Celtic Reconfigurations (Live)

Dead Irish Blues

This recording represents Dead Irish Blues performances in which the entire show is dedicated to Celtic material, mostly traditional Irish.

While Dead Irish Blues performs a wide range of traditional music styles, along with originals, many of the performances are mostly or entirely Celtic in nature. This CD features live recordings from various "configurations" of Dead Irish Blues. The duo of Greg (guitar, octave mandolin, vocals) and Marty Faiers (fiddle) were recorded in Jackson, MS at Fenian's Irish Pub in 2008. The quartet of Greg, Marty, Ed Hritz (whistle, electronic bagpipes, concertina, finger cymbals) and Wayne MacEwan (bodhran) were recorded in Johnstown, PA at The Dugout (2007-08), The Johnstown Irish Cultural Celebration (2007) and TnC's Lounge (2017). Finally, the quintet of Greg, Marty, Ed, Wayne, and Jimmy Crosthwait (washboard) were recorded at Huey's Midtown, in Memphis TN (2007). These recordings have never been made available in a digital format. All of these recordings, with the exception of the 2017 TnC's recording, were previously available on "hard copy" CD's sold at DIB performances. They are now all packaged together in this release.

Dead Irish Blues always strives to engage the audience through either the power of the music or through the poignancy or humor of lyrics. The level of engagement is apparent on many of these tracks as the crowds clap along to the music, shout encouragement, respond to lyrics, or just cheer at the end of a song. Dead Irish Blues has been performing for over 20 years now and these recordings are snapshots of a larger picture which continues to evolve.

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Drunken Debauchery

Dead Irish Blues

Afro-Celtic-Hillbilly music. Songs of drinking and debauchery.

Over the past twenty years, Dead Irish Blues has built up a repertoire of music, mostly derived from the Irish, Appalachian Old-Time, Jug Band, Blues, Zydeco, and Texas Swing traditions. Bawdy, or risqué material can be found in all of these traditions. We have found that, from time to time, these bawdy songs can be useful in getting the attention of a crowd in a pub. Once we play one of these songs, we can either return to other material, or build upon the bawdiness. Until now, we have refrained from putting any of the most risqué material on a CD, but fans at gigs have repeatedly asked for such recordings and we decided to package most of them into the CD we entitled "Drunken Debauchery." These songs are mixed in with various songs of drink and with other less risqué, but yet suggestive, material. All songs are traditional/public domain except Rocky's World and Tulsa Backwards (Greg Faiers).

Song notes:

Mobile Musicians: Greg Faiers (Guitar, Bass, Tenor Banjo, Lead Vocals), Marty Faiers (Fiddle, Backing Vocals), Wayne MacEwan (Washboard)

My dad (Ted Faiers) sang the first verse of this song to the family when I was a kid, except he used the word poop. Later, I realized why he never sang the other verses.

Flies Around My Pretty Little Ass Musicians: Marty Faiers (Fiddle, Backing Vocals), Greg Faiers (Guitar, Bass, Spoons, Lead Vocals), Wayne MacEwan (Washboard)

Greg and Marty picked up this song at various VA/WV/NC festivals, words were changed to protect the guilty. The original song is known as "Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss."

Down Among the Dead Men Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guiars, Bass, Electronic Percussion), Marty Faiers (Fiddle, Octave Fiddle, Backing Vocals), Ed Hrits (Backing Vocals)

Ed Hritz brought this song to the band, being the pirate fan that he is. Various interpretations of this song include the dead men referring to empty bottles of beer/booze or to condemn those not allowing people to drink what they want to drink when they want to drink it.

Mountain Dew Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass), Marty Faiers (Fiddle), Ed Hritz (Whistle), Wayne MacEwan (Bodhran)

An Irish song glorifying the pleasures of whiskey. We sort of add a hillbilly twist.

Weile Weile Waile Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Electronic Percussion), Marty Faiers (Fiddle, Backing Vocals), Ed Hritz (Whistle), Wayne MacEwan (Washboard)

Here DIB takes an Irish song about a woman that kills her child and turns it into a Celtic/Zydeco romp.

Beedle Um Bum Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Kazoos, Cow Bell, Electronic Percussion), Marty Faiers (Mandolin, Backing Vocals), Wayne MacEwan (Washboard)

A Memphis Jug Band song extoling the virtues of a rather "loose" woman in Memphis, Tennessee.

