I read with great interest the Saw Doctors’ request to their friends on Facebook for a clever title for their new album. I sent the following Facebook message to Leo Moran, lead guitarist and founding member.

“So, what do you think of these album names?

FaceBog: play on Facebook site name
Tuamour: a bit final
Turf Wars
Postcards From the Bog
Knock and Roll


His response was polite but non-committal.

Hiya Mike:
Thanks for the suggestions -- I like Tuamour, and, I actually like the others as well but we'd get destroyed by the press in Ireland, and maybe beyond, for a mention of boglife I'd be afraid.

The album might not have a name, but the new songs do not suffer from an identity crisis. “Last Call” is as rollicking a rocker as the lads have ever written.

“Pour me another one/play another song/never ceases to amaze me you’re the only one/that makes it right/that takes the time/that always smiles/and in another life I’d come here every night,” sang Davy Carlton.

“This is a song about one of the fellas we have at home,” Moran explained from the stage at Monmouth University, a small college on the Jersey Shore that happens to be my alma mater.

“He’s the kind of guy that knows the working schedule of the cute bartender down cold and after a while, he’s not sure if he is more in love with the exotic bartender or the drink.”

That’s classic Saw Doctors for you. They apply a reporter’s eye for detail to brawny power chords to create a view of rock and roll from the craggy shore of Ireland’s West Coast.

With songs like “To Win Just Once,” “Clare Island” and “Green and Red of Mayo,” all of which were played here in Springsteen’s state, one can easily see the storyteller’s connection between the Saw Doctors and the Boss.
“Jersey gets slagged, Tuam gets slagged, too,” reasoned Moran. “I guess that’s why I feel so at home here.”

New songs like “Train” barreled along like they were written on the same day as “I Useta Love Her,” an encouraging sign that this album, whatever it is called, will go by the name “winner” with the fans.

The latest lineup, which includes Carton (vocals, guitar), Moran, Anthony Thistlethwaite (bass, saxophone), Kevin Duffy (keyboards) and Eimhin Cradock (drums) is the finest lineup yet.

Cradock looks young enough to be the son of some of the band members, and he brings a youthful energy to the skins that gives these old warhorses new life!

The Saw Doctors have a busy summer planned, with a new album showcase at Upstairs at Kelly’s in Galway in June and appearance at the Oxegen Festival at Punchestown Racehorse on July 11.

Since the euro is in the tank at the moment, this could be your chance to see the lads on their home turf! If you’re not planning on seeing them in Ireland this summer, you’ll have another chance when the boys return in August with shows in Manhattan, Lancaster, Pennsylvania and the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Massachusetts.

I can report that the lads are in fighting form onstage and playing better than ever, so make sure you log onto sawdoctors.com to track when they are coming your way.