"Okemah Rising" (Dummy Luck Music; 2023)

Reviewed by Snidermann


This is the second release of Dropkick Murphys doing the works of the 60s icon Woody Guthrie. The first one was "This Machine Kills Fascists" words that appeared on Woody’s acoustic guitar (see my review below).

Once again, this release does not feature regular vocalist Al Barr on it, who was out with family concerns. However, this recording, like the previous one, was produced by Nora Guthrie, Woody’s daughter. This recording also features Woody's grandson, Cole Quest, Jesse Ahern (known for his folk, rock and rockabilly) and The Violent Femmes contribute some material as well.

These lyrics are from the Woody Guthrie Archive and, combined with the brilliance of the Dropkick Murphys, make this a truly unique musical experience. This music may not be for every fan of the Murphys, but it does combine two types of music (rock and folk) that may otherwise go unexplored.

I grew up listening to folk music. My third grade teacher was a hippy and he introduced me to folk music, which I love to this day. I rarely call the stuff we review here at RoughEdge.com "important," however, I would consider this collaboration between the estate of Woody Guthrie and the Dropkick Murphys to be very on point in today's musical society. Agree or disagree, this music is fun, thought-provoking, and simply entertaining.

Please don't take my word for it; go out and buy both records and give them a listen yourself!

For more information, check out http://www.dropkickmurphys.com 

"Dropkick Murphys Acoustic from Ryman Auditorium" (Mandolin.com; 2022)

Reviewed by Snidermann


Over the past few years, when everyone in the world was sequestered, the Dropkick Murphys were busy doing live shows to empty theaters, streaming them and then giving the money to charity. Got to love the Murph Boys. Their current release is "This Machine Kills Fascists" (see our review below) and this was the closing night of that tour. The show takes place at the world famous Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Old Opry. The music is based on some of the unpublished works of civil rights activist Arlo Guthrie but the Murph Boys' performance makes it sound almost as though it were written just for them. This show is labeled "acoustic" although they do use some electricity but the show was done mostly without. There are some old tunes performed here as well and lead vocalist Ken Casey informed the audience that the Boys will be back in the future with a full-on rock show. That was good news for me. I did like the acoustic stuff performed here, but I want my Dropkick Murphys back rocking hard the way they're supposed to.

Great show overall, great presentation. I believer it's still available on www.mandolin.com so go catch this awesome show. You also get to watch the show as many times as you want for 72 hours.

On a side note, Rough Edge Editor R. Scott Bolton and I saw the band way back in '99 when they opened for Motorhead and let me tell you, that was not, repeat, not an acoustic show. I have been a big fan ever since.

For more information, check out http://www.dropkickmurphys.com

"This Machine Still Kills Fascists" (Dummy Luck Music; 2022)

Reviewed by Snidermann


Dropkick Murphy's new release is called "This Machine Still Kills Fascists." That is an interesting title, and I thought I would research it. It so happens that Arlo Guthrie put that on his guitar in the mid 40s and it stayed there. The Murph Boys have done some of Guthrie's material on previous releases ("Gonna Be A Blackout Tonight" in 2003 from their release "Blackout," and "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" from 2004 from "Warrior Code." In fact, Nora Guthrie (Arlo’s daughter) serves as executive producer for this recording and was instrumental in getting the Murph Boys and her father's unpublished works together and, hence, "This Machine Still Kills Fascists" was born.

The music is all acoustic here and the sound is fresh, fun, and full of life. It would have fit right in with Arlo Guthrie's era in music. This release is unlike anything the guys have done before and it should be experienced to be appreciated. I could talk about this release all day and it still would not totally tell the reader what the hell this release it about. I suggest if you like the Dropkick Murphys, listen to this recording. It may not be to everyone’s liking, but I loved it. I found it thought-provoking, insightful and exciting. I grew up listening to Arlo Guthrie’s music and I think he would have liked "This Machine Still Kills Fascists." I know I did.

For more information, check out http://www.dropkickmurphys.com or check out the album trailer at https://youtu.be/bH_Zc8vX3zc.

