverending 3:42 14. Yesterdayman Koma 14:48
Molly McHarrel "(C'est Mort) Pour La Gloire" Le Silence des moutons/Les disques de Géraldine LSDM001 LDG028 Contre Choc Vegas Records Release date: 27 December 2013 Running time: 30:16 11 tracks
Punk bands with a hint of Celtic elements arise regularly from the French scene. Firstly, LTS, a band including mandolin and flute. Secondly, Les Tricards, a sort of an oi! band with pipes. And recently Molly McHarrel, a band from Toulouse (Midi-Pyrénées) with a girl playing flute, bagpipes and harmonica.
Musically, the band is influenced by
- Les Sheriff (a Ramones infused French band from the late 80’s-early 90’s), - Rancid, and - Dropkick Murphys.
Lyrically, Molly McHarrel pay tribute to another French band from the rock indé scene from the late 80’s, Les VRP, since they also like playing with words: “Here Gigot Again” (title of the second track), the last verse on track no. 8, “L’ours” ( “Melba cours vite, dépêche Melba”)... But they also follow a MaccLads/Anti-Nowhere League approach on the lyrics to “Au Bout de Rouleau”, “Les Vieux” or “Le Saigneur des Naseaux”.
Track no. 3 is one of the highlights on the album. It’s a punk-rock song with flute on which Les Sheriff shadow is clear. And old woman is looking for her dog. The dog is fallen inside a pit and is barking, but the old woman is deaf. Poor dog.
The first number, “Doux délire”, is a fast-paced punk-rock song with flute telling the tale of a perfect day. When the guy goes to work, everybody is drunk, there is plenty of beer… and Rancid is playing for free at the parking :-)
“Le Vieux” is my fave. If you were thinking that it’s a Jacques Brel cover, you’re wrong. It’s a Rancid with flute number with an infectious chorus. Watch out, it’s not a politically correct song!
With “Le Saigneur des Naseaux”, a song with a catchy chorus, Molly McHarrel become Rancid with pipes.
“Le Pessec” is a sing-a-long number that stands out with its traditional flavour. Pipes are showcased on this song with a DKM twist. However, “(C’est) mort pour la gloire” is the most DKM song on the album. Bagpipes are played on this song too and vocal duties are shared by two singers.
Finally, I would also pick up the last song, a self-deprecating number titled “Petit Couillon”.
Molly McHarrel “(C’est) mort pour la gloire” is an interesting album with plenty of details to appeal both folk-punk and punk-folk audiences. Go ahead, buy a bottle of French red wine, a Roquefort cheese and play these songs loud!
01. Doux Délire 02:46 02. Here Gigot Again 02:57 03. Le Caniche Au Fond Du Puits 02:48 04. Le Pessec 02:30 05. Au Bout Du Rouleau 01:50 06. (C'est) Mort Pour La Gloire 02:31 07. Les Vieux 02:59 08. L'Ours 03:24 09. Fabienne 02:57 10. Le Saigneur Des naseaux 02:57 11. Petit Couillon 02:14
Before they enter the studio Happy Ol' McWeasel have decided to hit the road one more time!
3 different countries and 5 gigs in a row should be a nice warm up!
Check out the dates and join them on the road to madness!
Tour dates: 05.04.2014 - Baamhakke, Piding (DE) 06.04.2014 - Special surprise show!, Zurich (CH) 07.04.2014 - Dynamo Werk 21, Zurich (CH) 08.04.2014 - Kulturbrucken, Mannheim (DE) 10.04.2014 - Le Tigre, Strasbourg (FR)
Bursting with life and energy, the recording captures Tempest in full flight at The 25th Anniversary Concert! Old favorites alongside brand new material, we dedicate this CD to all the fans who have faithfully supported us or over a quarter of a century.
You can follow our 25th Anniversary Tour on Facebook:
Different Circle Records is a small record label from Scotland and on 17th of April, they're releasing the CD version of the long-lost Kettle Rebellion album in the UK and Europe.
Kettle Rebellion was the short-lived project of Erik Petersen who's punk rock band The Orphans had just disbanded. They played a couple of shows and recorded an LP, but before it could be completely finished and released, some kids stole it from Petersen's house and leaked it on the internet. The band was shelved and morphed in to Mischief Brew, Philadelphia's premier anarcho gypsy punk rock band.
Twelve years on, Erik re-assembled the recordings and finished the project and we're happy to be involved in releasing the CD version.
“Kettle Rebellion formed in late 2001 near the end of the Orphans, Erik Petersen’s punk rock band that played in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. In January 2002, Kettle Rebellion recorded an eight song album and in the meantime, played five shows. After the recording sessions, Petersen was having musicians stay at his house and he showed them the release. Weeks later, he went back to the recording’s case only to find it empty. Soon, he realized that the demos had been stolen. Believing that the recordings were lost forever, Petersen moved onto other projects. Shortly thereafter, Kettle Rebellion re-formed as Mischief Brew. Later, while at shows, fans would ask Petersen about Mischief Brew songs called “Flesh and Bone,” “Song of the Free,” and other tunes that he could not identify. Usually, he would brush off the requests saying that Mischief Brew had never recorded anything under that name. Still, the requests for these strange songs continued. Eventually, he was clued in to the fact that these mysterious tracks were on Soulseek, an early file sharing network. After searching them out, Petersen realized that these unknown tracks which fans had asked him about were the Kettle Rebellion recordings! But, in many cases, the tracks on Soulseek were incomplete or were later-generation copies of poor sound quality. When Soulseek died, it seemed that these coveted tunes had been buried in the digital ether. Alas, the album was lost not once, but twice! Years later, the band stumbled upon tapes containing parts of the recordings. Excited by the discovery, they amassed the bits and pieces of the album strewn across various pieces of media. After realizing that they had all the recordings, just in in disassembled form, the band pieced it back together, and once again, in 2014, some twelve years after its death, the Kettle Rebellion album lives once again.”
The Band of April 2014 is Creeds Cross. Remember that you can watch their video for the song "The Irish Band" HERE.
Their debut album will be reviewed soon. Stay tuned!
"Creeds Cross are a collective of top session musicians put together and led by Bart Foley.
Bart Foley was born in Co Cork, grew up in Dublin then moved to England, to work on the busy London music circuit from an early age.
The studio musicians were: Pete Jupp (FM) Drums / Bob Skeat (Wishbone Ash) Bass / Pat McManus (Mamas Boys, Celtus) Fiddle / Brian Kelly (Shane McGowan) Banjo & Mandolin. Additional musicians for both studio and live, Mark Conyard (Fiddle), Grant Wildy (Drums).
The name Creeds Cross symbolises all creeds getting together and celebrating through music, as the lyric from The Irish band goes “Both North and South and all in the middle, will join together for the Irish band.”
Irish Rock takes on a new twist with this guitar driven traditionally influenced release. It’s a journey from Mayhem to Melancholy, stopping at every pub in between.
Written and Produced by Bart Foley, whose background as a songwriter and a session player has seen him signed to some of the biggest music labels in the business, including Rondor Music and Peer Music International.
Regular trips to the songwriting capital of the US, Nashville, meant that he would learn about song crafting from some of the best writers in the world
Drawing on inspiration from memories of growing up in Ireland and the rich and varied tapestry of Irish music, the songs are both autobiographical and fictional at the same time. With influences from the great Irish rock bands like Thin Lizzy and the Horslips and the more traditional Moving Hearts and Stocktons Wing, Creeds Cross have, in making the album "Gods & Fighting Men", created a new niche and genre of music - we call it Paddy Rock."