5 Irish musicians (not named U2) to listen to on St. Patrick’s Day
Special to the Sun
So you want to get into the spirit on St. Patrick’s Day? Look no further than checking out some of these recommended Irish musicians.
I know what you’re thinking: Why is U2 not listed? Well, for one, the band is mentioned on every Irish rocker list. And two, except for “Under a Blood Red Sky” (and a little bit of “The Joshua Tree”), you’ll get no U2 love from me.
Other than the band’s early days, I’m not a fan. They’re overrated. Guitar player The Edge (which is as lame a name as you can get) seems to strum about five chords and frontman Bono has about as much personality as a wooden boat.
There are plenty of other choices to soothe your eardrums on the day that Americans pegged as the time to celebrate drinking. So why not start here…
1. Van Morrison
One of my all-time favorites. Although he’s not a young man anymore, he’s still kicking out jams. Best money is on early Van — his album “Moondance” is one of the best. His voice is so entrancing he can probably double up on being a hypnotist. One listen and I’m under his spell.
Download/Stream This: “Into the Mystic”
2. Glen Hansard/The Frames/The Swell Season
Most known for his leading role in the motion picture “Once” (for which he won an Academy Award for Best Song), Glen Hansard has been strumming his iconic guitar for over 20 years. As either a solo artist or band member, Hansard always delivers heartfelt lyrics.
Download/Stream This: “High Hope”
3. The Cranberries
How can we forget the brooding sounds of this band that was at their peak in the ‘90s? Some may shy away from the tone of lead singer Dolores O’Riordan’s voice, but you cannot deny its uniqueness. If they’ve been absent from your playlist for years, throw them back in the mix and listen with a strong cocktail — should help get those memories flowing.
Download/Stream This: “Zombie”
A relative newcomer to the music scene, this Grammy-nominated soulful rocker knows how to tell a musical story. With creative lyrics and sometimes dark, his songwriting is always on point. Doesn’t hurt that his voice could move through butter like a hot knife, either.
Download/Stream This: “Work Song”
5. Dropkick Murphys
You can’t throw out music suggestions without some punk rock — so why not Dropkick Murphys? Their song “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” is alive and well in the Scorsese masterpiece, “The Departed.” The band always seems to come out swinging, which lends itself nicely to their energy on stage. I realize I’m bending the rules with this selection as they’re not from Ireland, but as long as it helps get you in the mood for St. Patty’s, I’m giving myself a pass.
Download/Stream This: “The State of Massachusetts”
Sure I missed some of your favorites. Sure this list isn’t complete. Who cares? As long as you’re not selling out to a U2 playlist as you get your drink on, your night will be fabulous.
Rob Galloway is publisher of Lake Tahoe Action and the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.