The Ruffians,
Together for Christmas
(self-produced, 2002)

It starts with a lilting Irish rendition of "Christmas in Killarney." But "Grampa" is quickly sent packing and the Ruffians turn the Celtic Christmas carol into a head-banging, punkish slam. No offense intended, boys -- the hard-driving track rocks with unrelenting energy and, even under its unquestionable rock umbrella, manages to make effective use of traditional instrumentation in the mix.

It's the first song on a too-brief Christmas EP from the Ruffians, a New York Irish pub band with electricity to spare.

The Ruffians are Sean Griffin (guitar, vocals, bodhran), Dan Griffin (bass), Jerome Morris (percussion), Charles Butler (banjo), Kevin Meehan (button accordion) and Scott Mettey (uilleann pipes, fiddle, tin whistle). After their reinterpretation of an Irish traditional song, they follow up with three original songs (I hesitate to call them "carols"): "Together at Christmas," "Naughty List" and "Christmas is Cancelled/Sucks to be Sober."

It's hard-rocking holiday fun from the Ruffians -- let's hear more from this band. (And no more of these pesky EPs!)

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 21 December 2002

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