Author Archives: theold69th

INTRODUCING RAVENSWALK. NEW BAND FROM BUFFALO

There is nothing better than coming across a new band you instantly fall for. Ravenswalk hail from Buffalo in New York State and while they have just started out they already have out some great sounding demos.

“though the crime rate may be bad and the snowstorms may be inconvenient, the cities friendly locals and beautiful scenery make Buffalo a good place to live.”

Buffalo is a strange city. Between the old steel plant and old industrial areas, yuppie lofts, Irish south Buffalo where street signs are still in Irish Gaelic, it’s a weird mix of blue collar laborers content with “Genny” (a local beer that’s pretty awful) and up and coming twenty-something’s drinking craft beer.

Buffalo Irish Centre mural

I was able to catch up with two friends playing at a local coffee shop on the WASPier north end of the suburbs playing some interesting stuff, outside the normal spectrum Of coffee house music. Ray and Clare make up “Ravenswalk”, a somewhat Celtic, somewhat protest, I think they threw an obscure Cohen song in there once. Weird stuff to hear in the realms of “Wagon Wheel” and “Hallelujah”, respectively by great artists, but cmon. We need to hear that like I need a hole in my head. Ray, acoustic guitar, some vocals here and there, had been playing Irish music since the get-go. He carried on “The Fighting 69th” for a number of years, he said, before taking a backseat to “weirder projects”. His taste is an enigma. One day he’s going from Gaslight Anthem there to The Dubliners and back to Social D.
Clare, to be fair, is an enigma unto herself. Classically trained, jazz lounge, the works. I’ve heard about 7 people there who said “she sings like an Angel”. All truth told, she does. Killer range, gorgeous but controlled vibrato, and a repertoire different but as random as Ray’s. Not as familiar to me, but hey, I like to think of myself as an aged punk who still listens to “Spirit of 77” sort of stuff.
According to both, Ray did a set on mandolin of “London Calling” (it was weird, just roll with it) and then went into a couple jigs. Clare I didn’t catch that night, but evidently she waved him down asking where he’d learned the jigs. Apparently they had zig zagged around the same Irish session music in Buffalo for a couple years but never met. Which is weird. It’s a damn small town.
They’ve done a few demo quality recording sessions, they said, and have about a dozen tunes at that quality on their Bandcamp site.

Bands, at least in my own experience, are a matter of the stars aligning in just the right way at the right time. I can’t tell you how much in my own experiences playing it’s just a matter of the right people in the same spot at just the right point.

3/24 Sessions

3/18 Sessions

3/16 Sessions

Their demos cover some interesting spans and arrangements. Are they brilliant?  Maybe not, but I see some cool potential in these two. We will see what comes out of it, but fingers crossed there will be something new and interesting I’ll pay attention to locally. It’s refreshing, I haven’t been able to say that in a fair while.

https://ravenswalk1.bandcamp.com/

LCP INTERVIEW WITH THE AWARD WINNING TED HUTT!!

We are incredibly pleased to be able to bring you a interview with a man who has given so much to music but in particular to our wonderful Celtic-Punk scene. Our fella in the States Ray Ball chatted to Ted Hutt just the other day, Grammy Award-winning record producer, musician and songwriter and original guitarist and founding member of Flogging Molly. Ted is currently part of the Walker Roaders alongside The Pogues James Fearnley and Marc Orrell of Dropkick Murphys.

So I got the chance to talk to award winning producer, Flogging Molly founding member, and Walker Roaders guitarist Ted Hutt. Ted has worked with some of the the artists we all know and love and I am so thankful he took the time to talk to me on his approach to music production and working with those groups.

(The Walker Roaders- Smokestack Lightning – 2021)

Here’s the Q&A. I asked him a little bit to introduce himself. Here’s what he had to say-

“I have always loved music.  I have always loved collaboration where the sum is bigger than the parts (at least hopefully). I have always been thankful for music as a constant companion through good time and bad, and the constant reinvention to be creative and challenge to be creative. I have always felt stuck in bands, always a bit restricting?  I like a lot of things musically and producing gives me a way to dig into different parts of my record collection, to try different things from project to project. It’s interesting as I look through a body of work, that there are common themes and threads that come from the music that we grow up with.”

