From the sublimely superior to the ridiculously ribald, Kilbrannan's repertoire and singular stylizations range over a vast musical territory -- how else would you describe a Celtic pub band whose influences ramble from Robert Burns and James Joyce to Queen and the Irish Rovers, all on the same CD? Live at O'Lacy's is just that, a well-recorded introduction to what the band does best -- live performances of traditional pub music and ballads with a rock & roll edge. Smooth vocal harmonies, fretless bass, and Yngwie-inspired lead guitar are juxtaposed against bodhran, acoustic guitar, and tin whistle for a crowd-pleasing effect. With 21 tracks and over an hour's worth of running time, this is a fine example of Kilbrannan's energetic, crowd-pleasing live sound -- warts and all (including the "Are you ready? Ready? 1,2,3, wait..." bandmate to bandmate banter and silly songs about Scotsmans' kilts). If your musical palette is prepared for some heavy folk (or light rock) with a Celtic twist and some novelty on the side (preferably with a glass of Guinness or some old-fashioned mead), then aye, Live at O'Lacy's is the bonny boundary-crossing CD for you, laddie.
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AllMusic Review by Gregg Juke