Sunday, January 17, 2010

There's Something About Mary: Mari-Mac

Great Big Sea: Mari-Mac


Great Big Sea hails from Newfoundland, where the cliffs are steep and the summers short; over their fifteen year run, they've grown famous for their unique mastery of the traditional folktunes of their region, as filtered through a raucous pub-crawl sensibility. The result lies somewhere between celtic punk and the heavily harmonized folksongs of the sea and spray, more akin to a salty privateer's interpretation of The Clash and The Pogues than that singer-songwritery stuff that many of us like to think is the true core of folk.

Which is to say, old fogies, beware: this is one of the only forms of folk music that you can genuinely form a mosh pit to - and sure enough, despite its Scottish tradfolk origins [as "Mary Mack", natch], in the hands of Great Big Sea, Mari-Mac is a glorious, gleeful, drunken romp that starts off fast and accelerates into breakneck speed, drums beating like the devil himself, fiddles howling like a North-of-the-border Charlie Daniels.

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