What do you call a fake stone in Ireland? A sham rock, of course. What kind of bow can't be tied? A rainbow, of course. And what band that crosses Pogues-style folk-rock with Rancid-style Oi!-punk is coming to town to help you celebrate St. Patrick's Day a week early? Dropkick Murphys, of course! Formed in Boston (where else?) in the mid-'90s, the septet merges traditional Celtic instrumentation — tin whistle, bagpipes, accordion, mandolin, etc. — with brash guitar crunch and features a frog-throated vocalist (Al Barr) who sounds like Dicky Barrett after washing down a box of tacks with a couple shots of Jameson. All joking aside, at its most amped and speedy the Murphys can incite some serious mayhem in the pit, while its slower, sentimental ballads are always cause for swaying, teary-eyed, beer-in-the-air mass sing-alongs.
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