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The Stoneybatter Band are a six-piece folk band that, as they put it themselves, are “reminiscent of the great Irish band Planxty”. And they’re rather good too. But here’s the twist…

They also describe themselves as “the newest, baddest band in town with the name everyone loves to hate. Organized in Ashland, MA. Playing wooden instruments. Smokn’ tunes. Brilliant songs.”

Yep, you heard it right. They’ve nothing (not directly anyway, as far as I can see) to do with Stoneybatter in Dublin, and don’t come from Prosperous in Co Kildare. Ashland is a town in Massachusetts, about 30 kilometres west of Boston.

Here are two splendid tracks from their first album – an instrumental track and a ballad that almost sounds like a sea shanty – plus a couple of YouTube vids. The last one, “The Autumn Leaf”, would do Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny proud.

It’s a cracking tune featuring their bouzouki man, George “Mustachio” Arata. Wonder how he got the nickname. He also plays a Kaossilator, which seems to be a Korg synthesizer.

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Check out their website for more info.

By fair means or foul, I’m going to sneak a tune or two by the Stoneybatter Band into my next Moss Reid novel. Promise.

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