Wild Colonial Bhoys
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Wild Colonial Bhoys

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States | INDIE

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Celtic


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Review of "Live... What's it to Ya?!""

For those of you fine people who have seen the St. Paul, Minnesota Celtic Rock band Wild Colonial Bhoys perform live on stage, you already know how they captivate the crowd with their near-perfect studio-ready sound, original arrangements, and charisma.

Wild Colonial Bhoys consist of frontman Adam Coolong on vocals and guitar, Geno Carlson on guitar and vocals, Cody McKinney on bass and vocals, and on this disc Tony Comeau on fiddle, and Pete Hennig on drums. Now… this lineup tends to change based upon who is brought together onstage. However Adam, Geno, and Cody are the core members to this Celtic Rock Kick Assery Ensemble.

Unlike many of the “Live” CDs that I have received over the years in Celtic Rock & Punk… this CD is almost a “Best of Celtic Rock”, featuring WCB originals like Hair of the Dog, I Am Ireland, Better Off, and more. They also have some great covers of Spirit of the West’s Home For A Rest, Steve Earle’s Galway Girl, Charlie and the Bhoys’ Charlie and the MTA, and some killer versions of everyone’s favorite staple pub songs like Wild Rover, Come Out, Ye Black and Tans, and more!

It’s one hell of a set list here my friends… great if you are looking to have a Celtic Rockin St. Pat’s party at your pub, house, or wherever you may be. Live… What’s It To Ya?! is a recording capturing some high powered, smack you in the face with some great musicianship… you know… Wild Colonial Bhoys in their element! Pick this one up for sure and go see them live at a city near you… you won’t be disappointed.

- www.paddyrock.com

""Almost Live... Seven Second Delay" Review"

With just two guitars and a seemingly misspelled name, the Wild Colonial Bhoys – Adam Coolong and Geno Carlson – tell hundreds of years of history, dazzle culture-rich audiences and support a Scottish soccer team.

Only in a cozy pub in Dublin could you find such diverse artistic expression.

The Wild Colonial Bhoys – the different spelling showing their love for Glasgow Celtic Football Club – bring both the feel a vibrant pub atmosphere and the rich storytelling of Irish culture into their second release “Almost Live… Seven Second Delay.”

The 15-track album recorded live at The Dubliner Pub in St. Paul in 2004 expresses a gambit of emotion, both musically and lyrically. From the melodic and nostalgic strands of “The Fields of Athenry” to the volatile and explosive lyrics of “Celtic Symphony,” – a song adamantly supporting Celtic (in this instance pronounced “SELL-tic”) – the dual guitar act shows why it is the premier Irish rock act in the Twin Cities.

Coolong tests his vast vocal range in the U2 hit “Where the Streets Have No Name” as well as “Death Valley Queen,” while Carlson’s adds memorable depth through harmony on “Billy Reid.”

The title “Almost Live… Seven Second Delay” was contrived as a tongue-in-cheek response to Janet Jackson’s infamous “Wardrobe Malfunction” during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII. This is fitting, considering on the track “Home For a Rest,” The Bhoys show their never-yielding approach to throwing PC and corporate music trends aside. The tune focuses on a man’s month long bender, personified by the line “These so-called ‘vacations’ will soon be my death/I’m so sick of the drink/I need home for a rest.” Even with the possible backlash from the faint of heart, the song encapsulates some of the best dual-guitar work they have produced yet, highlighted by a 16-second Carlson instrumental midway through as intoxicating as the pint of Guinness the audience is consuming.

The album itself is a rhythmic display of true Irish culture in the United States, and the musical talent of Coolong and Carlson make this album a perfect mix of authenticity for the culturally inclined and catchy enough for the average music fan.
- Fargo Forum

"Review of "Irish In America""

"The Wild Colonial Boy," Australia's most famous bushranger ballad, is as likely to be sung by Irish and Irish-American singers as by Australians. There is no firm consensus on the ballad's historical origins, but one reasonable guess is that the title character was Jack Donohue, killed in a gun battle with police near Sydney in 1830. It is known that a song composed soon after his death, "Bold Jack Donohue," roused the ire of the authorities, who banned it as seditious.

"Bhoys" -- or "b'hoys" -- came out of the early 19th-century New York City street culture. They were working-class dandies who evolved into violent gangs, though not before being romanticized by Walt Whitman, who wrote of them: First to ride, to fight, to hit the bull's eye, to sail a skiff, to sing a song or play on the banjo....

