I’ve been meaning to write this post for a week now, but it’s been one thing a
fter another. Yesterday would have been perfect, being St. Patrick’s Day, but I was too busy celebrating and watching Dexter. I hope you’ll forgive me.
Last Friday (11 March 2011) I went to Nine Irish Brothers Irish Pub in West Lafayette, Indiana. That’s where Purdue University is located, where I got my BS and where my wife is going to school until May. Nine Irish is absolutely my favourite pub/bar/drinking establishment: the food is excellent traditional Irish fare, the service is great, and on Friday and Saturday there are live bands. For all of these reasons I make a point to stop in any time I’m around Purdue, as I happened to be a week ago.
Sarah (my wife) and I met some friends for dinner at the pub and stayed after for the band, The Bloody Tinth, who I’d never heard or heard of before. Our seats weren’t the best for really listening to a band: we were to the side and behind a speaker, so the drums were overpowering though we could hear the fiddle clearly. Even so, they made a great live performance. What was lacking because of bad seating (I should mention we were the only people in this position. It’s unfortunate, but there’s only one bad seat in the house and I got it) was made up for in spirit. The band played the socks off of the pub. So many times throughout the night everyone in the bar was clapping and stomping it started to almost compete with the band. They played a lot of traditional favourites set to a more rock beat, including “Whiskey in the Jar” and “The Night Paddy Murphy Died” (written in Newfoundland, but I think it still qualifies as a traditional), but also some covers you wouldn’t expect, like “It Stoned Me” and “Santeria”. There was never a dull moment while they were on stage.
Halfway through the night the band took a break, announcing their new cd, “Good Ship Rising”, was for sale. At $10 it was a steal, so I picked up a copy on the way to the head. The band’s website says the cd is available for sale and download in March 2011. There isn’t a link or anything to where you can purchase the album, so I’d suggest checking back periodically if you want it.
The cd comes in one of those thin cardboard cases with the plastic bit that holds the cd. At first I was a bit disappointed in this at first, but if it offsets costs enough that they can offer the album at $10, I’m all for it. Unlike their stage show, the album is filled with “folk and traditional” songs (except “The Fields of Atherny”, which they give due credit for). I would like to have seen a nontraditional cover I think, because for me that’s part of their persona as a band. I’ve only seen them once though, so my perception may be off. Also unlike the stage performance the album is well balanced in terms of instruments and vocals. The drums and
bass keep the beat but aren’t overpowering and you can really hear the vocalists. The fiddle is often at the forefront, just as in the show, but you can also hear the guitars. It’s good for a first album, firmly establishing them as an Irish band with a traditional repertoire of songs. I definitely suggest listening the it if you have any kind of appreciation for Irish music, be it strictly traditional or Celtic punk like Flogging Molly.
Finally, a bit about the band. They’re mainly out of Ohio, so seeing them at NIBs in Indiana was a treat. If you’re in Cleveland or Cincinnati you’ll have many more chances to see them then I will. The only member I’ve personally met was Rachel Schott, their amazing violinist, who I talked to between sets. I was a bit drunk by that point. If she noticed she didn’t show it, though I wasn’t the exception in the bar to be sure. The bios on their website are pretty funny, so if you haven’t gone there yet I highly suggest it. The bands name is taken from the “Bloody Tenth”, the 10th Ohio Volunteer Infantry regiment of the Union Army in the American Civil War, which was composed mostly of Irish Americans.
The Good: Great live performance: lots of fun especially if you’re in the right pub. Their first cd is filled with classics; while there may not be any Top 40 hits it’s definitely worth buying. Besides, if you’re cruising this blog you’re not looking for Top 40 hits anyhow.
The Bad: They only have one album out,
and it only came out this month. They’re unknown enough that you won’t find any torrents, so you’re stuck buying it (it’s $10 though, so how about forgoing that cheeseburger and stop whining). If you don’t like Irish music you’re also out of luck. But then again, if you don’t like Irish music you’re probably an inbred heathen.
The Verdict: The Bloody Tinth is a great band: good on cd, better in person. If you’re anywhere within an 12 hour drive go see them live, even if you need to get a hotel room.
As an afterthought, the album isn’t really that blurry. I had to take a picture of the case in crappy-ass lighting. It’ll be nice and crisp if you buy a copy and hold it in your hand.