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Monday, March 30, 2009

Gaelic Storm at the Intersection 3/19

"...Russell Crowe is an ***hole..." Wow. What's up with that? Certainly more than a few attendees at the The Intersection's presentation of Canadian Celtic band Gaelic Storm on March 19 were left to wonder. But for many among Gaelic Storm's hearty Celtic fan base, they knew exactly what singer Patrick Murphy was blathering on about. It seems GS had written a song about an incident between Murphy and the Gladiator actor in which fisticuffs arose and things ended up with Maximus catching one in the jaw (The Night I Punched Russell Crowe). Gaelic Storm's niche is rollicking sing-along, audience participation numbers, and songs about drinking; and then later more songs about drinking. Fair enough. Sure, most of the songs were in the same tempo and rhythm. Still there is an organic natural quality to what they do, although the patter in between songs went on for what amounted to the length of another short song. To some the foreign accent thing only goes so far and certainly does not in total swap for another quick song. New Jersey-born Ryan Lacey was an absolute standout for the band this night playing a stripped-down percussion kit with some serious hand drumming on "The Scalliwag" ; the biggest piece of his kit was a conga. No wonder: Lacey twice graduated from the Los Angeles Music Academy, once for hands and the other for sticks. Jessie Burns on fiddle was noteworthy. Playing selections from their 2008 release What's the Rumpus?, GS showed just how worldly they have become (an appearance in the 1997 movie Titanic didn't hurt either) by incorporating traditional instruments from all around the world into their set. To wit: Guitarist Steve Twigger also played the bouzouki (The Beggarman); Pete Purvis played the traditional pipes, bagpipe, flute (Death Ride to Durango), plus the trombone (If Good Times Were Dollars); guitarist Murphy played accordion as well. "Darcy's Donkey" sported a spoon solo. "Kelly's Wellies" contained a memorable line about an earnest young man getting his groove on and how "he was trying to flirt in his hand-me-down shirt." You can't blame a guy for trying. The Intersection continues to bring in quality music rooted in tradition-whatever tradition it may be-from the vast world-wide stage.

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