"Turn Up That Dial" (Dropkick Murphys; 2021)

Reviewed by Snidermann


The Dropkick Murphys are back and kick ass in their infectious style of rock music. The new recording is called "Turn Up That Dial" and that is good advice, because the Murphys always sound better ear-splittingly loud.

If there was ever a harder working band in music, I have not run across them. These guys have put out at least two streaming concerts during this pandemic, playing to empty venues and streaming live on the internet. Hell, now that I think about it, it may have been three ... or more. Go to YouTube.com and hunt them down for your enjoyment.

The last time I saw the Dropkick Murphys live they rocked the house with their Celtic style heavy punk that had the entire place moving to their sounds. "Turn Up That Dial" has all the earmarks of the band, from the first and title "Turn Up That Dial" all the way through ten songs later with "I Wish You Were Here." Even though you've never heard these songs before, you find yourself singing the chorus right along with the band the first time you listen to them.

One particular track caught my attention: "Middle Finger." I would like to quote some of the lyrics from that song: "I could never keep my life from burning to the ground; I am a man who’s been around but I could never keep my middle finger down." If you listen to that song even once, you will be singing it all day (just like me). The tunes are catchy, fun, easy to listen to (and to drink to). This band knows how to deliver a recording. You can go right down the track list with "Queen of Suffolk County," "Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding" and "Smash Shit Up." Pure Dropkick Murphys each and every track. As you listen, you know you're with your buddies while they do their job.

On the band's last streaming concert, they had a bagpipe with the Murphys' logo on it. How cool is that?

This band has a lot of members: Two singers, bass, guitar, drums (of course), accordion, mandolin, banjo, a bouzouki (a pear-shaped 8-string guitar) and a recorder. You would never think in a million years that anyone could make that trove of instruments so cool, but the Dropkick Murphys do just that.

This band is fun, fun, fun and I can't wait to see them again live, again.

For more information, check out http://www.dropkickmurphys.com

"Dropkick Murphy's St. Patrick's Day: Still Locked Down" (Pega.com; 2021)

Reviewed by Snidermann


The Dropkick Murphys have done it again. They put together a live stream show that happened on St. Patrick’s Day (of course). These guys know how to put together a show and that is a no shit! R. Scott and I saw them when they opened for Motorhead when they were first starting out 25 years ago (really? shit!!). From the two singers, a bagpiper, two guitarists that play numerous instruments, drums and a bass, this band plays and sings from the heart and delivers a performance that is worthy of a look see.

Over the last 18 months, The Murphys have put out three live streaming shows. I know they'd rather be playing for a packed house with screaming fans, loads of booze and a shitload of fun but this is the next best thing.

What can I say about this awesome band? Just check out the vids (links below) and you will know why we here at RoughEdge.com love this band and will support them to the tilt.

Their next release, "Turn Up That Dial," is out April 30, 2021 and, lo-and-behold, they've scheduled another live stream to take place on May 1st, 2021. I will fucking be there! The Murphys deliver a quality of music that is fun and restorative. I was feeling a little low, but after listening to the band for only the first 10 minutes, I was in a rocking good mood. Got to love music that changes a mood from shitty to rocking. I do love the Dropkick Murphys and all you have to do is check out the stuff already released and you will see what I am talking about.

Check out the 2021 live show at https://youtu.be/UhP89bgAqVM.

For more information, check out http://www.dropkickmurphys.com

"Streaming Up From Boston" (Pega.com; 2020)

Reviewed by Snidermann


O fricken OM. Legendary author and famed music fan Stephen King suggested we all watch a St. Patrick’s Day concert online and I said, "Hell, yeah." The Dropkick Murphys put on a two hour show live in Boston online through Facebook and YouTube that kicked my ass.

Rough Edge Editor R. Scott Bolton and I saw the Murphys way back when they opened for Motorhead and they kicked ass then, too. Well, this band has not lost a step since then. They rocked for two-plus solid hours with no fans in house (thanks to that nasty bitch, the Coronavirus) and what a show it was. The band kicked fucking ass from start to finish. The Murphys put on a show just like they would if an auidence were around to appreciate it.

