Gaelic Storm


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Gaelic Storm is not your average Celtic music band, although the musicians can sound like one when it suits them. Using traditional tunes, they come up with Irish instrumentals such as "Jimmy's Bucket," "The Buzzards of Bourbon Street," and "Crazy Eyes McGillicudy," employing a fiddle and bagpipes and ethnic instruments to affect the sound of Irish folk music. But on their originals, bandleaders Patrick Murphy (the only native Irishman in the band) and Steve Twigger examine some of the more unusual aspects of being Irish, starting with the lead-off song, "Raised on Black and Tans," in which the narrator declares his bona fides before admitting that he actually wasn't born in Ireland and, in fact, has never been there. Neither have many of the Irish-Americans who listen to Gaelic Storm, a population numbering 36 million, according to a sleeve note. Even to be Irish is a questionable attribute, according to the second song, "Space Race," in which the singer reveals that, as an Irishman he is incapable of doing something as complicated as being an astronaut. Two things the Irish can do, it seems are drink and sail the seas, however, and the characters in later songs do plenty of each. Thus, Gaelic Storm paints a less than heroic portrait of Irishness, even as the bandmembers embrace it as their own identity. Happily, their listeners can swallow this message along with their favorite alcoholic beverage and sing along on the choruses.

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