As Central New Yorkers shovel out from the latest snowfall this week, the thoughts of sun and fun at The Great New York State Fair seem like a mirage in the faraway distance. One can only imagine the warmth felt Wednesday when the Fair announced that crowd favorites, Dropkick Murphys, would be returning once again to Chevy Court on August 30.
Filling in at the last minute to save the day when Dickey Betts became ill two years ago, the Dropkick Murphys secured a place in fairgoer’s hearts forever. Only hours away from showtime, the guys went out of their way to pack up their vans and help their neighbors to the west out.
Helping out isn’t out of the norm for these musicians. Already well known in their hometown of Boston as a community-oriented group, the band went one step further back in 2009 and established a non-profit organization called The Claddagh Fund. The Claddagh Fund honors the three attributes of the Claddagh Ring: Friendship, Love & Loyalty. Children, Veterans, and Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation programs are the focus, through local charities, answering the need to give back to the community they call home.
The band formed in Quincy, MA in 1996 and the current lineup consists of Al Barr (lead vocals), Tim Brennan (guitars, accordion, mellotron, whistles, vocals), Ken Casey (lead vocals, bass guitar), Jeff DaRosa (banjo, bouzouki, mandolin, harmonica, acoustic guitars, vocals), Matt Kelly (drums, percussion, vocals), James Lynch (guitar, vocals), Kevin Rheault (touring bassist), and Lee Forshner (touring bagpipe player).
They continue to create a musical story of life in the present-day that covers the gamut of emotions felt in a portion of society that is regularly ignored. Life needs a voice and is not always pretty. This is present in the latest release of “Smash Shit Up.” The video depicts aggressions taken out in the demolition of an old house. How therapeutic (and fun) that had to be taking a sledgehammer to what used to be so that something new could grow in its place.
Dropkick Murphys have quickly become a State Fair favorite. Warm summer days and the sizzle of Giannelli Sausage are not far away when the music plays on the jumbotron at Chevy Court.
On Thursday, Dropkick Murphys also announced a 15-date co-headlining May tour with Bay Area punks Rancid that will finish up at Artpark in Lewiston, just outside of Niagara Falls. For more information on the tour and ticket information, visit the Dropkick Murphys website here.