The English Celtic-rock quintet CoCo and the Butterfields released the two tracks plus one remix single Battlegrounds on the 16th.
CoCo and the Butterfields – Battlegrounds – artwork
Always refreshing to return to, CoCo and the Butterfields deliver music that finds the listener tapping alongside and leaving with a wide smile, no matter what mood they were in before hitting play – and the title and opener – is no different in end result.
Mikey And The Scallywags is the Celtic rock line up of Mikey McCrory (Guitar / Lead Vocals), Alan Gosker (Tenor Banjo / Backing Vocals), Bri Gosker (Drums / Backing Vocals), Paulie Smalls (Double Bass), Juliana Erkkonen (Fiddle) and Ivan Coleman (Keys) from Galway in Ireland.
Mikey And The Scallywags
There are times when pure fun with music is exactly what the ears need to hear and Mikey And The Scallywags hit the sweet-spot, whilst equally they are able to turn on a more sombre mood. Before you hit play, stand up, raise your foot and – join in with the foot stomping sounds that just makes the day seem better than it was before you started in whichever frame you meet them.
Mikey And The Scallywags proffer music which resonates across the semblance of Irish Folk, ever looking on the bright-side no matter how dark the context and the sextet are equally able to down-tempo the mood, but as long as you find a fiddle amidst it all, there is still something to dance to. Inside the fun sounds lay an outfit with tracks which harken to the darker side of life, which they carry off with a lilting ironic smile maintaining a shuffle in the audience.
Where Mikey And The Scallywags shine brightest is when they up the tempo and let the audience bop to the beats as they flaunt across the scales. Where they have deepest resonance is when they allow the audience to consider the story-lines whilst stomping across the dance-floor with more considered compositions, such is the underlying strength of the material.
SIR REG is Brendan Sheehy (Vocals / Guitar), Karin Ullvin (Fiddle), Chris Inoue (Electric Guitar), Mats (bouzouki) and Erik Dahlqvist (Drums) a celtic rock band from Köping in Sweden.
Originally from Dublin in Eire, Brendan moved to Sweden and from there emerged SIR REG combining elements of Swedish thinking to Celtic Rock and the resulting out-put is a flaming blaze of pure enjoyment. Like a tornado, the music bursts out of the speakers in a frenetic pace, sweeping the listener off their feet into an impromptu céilidh and it is inevitable that the feet will start to tap away whilst a smile spreads across the face.
Whilst all the players add immensely to the sound the spotlight shines on the fiddle which flashes formidable force. Just when you think the pace can’t get any more frenetic, so SIR REG whirl the audience around the floor ever faster until finally collapsing with head spinning. Whilst music to cheer the mind there is a rusting edge to the sounds, which marks out the material giving it a perspective of considering the realities of the world around.
This is a band to play after a dreary week in a dreary job with red bills piling up unopened in the dustbin and SIR REG will lift the spirits putting it all into perspective.
Black Water County from Bournemouth in England is Tim Harris (Lead Vocals / Bass), Gavin Coles (Banjo / Mandolin / Guitar / Backing Vocals), Bradley Clarke (Rhythm Guitar / Backing Vocals), Andy L Smooth (Drums & Percussion / Backing Vocals) and Shan Byrom (Lead Vocals / Tin Whistle / Melodica) a Celtic Pub Rock band.
Black Water County
Black Water County liven the day with pumping beats and strings bouncing around the room and light lyricism, there is nothing to do other than ensure you have a glass of the finest Leixlip has to offer to hand as you spring around the room. As regular readers will know there are a few places in England I find stunningly incongruous to find great music emerge from: Tunbridge Wells being one in particular, another is the Blue Rinse bungalows of Bournemouth, so it is on a couple of levels I really enjoy the quintet.
Whilst the material is light on its feet and the songs straight-forward, the plethora of instruments and lack of complication is an absolute joy. As I have commented before, finding musicians revelling in their enjoyment and transferring that sense of fun to the audience is a testament of ability. If you are after a Hans Reichel you won’t find it here, but if you are after something to sing-a-long to whilst having a great night out in the pub, Black Water County is the place to be.