Adam and Eve Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Electronic Percussion) and Marty Faiers (Fiddle)

Another Jug Band song, this one drawing from the Old Testament.

Rocky's World Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Electronic Percussion) and Marty Faiers (Fiddle)

Song by Greg Faiers, celebrating the many attributes of a good friend.

Tulsa Backwards Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Tenor Banjo) and Marty Faiers (Fiddle)

Another Greg Faiers tune, this one about three women, who were all Tulsa Backwards... That is A, S, L, U, T.

My Gal's Pussy Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass) and Marty Faiers (Fiddle and Backing Vocals)

A long time live DIB favorite, especially a hit at the Noble Savage Tavern in Shreveport, LA. It is a lovely song about a cat.

The Mayor of Bayswater's Daughter Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bouzouki, Bass), Marty Faiers (Fiddle), Ed Hritz (Whistle), and Wayne MacEwan (Bodhran). Additional vocals by Marty Faiers, Ed Hritz, Wayne MacEwan and Linda MacEwan.

Speaking of the Noble Savage Tavern, this song was recommended by the past owner (Chef Colby) and a current owner (Eric Johnson). This song is about a woman having to live with a terrible affliction, which hangs down to her knees.

I Saw Her Snatch Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass) and Marty Faiers (Fiddle, Backing Vocals)

An Ozark Mountain song from around 1900. Listen to it one way, and it is a rather innocuous song, listen to it another way, and it is naaaasty.

Jug of This Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass), Marty Faiers (Fiddle and Octave Fiddle), Ed Hritz (Whistle) and Wayne MacEwan (Bodhran)

Traditional Irish song extoling the pleasures of drink.

Dicey Riley Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Percussion) and Marty Faiers (Fiddle, Backing Vocals and Percussion)

A wonderful Irish song about a little woman who just loves to drink.

Look at the Coffin Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals and Guitar), Marty Faiers (Fiddle) with backing vocals by the Mighty Dibtones. 2016/17 Dibtones include Ged and Janet Corrigan, Marty Faiers, Rob and Sally Gordon. Matt and Jen Harnett, Jake and Sharon Johnson, George Kirk and Jeff Rusin

An Irish perspective on death.

Monto Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass), Marty Faiers (Fiddle and Octave Fiddle), Ed Hritz (Whistle), and Wayne MacEwan (Bodhran). Additional backing vocals by Marty Faiers, Ed Hritz, Linda MacEwan and Wayne MacEwan

Monto was the red light district of Dublin. A fun place to be.

The Pioneers Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Bouzuki), Marty Faiers (Mandolin), and Ed Hritz (Whistle). Additional vocals by Ed Hritz and Marty Faiers

By far the most explicitly naughty song on the release. It is a song people will love --- or hate. The height of debauchery, or is it the low of debauchery?

Somebody's Been Using That Thing Musicians: Marty Faiers (Fiddle and Backing Vocals), Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, and Bass), Wayne MacEwan (Washboard)

Originally a jug band song, but also given swing treatment by Milton Brown and His Brownies (this rendition is closest to that). full tilt fiddle romp.

Goodbye Booze Musicians: Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Tenor Banjo), Marty Faiers (Fiddle), with backing vocals by Marty Faiers, Ed Hritz, Linda MacEwan and Wayne MacEwan

A fitting way to end a CD dedicating to drinking and debauchery. A farewell to drink.

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We're Serious This Time!

Dead Irish Blues

The songs on this CD come from or are inspired by various folk music traditions ranging from Celtic to Jugband to Blues to String Band (Hillbilly) and even Tex-Mex.

Dead Irish Blues is based on the shared interest of a variety of traditional music styles. Greg Faiers (Lead Vocals, Guitars, Tenor Banjo and song writer), born in Memphis, TN, brings a life-long interest in the blues and jugband music as well as influences from years living in Louisiana to the group. Marty Faiers, born in Texas, raised in Arkansas and having lived in Eastern Tennessee as an adult, brings a life-long interest of string band, swing, and bluegrass to the group. Marty has won several awards at Fiddler's Conventions (1st place bluegrass fiddle at Galax Old TIme Fiddler's Convention, 1st place twin fiddle at Untion Grove Fiddler's Convention and 1st place bluegrass fiddle/best all around bluegrass musician at the Maury River (VA) Fiddler's Convention). Both Greg and Marty share an interest in Celtic music. These wide-ranging interests/influences are well documented on "We're Serious This Time." Greg and Marty are joined on this recording by Pennsylvania band mates Ed Hritz (whistle and vocals on "The Derelict) and Wayne MacEwan (Bodhran/Spoons and lead vocal on "Black Lung."

