Off The Record by Mike Farragher
These Rogues make a great band
Posted on Friday, July 27, 2012 at 09:30 AM
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- Singer Jake Bugg’s new album brings us to paradise by way of Memphis
- Pierce Turner returns to US for New York, Philadelphia concerts
- The Celtic Tenors Christmas CD lends an Irish vibe to the sounds of the season
Fans of the Moonshiners will recognize some of their old friends in this new band, which sports an engaging, diverse sound on their self-titled debut album.
The band, which includes Sean McNally (vocals, guitar), Joe O’Brien (keyboards), Rich Shields (bass), Frank Banafato (lead guitar, banjo), Bobby Lee Moller (drums, bodhran), Tommy Burns (accordion, guitar, vocals) and Meredith Rachel (fiddle), play it straight for the Moonshiners fans on tracks like “The Timmy-Clifford Set” while mixing it up with some southern fried shamrocks on countrified tracks like “You Can’t Eat the Scenery.”
“Our sound is a bit eclectic so that we bring a few generations of Irish music,” O’Brien says. “Prior to this, we were doing the AOH dances and what-not.
“With the name change and new players coming in, we now have this crossover music that is a bit edgier, more contemporary. We are hoping to get a new Irish audience.
“Not that there’s anything wrong with the No Nay Nevers, but we are hoping to attract fans from other bands like our friends in Barleyjuice and Jameson’s Revenge.”
O’Brien describes the collection of songs as a workingman’s album with a lot of the tough times going on reflective in some of the offerings. “Irish Goodbye” is a beautiful, sad ballad that’s perfect for crying in your beer.
Despite the risks associated with changing the band’s identity, no one is shedding any tears over the way things turn out.
“The AOH crowd from our old days has come around,” O’Brien says. “When you change your sound, there could be an adverse reaction. I didn’t think the Jersey AOH crowd would support us when we jumped into New York club scene.
“We’ve seen them in the crowd and now they are bringing in their kids. We are crossing those boundaries and it feels great.”
An album standout includes the Cajun flare on “Girl from the Emerald Isle.” Their cool jam band breezy music will be just what the doctor ordered on a hot summer festival!
“It has a bit of an R and B feel to it,” O’Brien says of the track. “Our guitarist Frank Banafato wrote it. He came from this working soul band in Jersey so we took his influence and put a Celtic flare on it.
“We played it on St. Patrick’s Day at Connolly’s and we broke into that number and a few people came onstage and broke into a jig. That’s when we new we had a winner.”
Band of Rogues is a winner, indeed! You can check them out on www.abandofroguesnyc.com.
Upcoming dates include the 19th at Hunter Mountain, September 1 at Blackthorn Celtic Festival in East Durham and the 2nd at the Hooley on the Hudson in Kingston, New York.