Live at CBGB's
The Ruffians “Official Bootleg; Live at CBGB’s” Off the Record by Mike Farragher, Irish Voice - November 2004
If you like your Irish music delivered on a speeding Guinness truck that has lost its breaks, I’ve got a disc for you. The Ruffians have released Live at CBGBs, and it finds the band worthy of gracing the stage that launched the likes of the Ramones and Talking Heads at Manhattan’s temple of punk. This is 43:27 of gloriously ragged playing, in the style of the Pogues and Popes.
“We did it at CBGBS one night, pressed it, and put it out a week later,” explains singer Sean Griffin. “There’s no studio overdubbing; it’s right from the board. It really does capture the Ruffians sound, so if there are people out there that have recordings from our past shows, throw those out and put this on!”
The band offers a decidedly Irish American take on standards like “Jug O Punch,” which sounds like it was shot out of a cannon to an unsuspecting crowd.
“I Never Will Marry” should be an anthem for perpetual bachelorhood, and it is indicative of the devilish take on traditional music that permeates this collection. This love of Celtic culture can be attributed to the deep cultural ties that brothers Sean and Danny share.
“We were always around Irish music,” says Sean. “My mother played the accordion and my father is an Irish singer. We did all the step dancing and everything, so we were always right in the middle of Irishness growing up. I think mom had this vision of all of us singing the way we did at church, so she’s had to get used to the punk thing!”
A big name producer will probably propel this great band into greatness, so pick up Live at CBGBs while you can still say “I knew them when.”