Herman Snell, of the Jackson (MS) Free Press probably best described DIB when he wrote "you can't find a more eclectic melting pot of traditional music anywhere." Alexandyr Kent (Shreveport Times) once wrote "Greg is a witty singer and fiery guitar player, and Marty is a champion fiddler. Whatever style of folk music they play - Celtic, blues, jug band, swing, or old-time - these musicians make traditional forms sound vital and warm. Dead Irish Blues celebrates the great songs of old and adds its own ditties to (the) ever-growing annals of folk history.” In regards to live performances, the Fayetteville (AR) Free Weekly referred to DIB as "a high energy and fun duo” while the Anderson (SC) Independent-Mail wrote that DIB is "fun and lively, very engaging and entertaining.”

CD reviewer Bill Ellis (Memphis Commercial Appeal) gave three stars to the 2003 DIB release "Never Here" and observed that on that CD, DIB exhibits "a rambling world view that encompasses Scottish laments, polkas, country ballads, old-timey tunes, blues, spirituals, and whatever else happens to hit their folk alliance fancy. " That same expanse is found on "We're Serious This Time."

While songs of various derivation are scattered throughout the CD, there are some levels of continuity. There are pirate songs (The Derelict and Smith of Bristol which are paired on tracks 4-5), old string band songs (My Ozark Mountain Home and Likes Likker Better Than Me, paired on tracks 9-10), and Celtic songs (Butterfly, Calliope House/Biddy of Sligo, Paddy Works on the Railway and The Parting Glass). Several originals are sprinkled throughout the CD. El Segundo (a song about trying to determine where to move to), If I Had a Monkey (musically inspired by a visit to Galax Old Time Fiddlers Convention, but with lyrics inspired from elsewhere), and When the Rapture Comes (a song ruminating for years, but inspiration for completion took place in May of 2011). The instrumental original "Concrete Builds Better Roads" was inspired by an old concrete company sign in downtown Memphis which made that claim. Multiple trips down I-55 and I-40 in and out of Memphis, however, made that claim suspect. Drunken Lady Blues builds off of a Jimmy Rogers vibe and is a logical follow up song to Likes Likker Better Than Me. While not an original, most of the lyrics to "Tavern on the Moon" were written by Greg Faiers. The original "I'm Building a ____ on the Moon" (now public domain) by Weldon Rogers is the basis for this tune.

The song "You're Bound to Look Like a Monkey" has been recorded at various times over the years from Milton Brown (1935) to Sid Selvidge (2009). This version (with additional lyrics by Greg Faiers is more of a nod to the Milton Brown version. Fourth Street Messaround was recorded by the Memphis Jug Band and has an interesting and unusual chord sequence which makes it fun to play and to sing over. Lastly, the song "Black Lung," written by Jack Shaw (he gave us permission to record the song), is a song Wayne MacEwan would sing acapella at parties, has been a standard DIB song in Pennsylvania performances for years.

The CD cover reflects some of the different themes in the CD, which features multiple references to monkeys, the moon, pirates, and drinking.

Lastly, we'd like to acknowledge the contribution of "The Mighty Dibtones" on tracks 1, 4, 5, and 13. The Mighty Dibtones are: Lauren Blue, Ged Corrigan, Dick Cupp, Patty Derrick, George Kirk, Benjamin MacEwan, Dustin MacEwan, Linda MacEwan, Wayne MacEwan and Jeff Rusin.

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Celtic Studio Recordings: 2003-2006

Dead Irish Blues

These recently re-mastered tracks were recorded in Johnstown, PA between the years 2003 and 2006. About half of the songs are instrumentals, the remaining are good examples of love, war, and drinking songs!

