This six-pack is from Sligo, that cozy little seaside town in the Northwest of Ireland and they’re in the tradition of fine Irish bands which generally one way or another feature a sound immersed knee deep in the history of that country’s musical heritage. But Rackhouse Pilfers’s songs are further enhanced and mighty fortified by stepping way into Americana, bluegrass, alt-country and rock. Drums, guitars, bass, harmonica, banjo, fiddle and vocals combine in a hair raising assault on your senses that’ll get you jarred or two sheets to the wind (Irish expression for being blissfully drunk) without nary touching the hooch. Interesting also that there isn’t a designated lead vocal, several voices engage in driving harmonies with absolutely thrilling results.
In plain brogue, they’re a very popular act on that island of Eire and have garnered the prestigious Hot Press / Jägermeister «2014 Band of The Year» award. For their album «Love and Havoc» from 2014 the band travelled to Nashville and enlisted the help of producer Brad Jones, who previously worked with Steve Earle, John Prine, John Hiatt and Josh Rouse. Back in London another heavyweight producer by name of Ethan Johns hired them as backup band on two songs for Sir Tom Jones’ 2015 «Long Lost Suitcase». And there’s the Irish neo rockabilly-blues-jazz artist Imelda May who regularly introduces Rackhouse Pilfer as very special guests on her tours. (Are you listening, Van Morrison?)
Listen lads and laddies, are you going to stay in your quarters and miss this band? Not on your nelly, you’re not.
The Calling Sirens
He was born in Zug but not in a mailbox. Way too small for this Swiss-Italo-American singer-songwriter and his new and hard-earned roots.
He’s a root-based kick-ass rocker and guitarist and trailing him as well is a long list of songs he wrote for others. Plus with his well-coiffed mop he’s got an uncanny resemblance to freaky-deaky Sylvain Sylvain, he of the patent leather New York Dolls. But big Bob has his own bandwidth featuring a distinct and hypnotic rolling Western twang running through his art. He calls his music «Dark Country» and somewhat depreciating «Junk Blues». But hey, that’s his musical card and it got him gigs all over the world including one at the legendary Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, City of Angels.
His best-known album is titled «Dust and Arrows» which includes this simple statement in the form of one of the songs: «I get drunk». «I’m a hard-working songwriter even if it’s hard for me to focus.» Cheers to that confession about a measure of self-destruction but you’ll love the decibels of his confused-but-search-and-you’ll-get there sonic excursions. With him is his band The Calling Sirens. Together since 2014 and with a self-titled album, their loud and tempting call is one thing that’ll be hard to miss. Tonight it’s Bob Spring and band. He’ll be holding the strings between what you’ve maybe heard and what you haven’t.