Whiskey of the Damned
Friday July 11th @9pm
“Music is the brandy of the damned.”
– Don Juan, in George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman
With a single word change, the great Irish playwright’s line has, since 2011, given name to one hellishly good Celtic-rock band. The Milwaukee-based quintet Whiskey of the Damned specializes in an intoxicating brand of music that’s high in energy and deep in emotion.
Formed by Dublin-born, Wisconsin-raised singer-guitarist-songwriter Eoin McCarthy (pronounced O-wen), Whiskey of the Damned has been a live-performance favorite in pubs and halls throughout the East, South and Midwest, thanks to an incessant touring schedule and invariably good word-of-mouth.
McCarthy first performed in public at age six. As a 15-year-old punk rocker accompanying his musician-comedian father to a pub session in Dublin, he received guitar-playing tips from “a guy” who turned out to be Van Morrison. McCarthy’s avocation led him through various bands until, in Milwaukee, he met up with violinist Gina Romantini, bassist Matt Schuetz, accordionist Brian Link, and drummer Andrew Weber. Individually and collectively, the five musicians have shared the stage with the likes of the Wallflowers, Doobies Brothers, Fountains of Wayne and even the aforementioned Van Morrison, but it’s on their own that they’re making their mark among a growing, firmly committed following.
Following two EPs, Moonshiners and Shoplifters and Craic Agus Whiskey, Whiskey of the Damned is independently issuing its first full-length album, MONSTERS ARE REAL. Recorded at Atlanta’s Black Dog studio and produced by Rick Beato (whose credits include Shinedown, country hitmakers Parmalee and Christian rockers NeedtoBreathe), the album gives the wider world its first glimpse of what the group’s faithful supporters have long known and loved: impassioned music-making that accommodates both personal expression and observations on common human experience. “Every song is about some form of demon,” McCarthy said recently, explaining the record’s title, “something that brings you down, whether it’s a political thing or a drinking problem. It’s about recognizing and standing up for yourself and fighting them all.”
Tracks range from the rousing and boisterous (“Another Day Dead,” “The Good Rat,” “Thumpkeg”) to the candidly reflective (“Maria,” “When It All Comes Down”) and accurately represent the repertoire that’s won the group critical raves and a reputation as “the perfect band to party to.” (Citing the ensemble’s penchant for improvisation, one newspaper noted that “Nothing is safe from being incorporated into their performance; an empty beer keg becomes the focal point of percussion for a few of their songs.”)
In support of the release of MONSTERS ARE REAL, Whiskey of the Damned resumes touring, hitting the road for shows all over the United States with future plans to Ireland and Europe for the first time.
Filed under: Pub News