(Flogging Molly – Drunken Lullabies – 2002)

(Couple of years after Ted left Flogging Molly he returned on the Drunken Lullabies album as producer and mixer and also as co-writer for a few songs including the title track)

I mentioned again that the last person I saw him talk to was KT Tunstall, which I think was a little outside his usual spectrum. Here are his thoughts-
“Well, interestingly KT contacted me because she was working with a guy named Chris Leonard in Dublin, they were looking for someone to produce them. I guess the long story short was the names and artists they wanted to inspired by and the common denominator was me. I also know James Fearnley (Accordion Pogues, Accordion and Vocals Walker Roaders) and Marc Orrell (guitar, piano, a slew of instruments between DKM, Wild Roses, Walker Roaders, and a slew of other projects as well). I wouldn’t work on a project I didn’t think I couldn’t add something to…but there’s this thread of Irish/Scottish music…with the obvious others like Old Crow Medicine Show for example. I was a fan and thought it would be fun to work with them. I called their manager and next thing you know I’m recording with them at the Sound Emporium in Nashville. I asked them why they agreed and the pointed out the Link between the Celtic music I had made with Flogging Molly.  Interestingly enough there’s also that story telling element with Gaslight Anthem. Bruce Springsteen loved ‘59 Sound’ and sang in a Dropkick Murphys record (Peg o’ My Heart). Once you start digging, that Celtic thread is everywhere!

(KT Tunstall and Chris Leonard – Run Rudolph Run – 2021

Produced by Ted Hutt)

I actually started working on an outline for a book or movie or something about how much of the music we love today had Celtic roots.”

I asked a little bit about that story telling aspect, it obviously plays a huge role in Celtic tradition, but also in his productions. I pointed out the link in ‘59 Sound using “Great Expectations” “Estella” and “Marley’s chains we forged in life”-pulled directly from 19th British author Charles Dickens.
“I loved that lyric”, he said. “Mary I worried and stalled every night of my life/better safe than making the party”, and so many others on that record. I felt like I unearthed another layer, which is something I’m very interested in. It’s an attempt to draw the listener in immediately, but also layers, texture and subliminal stuff that keeps revealing the more they Listen.
The story, when all told, provides a sort of companionship with the listener and artist, it reminds the listener they’re not alone!”
He concluded-“That someone else has similar experiences, that they had similar feelings!  It reminds us “we are not alone in our struggles”. It’s always been important to me as a fan. Maybe we need that more than ever”.

Email: worldsendamerica info@worldsend.com

Instagram: Ted Hutt @tedhutt •Instagram

Facebook: Ted Hutt

Twitter: Ted Hutt (@Ted Hutt)|twitter

Thanks to Ray Ball for the interview. He has already featured on these pages as the driving force behind The Fighting 69th from Buffalo. The review of his 2-volume set of Dropkick Murphys covers was one of the most viewed of the year. One of the most prolific and diverse artists in the Celtic-Punk scene we are proud to have Raymond on board the London Celtic Punks team. Writer, artist, musician he is a credit to the American-Irish community and you can find a wealth of his material available at his Bandcamp site.

LIVE REVIEW: DROPKICK MURPHYS ST. PATRICK’S TOUR WITH THE RUMJACKS AND MORE

The power of your example is far greater than what you say!

and their ain’t no band who set a better example than the Dropkick Murphys. Love, loyalty and friendship. Ray Ball was lucky enough to catch the Murphys on only the second leg of their St. Patrick’s tour in Rochester, New York. 

So, we all know this is a DKM show. And I’ll get into that later, but I wanted to get into a couple of the other groups that played.

Jesse Ahern

First on deck was Jesse Ahern. Before walking in the doors even, I was a big fan. I got turned on to him when he was supposed to see him on a tour that got cancelled opening for DKM. Admittedly I’ve got all the records on my phone and keep them going pretty steadily on rotation in my car.

    But he’s got a classic act down. One guitar, a harmonica and his vocals when he plays live. The records have more instrumental parts but it is bare bones, solid, working-class folk music. Solid solid set, early on and probably didn’t get the attention he deserves but I was definitely right up front and center.

  Next came on The Rumjacks. First and foremost, replacing a band member is hard. I don’t care if you’re playing in a garage or were AC/DC trying to replace Bon Scott. Obviously a singer can also make or break a band. A new one-well damn. Uncharted waters. But they did it well.

The Rumjacks

The sound has changed. Personally I love the newer material-yes the ended with “Irish Pub Song” but ironically I wasn’t to familiar with the rest of the set. The overall sound and vibe is definitely headed in a direction I like. It makes me think definitely of what I wanted to sound like on record-only much, much better. No frills, crazy lighting, etc.  On, straight Celtic punk, filled with whistles, bouzouki’s and a set of highland pipes, and go.

