Minneapolis-based Celtic rock powerhouse Wild Colonial Bhoys is excited to announce the release of Heads or Tails, their first release for the band’s independent label, Steel Creek Records, and their fifth overall. This double-album represents their first release of new material since 2007’s acclaimed Irish in America.
Effortlessly weaving their signature blend of edgy rock with traditional Irish music-inspired hooks, the Bhoys have created their strongest album to date. The songs are upbeat and catchy, and show the band’s range and talent. This is the Bhoys at their best--whether playing as a five-piece rock act or as their notable two-man acoustic guitar duo, Wild Colonial Bhoys know how to put on a show, as this album proves.
Heads or Tails is a two-disc set. Disc one (“Heads”) showcases the full Wild Colonial Bhoys lineup, including Adam Coolong, vocals and guitars, Geno Carlson, guitars and vocals, Cody McKinney, bass, vocals and bodhrán, and Tony Comeau, fiddle (with guest Greg Schutte on drums). Disc two (“Tails”) features tracks played by the formidable duo of Carlson and Coolong, and showcases their roots as the pub act that provides the basis for the larger band’s tight and distinctive sound.
From disc one’s driving opener FRIDAY NIGHT, the Bhoys set the tone for a night of revelry and good-natured fun. Songs like WHATCHU GOT FOR ME and GOOD ENOUGH provide fans of the Bhoys’ silky harmonies and impressive instrumental skills plenty of reason to keep pressing repeat. I AM IRELAND PART II is the continuation of a story told on Irish in America, a commentary on the aftermath of the “Celtic Tiger” economic boom in the late 90s that has left Ireland in financial ruin. ONE NIGHT IN SHEEHAN is the Bhoys’ first instrumental track, and songs like NO PLACE I’D RATHER BE and HOPING FOR A BETTER DAY are anthems of inspiration and belief in a brighter future. LOCKED AWAY oozes the frustration of writer’s block, and the stripped down album-ender “BIG TIM FITZGERALD is a ballad penned by Coolong in honor of the passing of Twin Cities music legend Timothy “Fitz” Fitzgerald.
Disc two (“Tails”) is a six-song collection of pub favorites arranged for Coolong and Carlson to display their six-string talents. U2’s SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY, Labi Siffre’s SOMETHING INSIDE SO STRONG and Charlie and the Bhoys’ OVER AND OVER are amongst those that get the WCB duo treatment.
“We wanted to give people the whole Wild Colonial Bhoys experience with this album” guitarist Carlson notes. “Whether people like the acoustic stuff or the big band, flip a coin, heads or tails, which do you want to listen to? This album has it all!”
From their duo roots in 2003, Carlson and Coolong have continuously set the bar for the band higher and higher. They average 250 shows a year, have played major Irish festivals, smaller Irish festivals, in-between Irish festivals, bars, clubs, pubs, street shows, private parties, and were once the only attendees of, performers at, and witnesses to the wedding of two ardent “fhans”. Their tour of Ireland in November of 2010 saw two full busloads of their loyal supporters travel with the band around the country for a week, seeing the sights and enjoying music and the craic.
“This is simply what we love to do”, says Coolong. “Nothing is better than getting on that stage, whether it is large or small, and sharing with the the crowd some of the passion and love we put into this music. Feeling the goosebumps that come from seeing people dance to your music and singing lyrics you wrote is the greatest feeling in the world, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”