The Dropkick Murphys have been around for decades and they rock like a band half their age. This is one band that should be witnessed live ... that is when they are at their best. And, being a person who has seen them live before, well, all I can say is that this is the way this band needs to be seen.

This show, especially in the face of all the bad news these days, was a bright, shining and uplifting highlight of 2020 so far. This performance was nothing but pure magic.

Check it out yourself at https://youtu.be/5j06g0TE_Ao.

For more information, check out http://www.dropkickmurphys.com

"11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory" (Dropkick Murphys; 2017)

Reviewed by Snidermann


I have been a major Murphys fan since they opened for Motorhead in ... well, let's just say it was a long time ago. From what I remember of that show (through the drunken haze), this is what you call one kick-ass band. That was decades ago and I have followed this band since and I have been happy to see they have made some killer studio recordings as well as some equally awesome live recordings. When everyone was in lock down during the pandemic, Dropkick Murphys were putting out live shows online and giving the money to charity. I have to say that is so very cool.

"11 Short Stores of Pain & Glory" was released in 2017 and it showcases the band's innate ability to reach their audience to the core and deliver a message that is up the person listening to figure out. This band uses bagpipes, accordion, tin whistle as well as the usual bass, guitar, drums and vocals (with two lead singers). They always have a good time on stage and it shows and that enjoyment is also apparent during their studio recordings.

What a great overall band. The charisma of this band shows with each and every song, every note on "11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory" as well as every live performance. This is fun, kick-ass music packed with a shitload of attitude and that's what the Murphy boys are all about.

If you ever, and I mean ever, get a chance to see them live, trust me, it is well worth the price. Personally, I can't wait to see them again.

For more information, check out http://www.dropkickmurphys.com

"The Meanest of Times" (Born & Bred Records; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


"The Meanest of Times' may not break any new ground but, if it did, it wouldn't be nearly the solid Dropkick Murphys' CD that it is.

Packed from the first track to the last with the high-energy, Irish-infused punk that the band is famous for, "The Meanest of Times" delivers another solid punch in the mouth. Once again, fans of the band's previous CDs will have no problem finding plenty to like on this one.  Each track is vibrant and alive and it's virtually impossible not to get caught up in the fast-paced guitar, assorted Celtic sounds and roaring bagpipes. 

For the most part, everything races along at a breakneck pace, giving the listener scant opportunity to catch their breath. "Fairmount Hill" is a classic Irish drinking song and Track 7, "Surrender," comes closest to being the band's next radio hit, but the other tracks are so busy pummeling you with their multi-fisted punk attack that radio will be the farthest thing from your mind. 

The thing about punk music is that, in all its many forms, it remains one of the highest energy forms of music out there. The Dropkick Murphys and "The Meanest of Times" is proof positive of that. For my money, I hope they continue to pump out albums that kick ass just this way.

For more information, check out http://www.dropkickmurphys.com

"The Warrior's Code" (Hellcat Records; 2005)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Celtic punk. Yeah, you read that right. How about some good dancing music with bagpipes, guitar and songs about fighting? Well, pull up a chair, laddie, and let me tell you a tale. I've heard some of the Dropkick Murphys over the years but this is one that I'm going to keep on shuffle. The energy these guys play with is pure fun.

These guys tour relentlessly and if you're anywhere near a four leaf clover and in Boston you can probably see them live. They have been around since 1996 and they haven't changed a thing, green beer is still green beer.

If you want something different to play on St. Patrick's Day then I recommend cueing up this rockin' disc.

Dropkick Murphys: Al Barr – lead vocals; Ken Casey – bass guitar, lead vocals; Matt Kelly – drums, bodhran, vocals; James Lynch – guitar, vocals; Scruffy Wallace – bagpipes, tin whistle; Tim Brennan – guitar, accordion, vocals; Jeff DaRosa – acoustic guitar, banjo, bouzouki, keyboard, mandolin, whistle, organ, vocals.

For more information, check out http://www.dropkickmurphys.com.

"The Warrior's Code" (Hellcat Records; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


Reviewing CDs by Dropkick Murphys is one of the easiest jobs a music journalist can have. It really boils down to one thing: If you like their previous CDs, you're going to like this one. The band is so consistent in their sound that you know almost exactly what you're going to get when they release a new CD. And, if you're a fan like I am, that's exactly what you want.