In the present instance, the Wild Colonial Bhoys are two Minneapolis Irish folk musicians, guitarists Adam Coolong and (the obviously non-Celtic monikered) Geno Carlson. The Twin Cities -- St. Paul more so than Minneapolis -- harbor a rich Irish culture and musicians to match, including the one Altan member who does not live in Ireland, singer/guitarist Daithe Sproule. Irish in America is the Bhoys' third album. I have not heard the other two, and while I am a fellow Minnesotan, I learned of the Bhoys' existence only recently.

In the Pogues' wake a movement that eventually adopted the somewhat misleading name "Celtic rock" has arisen. One might presume that any rock band, however fundamentally American in its sound (e.g., U2) from a Celtic nation could be called a "Celtic rock" outfit. There is even an Internet Celtic-rock radio station, playing not Irish generic-rock but jittery, punked-up pub standards (mostly from the Clancy Brothers and Dubliners songbook) and originals composed in the style. Overwhelmingly, as with the Pogues, the songs celebrate drunkenness and other liquor-fueled antisocial behavior. The other tradition of Irish drinking songs -- the mournful, morning-after complaints -- is nowhere apparent. What I've heard of it tells me it's mostly dance music, best enjoyed with a serious buzz on in the company of flailing, sweating bodies. Otherwise, it's good for about an hour or two's listening pleasure, by which time its limitations as a musical form in a non-pub context become all too evident.

If you think this is all leading up to a pan, you are mistaken. This is a confident and accomplished album by a couple of talented singers and players, backed by some of the Upper Midwest's best Irish musicians, not the least of them the venerable uillean-pipes master Tom Dahill, who has championed traditional Irish music in Minnesota and Wisconsin for decades. When the songs -- none traditional, but all nodding to traditional models -- start to rock, one is likely to think of what Fairport Convention might have sounded like if this very English band were Irish. I have nothing against the Pogues -- in fact, I rather like them -- but I am not convinced the world needs dozens of bands whose purpose is to replicate them.
Of course, the opening cut, "Hair of the Dog" (by Coolong and Carlson), is very much a Pogues-like piece rhythmically and thematically, and it may lead you to anticipate more of the same. Then, unexpectedly and even oddly, the next cut turns out to be Nanci Griffith's earnest anti-racist anthem "It's a Hard Life Wherever You Go." It's not a bad song, and I heartily endorse its point of view, and it's done well enough, but its presence here -- even with its Irish geographical and musical settings -- may lead you to some reflexive head-scratching. Lest things get too serious, however, the Bhoys follow it with another original, the very witty "Once," which manages to blur the distinction between Celtic and Buddy Holly musical traditions. Another original, "Better Off," amusingly drops in an allusion or two to the Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da." And "Days of Rage" is pure Irish Dylan.

The rest of the album alternates between acoustic and electric material. It all manages to be of a piece, however -- in other words, a 21st-century take on Ireland's native sounds. Original or cover, each song stands by its distinctive self, each with its own sensibility and personality, yet linked in an unbroken circle. Perhaps the best of them is the ambitious, poignant title song -- about precisely what its title indicates -- performed as a tasteful, unadorned acoustic folk ballad.

Any musician looking for a terrific new old-sounding Irish song to add to the repertoire needs look no further.
- www.rambles.net

"Paddyrock Review of Irish in America"

“The Wild Colonial Bhoys have taken on an impossible task and made it work… original songs that hit it big with me both lyrically and musically throughout a whole CD.

A duo of acoustic guitars with some of the best original tunes I’ve heard in a while by a duo turned up to 11 with their rockin’ band backing them.

The best way to describe their sound on this CD is take the Young Dubliners, The Elders, Carbon Leaf, and Great Big Sea into a blender… you’d have a Wild Colonial Bhoy smoothie!

Pick this one up… you won’t be disappointed!” - www.paddyrock.com

"Review of Live Show at Irish Fair of Minnesota 2009"

“The Wild Colonial Bhoys have perfected their craft and seem to be ready to reap the rewards. These guys should be on stage at every major Irish music festival in North America as they easily and happily performed a flawless set for the huge and appreciative crowd that turned out in their native Minneapolis / St. Paul.

You will most definitely see more of this band as the cream always eventually rises to the top.” - www.irishamericanworld.blogspot.com

"Review of "Live... What's it to Ya?!" from MIF"

"As a long-fan of Minneapolis-based duo Wild Colonial Bhoys, it was with mixed feelings that I anticipated the arrival of a live recording with a fully fleshed-out band... I have always enjoyed watching Adam and Geno bounce around the stage with such enthusiasm, coupled with musical brilliance that I wondered what the full band would do to the experience.

