The Brazen Heads

Who's Yer Paddy?
(self-released)

Fans of Irish folk-rock like Flogging Molly will go Paddy-batty for this local release, which blends traditional tunes like "Hag at the Churn" and "One Eyed Reilly" with spirited, fiddle-driven originals like the snarky title track (where guitarist/vocalist Liam Mackey wails "C'mon, c'mon, Annie, tell us all who's the daddy? And tell us all who's yer paddy?") and the mellow folk ballad "Dirty Dublin," which borrows more from Americana and classical music than raucous Paddy pub burners. The classical influence comes through most strongly on a live recording of Pachelbel's "Canon in D," which sees Brazen Heads stringmeister Tim Sadow taking a composition more than 400 years old and giving it a contemporary kick by leading a weepy viola over a two-step beat that escalates into a scream-inducing shitkicker before subsiding back into its traditional slow-tempo swagger. There are still plenty of scorchers, however — take a listen to the originals "Wind That Shakes the Barley" and "If I Ever Lived Before." The former combines the lyrical talent of Brazen Heads multi-instrumentalist Mark Lanus with Sadow's catchy fiddle licks, chronicling the story of the Great Famine of the 1840s in Ireland. The former is driven by a surprising and haunting disco groove, propelled by drummer Roy Plisko's backbeats and the Bee Gees-ish bass line of Bill Plisko, who wrote the song. While many write off Irish folk-rock and Celtic punk as a musical flash in the pan already grease-fired by bands like Flogging Molly, The Dubliners, and anything connected to the incomparable (and incomparably debauched) Shane MacGowan, there's a musical prowess and cultural authenticity to the Brazen Heads' music that commands the listener's attention.

 
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2 comments
Tambourine Girl
Tambourine Girl

I have gone through three copies of the Brazenheads wonderful CD and am only getting started. In a day and age where the world sees too much "cookie cutter" performers pre-packaged and lacking in creativity and originality, The Brazenheads are a cut above the rest. From original songwriting/musical arrangement to the diverse and gifted capacity to perform on just about any instrument, they are a group that will make you want to come back again and again. They inspire you to want to pick up an instrument and learn whether it be a violin, guitar or even a cowbell! You will be inspired to let the power of music become a part of you. And just as important, this group never fails to bring a crowd together anywhere united singing and dancing and having one hell of a fantastic time as only they can do! Do not miss the chance to own this CD and play it often! More importantly, make sure to see them play live, they are some of the best people you would ever get the chance to see and meet!!!

Josh J.
Josh J.

I have seen the Brazen Heads now at a few valley locations and every time they blow my mind. Normally groups who play as many shows a week as they do, tend to develop a "lackadaisical" approach to performance. Not so with the Brazen Heads. When you walk into one of their shows, you immediately notice the crowd. Groups of people drinking, engaging in warm conversation and genuinely having a great time. The way pubs I personally feel should be. The Brazen Heads have a knack for fostering this environment into their performances, ensuring that everyone is welcome. They are all amazing musicians, and entertainers! (Mark Lanus can often be scene playing sax and keyboard simultaneously)I look forward to more shows and their next CD!

 
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