The Bombpops

  The Bombpops are not a group I would have bought headlining tickets for. Just not in my normal spectrum. That said, they had come cool music. Even though in my mind it shouldn’t be, it’s always unique to see two girls on stage. To me, in my own work I could really care less who you are as long as we have a good vibe and make good music. But it made me think of the bonus track on “Elgin Avenue Breakdown” by the 101ers. The track is a live cover of “Gloria” in which Joe Strummer goes into talking about women in the punk scene. “I’ve seen Patti Smith do it…” he says, and in a long tangent into how the whole idea of the punk movement was to break down those walls of convention.
  Have we since 1976 when that was recorded made that headway?  I’m not certain. I think we could argue both sides. I’m not entirely familiar with Bombpops repertoire. But I want to say, girls onstage in any act-punk or no-should not be a novelty. I personally don’t care if you’re a guy, a girl, black, white, purple-if you can play solid music and mean it I will listen. And damn, their guitarist played some of the most true punk palm-muting-all-downstroke machine gun sounding guitar playing I’ve seen in a very long time.
   Ok, onwards. Dkm. I don’t need to introduce anyone here. But there were a few key points. Al Barr is out of the current tour on account of family matters. Much much much respect. The first thing I thought of when I heard that news was “Do you think Mick Jagger took time off from the Stones to help his sister take care of their mom?”  Much respect to those who made it possible for him to do that. Frankly I don’t know much about Mick Jagger’s life, but I’m thinking I’m going to err on the side of probably not.
That leaves a hefty job for Ken to hold down. And he did it like an absolute champion. I’m willing to bet that everyone reading has at least seen them live on one of the Live Streams if not once or many times over the years. You know exactly what a good show you’re in for. But the one thing I will point out-the set list. “Do or Die”, “Caught in a Jar”, Caps and Bottles” and “Curse of a Fallen Soul” (some of which are mostly Al songs) came out of the vaults. The opened with “Cadence to Arms”. I’ve seen them every chance I get since 2004 and don’t think I’ve ever heard that done like that. They also did a mean cover of AC/DC’s “ Rock n’ Roll Singer ”. Old school my friends. A lot of us there were on the older side of the spectrum. There were even a few wee ones with their parents at the front.

So overall, some music I love, some fresh sounds, some impressive unexpected artists? Yes. Some serious nostalgia? Sort of. It got a bit rowdy and we were yelled at by two street preachers waiting on doors to open. It’s a crazy world, and it’s a punk show. Expect anything.

Set-List : Hang ‘Em High / The Fighting 69th / Sunday Hardcore Matinee / Deeds Not Words / Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya / Never Alone / Time to Go / Cruel / Going Out in Style / Take ‘Em Down / Echoes on A. Street / Devil’s Brigade / Boys on the Docks / The Dirty Glass / The State of Massachusetts / The Irish Rover / The Burden / Your Spirit’s Alive / 1953 / Barroom Hero / I’m Shipping Up to Boston / Encore / Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced / Skinhead on the MBTA / T.N.T. (AC/DC cover) /

Dropkick Murphys  WebSite  Facebook  Store

Dropkick Murphys – Fan Page

Now seems the perfect time to mention the #1 Dropkick Murphys group on Facebook. Ran by fans for fans. Simply click the link and join up and join in the Murphys related fun.

Thanks to Ray Ball for the great review and all photos. He has already featured on these pages as the driving force behind The Fighting 69th from Buffalo. The review of his 2-volume set of Dropkick Murphys covers was one of the most viewed of the year. One of the most prolific and diverse artists in the Celtic-Punk scene we are proud to have Raymond on board the London Celtic Punks team. Writer, artist, musician he is a credit to the American-Irish community and you can find a wealth of his material available at his Bandcamp site .

1916’S BILL CHATS WITH LONDON CELTIC PUNKS ABOUT THE BANDS LATEST ALBUM

Upstate NY, Celtic rockers 1916 are an explosive concoction of modern Irish Folk, Punk and Psychobilly which makes 1916’s sound both highly original and at the same time traditional! A band that truly stands apart from other bands in the Celtic-Punk genre.

Our man Raymond Lloyd Ball caught up with lead singer and songwriter Bill Herring to talk about the band’s origins and their highly rated latest album Revolutions.

So here’s the story. 1916 is a band from Rochester, NY, about 45 minutes from where I am in Buffalo. We’ll touch on it, but this region of New York State was a place where, in the 1850s-1860s many Irish immigrants made their way from New York City or Boston. Obviously, the name “1916” needs no explanation. I was able to get an interview with Bill Herring, singer and guitarist in the band about the latest album “Revolutions” and the general gist of the scene as is.

Ray: First of all, we get the prominence of the name 1916, but what in the community in Rochester gave you guys both the incentive and the ability to put together the group and really make it work?

Bill: Well the “working” of 1916 is always something I consider to be a work in progress. Always evolving, changing with the times.