Originally conceived as a duo featuring championship fiddler Marty Faiers and guitarist/vocalist Greg Faiers (who still tour extensively as a duo), Dead Irish Blues released four self-produced CDs between 2003 and 2006. Each of these was a mix of Celtic, Blues, Hillbilly, other traditional folk styles along with original material. The Celtic songs from those CDs are included in this CD. The tracks have been re-mastered for improved sound quality.

The first CD from which this material was drawn from was Gnarly Roots (2003) and was entirely performed by Marty and Greg. Tracks from this CD include Cruiscin Lan (Greg Faiers: Guitar/Vocals/Bouzouki and Marty Faiers: Fiddle), The Star of the County Down (Greg Faiers: Guitar/Vocals/Bass and Marty Faiers: Fiddle/Mandolin), Skibereen (Greg Faiers: Guitar/Vocals and Marty Faiers: Octave Fiddle), Darwin's Follies (written by Greg Faiers, Greg Faiers: Guitar/Vocals/Bouzouki and Marty Faiers: Fiddle), and Whiskey is the Life of Man (Greg Faiers: Vocals/Noise).

In 2004, Ed Hritz and Wayne MacEwan began to perform with Greg and Marty in the greater Johnstown area (along with a few gigs in Pittsburgh and Erie). They contributed to the release of Never Here that year. Songs from that CD in this compilation are Brian Boru's March / Ray's Favorite (Marty Faiers: Fiddle, Ed Hritz: Whistle, and Greg Faiers: Guitar/Bass) and MacPherson's Lament (Greg Faiers: Guitar/Vocals/Banjo and Marty Faiers: Fiddle).

The 2005 release of "The More Things Change" saw Ed and Wayne make more contributions as heard on Campbell's Farewell to Red Gap (Ed Hritz: Electric Bagpipes, Marty Faiers: Fiddle, Greg Faiers: Guitar and Wayne MacEwan: Bodhran), Off She Goes (Marty Faiers: Fiddle, Ed Hritz: Concertina, Greg Faiers: Guitar and Wayne MacEwan Bodhran), Rights of Man (Marty Faiers: Fiddle, Ed Hritz: Whistle, Greg Faiers: Guitar, and Wayne MacEwan: Bodhran), Swallowtail Jig / Road to Lisdoonvarna (Marty Faiers: Fiddle, Ed Hritz: Whistle/Concertina, Greg Faiers: Guitar, and Wayne MacEwan: Bodhran), and the original "It's Time to Drink More Beer (Greg Faiers: Guitar/Vocals/Octave Mandolin/Finger Cymbals, Marty Faiers: Fiddle).

The remaining material was culled from Gone, which was released in 2006. Tracks from this CD include Irish Volunteers (Greg Faiers: Guitar/Vocals/Octave Mandolin, Marty Faiers: Fiddle, Ed Hritz: Whistle, and Wayne MacEwan: Bodhran and Backing Vocals), Introduction to the Second Set (Ed Hritz: Bagpipes and Greg Faiers: Percussion/Noise), Roddy McCorley (Greg Faiers: Guitar/Vocals/Bouzouki, Marty Faiers: Fiddle, Ed Hritz: Electric Bagpipes, and Wayne MacEwan: Bodhran and Backing Vocals), Lord Byron's Favorite (Marty Faiers: Fiddle, Ed Hritz: Whistle, Greg Faiers: Bass and Wayne MacEwan: Bodhran), and Trip to Sligo / Lark in the Morning (Greg Faiers: Guitars/Vocals/Bass, Marty Faiers: Fiddle, Ed Hritz: Whistle, and Wayne MacEwan: Bodhran).

Not only have these tracks been re-mastered, but this is the first time these tracks have been made available for download in any form.

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Gone

Dead Irish Blues

This song was written in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I lived for many years in Baton Rouge, LA and have friends from New Orleans, several of whom suffered directly, or indirectly, from that storm. The lyrics could apply to most any flood.

Dead Irish Blues performs a wide range of musical styles, many are traditional/public domain songs, but some are originals. This is an original, arranged in a blues style, documenting the impacts of Hurricane Katrina. However, the lyrics are vague enough to apply to those impacted by floods in other locations. Having lived in Johnstown, PA (Flood City) for many years, we've known many people impacted by devastating floods.

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