The Larkin Brigade | Paddy Keys For Mayor

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United States - Mass. - Boston

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Rock: Celtic Rock Rock: Punk-Pop Moods: Featuring Piano
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Paddy Keys For Mayor

by The Larkin Brigade

Boston Irish pub rag ‘n’ reel
Genre: Rock: Celtic Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Tim Phoolan and the Worst Campaign For City Council Ever
3:18 $0.99
2. Banana Republic
2:16 $0.99
3. Dot Day
2:49 $0.99
4. Planxty John L.
2:40 $0.99
5. This Is a Rebel Cry
1:56 $0.99
6. Mission Thrill
2:41 $0.99
7. Sean South From Garryowen
3:31 $0.99
8. The Tinker
3:46 $0.99
9. Tabhair Dom Do Lamh
2:33 $0.99
10. Allston Rag
1:57 $0.99
11. We're All Wicked Liquored Up At the Upscale Downtown Irish Pub
2:58 $0.99
12. The Banshee Went to Outer Space!
3:30 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Larkin Brigade are a loud and fast Irish folk band from Boston. We play very rockin' piano-driven renditions of old-school rebel songs and other sing-along pub favorites, plus a growing number of originals.

In other words, if the Wolfe Tones had sex with Ben Folds Five, and then, nine months later, a tearful Ben Folds Five left a bassinet on the doorstep of a bewildered Minor Threat, who, after attempting to raise the little bundle itself, passed the kid off into the social services system, where it went through a series of foster homes including the Pogues and Blood for Blood, before it was taken under the wing of the Rolling Stones, who paid for it to take piano lessons from Scott Joplin and then Jerry Lee Lewis, each of whom in turn kicked the kid out of class for not practicing, and finally the kid ran away and worked in an Irish pub, where it osmotically memorized every song in the book while mopping puke off the floor, until one day the Wolfe Tones walked in to order a pint and recognized its own offspring running cases of Magner's behind the bar, and, after a brawl that caused thousands of dollars in damage and a bar tab that cost hundreds, bestowed upon the kid a lucky cladagh ring with special powers, then that kid would grow up to be the Larkin Brigade.




to write a review

Northeast Performer

C. D. Di Guardia seems to like it....
People ‘round these parts love green things. They love leprechauns and the Celtics and Guinness. They especially love brothers with the surname Kennedy. They really love things that remind them of these things. This accepted, Boston residents should begin mailing their wallets to The Larkin Brigade without delay. Doubters should be sent to the pub with a copy of Paddy Keys for Mayor and given some time to think it over.

Two of the main influences called to the witness stand by The Larkin Brigade are Ben Folds and a general sense of All Things Musically Irish. While Patrick Kennedy’s piano is the lead instrument on the record, the Celtic flavor overtakes any Ben Folds influence outside of Kennedy’s rhythmic piano playing in tracks such as “Planxty John L.” Kennedy (or, as he is known in some circles, “Paddy Keys”) shares the forefront of the sound with fiddle player Joe “Heavyset Joe” Wyatt, backed by bassist Paulie Thunder (Paul Kennedy) and drummer Diesel Dennis (Dennis Doherty).

The Larkin Brigade simply saunters into the pub and takes over. Paddy spins the stool twice and jumps on the piano and Diesel Dennis starts thumping on the bar and Heavyset Joe probably works his way back behind the bar while Paulie Thunder teaches the words to all the patrons. Before you know it, The Larkin Brigade is in full swing. The pipers even stop by for a while, working a keening wail over Keys’ piano melodies in tracks like “Sean South from Garryowen.” This is, after all, a “concept” record based upon a theme, even if that theme is the piano player’s play for mayor.

While those not in the know mess around with scally-cap twisting acts such as Dropkick Murphys, the real kids will be passing out dark pints amongst themselves and rocking out to The Larkin Brigade and their brand of honky-tonk piano pub sing-along. (Squealing Records)

-C.D. Di Guardia

Brian Mosher

Much more than just a bunch of songs about whiskey and stout, Boston’s The Larkin Brigade have produced a record of real depth and significance within the genre of Celtic rock. Not that there aren’t any songs about drinking (“We’re All Wicked Liquored Up At The Upscale Downtown Irish Pub”, for instance), but there’s a whole lot more. Loaded with pride in their old-world heritage as well as in their new-world home, the songs on Paddy Keys For Mayor are heart felt and honest, and delivered with passion and sincerity. And there’s none of that phony brogue you often get with American’s trying to sound Irish. The vocals are a bit thin in places, but after a few listens I found that kind of endearing, and more like a live performance. This is real good stuff.

