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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Molly's Revenge at Avogadro's Number

It has been a while since I saw a band in the Celtic genre, so this week's show by Molly's Revenge, a band out of California, was greatly appreciated. This trio played a great set with lots of old Irish, Scottish and Appalachian folk tunes that would be fun to dance to, if I was not holding a camera. Sadly no one was dancing while I was at this show, but maybe the second half of the show, which I missed, got people up off their butts to try a few jigs. At least I could enjoy the bagpipes droning cheerily on the Avo's patio as I was walking to the next venue of my night, a welcome sound after so many months without live bagpipe music. We really need a few more Irish bands in town, because I know I have seen people in Fort Collins who know how to dance to this stuff, but without more Irish/Celtic concerts to practice at, I think we as a town get too rusty when it comes to dancing something besides swing and salsa. The presence of more bodhrans and bodhran-players in town would be lovely too, as it would make my mastery of my own drum that much more likely if I saw master drummers playing these lovely hand-drums every week in concert.

Molly's Revenge played here the day before their brand new album Trio was released, so they played a few of the songs off this new album before I left the venue (and probably a few more in the second half of the show). This new album is all instrumental, Very few (if any) of this band's songs are the sing-along family show type that Celtic Thunder relies on; Molly's Revenge concentrates on the traditional instrumentals, with a lot of those 2-4 song sets that Irish fiddle albums feature so heavily, clusters of dance tunes, lullabies and laments that all sound the same to the untutored ear. But, they did play a lot of fiddle tunes I recognized from my past encounters with Irish fiddlers, and a couple tunes I can whistle in their entirety. The true Celtic traditional music aficionado will love this band, but I think their music is varied enough to keep the interest of novice listeners too.

(I do love hearing obscure folk songs brought back to life, too, but it can be exhausting trying to appreciate and absorb hours of new tunes without a few familiar ones mixed in. I also love singing along to the even more familiar songs that seep from the woodwork every St. Paddy's Day, so local bands and artists anywhere along this spectrum are welcome to start playing here in Fort Collins anytime.)

One additional treat for my evening with Molly's Revenge was meeting and chatting (far too briefly) with a fellow music blogger, Stuart Mason, who plays guitar and mandola for Molly's Revenge and also is the blogger behind the folk music blog Fiddle Freak. While not focused solely on Celtic folk, Stuart's blog looks like a particularly good resource for folk music fans regardless of subgenre preferences.I unfortunately did not get a chance to meet the other two members of Molly's Revenge before I left Avo's [and will continue to ponder the question 'Where have I seen David Brewer (pipes, bodhran & bagpipes for Molly's Revenge) before?' for many months, at this rate], but hopefully this band will visit Fort Collins again before I move elsewhere so I can meet the other two of the talented fellows properly soon.