“The Dread Crew of Oddwood’s story begins in a time of endless bounty and exploration. Our protagonist, Wolfbeard O’Brady, is a strong-willed and gradually balding lad of fifteen winters. In order to escape the Great Whiskey Famine of 1735, he leaves Ireland in an empty barrel, in search of more booze. After many moons drifting the seas, he washes ashore in Germany and rolls to the nearest city.”
The rest is an amazing tale of pillage and plunder and the lust for a “well tended” life through the years. Comrades were lost along the way, new seafaring souls have come on board. Currently featuring Captain Wolfbeard O’Brady on accordion and whistles, Riven Rahl on toy piano, Rouba Juba on mandolin and steel-string guitar, Stark Cordwain on Irish bouzouki and tin whistle, Deckard Cordwain on ukulele, Smithy Crow on upright bass, and Gunmaster Castle on a mini drum contraption and steel pans, these lads have the energy and talents to keep on churning out incredibly interesting stuff.
The Dread Crew has coined the “Heavy Mahogany” musical genre label (thus the name of their latest CD), and with good reason. They have amassed an applaudable sized following since their beginnings back in 2008. They have received local and national radio play, and have performed live at some of the biggest fairs in the nation.
Being introduced to their band last year via the Renaissance and Pirate Faire circuits, their music and live shows were incredibly rough around the edges. With handfuls of those who caught the shows at one place or another, it seemed to be a situation of people either really loving The Dread Crew, or really not. They must have been working on the unplugged shows, because their recent gig running with the Southern California Renaissance Faire has brought out a more comprehensible show experience. There have been some people in the “really not” category that have happily changed over since the beginning of the Faire. If you have found yourself in that same preference, it’d be good to give them another chance when you can. Make sure that it’s on the NC-17 stage.
As always, The Dread Crew puts out an enormous amount of energy. It’s being channeled into a good mix of audience participation, pleasure in their music, and rum-drenched-head-banging-hair-flinging.
Probably the best example of their energies has been the release of their latest CD, “Heavy Mahogany”. Right off the bat, it’s worth buying it. The CD case alone is chock full of eye-candy-story-artwork and lyrics.
The first track brings in a powerful start with “Meat Bread and Wine”, a song of camaraderie and pleasures in life, along with a toast to living another year and having another drink. This song is the first teasing bit into the harmonies that the gents are capable of on this album. At the end of the song, the CD paused for the next track, and the thought of “Holy crap, this shit is good” (verbatim) came into the brain.
Æirship Of Doom is a fantastically imaginative story, while keeping true to the roughened piratical nature. The harmonies come in and add a great effect to the chorus to the point of being catchy enough to have it stuck in the head for hours after.
Just a side note, at this point, one hopes that any who have prejudices regarding accordions has since been swayed. Yes, Wolfbeard’s accordion rocks this album.
Moving on through the songs, Brothel Royale! is a plethora of whores here/there/everywhere, dirty lyrics and enticing rhymes. Or perhaps it’s enticing lyrics and dirty rhymes.
If you’re looking for a harder sound, the song Berserker is for you. It brings out the deep, dark depths of the non-Disney’fied pirate soul.
The end of the album rounds itself out nicely with a Spanish undead uprising (Flesh Breakfast), Serpents Feast, and a brilliant mix of punk and celtic stylings in the Seafarers Medley.
Immortal Souls. As with anyone who has a musical or other artistic ambition, there’s the urge for the music to get out into the cosmos. Through this song, the soul of The Dread Crew of Oddwood, with its sea shanties, adventures, and legends will continue to get tossed about through the eternities where they will forever live on.
All in all, this album is an amazing collection of skills from some extremely talented guys. The lyrics embrace so much of pirate lore, the music can be enthralling and sometimes slightly hypnotic, and it’s apparent that a lot of heart, sweat, and blood went into this.
In continuing with keeping their fan base entertained, their website (CLICK HERE) is full of things to keep your eyes satiated for hours. Everything from the “About” story being read aloud as an audio book by Wolfbeard himself, to lyrics on past albums, shows and past shows, and their marketplace (where you can just so happen to purchase the newest album, “Heavy Mahogany”, along with other of their merch). If you’re out at the So. California Renaissance Faire, they have most of their stuff available for sale onsite.
The last album released had the first track “Queen’s Decree”. They turned out a brilliantly constructed music video. Check it out here! The ending will even fulfill a bit more of the nerd-side. Beware, gratuitous puppet blood.
WANT TO SEE MORE PICTURES?
Recently, The Dread Crew of Oddwood provided their taste buds for this week’s recipe, Rum Runner’s Trifle. They approved of it, and let the lowly messengers escape unharmed. Click here to view the recipe!
It’s part punk rock; it’s part pirate; it’s all around awesome vocals and music! This band can be embraced by a range of peoples from renaissance faire lovers to accordion lovers to those who enjoy a deep European gypsy styling. It’s a band who doesn’t fail to get listeners and pub-goers up and dancing. While they do have a sound reminiscent of The Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly, these guys definitely hold their own with a unique sound and great hooks. The Facebook page reflects the genre of music as “Pub’n roll, Sailor Punk, Celtic Punk”, which brings in two interesting sub-categories that this band has nailed down (the Celtic Punk has become a world-wide known genre).
By far, the song “Pilgrim On The Road” can be set aside as one of their best tunes. Between the two albums presently released, the other songs “Brotherhood”, “Clock Strikes Midnight”, “Six Rat Rovers”, “Paddy’s Ballad”, and “Pub’n Roll” give a great feeling for the all around capabilities of the band. Paddy’s got an amazing voice which displays great passion, and the band members have an incredible grasp of their instruments which shows in the impressive sound.
Paddy and the Rats is a Hungarian band that has joined international forces to bring in some talented musicians from around Europe. Their official videos are visually stunning, and they weave interesting stories.
From the Paddy and the Rats MySpace Music page:
“Paddy & The Rats was formed by the singer-songwriter Paddy, Vince (bass) and Joey (electric guitar) in 2008. Then Seamus (drums) joined them and two authentic musicians, Sonny (accordion) and Sam (fiddle, tin whistle, banjo and bagpipe). As for their becoming rats, the six “Irish” guys say: punk is the same in music as rats among the animals – dirty and malicious, and they exactly play it. The band is combining different nations’ pub music with hot and dirty punk rock. To spice up their own songs, they use Irish pub music and Celtic features, but sometimes Russian and gypsy elements and rhythms are also present.
The band’s first album – Rats On Board – will be released in march 2010 by Nordic Records and it will be available on iTunes and Amazon. Also, Uncleowen Records is releasing it in Japan. Those listening to their music won’t definitely stay sober, because the rolling jig rhythm makes everybody dance and even jump – and get drunk! Most of the lyrics are about drinking and pub stories (Fuck You I’m Drunk, We will fight, Pub’n roll).
Last year they had more than 100 gigs, they took part in festivals in Hungary, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Slovakia and Serbia. At gigs, besides their own songs they play such Irish songs as Wild Rover or Whiskey In The Jar, sailor songs (Drunken Sailor, Bully In The Alley) and punk anthems (Sex Pistols, Green Day) with fiddle, banjo, accordion, bagpipe, whistle – and of course, a lotta rock’n’roll.
Their aim is to introduce the crowd to different kinds of pub music and pub culture… To be more precise: turn the whole world into a pub!”
Pilgrim On The Road (Official video)
The Six Rat Rovers (Official Video)