The Montana Shamrockers | New and Used

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Folk: Celtic Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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New and Used

by The Montana Shamrockers

Traditional and original American Celtic tunes, toe-tappers to hanky-soakers.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Tim Finnegan's Wake
2:18 $0.99
2. Marie's Wedding
3:03 $0.99
3. Star of the County Down
4:24 $0.99
4. Proud Tom Francis Meagher
3:44 $0.99
5. Gap of Dunloe
2:30 $0.99
6. Whiskey, You're the Devil
2:27 $0.99
7. The Pig Fair
0:42 album only
8. Black Velvet Band
3:41 $0.99
9. O'er the Water
3:21 $0.99
10. The Man Who Invented Beer
4:30 $0.99
11. Whiskey Is the Life of Man
2:01 $0.99
12. Fight for Uncle Sam
3:38 $0.99
13. Fields of Athenry
5:08 $0.99
14. Beer Goggle Blues
4:19 $0.99
15. Home, Boys, Home!
3:28 $0.99
16. Tribute to Tom
4:02 $0.99
17. The Doctor
0:59 album only
18. The Pirate Princess
4:17 $0.99
19. Tim Finnegan's Wake (Bonus Track)
2:29 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In assembling this album’s song list, we wanted both original contemporary Irish tunes (New) and some of our favorite traditionals that have been around since Moses was in knickers (Used).

Many songs remain in our repertoire because of the public’s response to them. Public reaction has always influenced the careers of some of the world’s best-known figures. Like Joan of Arc, Julius Caesar and Mussolini. We wanted to represent some of our favorite tunes here in the format we love best – live. It’s harder to hit a moving target.

It’s fitting to include Finnegan’s Wake, a favorite song of our friend and mentor, John Dowdall, a full-blood Irishman from Anaconda MT, responsible for our group’s formation. Some will never forgive him for that.

As our own children grow up and start their own lives, certain relationship songs are insidiously creeping into our songlist, like Marie’s Wedding, a toe-tapper, and the somewhat related ballad, Star of the County Downe, something of a hanky-soaker. We believe in equal time. Gap of Dunloe is a beautiful song about a beautiful part of Ireland that reminds us of parts of Montana that are… beautiful.

In 2009, we were invited to the dedication of a bust of Montana’s first territorial governor, Thomas Francis Meagher (pronounced MAH-her) in Ft. Benton MT, where he disappeared mysteriously. We performed both Tribute to Tom and Proud Tom Francis Meagher for the occasion. People wept. We didn’t think they were that bad.

Whiskey, You’re the Devil is a great set-opener, unless we precede it with the old sea shanty, Whiskey is the Life of Man. You may see a theme developing here, especially with the inclusion of the seminar-inspiring Man Who Invented Beer. Actually, none of us drinks anymore. None of us drinks any less, either. Beer, as mentioned, may be favored in the afterlife, while whiskey, from the Gaelic uisge breatha, means “water of life.” Well.

The Charlie that’s referred to in O’er the Water is Bonnie Prince Charlie, who lost his crown in the 1745 rebellion (one of many in Celtic history). It’s a lovely Scot song we love to sing, since we’re often up a creek too. Fields of Athenry is sort of an Irish country western song. If you play it backwards, the oppressors go back to England, the ship comes home, and everybody sobers up. Well.

This album’s release coincides with the anniversary of the start of the Civil War, in which T. F. Meagher led his Irish Brigade (the Fighting 69th) to distinction. Our research uncovered many great songs that mention Meagher. Fight For Uncle Sam is one of the more inspiring ones that isn’t so heavy on the carnage.

Early on, one critic wrote that we were “Too much fun.” Possible or not, we do try to have a good time when we play. Beer Goggle Blues and Pirate Princess recount that sort of blind devotion to merriment and the unpredictability of courting the wrong person for all the right reasons. Both, presumably, are based on true experiences.

Finally, we like to include Home, Boys in every show, dedicated to those unable to join us, for whatever reasons: our brave fighting men and women, firemen, police, EMT’s, and all who put their own lives on the line every day to keep us safe. Thank you!

And thanks to all who made this project possible. Our families, especially our wives, The ShamRockettes, for a lot of encouragement, if a little trepidation. The Montana AOH lads who always pretend they’re glad to see us come to town, and to the local authorities who hold back the crowds and are just as glad to see us go to the next town. First Citizens Bank of Polson MT for support and rehearsal space. John Dowdall and John Juneiman for the passion for everything Irish. The live audiences. The writers who contributed songs and to everyone who had a hand – felt, seen or secret – in our endeavors. Slainte!

Liam, Mick, Paddy, Robbie & Nels
The Montana ShamRockers



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Lively Times

Those Polson lads' new CD offers oodles of Irish songs in their usual rousing Sh
The Montana ShamRockers | New and Used
Published: July 2, 2012

Those lads from Polson are at it again, having recently put out their new CD with oodles of Irish songs in their usual rousing ShamRocker style.

New and Used features 16 songs and a couple jokes for counterpoint. The Irish tradition of drinkin' songs is given the treatment here; several touching ballads are included as well.

Lynchpin Neal Lewing (aka Nels), on banjo, vocals, guitar, sax and percussion, throws in two of his originals, one about Montana's dashing Irish general and governor, Thomas Meagher ("Proud Tom Francis Meagher"). Bandmate John Gleuckert (Liam) adds his own song about the Irish rascal in "Tribute to Tom." The other fellas are Rick Skates (Mick), vocals, guitar and harmonica; and Mike Lozar (Paddy), vocals, fiddle, mandolin, bouzouki and whistle. Don't forget Rob Sloan (Robbie), who sings, plays guitar, and adds some percussion as well.

The rest of the pieces are mostly covers of many well-known traditional Celtic hits. There's the sly colleen of "Black Velvet Band," and the "heys!" of "Whiskey, You're the Devil." "Star of the County Down" is done at a slower pace, infused by harmonica and lots of "oohs." And "Fight for Uncle Sam," a Civil War song, is sung to the tune of "Whiskey in the Jar."

"Fields of Athenry" is pretty and sad. It tells the tale of two lovers parting; he's a prisoner condemned to the infamous Australian penal colony of Botany Bay.

Lewing's own hilarious number, "The Pirate Princess," closes out the album. The fella extols his sweetie's virtues ("when she shakes her pirate booty...)." It's a tickler, sure to please the group’s many fans.

For more on the band, visit

– Mariss McTucaker, Lively Times