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3 Drink Minimum
Rating: 3 pints (out of 4)
by Jason Hohl
When you step into an Irish pub, you’re looking to have a good time. If you’re listening to an Irish band in said pub, they should be having a good time. On the Stout Pounders new album, 3 Drink Minimum, they effectively harness all the energy of a live show into 14 tracks of solid music. In fact, I can imagine what it might be like to spend an evening with them. You’d probably wake up the next day in another state with a headache and a new tattoo in an embarrassing location.
The album is nicely arranged with a combination of old folk songs, fiddle tunes and a few originals in there. Besides the great energy, the playing is accomplished and the singing is solid. I enjoy it when the whole band jumps in, sea shanty style, on some of the choruses (Molly Malone, Spancil Hill, etc). Johnny Jump Up is told in a clever way with different singers for the various characters in the song. My favorite song is “She Begged for More” with a little play on the words of the classic song “Si’ Beag Si’ Mo’r”. Genius! Run Paddy Run finishes off the CD on a nice upbeat note.
I had the opportunity to see these guys live at the Galway Bay Irish festival last year, and they were dynamic and entertaining. I wondered if they would be able to pull it off on a recording, and they did not disappoint. This is a CD you want to have in your collection. Oh, and can someone tell me how that dolphin ended up on my shoulder?
More on the Stout Pounders at www.stoutpounders.com
Jason Hohl is a contributing writer for 67 music and member of the Portland Celtic band Sons Of Malarkey.
Abby Green “Fig for a Kiss”
Abby Green’s second recording “Fig for a Kiss” is another delightful collection from this Texas Native, following her first cd, Einini, in 2008.
“Fig for a Kiss” gives us 10 more traditional Irish songs, tastefully crafted and arranged by Abby in her own personal style. Abby sings many of the songs in Irish Gaelic which lends a beautiful authenticity, (she also teaches workshops in the language). Her clear voice compliments her own accompaniment on bouzouki and cittern while her talented entourage of backing musicians flavor the recording with various pipes, mandolin, and fiddle. Add harmonizing backing singers and clean, well-produced production values and instrument mixes and you’ve got one wonderful recording. You’ll put this one in your player often.
Visit Abby’s website: http://www.abbygreen.com
CD Review: The Kreellers: “Saints & Sinners”
Here’s great recipe from a band out of Detroit: Take equal parts Celtic rock, funk, punk, add a ballad or two, mix in a few traditionals and whatever else is left over, toss it in a bowl, stir vigorously and what you get is a really tasty upbeat rollickin’ mix of good ‘ol powerhouse Irish stew one can really sink their teeth into. No seasoning needed. These blokes are fantastic.
“Saints & Sinners” is the band’s second release following their successful debut “Sixth and Porter”. Though containing nearly half the songs of that album, “Saints & Sinners” is very strong and consistently delivers the same pure Irish party vibe one might expect of the Kreellers. These five guys deliver a very authentic Irish sound and Celtic emotion on every track.
The Kreellers are: the up-front & and pure lead vocals of Derek Wade, Paul Bruno on guitars, bodhran, accordion, keys & vocals, Bob Gilbert on drums & percussion, Steve Vilnius on bass & vocals, and Carl Chute on lead guitars and vocals. They’ve been around only since 2008, but due to their relentless touring habits have amassed quite the following in and around the Midwest and beyond. Hopefully they will make it out to the west coast. They’ve made a new fan of me & my guess is when you look into them you’re gonna be hooked, too.
Check ‘em out at: http://www.kreellers.com/fr_home.cfm
Pladdohg “Hair of the Dohg”
Contributed by Roxanne Carpenter exclusively for 67 Music
Pladdohg prescribes a cure to lift your spirits with their second cd “Hair of the Dohg”. Originating in the San Francisco Bay area, Pladdohg is an Alternative Celtic Rock Band: Erin Bloom, Josh Canete, Robin DeMartini, Bruce Isom, Scott Kambic, Patrick Russ and Eric Sorensen. There’s a good dose of Celtic tradition here, but along the way they mix it up with some very non-traditional spins on familiar tunes such as “Black Velvet Band” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You”. Their musical artistry and vocals are full of fun and energy. From the exuberant “Whiskey Devils” to the haunting “Dirty Old Town”, their collective sound makes for a lively listening experience.
Check out the Pladdogh website: http://www.pdogmusic.com/
The Sheridan Band “Running Wild”
By SláinteSteve for 67 Music
Here’s a fun Folk/Celtic/Rock Quintet out of St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada. The Sheridan’s are a musical Family and quintet and who’ve been playing music together for a long time, in the beginning for Family and community events, which invariably developed into demand later on to perform in bars, parties, weddings and other public places and events.
At about a half & half mix, this high-energy live pub recording features a total of 19 original and traditional songs- a great representation of what one might experience at one of their shows. You get some standard and favorite stein-swinging traditionals such as “Drunken Sailor, “Leaving of Liverpool” and “Whiskey in the Jar”, blended together with some nicely done original compositions “Drunk in the Afternoon”, “Woolley took an 8 Ball” and “Run Around with Me”.
The Sheridan Band website: http://www.thesheridanband.com/blog/
CD Review: The Flying Toads “In Stitches”
Review by Catriona Hamilton exclusively for 67 Music
Hailing from West Sussex/Surrey/Hants, UK, “The Flying Toads” are a four member multi-instrumental band playing inventive arrangements of Irish music. Their album entitled “In Stitches” is upbeat and lively, making it a very enjoyable listening experience.
The band members are: Val, Keith, Brian and Erik. Together they play a wide array of the usual traditional instruments, with the Northumbrian smallpipes and cittern the more unusual ones. The majority of the tracks are instrumentals. The songs with vocals are both pleasing and strong.
For those of you who really love Irish traditional music, this one is for you! Putting in this CD will transport you to your favourite local pub. This would be a great addition to any Celtic music lover’s collection.
Learn more at: http://www.flyingtoads.co.uk/band_info.htm