Featuring 13 tracks of blistering Celtic punk, laden with screaming bagpipes and soaking with boisterous attitude, "The Warrior's Code" does boast a surprise or two, but never a slap-in-the-face shocker. A few of the tunes hereon are a little more laidback and accessible than one might expect and one or two are even more sharper-edged, but overall it's a Dropkick Murphys album and, throughout, it kicks solid ass.

I certainly don't mean to say that every Dropkick Murphys album sounds the same; that just isn't the case. But the band does have a signature sound and, thankfully, for the most part they stick to it. It worked for the Ramones and it's working for the Dropkick Murphy's, too.

The band stands head and shoulders over their counterparts in the lyrics department. With serious songs about fallen friends, local legends, and the war in Iraq and not-so-serious tunes about overly sensitive gangs, Dropkick Murphys songs are always intelligent and insightful.

Smartly, the band includes "Tessie," as a bonus track here. The song served as the Official Boston Red Sox anthem as they fought their way to a stunning victory in 2004. 

Dropkick Murphys: Al Barr - Lead Vocals; Ken Casey - Lead Vocals, Bass; Matt Kelly - Drums, Bodhran, Vocals; James Lynch - Guitar, Vocals; Marc Orrell - Guitar, Accordion, Vocals; Scruffy Wallace - Bagpipes.

For more information, check out http://www.dropkickmurphys.com

"Blackout" (Hellcat Records; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


The Dropkick Murphys bring their unique brand of punk to yet another fine disc with "Blackout." Loaded with the DKM's version of high-emotion, high-energy rock'n'roll, "Blackout" delivers something that too few punk bands these days manage to deliver: originality.

"Blackout" may not be as edgy as previous DKM albums, but it's still got all of the band's Irish spirit, their intelligent lyrics and their undeniable fiery energy. And the band has never sounded tighter or dynamic. "Blackout" rocks hard throughout, even with  a greater ratio of the slower, more folksier tunes tucked between hard tracks.

"Blackout" is proof positive that, despite the doomsayers, punk is alive and well. It may have a disease rotting away its insides (the infamous "spongerock") but bands like Dropkick Murphys will keep it healthy for a longtime coming.

Standout tracks include the first tune, "Walk Away," a cover of Woody Guthrie's "Gonna Be a Blackout Tonight" and the lively duet, "The Dirty Glass." And you gotta love track 14, the comic yet ultimately poignant "Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced," with its slow march tempo and bagpipes. 

This CD also comes with a bonus DVD featuring live performances of "Rocky Road to Dublin" and "Boys on the Docks," the music video for "Gonna Be a Blackout Tonight" and a trailer for the band's full-length DVD.

Dropkick Murphys: Al Barr - Lead Vocals; Ken Casey - Lead Vocals, Bass; Matt Kelly - Drums, Bodhran, Vocals; James Lynch - Guitar, Vocals; Marc Orrell - Guitar, Accordion, Vocals; Ryan Foltz - Mandolin, Tin Whistle, Dulcimer; Scruffy Wallace - Bagpipes.

For more information, check out http://www.dropkickmurphys.com

"The Gang's All Here" (Hellcat Records; 1999)dropkickmurphs.jpg (16738 bytes)

Reviewed by Snidermann


"The Gang's All Here" is a combination of present day hard punk and World War II history. The combined result is explosive. I got the chance to see Dropkick Murphys when they opened for Motorhead at the Hollywood Place a few months back and they seriously kick my heavy metal ass (see our review). I could not wait to check out a CD from this band. The punk is hard and fast, mixed with incredibly insightful words. This a punk CD for all fans of the genre. The band does a killer heavy metal version of "Amazing Grace," complete with bagpipes. Three words best describe this killer band: "Simply fucking awesome."

Dropkick Murphys: Ken Casey, bass; Al Barr, vocals; Matt Kelly, drums and Rick Barton, guitar.

For more information, check out http://www.dropkickmurphys.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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