The last thing I did before the COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives was play one of my scheduled St. Patrick's Day music performances. It was my second time using my new amplifier out, and I had just bought a cool new Acoustic Singer Processor Pedal to help me out, and then … no more concerts for a while.
So, since I clearly don't have any gigs booked, I decided to mark the one year anniversary of this weird time by releasing an EP of a few songs I'd normally play at the pub in March. While my live shows are usually a mix of the usual fun sing-alongs and some more, say, politically charged Irish folk songs, I stuck with tunes in Irish Rebel Song or generally anti-colonialist tradition—because, well, they felt more fitting with the world right now. (Also that my earlier cover of "Come Out, Ye Black and Tans" is by far my most successful solo song, and I wanted to build on that.) My goal is to follow up with a new collection of Irish folk songs at least once a year, so you can get your "Irish Rover" and your "Parting Glass" eventually.
The album name, "Forfocséic," is a word from the Irish language that means … well, there's no direct translation I suppose, but I think you can figure it out.
You can check it out below, or stream/download at the music service of your choice through my Hyperfollow page.
I was fortunate enough to have a little (remote) help with the album. Jacob Wake-Up! played bass on most songs; Jacqui Cheng, the former Editor-in-Chief at Wirecutter and Editor-at-Large at Ars Technica, contributed the fantastic fiddle duet on "Follow Me Up To Carlow / Éamon an Chnoic"; Nick Krefting helped me out with some extra guitar shredding on "Some Say The Devil Is Dead" and "The Fields of Athenry"; and Paula Arzac of ¡Viva Mayhem! played tin whistle on "The Boys From County Cork" and "Horse Outside," the latter of which is actually a hilarious Irish hip-hop song that she helped me to traditionalize by adding in a genuine Irish reel called "Johnny With The Queer Thing."
So check it out! Tell your friends! Add me to your St. Paddy's Day playlists!