Bill Grogan's Goat is a collective of five Detroit musicians who have played on and off together for many years on the Detroit music scene. Over the span of their musical careers the five have covered musical styles ranging from symphonic band music to hardcore punk rock, from solo Irish ballad singing to avant garde Jazz. All these influences come together to bring a fresh approach to classic Irish folk music. Utilizing a rock band format of bass, drums, guitars and traditional instruments such as Irish bouzouki, tin whistle, mandolin, fiddle and highland pipes, Bill Grogan's Goat offers a hard, but highly listenable blend that will get the club up.
Matt Twomey - Bass
Jude Closson - drums and percussion
Norman Rosenbaum - Guitar
Gerard Smith - Guitar, mandolin, bodhran, Tenor Banjo, Irish bouzouki
Mindy Whalen - Guitar, Fiddle, bouzouki, Tin Whistle, highland pipes
Bill Grogan's Goat (Debut album)
Bill Grogan's Goat: Second Wind review
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The skirl of the pipes opening this album may suggest a lonely loch somewhere, but in fact emanate ...The skirl of the pipes opening this album may suggest a lonely loch
somewhere, but in fact emanate from Detroit, a place so firmly associated with Motown that it comes as a surprise to realise that the Motor City has a small but thriving folk-rock scene. The second album from Bill Grogan’s Goat is an enjoyable but relatively straight-forward affair that turbo-charges a lively set of venerable tunes with a punky, high-speed ethic that suggests The Pogues are also popular in downtown Detroit.
There’s a rascally playfulness in the rocked-up Drunken Sailor, whose
frantic see-saw rhythm would definitely induce a bit of sea-sickness
in the hapless mariner. Greenwood Sidee begins ala Bo Diddley, before
falling into a rollicking version that’s reminiscent in places of late 60s US
psych-folk rockers, Kaleidoscope. Aside from a misguidedly plodding cod-metal Danny Boy, it’s mostly all jolly fare to be sure. One imagines it’d be brilliant in a bar where the Guinness is flowing.
Bill Grogan's Goat : Second Wind
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Bill Grogan’s Goat: Second Wind By Mustard Finnegan on January 25th, 2012 at 1:56 pm Posted In: CD...Bill Grogan’s Goat: Second Wind
By Mustard Finnegan on January 25th, 2012 at 1:56 pm
Posted In: CD Review
Looks can be deceptive. Looking at the band picture on the back side of the Second Wind sleeve (the 2nd album no less), Bill Grogan’s Goat (apologies to the band) look like a middle-aged folk rock band permanently stuck playing the Sunday opening spot of some poorly attended, Irish festive in some middle of nowhere, mid-Western state – the track list (all standards) doesn’t take away from the assumption. The music? We’ll its all that but just louder, faster and dirtier and more Motor City guitar riffs then you could ever imagine Irish folk to be. Iggy and The Stooges meets The Clancy’s Brothers and its good and at times skull crushing amazing – the version of Danny Boy is my song of the year so far – post grunge, industrial with a riff and tone that would make Tony Iommi proud. Kick out the jams Paddy Rockers.
Bill Grogan's Goat debut album review (2012)
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Hang on to your hats as this CD starts spinning. And do not expect a traditional rendition of "The W...Hang on to your hats as this CD starts spinning. And do not expect a traditional rendition of "The Wild Rover," as this guy is roving on speed.
The band Bill Grogan's Goat shows its love of the genre and professionalism as matters settle down a bit for some more sauntering on "As I Roved Out."
I was intrigued by the intro on the wonderful "Three Drunken Maidens," that old English folk song stolen centuries ago and sold as Irish. The lads do not disappoint in the rest of the delivery and give us a lovely song.
Poor auld Percy French would never recognise his "Little Brigid Flynn" in her new folk-rock finery, but a new generation does get a chance to discover him as a writer with this band as interpreters. Few of the Riverdance crew would even attempt to dance to "Horn Pipeline" when the "Boys of Blue Hill" take off at breakneck speed. I can see this as a concert track having people dancing in the aisles.
Listening to this album the first time is a voyage of discovery and maybe a bit of apprehension. We look at that lovely old track listing and then wait for the first few bars to find out how the Goat will deliver it. "The Black Velvet Band" sticks fairly much to its usual arrangement and is a joy.
The Black & Tans would never come out if presented by the wall of sound that this band gives to Dominic Behan's stirring song. "Star of the County Down" has been around for ages. Every young lad in Ireland learned -- and often hated -- it as part of singing classes with the Christian Brothers. Then Van Morrison made it cool. This version is equally good and may redeem it again in those once-young singers' minds. "Whiskey in the Jar" is well shaken before they relax -- a little -- for "The Banks of the Roses."
