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Thursday, March 15, 2012

St. Patrick's Day music picks: Dropkick Murphys, Chieftains

Looking for some fresh Irish-leaning music to liven up your St. Paddy's Day festivities this weekend? These recent releases are worthy candidates. 

For a rousing celebration, look no further than Dropkick Murphys. Last year, the Massachusetts-based Celtic punk band put out the solid, acclaimed concept album "Going Out in Style" featuring guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Chris Cheney of The Living End and Fat Mike from NOFX.

The septet gets even more wild on the newly expanded "Fenway Park: Bonus Edition." Recorded
over the course of two sold-out shows for 40,000 fans during Sept. 2011 at the famed home of the Boston Red Sox, they're joined by Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo) on "Tessie," fellow hometown heroes Mighty Mighty Bosstones for "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" and others. A closing cover of AC/DC's "TNT" proves perfect for lead singer Al Barr's gravelly voice.

This edition has the complete story of Cornelius Larkin by the band's friend/best-selling author Michael Patrick MacDonald (All Souls, Easter Rising). The Larkin story is an expansion of MacDonald's Cornelius Larkin obituary that appears in the original "Going Out In Style" liner notes.
 
The two-disc collection includes a download of the filmed concert. 500 limited edition vinyl copies are available for order now at dropkickmurphys.com.

You can see Fenway footage on television too: the music video for "Cruel" is set to debut nationally on MTVu on March 17, and will air 24 times in a 24 hour period. The full concert premieres in HD on Palladia, 9 p.m. ET Saturday, with repeat airings through April 7 (check local listings).

"Fenway" Track Listing:
1) Hang 'Em High 
2) Sunday Hardcore Matinee  
3) Deeds Not Words 
4) Going Out In Style 
5) The Irish Rover  
6) Peg O' My Heart 
7) Tessie   
8) Cruel   
9) Climbing A Chair To A Bed 
10) Take 'Em Down 
11) Devil's Brigade 
12) Boys On The Docks 
13) The Dirty Glass  
14) The State Of Massachusetts 
15) Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced 
16) Time To Go   
17) I'm Shipping Up To Boston 
18) TNT (AC/DC cover)

Remaining North American Tour Dates:
3.16 Boston, MA -  House Of Blues
3.17 Lowell, MA - Tsongas Arena
3.17 Lowell, MA - Tsongas Arena 
3.18 Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
3.24 Washington, DC - ShamrockFest '12 

European Festivals:
6.10 Leicestershire, UK - Download Festival, Donington Park
6.26 Stockholm, Sweden -Grona Lund Festival
6.27 Borlange, Sweden - Peace & Love Festival

On a more subdued, but highly captivating note is "Voice of Ages" (Hear Music/Concord), another in a long line of intriguing cross-genre collaborations by The Chieftains.
 
Marking their 50th Anniversary as the world’s foremost practitioner of traditional Irish folk music, Paddy Moloney and company wisely utilized the ace production talent of T Bone Burnett. 
 
Here the group works with acts from alt-rock (Bon Iver, The Decemberists, The Low Anthem) country and Americana (The Civil Wars, Pistol Annies, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Punch Brothers) to Irish and Scottish folk (Imelda May, Lisa Hannigan, Paolo Nutini).
 
Rounding out the 15 tracks is a reunion with original members Michael Tubridy and Se├ín Potts. NASA Astronaut Cady Coleman, a Chieftains fan, played a tin whistle tribute from space on “Fanny Power” (see it on YouTube at http://bit.ly/zXrOTU) while onboard the International Space Station.
 
Standouts include The Civil Wars' gorgeous self-penned “Lily Love,” Scotsman Paolo Nutini's Cat Stevens-esque "Hard Times Come Again No More," The Decemberists' take on Bob Dylan’s “When the Ship Comes In,” the Pistol Annies' "Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies,"
Secret Sisters' lush "Peggy Gordon" and both Punch Brothers contributions.
 
The deluxe "Voice of Ages" version is highly recommended. It has a great DVD documentary where Moloney and several artists are interviewed, plus the Low Anthem's music video. Eye-catching and intricate packaging also make this a special set. 
 
Watch The Chieftains on CBS Sunday Morning, March 18. In addition, an upcoming Chieftains/Low Anthem performance will begin streaming at NPR Music (npr.org) at 6 p.m. March 16.
 
Currently on tour in America, The Chieftains will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Carnegie Hall featuring a special guest appearance by The Low Anthem.

Hear The Chieftains' Paddy Moloney on NPR's Morning Edition:
http://n.pr/yGM5oF 
and on PRI's The World: http://bit.ly/woV9nY 


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