The name came about as a result of a healthy respect for Irish history and as a desire to get Americans interested in their own shared past. When we first started the group there were many many people who had no idea what “1916” stood for or what the significance of the name was. We always try to respect that history in our songs whenever we can-with undertones of revolution and forging your own path throughout the vibe of the music. That being said we do try to have some fun with it as well, with a songs like Ordinary Man and Khaleesi.

Rochester and most of central/western NY state is heavily steeped in a rich history of Irish culture. You’d be hard pressed to stumble through a post colonial churchyard west of Syracuse without finding Irish names on half the headstones. That rebel spirit has revealed itself in the existence of the Molly McGuires in the 1800’s and later on the Hibernians as time passed. I’m sure you even probably heard of the Fenian raids of post civil war Buffalo into British owned Canada in hopes of seizing a new Ireland. Now I’d be lying if I said we did name the band with all this in mind…but maybe it was all this history that led us to inevitably choose that name. I will say there is a quote from Dave King of Flogging Molly, where he talks on the Whiskey on a Sunday film they released several years ago. He mentions growing up in Ireland and seeing the young men of Dublin falling into a life of war with the IRA, and that there must be a higher form of communication to let people know what is happening over there. The only thought I had after hearing that was that-through intense, super fun music, you could engage people enough to get them interested in learning about this past…and how it affects the present day situation between Ireland and the USA.

Ray: Awesome answer, I’m AOH Myself.

Bill: As am I…

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is an Irish/Catholic fraternal group that does everything from charitable work to commemorations of things such, as Bill mentioned, the Fenian Raids from Buffalo to then British Canada. As a member from here, we hold an annual ceremony to the raids and to those who gave their lives for the cause of Irish independence.

Ray: So, given that history, how do you feel it’s important to incorporate modern music in a way that’s different then the traditional sessions you here at every other pub?  I know you incorporate modern instrumentation while still harkening to topics that are either old in premise, modern, or similar (I’m thinking of a man you don’t meet everyday) and make it fresh?

Bill: Yes I think it’s important, at least for 1916, to provide a bridge between Irish traditional music and American folk/rock music. Even early county music has its roots steeped in Irish and Scottish music. That’s really the sound we’re going for. An American band that pays tribute to our immigrant cultural heritage.

Ray: Lastly, in terms of Revolutions, that came out just at the end of last year if I’m not mistaken. How on earth did you cut a record, and a good one at that, during the pandemic?  How how did that effect the process 1916 has either writing or recording?  Obviously “When We Reopen” is directly about it, but did anything else about the pandemic change the record?

Bill: The record wasn’t really about the pandemic. We actually wrote all of those songs (except for When we Reopen) well before any of this craziness ever happened. If anything there was a palpable vibe that I felt during the writing of those songs that you could feel out on the streets. People were edgy…combative. It felt like something bad was about to happen. The song that most mirrors that I think is The Falling. I wanted to write a song about my observations on the devolution of humanity in the face of our own technological achievements. Then I saw how bad things really could get the following year with the plague and the riots.
We recorded that record, mostly, with Bob Schmidt – (formerly of Flogging Molly) at the engineers booth along with our trusted friend Doug White, owner of Watchmen Studios in Lockport NY.
Having missed two consecutive St Patrick’s Days now, we are still trying to save up enough money to release the album on disc. I think people don’t realize how hard the shutdowns were on bands like ours. It was a tough tough time and I hope this bullshit is over soon.

Ray: That said, “Revolutions” is a solid record. I’ve been listening to it on and off for some time now. It’s got the classic 1916 vibe, upright bass, classic (though I’m definitely biased) Gretsch guitars, and a handful of traditional instruments with a solid kit. Is it reinventing the wheel?  No. And better for it. We’ve all come a long way since The Pogues and earlier, more brash bagpipes-over-Minor Threat-style Celtic Punk. And there have been a number of bigger and smaller acts that have definitely left their mark upon the scene. They take some rockabilly, some punk, and a lot of Celt to make a fine Irish/American blend. Cheers to the guy from down the I-90.

Buy Revolutions  Amazon  Apple

Contact 1916  WebSite  Facebook  Instagram  Bandcamp  YouTube

Thanks to Raymond Lloyd Ball. He has already featured on these pages as the driving force behind The Fighting 69th from Buffalo. The review of his 2-volume set of Dropkick Murphys covers was one of the most viewed of that year. One of the most prolific and diverse artists in the Celtic-Punk scene we are proud to have Raymond on board the London Celtic Punks team. Writer, artist, musician he is a credit to the American-Irish community and you can find a wealth of his material available at his Bandcamp site.

