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Release date: March 12, 2018
Running time: 29 minutes, 9 tracks
St. George’s Folly is a new band from St. Paul. They are Adam Azra’el (guitar, vocals), Bradley Kallhoff (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Dempsey Schroeder (fiddle, guitar, vocals), Nate Beck (bass), Samp Fosters (drums). Guitarist Owen Ray left the band in January 2018 and now Benny Cole is the new guitarist. The Twin Cities have an interesting Celtic punk/rock scene (The Tim Malloys, The Langer’s Ball ..) and St. George’s Folly are the latest addition to this bunch of amazing bands.
St. George’s Folly have released their released album just before St. Patrick’s Day. It’s titled “Along this Road” and have 9 tracks, 4 standards and 9 originals. The album kicks off with “Tell Me Ma“. Yes, it’s an overexposed standard, but it has all the things that make St. George’s Folly a brilliant band: kick-ass fiddling, vocal harmonies, and claps. The boys have added a great electric guitar passage too. The second traditional song is “Waxie’s Dargle“. Everybody knows this song, as it can be found on The Pogues debut album “Red Roses for Me“. Nevetheless, there are not many covers of this number. The song gets the perfect treatment. St. George’s Folly‘s rendition of “Step it Out Mary” reminds me of The Green Duck‘s cover. However, the lads from the Twin Cities have written amazing fiddle arrangements and the last part of the song is spotless. The last cover on “Along this Road” is “Star of the Co. Down“. I have not enjoyed the last versions that I have heard from other bands, but I must say that St. George’s Folly deliver an excellent fast-paced version.
If the musicianship and arrangements on the trad. stuf are top-notch, the best tracks on the CD are the self-penned songs. “Aspen Grove” has a catchy chorus, woahs and infectious fiddling. I daresay that St. George’s Folly sound more like a Canadian band than a US band. The core of the album runs from tracks 4 to 6. “Old Jim’s Eulogy” can rival with the best songs by Bastard Bearded Irishmen, while “Three Days in Havana” has an early Flogging Molly flavor; and “Iron Hearts” is a Ludwig Van beethoven meets Celtic punk number featuring the Ode to Joy from Symphony no. 9. “The Whisky Ode” is slower than other numbers on the CD, but quite enjoyable.
St. George’s Folly “Along this Road” would be one of the best albums of 2018 and the band is clearly one of the newcomers of the year.
1. Tell Me Ma 02:22
2. Aspen Grove 03:44
3. Waxie’s Dargle 01:57
4. Old Jim’s Eulogy 03:08
5. Three Days In Havana 03:32
6. Iron Hearts 02:32
7. Step It Out Mary 03:54
8. The Whiskey Ode 03:42
9. Star Of The County Down 03:48
Click to buy:
Review by Kinksmarkham
St. George’s Folly – Old Jim’s Eulogy
St. George’s Folly – Iron Hearts
St. George’s Folly – The Whiskey Ode