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Modern drinking songs

With All Due Respect: The Irish Sessions
With All Due Respect: The Irish Sessions
By Young Dubliners

429 Records: 2007

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This review first appeared in Turbula in April 2007.

Not even the best-known Irish band in Los Angeles (that honor would have to go to Dave King's Flogging Molly), the Young Dubliners nonetheless have carved out a loyal audience over the past 15 years that loves the band's punk- and Pogues-influenced take on Irish music.

Like Flogging Molly, the Young Dubliners (the name apparently a nod of respect to the legendary Irish band The Dubliners) are fronted by an honest-to-God Irishman, Dublin native Keith Roberts. And also like Flogging Molly and the Pogues, the Young Dubliners are at least as much a rock band as an Irish one. While the material on the band's latest album is actually almost all drawn from the traditional Irish canon, most of it is performed with the band's usual mix of bravado and energy that owe far more to punk than the Gaels.

On the few occasions the band does slow things down to what could at least approximate a traditional pace, as on "Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore," Roberts shows a fine, lithe touch on vocals, and the rest of the band a similar ability to capture the Celtic feel of the piece.

Still, it is on the uptempo rockers that the band is in its element, creating a sort of modern drinking song that seems the perfect music for hoisting a pint with the boyos down at the pub.