Among the most celebratory and jovial day's of the year, St. Patrick's Day can certainly become diluted with green party favors and dyed beer, but also comes with an important focus on the Irish culture on a global level.
When it comes to music, the Celtic punk category, though niche, remains an important part of the celebration. With genre-leading veterans like Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys, along with a second wave of blue-collar folk punks like Flatfoot 56, The Rumjacks and Paddy and the Rats, the sound has remained relevant for generations with the kind of songwriting that emphasizes narrative and sincerity. Come St. Patrick's Day, the demand is especially strong, with people looking to connect with a bit of Irish culture in the form of a good drinking tune.
In an effort to ensure the St. Patrick's Day festivities are paired with an appropriate soundtrack, the following is a reference rundown of what is new from the genre's contributing contemporaries. With livestreaming performances and new music all on the docket, the first proper St. Patrick's Day parties in almost three years definitely deserve some added shine. Sláinte!
Currently in the thick of a U.S. tour with Russkaja and Vandoliers, Celtic folk punk heroes Flogging Molly have returned to the famed Hollywood Palladium to host their annual St. Patrick's Day party and day-long festival after a three year absence. The last time the band took over Los Angeles for the annual tradition was 2019 and in the years since, Covid would force the celebration to adapt.
Last year, Flogging Molly proved resilient in charging ahead with some form of St. Patrick's Day celebration, with a performance streamed live from Dublin to a global audience still intent on hoisting a glass, but which needed to do so in a socially-distanced way. The return of the in-person festival did however take some lessons from the pandemic, with Flogging Molly again broadcasting their performance, only this time from the Palladium in front of a packed house via livestream via broadcast partner VEEPS. GET TICKETS HERE
In addition to the band's holiday gathering, Flogging Molly has recently released a new track, “These Times Have Got Me Drinking.” The single offers the first glimpse of the new music since the band's lauded 2017 Rise Records full length, Life Is Good. The single arrives along with news that Flogging Molly will be joining ska punk champs The Interrupters for a co-headlining summer tour along with Tiger Army and The Skints that will no doubt be a party from beginning to end.
In a testament to their longevity and enduring punk spirit, the pride of Boston in Dropkick Murphys released their tenth full length LP, Turn Up the Dial! in the spring of 2021. The album instantly resonated with fans becoming the fourth consecutive Billboard Top 10 album debut, joining 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory (2017), Signed and Sealed in Blood(2013), and Going Out In Style (2011),
Currently touring in support of the album on their Road to St. Patricks's Day Tour along with San Diego punk The Bombpops and The Rumjacks, Dropkick continue to be one of the genre's most important voices with sold out shows across the country proving as much.
Another band with a longstanding St. Patrick's Day tradition, Dropkick Murphys will perform their customary holiday show in addition to a succession of shows at the House of Blues in Boston on March 17th, 18th and 19th, with a final show set for March 20th at Boston's newest live music venue, Roadrunner.
Dropkick Murphys will broadcast their St. Patrick’s Day spectacle with the Dropkick Murphys St. Patrick's Day Free Live Stream From House Of Blues Boston, presented by Massachusetts-tech company Pega. The party begins March 17 at 9:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM PT and will be broadcast worldwide via DKMstream.com
Continuing to be an advocate for the working class, Dropkick Murphys have also recently released their rendition of the song, "We Shall Overcome". A tribute to the important social movements in American history including the march on civil rights, the women's suffrage movement and striking workers on the picket lines fighting unjust labor practices, the time-test protest song is electrified by the Boston punks in a way that breathes new life into the track.
On March 18th, Dropkick Murphys will release a digital-only expanded edition of their Turn Up That Dial album, which features three bonus tracks including “We Shall Overcome” and the previously released B-sides, the cover songs “James Connolly” by Larry Kirwan and “The Bonny” by Gerry Cinnamon.
Pre-save the expanded edition of Turn Up That Dial here: https://ffm.to/tutd
Taking up the flag for the next generation of Celtic-forward punk, The Rumjacks continue to swell their momentum while trekking in support of Dropkick Murphys. The band is on the road showcasing selections from their most recent offerings in their 2021 full length, Hestia and their recently shared extended play in Brass For Gold.
The band has debuted new music this week in the form of a split EP with like-minded punks in Chicago's Flatfoot 56. Rumjacks' rousing brand of distortion is on full display on the politically-charged track, "Whitecaps" - a cut that frontman Mike Rivkees explains bares hefty significance. "The song is vaguely about the rise of far right nationalist movements. White caps meaning rough waters due to high wind… But also could be interpreted as KKK hoods. It just means something big and bad is coming politically. I wrote it based on seeing swastikas all over Eastern Europe. As a Jew, it rattles you to the core to know people want you to not exist."
Chi-Town's Irish punk stalwarts in Flatfoot 56 have been steadfast in championing their blue-collar roots and DIY DNA. The band's meld of potent songwriting and working man narrative makes for the kind of punk rock recipe that breakdowns preference and rises to the level of universally acknowledged good music.
The other half of the split EP with The Rumjacks, Flatfoot 56's latest single "Mud" presents an emotional testament to the personal relationships, their eventual deterioration and how the human spirit allows us to eventually recover despite a long road ahead.
Tobin Bawinkel of Flatfoot 56 explains, "The song “Mud” is a song about the process of personal recovery that follows after the breakdown of a long-held and important relationship. It equates the journey toward recovery to a long and unpaved road. The only way to make it through the deep ruts of this road is through forgiveness. This process is a long slog through the mud, but ends in ultimate peace. While the song’s content has a heavy-hearted theme, it is also laced with a hopeful undertone of optimism in the line “I’ll be doing, I’ll be doing just fine."
PADDY AND THE RATS
Prepping for their release of the band's sixth full length album From Wasteland to Wonderland, Hungarian outfit Paddy and the Rats offer a worldly glimpse of the broad reach and wide-spread influence of Irish Punk.
Incorporating elements of folk music and even Polka, the band has been convincing audiences on a international level since their debut in 2008. Cementing their reputation as relentless road dogs, the band has since amassed an extensive touring log including hailed appearances at both Wacken Open Air and the Sziget Festival.
The band's latest single “After The Rain” works through one of the most difficult periods of the band’s history. The single serves as a heartfelt dedication to accordion player Bernie Bellamy (Bernát Babicsek). Bellamy who sadly passed away at the start of 2022. The ballad celerbates Bellamy's life and impact on the band, while showcasing all of the sonic elements that have made Paddy and the Rats such a important voice in the genre.