Mighty McGuiggans Fort Wayne, Indiana combine lively Irish fun with original compositions and some well trod covers.
Gritty, real and beautiful, like a single malt scotch or a fine stout. Raucous drinking songs, beautiful ballads, hilarious songs that tell a story and some pirate tunes to boot!
We were delighted to hear from American Irish Celtic-Punk band The Mighty McGuiggans in the run up to St. Patrick’s Day. They had a new release coming out and thought we would like to review it? Well we never say no so checked through the internet and soon found a whole host of live clips from several recent live shows that fair blew our socks off. With a live set that brings in some classic Celtic-Punk from scene favourites Flogging Molly, The Pogues, Dropkick Murphys, etc. alongside their own material they have seen their popularity grow at home and now hopefully with their debut EP fans will arrive from further afield. So with St. Patrick’s Day 2023 now just a drunken haze its time to look forward to next years… and remember next year it’s a Saturday!
While it was London Irish psycho-ceilidh rockers Neck who said that “every day is St. Patrick’s day” The Mighty McGuiggans proclaim “Every day is almost St. Paddy’s Day!” with us all having something just around the corner to look forward to! At the centre of The Mighty McGuiggans’ sound is songwriter, and possibly the only Celtic-Punk frontman to play ukulele, Mark Turney. He has led the band for over a decade and instrumental in evolving the bands sound from acoustic-based Irish Folk to a full-blown electric Celtic-Rock band. He has been accompanied since the earliest days by multi-instrumentalist Tommy Myers, Jesse Evans who plays assorted wind instruments adding much of the ‘Irishness’ with his knowledge of reels and jigs, John DeGroff on bass, David Coleman on drums and guitarist and singer Shawn Browning, as Mark so eloquently puts it, “Shawn adds the balls to the band.”
The EP opens with ‘Boys Have Gone The Knuckle’ and though the version above differs considerably from the one on the disc it’s still a decent version which shows what a great live show they deliver. With samples from the likes of JFK, the war-monger George Bush, the class clown Don Lemon among radio ads and static the song erupts into fast, catchy Irish Folk-Rock. Almost entirely acoustic its great fun altogether with a sound that reminds me a little of Swedes Finnegan’s Hell. Next up the fellas ‘pirate’ it up with ‘Pass Around The Rum’ not so fast but just as catchy and a nice touch with the ‘Swallowtail Jig’ in the middle.
The first song to be released from the EP was the triumphant ‘The Day I Beat McKluskey’ back at the end of January. A raucous Irish romp telling the tale of a bully getting their just deserts with a real funny twist at the ends that made me howl with laughter. A catchy as hell chorus that by the end of the first time you hear it you’re singing along with!
“It’s a drop of the pure for courage, & it’s Sláinte one & all!
I hit the bully on the nose, & made the bully fall.
The day I beat McKluskey, I could hold me head up high;
It’s a day that I’ll remember well until the day I die.”
Among all the mad as hell Celtic-Punk I hear I love a ballad. To be a world class Celtic-Punk band you need to be able to crank out a decent ballad (and also give it some trad. Irish too) and ‘Devil’s Drink’ is a wonderful song with a touch of darkness like a really good pint of Stout. The EP ends with the EP’s title song ‘Every Day Is Almost St. Patrick’s Day’ another belter of a song that ends the release with a smile.
“Every day is almost St. Paddy’s Day;
It’s really not so far away,
So let’s raise a pint, and keep sorrow at bay!
Every day is almost St. Paddy’s Day!”
The Mighty McGuiggans are a fantastic addition to the American Celtic-Punk scene with everything that makes the scene over there so good. A mix of story telling and uplifting good time music to leave your sorrows at home and simply have a great time. This EP concentrates on their fun side and their is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
(You can stream / download the Every Day Is Almost St. Paddy’s Day EP via the Bandcamp player below)
Download Every Day Is Almost St. Paddy’s Day Bandcamp
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The Mighty McGuiggan’s are fantastic and your review is SPOT ON!