Potcheen Folk Band
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Potcheen Folk Band

Band Rock Celtic


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The best kept secret in music


"2006 Colorado Irish Festival Kick Off Party"

“Named after the notorious Irish “moonshine”, The Potcheen Folk Band is a highly spirited group of musicians who play a unique style of Celtic Folk Rock. They pride themselves on songs of Irish rebellion, love, immigration and drink. Brace yourselves – This is not your Grand Dad’s folk Band! And speaking of an expanding fan base, the increasingly popular band will roll down from Evergreen with their new tour bus and move you towards the dance floor with foot stompingmusic. For obvious reaons there will be no seating on or near the dance floor!”

- The Celtic Connection

"South Park Music Festival"

“After seeing & photographing the 140 different bands throughout the South Park Music Festival in Fairplay, Co., I can truly say that Potcheen was one of the top three acts I saw, their energy was unbelievable, they packed the Legion Hall to capacity with a line outside and folks crowding around every window. The response from the crowd was unlike anything I saw all weekend. People were dancing on top of every tabletop (soem even collapsed). The bar ran out of whiskey and guiness and had to send runners out for more. The light fixtures were swinging and they slayed the crowd!”.
- Riff Magazine

""Best Booze Cruise invoking the Spirit of the Irish"

Best of Denver 2006
Arts & Entertainment
Potcheen Folk Band's Booze Cruise
Last fall, the Potcheen Folk Band shelled out for a 1983 MCI Crusader 2 coach bus. Talk about a great investment -- not to mention a phenomenally brilliant marketing ploy. Several times a month, the magic bus -- outfitted with several video monitors, plentiful seating and a fully stocked cooler full of brews -- makes stops at numerous pre-determined locales across the Front Range like a gambling charter. The booze cruise then shuttles fans to whatever venue the Irish-centric act happens to be playing that night for several hours of drunken whiskey songs, rebel songs and general pirate debauchery, then deposits them back at their cars with (hopefully) plenty of time to sober up. Did I mention this band kicks ass!!! - The 2006 "Best of" Westword

"The potcheen Folk Band takes captive fans on a mystery tour"

Who / What:
Potcheen Folk Band
Music Genre:

Magic Bus
The Potcheen Folk Band takes captive fans on a mystery tour.
By Dave Herrera

Published: Thursday, October 13, 2005

I'm Irish, but I'm not a leprechaun. Yeah, I know. That's Whitey Ford's line, and I'm about as Irish as Antonio Banderas. Nevertheless, this past Saturday night, I had so much fun with a scrappy Celtic rock outfit called the Potcheen Folk Band -- drummer Chris Blochinger, guitarist/ vocalist Chris Shelby, bassist Dave La Mothe and fiddle player Michelle MacGregor -- that I'm actually considering changing my name to Davey O'Herrera. I guess three straight hours of "whiskey songs, rebel songs and general pirate debauchery" will do that to a guy.

Prior to last weekend , I'd never even heard of Potcheen. But I was so intrigued by the band's unique approach to marketing, which Blochinger had touted on a local message board, that I was willing to sacrifice an entire Saturday evening to experience it for myself. The act recently purchased a 1983 MCI Crusader 2 coach bus, which it has been using to transport fans to shows. Talk about a brilliant idea. Aside from the guaranteed draw, imagine the ability to provide fans and their friends with a way to come to a group's shows and drink like Bukowski (no doubt music to prospective club owners' ears) without having to worry about getting behind the wheel. There have been Rockies and Broncos shuttles for years, but as far as I know, Potcheen is the first band to offer this sort of rock-n-ride.

I met up with the band at the designated pick-up point in the Safeway parking lot at Evans and Downing around 6:30 p.m. After exchanging handshakes and pleasantries, Shelby collected a ten-d ollar gas donation from each of the dozen or so fans who were gathered, and then we boarded the bus. Within minutes, we were headed north on I-25, on our way to Nederland. There was a distinct summer-camp party vibe inside the vehicle, which was adorned with four flags in the windows representing the heritage of the individual bandmembers -- all of whom were present except for MacGregor, who opted to drive herself to avoid getting carsick. As a Nirvana video played on monitors, folks happily filled their bladders with complimentary PBRs.

Not the smartest move, considering that the bathroom on the party wagon is off limits, at least for the time being. Fortunately, our merry rovers didn't have to wait too long for a potty/smoke break. Shortly after we made our way up the U.S. 36 corridor, Blochinger realized that he had forgotten to check the gas, so he pulled over onto the shoulder to assess the petrol sitch. Apparently, the fuel gauge hasn't worked since the group bought the bus (which, incidentally, cost less than your average SUV), and the only way to monitor the bus's supply is to shine a light directly into the gas tank.

Blochinger determined we had enough for the trip, and the magical mystery tour continued. Before I knew it, we were winding our way up the canyon. Well, "winding" is a bit of a stretch. We were actually crawling at about fifteen miles per hour. After what seemed like forever -- most likely because I hadn't taken the opportunity to answer nature's call when everyone else did, and my back teeth were floating by then -- we finally reached the 1st Street Pub & Grill in Nederland. The place was mostly empty save for a handful of locals -- and the captive audience.

Just then, it dawned me that the key word was "captive," which is what I was. I still hadn't a heard a note from these performers and had no idea what I was in for. If it sucked, I was stuck, committed until closing time. I knew there was no way I could talk any of my friends into coming to pick me up.