This is not an album for your purist uncle or granny, but if you know a young person who thinks Irish music is boring, here is the antidote.
by Nicky Rossiter
25 February 2012
Bill Grogan's Goat debut album review (2007)
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Bill Grogan's Goat, Bill Grogan's Goat (Sounds of Seamus, 2007) When the Clancy Brothers & Tomm...Bill Grogan's Goat,
Bill Grogan's Goat
(Sounds of Seamus, 2007)
When the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem invented a style of Irish-music presentation in the 1950s, they built a bridge between the nation's rural singing traditions and the world's popular culture. Known variously as "pub singers" and "ballad groups," CB&TM and those who followed them -- most famously, the Dubliners -- provided elemental instrumental backing plus a repertoire of songs to which bar, club and concert-hall audiences could easily sing along, with hooky choruses, driving arrangements and appealing if uncomplicated harmonies.
From the 1970s onwards, popular Irish folk music evolved into the Celtic-music movement, which fused the pub style's emphasis on songs and vocals to the often intricate instrumental styles rooted in the countryside.
Irish pub music never has died out, though for a time it was disdained (not entirely fairly) as hopelessly square. In the 1980s the Pogues used it as the basis for a wild, rhythmic folk-punk-rock, which took the likes of "The Irish Rover" to startlingly unexpected places, yet without ever really betraying their fundamental character. Since then, a Pogues-flavored Celtic rock movement has planted its flag on the far margins of the rock and folk scenes. Thus, the Detroit-based Bill Grogan's Goat, which consists of five players with experience of playing just about every style of music in their native city.
The original "Bill Grogan's Goat" was a comic American folk song, not to be found on this disc, which opens with the standard "Wild Rover." It's done at rousing pub tempo, not as the gloomy, angry slow ballad -- the doubtless more "authentic" one -- that some Anglo-Celtic singers prefer. This "Wild Rover," awash in crunchy chords and feedback, gives one the impression of a harder sound than in fact the listener encounters thereafter. What one hears is undeniably guitar rock (with some Irish instruments buried in the mix) as performed by experienced practitioners, but those gorgeous melodies remain splendidly attired even if the garb is nontraditional. One does not get the impression that the guys of BGG are slumming or putting out some novelty exercise; they love the music, and they clearly have a feeling for it.
If the 13 cuts are overwhelmingly familiar ones, they're nonetheless welcome in these ears. "Black Velvet Band," "Star of the Country Down," "Whiskey in the Jar" and their like can be done badly, but even delivered with minimal competence, their lyrics and melodies are so rich that they ordinarily stand on their own. BGG delivers them with rather more than merely passable skill. I am particularly drawn to the few songs not heretofore known to me (e.g., Dominic Behan's "Come Out, Ye Black & Tans"), but everything here is pretty much guaranteed to provide satisfaction. BGB manages a nice balance of the tried-and-true and the new, and in the process attests to the enduring charm of a body of songs that only the most cynical would dismiss as chestnuts.
Bill Grogan's Goat debut album review
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Artist: Bill Grogan’s Goat Album: Bill Grogan’s Goat Year produced: 2007 This album isn’t for t...Artist: Bill Grogan’s Goat
Album: Bill Grogan’s Goat
Year produced: 2007
This album isn’t for the faint of heart. Full of style and energy, Bill Grogan’s Goat manages to bring their own spin to traditional Irish music in a way that is sure to please those who enjoy high-energy music. There are a wide range of tracks here, and the CD is quite fun to listen to. Some songs here hover at about 3 minutes, and there is a track that goes on for over 17. Take in unique versions of favorites such as “Whiskey in the Jar” and “Black Velvet Band” and be sure to stick around for the hidden track at the end for an additional surprise.
These five Detroit musicians are adept at playing their instruments and the delivery here is polished and professional without being overly produced. The feel of the arrangements is new and different though, giving them a sound that is quite unlike your average Celtic band. These guys have something new to say–and play–and they are definitely worth a listen. And you won’t feel cheated since there are plenty of tracks to kick back and soak up.
If you’re looking for a high-energy, Celtic rock band that isn’t afraid to take on traditional Celtic and folk tunes by reinventing them and adding a bit of rock n’ roll to the tunes, then Bill Grogan’s Goat is the band you’ve been seeking. The diversity of the musicians that make up this band is what makes this new spin on Irish music so do-able. And the best part is…it’s done well!
Bill Grogan’s goat is a combination of bass, drums, guitars as well as traditional Irish bouzouki, tin whistle, mandolin, and five-string banjo. This is an exciting alternative to the average rock band as well as the growing legion of Celtic rock bands that are around today.
We can play a three set night of Celtic rock. These sets could include all of the hits, such as "The Wild Rover", "Whiskey in the Jar" and "The Black Velvet Band", as well as more obscure numbers like "Three Drunken Maidens" or "Van Diemen's Land".
There are no upcoming dates at this time.