New Year’s Day saw the release of a 3-track EP from Arizona based Celtic rockers Morgan’s Bluff, sadly featuring the last recordings with the late great Patrick Fowler, band accordionist, tin whistle player and vocalist.
Arriving on our doorstep just after its release on New Years Day we were originally delighted to hear from Morgan’s Bluff that they had a new release out. This was tempered though when we looked into the email and found out that it was the last recordings from their awesome accordion player (and more!) the late great Patrick Fowler. Poor Patrick was murdered last October in a indiscriminate shooting in Phoenix and was an innocent bystander. We hope that his murderer is caught soon and sees the justice he thoroughly deserves.
Morgan’s Bluff were formed by friends Paul Allen and Chris Sheridan and after several attempts and even more band members they were beginning to run out of patience that the band would never really get going That was till one day Chris got a call from Patrick saying he wanted to come to a band practice and see what happens. Having met together at one of the guys homes they began setting up when Patrick asked “what instrument do i play?”. No one had yet set what instruments each of them were to play so Patrick pulled out his accordion and the band kicked off. It soon came to an abrupt end though when about an hour later the next door neighbour banged on the door and said “if you don’t stop i’m calling the police”. Still the band had finally began and after several more practice locations and unfortunately more members, Morgan’s Bluff were finally a band and they all knew what instruments to play!
Their debut album, the self titled Morgan’s Bluff, was released in November, 2020 and was seven original tracks that covered all the bases of Irish-American Celtic-Punk rock. From the accordion led opening track ‘Brutality’ with it’s bouncy Ska base to the closing track ‘Home Tonight’ the influences don’t stop and start with Celtic-Folk with the full American immigrant experience her somewhere!
The EP opens with ‘Fading Away’ and you can hear Patrick’s accordion loud and proud in a song that reminds me of the Dropkick Murphys at their most contemplative. Slow and swirling but filled with attitude and ballsy as hell. The second of the three songs is ‘One More Round’ and the obligatory drinking song. More traditional Celtic-Punk from its Irish Folk opening to glorious subject matter. Working your fingers down to the bone and never getting your full due it’s a celebration of blue-collar working class life and working for the weekend. Something that many of us do and aren’t ashamed of it. The EP ends with ‘Lost In Hoboken’ and another upbeat number with Patrick’s accordion pushed to the fore. A great way to end things with a tale of great night out when you shouldn’t have stayed for that final pint but the lure was just too strong.
Chaser is a fantastic release and my only problem is that their isn’t more of it. We are pleased to hear that Morgan’s Bluff are carrying on. It is, I am sure, what Patrick would have wanted and this is a great legacy for his friends and family to remember him by.
(Chaser is only available on Bandcamp at the moment. You can stream the EP in its entirety and download Chaser for just $2 via the Bandcamp player below)