If you are at all familiar with the Birmingham music scene you are probably aware of it’s diversity. From hip-hop groups to surf rock bands, we have a lot going on in our corner of the American South. Adding to that diversity is local band Jasper Coal. I had to familiarize myself with their music for this post, having not heard them before, and through their latest album “Drowning the Shamrock”, I feel I know them a little better.
Jasper Coal is steeped in traditional Celtic and folk music but they carry a bit of smarmy punk attitude, particularly in the vocals. It’s easy to compare this band to Flogging Molly or The Dropkick Murphys, and there’s nothing at all wrong with that, but Jasper Coal is a Southern band and that sort of shines through in this album. On “Drowning the Shamrock” you will find bagpipes, driving drums, guitars,
fiddles, and of course, very strong harmonies.
As one can expect with traditional Celtic music, the songs on this album tell stories you can easily get lost in. “Crooked Jack” pays homage to a song by Dominic Behan about Irish hydroelecitrc dam workers. After hearing this track and listening to the lyrics I feel like it should be a call to arms for working stiffs everywhere. Another track that jumped out to me was “Jamie Raeburn”. The song cranks up like a train and hits you with another amazing story about a guy convicted of a crime he may not have committed and has to leave his home and family behind. The fiddle, which is the featured instrument on the track, carries the story easily through out the song.
The songs on “Drowning the Shamrock” are obviously good for drinking and fighting, but they also work well for getting smashed with your friends and putting your arms around each other and having a damn good time. The album will be available on 9/14 on iTunes and Amazon. You can drink and stomp your feet with the lads at their release party 9pm on 9/14 at Stillwater Pub in downtown Birmingham. It’s a general admission show, 21 and up, and at $5 is a hell of a deal for some music you wouldn’t normally hear on a Saturday night. They will have the album and merch for sale. You can check out Jasper Coal on their website and listen to a few of the tracks from “Drowning the Shamrock” here.
We here at BHAMFM will always encourage our readers to support local music so go check out Jasper Coal and drink a bunch of beers with your lads.