Mix one part New Riders Of The Purple Sage, one part Chieftains, three parts Dropkick Murphys , and a pinch of Mojo Nixon. Shake vigorously. Add a pitcher of the house Micro-brew, chased by a flask of Jameson Irish Whiskey, and stir. Voila! You have The Ass Pocket Whiskey Fellas, self described as “an acoustic nine piece gaggle of southern California hooligans, influenced by Irish traditional music, American bluegrass, Old time Country and Rock N’Roll.”
If you throw in a tavern audience, the chemical reaction is magic. The APWF are a crowd pleasing band, taking requests, as they banter with their fans. We had the distinct pleasure of seeing them perform at Hennessy’s in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. They blend Irish Folk with Country-Rock to foot stomping perfection. Their blend of Guitars, Banjo, Tin Whistle, Fiddle, Accordion, Upright Bass, and Harmonica, supported by thumping percussion kept the place energized. I requested “Whiskey In The Jar”, and they obliged with a rollicking Thin Lizzy inspired rendition. For good measure they gave us some Led Zeppelin before inviting a couple of ladies in the audience (including my wife) up on stage to join them for “This Train Is Bound For Glory” as a closer.
I came away with their CD, entitled, “First Flask“. It’s a mix of originals and covers. The first track, “Ode To Jimmy Butters” caught my attention, being about a guy who hung out at The Blarney Stone, an Irish pub that I used to frequent when I lived in San Diego. The CD includes Jimi Hendrix‘ “Castles Made Of Sand” and Steve Earles‘ “Galway Girl”, as well as an Irish marching version of Amazing Grace. All nine tracks are available for free download at their Website. I strongly recommend giving them a listen. We’ll be listening to them in upcoming editions of The Robert J Program on Radio Vera and Sky Wave Radio