29 June 2006

Update on greatest local Irish band you've never heard of: Hercules Mulligan

Okay, apparently I've become quite the social maven these last two weeks. Normally I can be described as a hermit of sorts, happily confined to my apartment, semi-decent books, semi-poor financial scheme, and...with any luck...a good Nascar race and even better movies on the telly. Some weekends I just come in and retreat to a quiet spot and just stay the hell in. People are okay to be around, the problem for me is that I have limited patience with a good deal of them...especially the drama queens, gossip mongers, and hellfire and brimstone contingent. Unfortunately, those groups make up a good subsection of the local community. We need some open-minded hellraisers who've actually done some traveling and listen to something other than corporate radio. We're getting there, trust me, but right now the fishbowl water needs changing.

That said, when I got an email the other day saying my fave local Irish band, Hercules Mulligan (see previous review in the archives of April 28), was doing another show at Tir Na nOg Pub in Raleigh, I was out the door in a flash. My dear friend (and practically brother), the Wise Ricky (who shall now be deemed 'WR' as I'm feeling lazy with my typing today), attended and were once again quite enamoured. The crowd last night had a few 'ringers' of band friends, but that only added to the 'participatory' element of the program. And I've gotta hand it to Chris, the lead singer: I counted 4 whiskey shots (and WR countered I was low-balling that number, it was Whiskey & Wine Wednesday at the nOg, after all) and not only was 'participatory' easily said with no slurring, copious amounts of Irish lyrics were done with great ease, too. (I'm almost certain they exhausted the playbook last night.) I'm not sure exactly what Chris' actual Irish heritage is, but his performance behind the mike (both singing and no) would have done many of the Dublin acts WR and I have seen proud. And we have adopted 'participatory' as the new benchmark of drunkenness: if you can still say it without hesitation and slurring, you're all good...just don't drive.

The musicianship is top notch, as usual. The band had switched out the fiddle/mandolin player from the April gig, but the quality is certainly still there and additionally he sung a song that can best be described as Steve Earle Appalachia. (And I love Steve Earle, although he's bordering almost too left for my politics these days. But I digress...) Apparently this was public gig #2 for the guys...something that should be remedied immediately as they are very worthy of a fan base and some critical attention. Even now, am drafting some emails to make these guys better known to my friends and fellow social imbibers. Other locals: send me an email and as soon as I hear something about the next gig, you're getting an email from me. But you need to come to the show, and bring your fun-lovin' friends with you. Added plus: while the nOg has issues with their fries (over-seasoned), they do (God Bless 'em) have wonderful pints of Southwick's beer (which they'll even charge in half pint rates). (Ed: per the beloved WR, it's Smithwicks Irish Ale. No wonder I thought it tasted suspiciously like Kilkenny Irish Beer, as it's made in the same city.)

Additional info from the band members from their email (used with verbal permission from a member last night) follows. And apologies to David, for misidentifying him in the earlier post.

The members of Hercules Mulligan are:

Chris King – Vocals and Bodhran – For almost thirteen years, Chris has been insinuating himself onto the stages of successful, yet unsuspecting Irish musicians. He has sung and played with the likes of Derek Warfield, Paddy Noonan, Paddy Gibney, Harry O’Donahue, and Mick Bermingham.

David Cauthorn - Rhythm Guitar - David brings a rhythm guitar style to Irish song that is influenced by the traditional mountain folk music of the Appalachia, and its offspring- traditional bluegrass.

Zack Mondry – Bass Fiddle and Mandolin – Recently arrived in the Triangle from Arizona, Zack specializes in oldtime country, bluegrass, folk, and blues styles.

Chris Mankoff – Fiddle, Mandolin, and Vocals – The newest Mulligan, Chris comes to us from Durham, where has played Irish, oldtime, and bluegrass music for years.

1 comment:

wr said...

Zoe, darling, the beer is smithwick's. I'm not sure what a southwick's is, but i bet it's not beer. wr