Sean McGhee

"I'd Vote Paddy Keys"
Boston based Paddy punk act are able to stand out from the crowd from the start on their debut album ‘Paddy Keys For Mayor’, courtesy of front man and pianist, the wittily monikered Paddy Keys. His ivory tinkling brings to mind a strange fusion of Jerry Lee Lewis style stomping alongside Irish music hall, country, trad and a great big dollop of street punk/hardcore. The way they approach rebel standard ‘Sean South Of Garryowen’, is a lesson in itself. They’re assured, humourous, inventive and able to pull off an original and imaginative reading of the classic yet still stay true to the beauty of the original tune. A Larkin Brigade self-composition like ‘Banana Republic’ is all barrelhouse piano, hardcore vocal chants, meandering and scraping fiddle alongside a ballad of the blue collar Irish-American experience. Full marks too for including a Scott Joplin lick within a song called ‘We’re All Wicked Liquored Up At The Upscale Downtown Irish Bar’, where both keys and the evocatively named Heavyset Joe on fiddle flex their considerable musical muscle. Smart, infectious and inspired. I’d vote for Paddy Keys!


Alex Dean

much love from S-N-O
Rightso…2 things I have to say before I even start trying to review this album, and these are the first 2 things that struck me within 30 seconds of getting the package out of the mailbox, opened on the kitchen bench and chucking the CD on the stereo…

1) Reading through the song titles on the back of the cover, as sure as Shane MacGowan is the godfather of our beloved paddy punk, “We’re all Wicked Liquored Up at the Upscale Downtown Irish Pub” is the coolest name for a song I have ever heard

2) They have a piano in their line-up. This is rather unique for this style of music and as soon as the first notes hit my ears I was whisked away to a magical, faraway place in my early childhood (about ages 3-7) because at this time my parents exposed me to exclusively classical music (which I was not fond of) AND the following 4 albums (all of which I was very fond of): Billy Joel – The Stranger, Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Steeleye Span – some collection, who knows what and 5 Hand Reel – For A’ That. And bizarrely enough, The Larkin Brigade sound like a mix of all 4 of those artists. Go figure???

OK – sorry about that, but I felt compelled to share…now back to the topic at hand given that this is an album review, not a “My Mum didn’t hug me enough” psychiatry session for me.

Paddy Keys for Mayor is the first album release for The Larkin Brigade – a 4-piece from Boston playing fast-paced Celtic-infused music, with a punk-ish feel. Drums, bass, violin and piano make for a very unique sound that needs to be heard to be properly appreciated. The album is well upbeat, kicking you out of your chair and cocking your ears to catch the next funky piano lick, or violin trill over the top of a driving rhythm section. I reckon these guys would do one solid live show that couldn’t leave you with anything but a big smile on your face.
The first track, “Tim Phoolan and the Worst Campaign for City Council Ever” is a great intro to the album. It hits you straight away with what The Larkin Brigade are all about – cymbal-heavy percussion, beefy bass, violin-melody with a crazy piano running all over the place. Pat’s vocals are thick-sounding, yet light-hearted and engaging.
“Banana Republic” and “Dot Day” follow this up nicely with a similar feel to Tim Phoolan. Some sweet work on the harmonica in Banana adds a nice touch. Dot has a catchy melody and great toe-tapping rhythm - very clever little song.
“Planxty John L.” incorporates some great timing changes that deliver a punch as good as the Irish-American boxer who is the subject of the song.
“This is a Rebel Cry” and “Mission Thrill” are a couple of fun tracks complete with drinking and ninja turtle references. The latter has a great bridge section that could have come from traditional session in any decent Irish pub the world over.
“Sean South From Garryowen” shares the same tune as Roddy McCorley and cranks up the temperature with some wicked bagpipes giving you that extra shot of adrenaline only a good ol’ rebel song can deliver.
“The Tinker” has some great changes of tempo infused with a clever violin riff and finishes with a soaring fiddle solo. Following this is a sweet little instrumental: “Tabhair Dom Do Lamh” and then we’re transported straight into a noisy piano bar for a bit of good ol’ rag time jamming.
“We’re All Wicked Liquored Up at the Upscale Downtown Irish Pub” as I already noted could never go wrong for me and it is a great song turning the piano bar into an Irish pub full of drunken Powers-infused punters wrecking the joint.
The album closes out with “The Banshee Went to Outer Space”, another solid track with some crazy fast lyrics, punk-beats and vocals, a bit of electronic madness chucked in for good measure and all with the goods on the rhythm and pounding piano this album delivers in spades.

