Review Archive

‘Celtic-American’ - The Stubby Shillelaghs – limitless enthusiasm, no compromise

(November 20, 2013)

Here’s a question for you: What do you have if you blend elements of Irish, Scots and American? Ten points for anyone who stubbyshillanswered The Stubby Shillelaghs. Another ten if you came up with rowdy, emotive, undiluted, rabid-as-a-badger Celtic-American music. And should you be a fan of that melange, then ‘Celtic-American’ from The Stubby Shillelaghs will surely be your glass (or three) of Jameson’s finest.

On ‘Celtic-American’ they range far and wide across Celtic influence and American attitude - reconstructing Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash with ‘The Cash-Up’, evoking the longing of Dougie MacLean’s ‘Caledonia’, and making some straightforward life-style statements with ‘Perfect World’. They deliver wild and singular narratives, both sung and spoken. They pull no punches, musically or lyrically. They sing about travelling and whiskey, working and women, rebellion and superheroes – enough eclecticism to suit everyone. Their enthusiasm never wanes and they make absolutely no compromises. If you’re happy with that and you’ll be happy to listen to ‘Celtic-American’.

A word of caution for the easily offended, the lyrics are liberally sprinkled with suggestive innuendo, multiple four-letter expletives, stacks of ‘F’ words and enough cursing to shock your grandma - then again if your gran is anything like mine she’ll piss herself laughing.

The Stubby Shillelaghs are Andrew Mithun lead vocals, percussion and tin whistle; Shaughnessy McDaniel mandolin, guitar, backing vocals; Ryan Knaub bass, guitar and backing vocals, Eric Fischer fiddle and vocals with Megan T and Kirsten Carpenter guesting on vocals across selected tracks.

Reviewer: Dan Holland

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