Having listened to "Live... What's it to Ya?!" I can say I was worried about nothing... The tracks on the CD do a magnificent job of displaying the band's playful energy with songs and tunes of their own making and from other artists... the lads are in fine shape as they stamp their particular style on each rendition."
- Midwest Irish Focus newspaper

"Reivew of "Irish in America MIF April 2008"

Hailing from Minneapolis, MN, Adam Coolong and Geno Carlson are two rather unlikely ambassadors of Irish culture. But it is precisely their rock and roll roots, combined with Coolong's fierce passion for Irish history that fuel "Irish In America".

And it is Irish history that provides the framework for this CD as the pacing from one song to the next almost evokes the waves of emigration that is the story of the Irish in America.

From the start of the CD, with the hard-rocking "Hair of the Dog", Coolong and Carlson make it clear that they are coming from a very contemporary place as their raise the roof with their energetic singing. But in the very next track, you begin to hear a bit of history as Coolong sings his own arrangement of the 1989 Nanci Griffith hit "It's a Hard Life Wherever You Go", before returning once more to the party with the bouncy "Once".

In the fourth track, "Days of Rage", Coolong begins to demonstrate the depth of not only his grasp of Irish history but his musicianship as well. In this song he is also deftly assisted with some amazing uillean pipe playing by Tom Dahill, and accomplished balladeer in his own right.

The tracks that follow, especially the title track, serve as an exceptional soundtrack for the story of Irish immigration and what followed. Another highlight is a WCB arrangement of "Grace" in which Coolong's normally gravelly voice seems to show a softer side.

But it is the last two tracks of the CD that get to the heart of the matter, with "I Am Ireland" proving a sturdy anthem for those identifying with their ancestors from the Emerald Isle and "The Peoples' Own MP", a tribute to the men who died on hunger strike as political prisoners in Belfast prisons, most notably Bobby Sands, MP.

Overall, the musicianship of both Coolong and Carlson, assisted by Dahill and a handful of very talented musicians, is on par with any group headlining Irish festivals anywhere in the country.

As a musical effort, "Irish In America" is superb. As a history lesson, it is exceptional.
- Midwest Irish Focus newspaper

"WCB Makes Top 20 Celtic Rock Albums of 2009"

WCB's album "Live... What's it to Ya?!" was ranked #14 on Paddyrock.com's "Best of Celtic Rock and Punk for 2009" list. Not bad for a November 2009 release! - paddyrock.com

"WCB Cracks the Top 10"

WCB's album "Irish In America" was ranked #9 on Paddyrock.com's "Best of Celtic Rock and Punk for 2007" list. - paddyrock.com


Live... What's it to Ya?! ---2009
Irish in America ---2007
Almost Live... Seven Second Delay ---2005
Graffiti on the Wall --2004



It’s been six years, four albums, hundreds of shows and thousands of miles, and the Wild Colonial Bhoys are only beginning.

This past year they have played Irish festivals across the Midwest, headlining several in the process. They have been featured three times on NBC TV’s Twin Cities affiliate KARE-11. They were chosen to include a track on Home for the Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas, a charity compilation featuring 15 of the A-list of Minnesota musicians, AND they released their own new album, Live…What’s it to Ya?!, selling out their CD release show to boot.

The album, their second release for Loud Folk Records, features fifteen tracks that display the Bhoys at their best—playing a high-energy live show for an adoring crowd and showcasing their considerable musical talents. Featuring their full band (Adam Coolong on lead vocals and guitar, Geno Carlson on guitar and vocals, Cody McKinney on bass and vocals, Tony Comeau on fiddle and Pete Hennig on drums), the album is a definitive example of a sweaty live WCB show.

As Paddyrock.com puts it, “this CD is almost a “Best of Celtic Rock”, featuring WCB originals like Hair of the Dog, I Am Ireland, Better Off, and more. They also have some great covers of Spirit of the West’s Home For A Rest, Steve Earle’s Galway Girl, Charlie and the Bhoys’ Charlie and the MTA, and some killer versions of everyone’s favorite staple pub songs like Wild Rover, Come Out, Ye Black and Tans, and more!”

“We wanted an album that captured the feeling of our live show so that people who weren’t there could experience it,” says guitarist Geno Carlson. “We wanted people to have some classics that feature regularly in our shows but we haven’t recorded yet, as well as some new material”. On this CD the Bhoys live up to their ability to connect with and excite a crowd, as they have done all over the Midwest, as well as the East Coast of the US and Ireland.

Bassist Cody McKinney notes “we’ve set some high goals for ourselves in the upcoming year. We want to tour more, as well as release a new studio album.” From their humble beginnings as simply Adam and Geno playing acoustic guitar duo shows, the Wild Colonial Bhoys have begun their transformation into a Celtic rock tour-de-force. They are turning heads all over America and 2010 promises to be their brightest year yet.