So this album really gives you something unique. Not for the die-hard punk perhaps, but to anyone who likes their music with a cheeky sense of humour that isn’t taking itself too seriously, who can handle their rhythm loud and proud and void of guitar, who can dig a violin and piano being used as assault rifles on the ears, and can take their whiskey straight or in a tall glass of coke – this comes with an A-grade recommendation from this reviewer. Slainte!

Review - Alex Dean

Celtic MP3 Magazine

Named for a Dublin labor-union founder and republican Jim Larkin, The Larkin Brigade's sound is unlike the typical Irish music that the band members remember growing up on. Taking the energy of punk music, (read--they like the Pogues) and the music of their youth, they have tossed it all in the mix and wound up with something truly their own.

It was an interesting ride that resulted in this mixture--after all, you don't get much more traditional than Irish music, and you don't go too much further out on a "musical limb" than punk! The band members went out into the world, experienced all different types of music, and then later came back to their roots--but with their own ideas about how to play.

The really neat thing is that it gives the music an unmistakable Irish stamp, but allows for an improvisational feel -- sort of along the lines of some types of jazz music. Although the songs don't wind up sounding like jazz, they have a similar energy.

The nice part is -- these guys can play. Some punk-style bands wind up just banging away on their instruments--sometimes literally--but the Irish sound lends a definite musicality to the tracks that make them work. It also widens their appeal, because fans of both musical styles will see a fit here. It just goes to show you, sometimes letting up on the rules is a good thing.

Oh, and in case you are wondering (or have not heard of the Molly Maguires) . . . Paddy Keys is a member of the band . . .
reviewed by Catherine L. Tully

Paddy Rock Radio

If someone had come up to me and said here is a Celt-punk group from Boston with a piano player... I would have turned my head and said maybe next time... however with just one listen to a demo these guys sent me in 2005... and I was hooked.
"Paddy Keys For Mayor" captures a celtic-punk band unplugged with great talents both musically and lyrically. I could imagine these guys holding down a pub/saloon and getting the rowdy crowd of drunks singing along while smashing bottles over their heads.... you know... a good evening of drinking amoungst friends!
For it being a first full-length release... it shows that these boys have years of talent already under their belt. Paddy Keys tickles the ivory with easy while providing snarling and growling vocals with every track, Heavyset Joe shows that every Cheeese head can play the fiddle like they were born with it attached to their arm, while Paulie and Diesel kick in the pounding bass and smashing/crashing drums.
I respect their original sound and amazing knack for song writing... however if they pull out that Hammond organ on their next release... I might just kill myself.


"malaka" is NOT an ethnic slur, but a catch-all profanity that many Greeks use frequently. It's not unlike Brooklynese "ya prick, ya."

Jeffrey Kurtis (

With bands like Flogging Molly, the Tossers, and Street Dogs tearing up an Irish driven scene, The Larkin Brigade has thrown their
hats into the mix. This 12-song album demonstrates a combination of Irish Folk influence combined with the spirit of punk rock and
is complete with fiddles, harmonicas, and more. The vocals remind me a lot of Chicago based band, The Tossers. It’s a little rough
on the edges with enough pop in the voice to help carry the songs. As with any good Irish influenced band, look no further than
“This Is A Rebel Cry” for a wonderful drinking song. Overall the Larkin Brigade will fit perfectly into the Irish rock scene that
somehow finds them usually lumped into punk. My advice, pop this album in your CD player, lift up your pint of Guinness, and have a
fun time, but don’t forget that at most times you will find yourself getting up to dance around with the catchiness of these songs
so don’t spill your drink. (JK)

Gerry Adams

Everyday will be St. Paddy's Day if you buy this CD by these Lucky Charmers
No album can capture the revelrous live act...but Paddy Keys for Mayor does a helluva job bringing the merrymaking to your Subaru's stereo. My only complaint is the use of Greek enthic slurs.

Useless Jimmy McFadden

Larkin Brigade is like puttin Jameson's on my Lucky Charms
Where's me gold? Alright you Guinness-swillin' choruses of bald-headed hooligans. Your soundtrack to Leprechaun 12 is here and you'll be partying to this one in Hell. Very witty lyrics and great saloon-style instrumentation. can't get enough of We're All Wicked Liquored Up At the Upscale Downtown Irish Pub. throw away your Slop-kick Murphys crap: the true kings of American Irish rock are in the house.