Review: Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys
“Live on Saint Patrick’s Day”

The Dropkick Murphys are the middle ground between punk, the Pogues and oi. Throw in some Guinness, a love for Boston and some blue collar union mentality to create one of the best live bands out there. The sound is especially unique due to a few key band members (they have seven): founder Ken Casey’s writing/bass playing and second vocals, Marc Orrell on accordion and guitar, Ryan Foltz on the mandolin and whistles, Spicy McHaggis on the bagpipes and ex-Bruisers vocalist Al Barr leading the charge at the helm of the band. The result is a magical performance by a group of men who can turn just about any audience into a bouncing, drinking, chanting and cheering crowd. This 26 song CD is a completely live compilation of recordings over the three day sold out performances on St. Patrick Day in Boston earlier this year. While this isn’t the best live album that I’ve heard (lots of crowd noise – more then the Bouncing Souls or Pietasters live releases), it’s certainly recorded well and includes excellent song choices spanning over DM’s entire library. Not as good as being at a DM show, but still good enough to give me goosebumps (like I get at live shows) when “Amazing Grace”, “Barroom Hero” or their always dramatic cover of “Skinhead on the M.T.A.” comes on, so that’s gotta say something.