Review of "Walking Up Town" from USAShaskeen – Walking Up Town (2009)
In the wake of heavily punk influenced Irish folk music, ala The Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly or The Pogues, it is a rare treat to listen to some of the real deal. Where the aforementioned bands have their place, and an amazing sound, nothing quite drives home the brilliance of the roots of that music like hearing the real thing done by people that love it and have done it for a long time.
Together in some incarnation since 1970 Shaskeen has a sound that can only really be defined as practiced and well seasoned. On “Walking Up Town,” their 15th album you can hear the level of experience and heart that is put into their music. With a mixture of Jigs, Reels, and Songs you have no shortage of music to dance to on this album.
A full two thirds of this album is just instrumentals, with a few nods to some of the classic Irish Drinking songs like, “All For Me Grog,” and “The Jail of Cluain Meala,” but no part of it is a let down. And seeking out the rest of their albums will become a must. There is just something about their sound that is undeniably fun spirited, and the kind of sound that you want coming out of the corner in your local pub.
If you are a fan of the kind of traditional Irish Folk Music that has been a driving force in a lot of popular bands these days, then you can do no wrong with “Walking Up Town.” And if you want to expand your musical horizons and listen to something that is pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step then Shaskeen is the choice for you.