Drawing from the ashes of their ancestors and modern music alike, Los Angeles based Green Ashes new EP Cannery Row is original Folk-Rock music for fighters and lovers.
We only recently found out about Green Ashes when we featured them as our ‘Blast From The Past’ on last months Odds’n’Sods – Celtic Punk Round Up. The feature is usually reserved for releases that we missed first time round and the bands are usually long split up so I was a bit surprised to find out after downloading Sean, the bands five track follow up to their 2011 debut album ...And You’ll Put Your Boats To Sea that they were very much still together even if it was a whole decade between Sean and this months release of Cannery Row.
Green Ashes are based in Los Angeles, California and have for over a decade been entertaining LA’s Irish community with high energy Irish Folk and Celtic Rock. Clearly influenced by homegrown musical forms including Bluegrass and Americana they are famous for turning up one night with acoustic guitars, mandolins, banjos and upright basses and then the next night everything is turned up to 11 with Stratocasters and Fender Twins blazing.
One of the hardest working bands in Los Angeles they’ve played pubs, cafes, weddings, special events, ancient cruise ships and have become regulars on many of California’s Irish music festivals. Playing St. Patrick’s Day at the Irish Times venue in Culver City for over 10 years and CBS News even called Green Ashes gig at Irish Times “one of the best bets for live music on St Patrick’s Day”.
So their first release since Sean sees Green Ashes make a subtle yet significant move away from traditional Irish music to a truly authentic sound. The EP which had been delayed thanks to the Covid pandemic is named after the place the band played their first gig in Redondo Beach in 2009. Cannery Row consists of three originals and a fiery take on a traditional Irish rebel song that begins with ‘Forevermore’. The first thing that struck me was the vocals and how typically Irish-American they sound. I’m looking forward to seeing the Young Dubliners here in London soon and Patrick Murphy’s raspy definitely is reminiscent of Keith Roberts in the afore mentioned band.The music is mostly acoustic and has a certain grit despite being polished (nut not over produced). The recording is excellent with the fiddle out front but not dominating. ‘Just One’ is more upbeat and the obligatory drinking song is a right foot tapper. With Country influences sneaking in and name checks for the lovely Tullamore Dew ans the even lovelier Pogues tucked inside. ‘Roses’ is the last of the originals here and a sweet ballad with lilting fiddle and a swirling sound that gives emphasis to Patrick’s vocals. The EP ends with probably the best Irish rebel song to be given the Celtic-Punk treatment. Their really is no rival. An upbeat war tune with a classic singalong chorus and a song that is designed to only be sung while waving your fist in the air. ‘Come Out You Black And Tans’ has been around fro decades now and perfectly sums up the War Of Independence to free Ireland in 1919-1921. Great to hear some new material from Green Ashes and that their sound has been allowed to develop in a different direction from what was expected.
(You can stream / download Cannery Row via the Bandcamp player below)
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