During the lockdown 1916 played several full concert live streams, as well as some great solo performances from Bill himself. Here’s just under two hours of 1916 from this years St. Patrick’s Day live stream performance. I can barely remember it through a fog of stouts and ales though I know I must have woke the neighbours! The music starts at nineteen minutes.

EP REVIEW: SHADOWS OF BOSTON – ‘Demo’ (2021)

FREE DOWNLOAD!!

Amid the ashes of the Boston music scene burns an ember. A glowing promise of the raging fires that used to burn. The keepers of the flame are SHADOWS OF BOSTON.

A new Celtic Street Punk band band formed out of ex-members of Boston Punk bands Dropkick Murphys, Toxic Narcotic and The Blue Bloods. Raymond Lloyd Ball was among the first to hear the Shadows Of Boston debut release, a 4 track EP that has already set the Celtic-Punk scene alight, and here lets us know what all the fuss is about.

Did anyone believe a band out of Boston would be playing a mix of rock, punk, folk, and Celtic music? Of course you do. We all know and love the Murphy’s. And I’ll happily buy their records, merch, etc. because they’re something I grew up loving and shaped my musical trajectory.

I read in a review of the last album that it was “dad rock”. And it’s true. We can’t all be 20-something or younger pisspots forever.

For me, it’s a bittersweet pill to swallow, but that’s for another day. Fast forward to August 2021. I caught some random post that there was a new group coming out of Boston with ex-DKM piper “Scruffy” Wallace.

Shadows Of Boston left to right: Eric – Bass * Benny – Accordion, Banjo, Harp (yes feckiing harp!!!, Bagpipes * Tim – Drums, Bagpipes * Tony – Vocals, Guitar * Al – Lead Guitar, Vocals * Herb – Mandolin, Guitar, Bagpipes *   Scruffy – Vocals, Whistles, Bagpipes *

I didn’t pay a whole ton of attention at the time. Much like the Street Dogs and the Walker Roaders, I didn’t want to think of them as a cool offshoot of DKM.

While each of said groups I love, my skepticism is always there. How can we really keep reinventing the wheel? Frankly we can’t. In the words of the McKenzies- “It’s all been done before”. But that sure as hell doesn’t mean we can’t revisit it.

Enter “Shadow of Boston”. They released a four track demo EP just days ago. Skeptic or not, the rumblings of Celtic punk out of Boston was enough to make me get a copy.

I was floored. Hard. Brash. Unrefined. In-your-face punk music with a Celtic twist. To those of us who still listen to “Sing Loud, Sing Proud” or “Do or Die”, or at least spent our youth doing so-this album is for you.

Part of the beauty of it is it’s format. It’s not squeaky-clean overproduced. It’s rough around the edges. I would love to delve into lyrics and styles but I can’t. And that is awesome. Other than the titles, I can’t make most of it out. And unless you google them, I can’t make a damn word out of a DKM record until “The Gangs all Here”. We’re not reinventing the wheel here. But to old, curmudgeonly bastards who have heard not only the Murphy’s, but important bands from the late-90s / early-00s Celtic punk-download a copy of this. It’s a diamond in the rough of a million bands playing the same thing. Not to knock anyone-and I’ve already talked about that other Boston Celtic band more than I wanted. But for those who remember Far From Finished or Righteous Jams – older Boston punk bands that didn’t make it past an album or two. This record is for you. Forget the connection with that other band. Yeah, ex members, great. But for everyone who’s complained over the groups of this era losing their edge – shut up and download the record. It’s truly a breath of fresh air you didn’t even realize you needed.

(Download or stream the Shadows Of Boston EP from the Bandcamp player below) 

SOB Demo  on all platforms!! ..Spotify, itunes Tidal…etc.etc but free on Bandcamp

Contact Shadows Of Boston  WebSite  Facebook  YouTube  Instagram

Scruffy and Benny sat down with Mistress Carrie and did The Mistress Carrie Podcast at the end of 2020. Scruffy spoke of his time in The Dropkick Murphys, touring the world, learning the bagpipes and Punk-Rock, while they both talked about their time deployed in combat (would love to hear what they think of the current situation!), what makes Boston the city that it is and all things Shadows Of Boston.
*
Thanks to Raymond Lloyd Ball for the great review. He has already featured on these pages as the driving force behind The Fighting 69th from Buffalo. The review of his 2-volume set of Dropkick Murphys covers was one of the most viewed of the year. One of the most prolific and diverse artists in the Celtic-Punk scene we are proud to have Raymond on board the London Celtic Punks team. Writer, artist, musician he is a credit to the American-Irish community and you can find a wealth of his material available at his Bandcamp site .
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