Luckily, Potcheen turned out to be awesome. With a sound akin to Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys, thanks mainly to Shelby's gravely, garbled vocal style, Potcheen transformed that quaint little mountain tavern into a rollicking Irish pub. Even more noteworthy was MacGregor's exceptional fiddle playing, which danced atop traditional arrangements with the ease and grace of Michael Flatley. Named after Irish moonshine, the band pounded out song after song about drinking. And the more it played, the rowdier and drunkier everyone got. "To all the people who came up on the bus with us," Blochinger said from the stage in his best Irish accent, "drink in moderation. We don't need you throwing up on the bus on the way home."

Potcheen continued its barrage for two more neck-breaking sets, tearing through at least thirty songs over the course of the night. It was a great scene, with folks locking arms and Riverdancing in front of the stage. The band outlasted just about everybody. By the end of final set, only a few of us were left. Around 1:20, after a rousing rendition of "Go On Home, British Soldiers" -- during which several people sang along with the lines "We're Irish!/And proud we are to be/So fuck your Union Jack/We want our country back" -- the group closed with "Drunken Sailor," which couldn't have been more apropos, especially considering what happened next.

As the band was clearing its gear from the stage, one of our drunken sailors was outside tangling with a local mountain man, whom he'd managed to provoke while the guy was sitting with friends in his back yard next to a bonfire -- presumably minding his own business. Moments after our guy mumbled something about "these people trying to test his strength" and "how he'd show them," a minor melee ensued, with the local yokel taking one to the chin.

Things were quickly diffused -- or so we thought -- when our brawling boy got back on the bus and Hillbilly Bob headed back to his shack. Then, as we sat inside, waiting for the Potcheen machine to heat up, Captain Insane-o returned, inexplicably wanting to fight the entire entourage. "Get out of here with your bus," he bellowed to no one in particular. "You're not welcome here. I don't like your bus or the people you bring."

Sorry, Captain.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one impressed with Potcheen. Before we headed back down the the manager at 1st Street told me that she wants to have them back real soon. It's going to be a while before the band can make it back, though, because Potcheen is booked until January. That means there will be plenty of chances for you to get aboard this Celtic caravan and have the time of your life. Word to the wise, though: If you go, bring Dramamine, and don't sit in the front. On the way home, I finally understood why MacGregor opted not to take the bus.

Let's just say it's not easy being green. - The Westword

"The Potcheen Folk Band"

*Rob Williams, Buzz Magazine:
“Surrounded by Celtic Tapestries, pirate flags and endless pints of beer, this band can make any room into a little slice of Ireland. Combining traditional Irish Themes (drink, Love & Politics) with punk attitude and a rapid fire delivery that’s sure to make your toes tap and your throat gasp for a Guinness”
- Buzz Magazine

"Celtic Rocker: Potcheen Folk Band"

* The Canyon Courier newspaper:

“Potcheen turned the crowd into a frollicking band of screaming pirates yelling " ARRRGGG" and "Up She Rises"
The floor was shaking as the entire bar
was dancinf in high spirits. Grab a pint and lend an Irish ear to the high energy Potcheen Folk Band. You’ll find yourself doing a jig in no time”. - The Canyon Courier


2005 The Potcheen Folk Band
2006 Up She Rises

available at CDBaby.com/thepotcheenfolkband


Feeling a bit camera shy


AS a young Irish-American lad, Christopher Shelby became entrhalled with his heritage when his uncle turned him on to various Celtic musicians. Over the years he practiced playing guitar and learning his craft then during his first years in college, he spied an article about an Open Mic in Evergreen,Co. There he met Christian Blochinger the host/drummer/percussionist and resident comedian and began playing together. A refreshing change from Blues, R&B, Rock and Jam flavored music, Christian soon took a liking to Celtic Music. At the college, Shelby soon met two fellow music afficiandos who shared his interest in his Irish heritage and music. Angela Kimber & Dave LaMothe a classically trained cellist and rocking bass player respectively came together and the Potcheen Folk Band was formed. Almost a year later, One of Colorado's top fiddle players, Michelle MacGregor joined the group sharing her vast knoweldge of Scottish-Celt music to Bring THE POTCHEEN FOLK BAND. Together, PFB has been exploding across the front range of Colorado entertaining folks with their brand of high energy Celtic Pirate-Rock. This summer (2005) we have been entralled to play alongside top Celtic bands like; Gaelic Storm & The Elders & National artists like Rusty Anderson (Paul McCartney). The Potcheen Folk Band is sponsored by BHI inc., Globalsound studios and Bunratty Meade & Winery. Helping us spread the good word and flavor that is Potcheen Whiskey........Slainte' (cheers).

Bobby Sands, Shane McGowan & The Pogues, Seven Nations, Gaelic Storm, Derek Warfield & the Wolfetones, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphy, Black 47, Great Big Sea, the Chieftans, Bob Marley, The Grateful Dead, The String Cheese Incident, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, The Police, Van Morrison. U2, Tool, Madness, Nirvana

Take a blender..then add some Pogues, Young Dubliners, Gaelic Storm, Great Big Sea, Flogging Molly and add in a touch of Ska, some trad tunes and some jams. Put it on Puree. Order up some shots of Whiskey, many pints of guinness board a ship set sail and wave a flag. YARRRR!!!!