Off The Record by Mike Farragher
The Dropkick Murphys: Alive and thriving!
Posted on Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 10:58 AM
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The Dropkick Murphys have made their corner of New England a greener place over the last 14 years by delivering a potent mixture of caustic punk rock with sweet Irish soul.
Each year the band breaks house records when their live shows celebrating St. Patrick¹s Day go on sale. Many people, including reviewers like yours truly, have been left out in the cold when the shows fill up immediately.
Knowing this, the band has released Live on Lansdowne, Boston, MA, a scorching live album that gives the listener a hint of what we’ve been missing.
This updated recording is volume two of the series comprising a “best of” or “greatest hits” from the extensive Dropkick Murphys catalogue of albums.
The material on this album focuses on the band’s most recent titles and includes a live rendition of their most popular and instantly recognizable platinum selling single ”I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” as well as popular tracks like “The State of Massachusetts,” the Red Sox anthem “Tessie,” St. Patrick’s Day sing-a-long “Kiss Me, I’m S***faced,” and the tear jerker sing-a-long “Forever.”
The album was recorded over six nights and seven shows in March 2009. This live CD and Hi-Def DVD package puts the band’s hot ticket live show experience in your own home.
Like any good live set, Live on Lansdowne is a perfect sample for the newcomer to feast on. “Don’t predict the future/forget about the past,” howls Alan Barr on “State of Massachusetts,” a slice of high octane diddly-diddly that is quintessential Dropkick Murphys.
Many Celtic punk outfits barnstorm through “Fields of Athenry,” but this band plays just as fast as anyone else without trampling the patriotic emotions in the lyrics.
Though I have been following the band for years, I never paid much attention to the optimistic “Sunshine Highway” from 2005’s The Warrior’s Code. It’s the kind of song that begs an airing with the top down now that the weather is warm!
This working-class, bare-knuckled band struck gold a few years ago, when their “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” was featured in the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning film The Departed.
Since then, the song has been adopted as the official anthem of that city, the sounds of power chords, flutes, and fiddles regularly wafting over the loudspeakers at Fenway.
To chow down on a hot dog as that tune plays (I know this is sacrilege to the Yankees fans out there) never fails to produce goose bumps, even in the cheap seats.
The band not only writes about the hardscrabble characters in the poorer neighborhoods of their hometown, they have recently devoted their efforts and influence to charitable endeavors as they lend a helping hand to those less fortunate.
According to their website, the Claddagh Fund is based on three core values within our community -- friendship, love and loyalty; the three attributes symbolized in the Claddagh ring.
The fund provides assistance to organizations that share in these goals, prioritizing the needs of children and targeting organizations that support a myriad of children’s causes.
The Claddagh Fund also supports veterans’ causes, families of deceased soldiers, and alcohol and drug recovery programs.
A registered 501(c)3 organization, the Claddagh Fund was founded by singer and guitarist Ken Casey. The fund is hosting its next event, Celebrity OysterFest 2010, on May 12 at 88 Wharf Riverfront Grille in Milton, Massachusetts.
Casey and his bandmates, along with family, friends and loads of local celebrities are kicking off the summer patio season at this awesome waterfront restaurant. For more information on the charity and how you can donate, log onto www.claddaghfund.org or become a friend on the charity on Facebook.
If you are not going to be in Boston for that event, fear not! The Dropkick Murphys will be playing a handful of shows on the East Coast in June before jetting to the West Coast for a string of Warped Tour dates.
For more information, check out www.dropkickmurphys.com.