Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Accents: Wake Up Now

Big Bag of Sticks: Wake Up Now

[contact Big Bag of Sticks to purchase the album Short Term Memory]

Ireland is an island nation. As such, music from many lands has reached her shores. The bouzouki is an instrument that has become popular with traditional Irish musicians, but it was brought to the Emerald Isle by Greek sailors. Still, Irish reggae? I’ve got it right here.

Wake Up Now dates from 1997, when the ska craze from England was reaching Ireland, and UB40 were still popular. Still, the fiddle parts here make the song definitely Irish. It’s a combination that shouldn’t work, but does. In 1997, Big Bag of Sticks were a working band. Much later, members would go on to form Queen Elvis, still a highly original group, but with music that connects more solidly with Irish traditions. That’s how I first heard of them. Surprisingly, Big Bag of Sticks still exists, but now they only get together for special occasions.

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