what-a-country.jpg

These Boston boys gratuitously misuse images of Smurfs on their album cover. This album has absolutely nothing to with Smurfs, however– it’s a folksy rendering of some traditional Irish songs and tunes, and a couple of original pieces as well.

Basically, I spent 50 cents on this album because I like the copyright-infringing artwork. So sue me! The actual music is fairly ordinary céilí band stuff that gets pretty annoying when the dudes sing. They play some tunes that I’m told will get you run out of town if you play them at Irish sessions, they’re so common and boring.

When there’s singing, I have the opposite of empathy. When they sing “Skibbereen,” a nice depressing ballad about having to leave Ireland during the potato famine, I want to groan, since it means the off-key singer smurf probably ended up here in Boston to annoy us with his annoyingly wobbly voice and cheesy arrangements.

However, whoever did the art direction is awesome. Never mind the fact that the smurfs are sailing from a land off the coast of Delaware to Boston (Ireland is way further north), the musicians have SMURF COUNTERPARTS listed on the back cover. I never associated Smurfs with Ireland, but I forever shall.

what-a-back.jpg what-a-deatail.jpg

One Ireland, Free – an original song written by the Celticaires themselves.


that is pretty damn awesome


For someone so apt at pointing out the mistakes on the album, you started by mispelling the name of the band leader. It’s Mike Connolly, not McConnolly… for starters!
Secondly, as the daughter of the lead singer, I can tell you as a little girl I was very excited to watch my dad set up the smurfs on that little boat to take the picture for the cover, as the smurfs were all the rage, then. As for the positioning of the coastlines between Ireland and the USA…thats how it fit on the cover!
As for the band, they were well loved throughout the Boston area for years! Booked repeatedly at many well known Irish establishments throughout New England.
Mike Connolly, in particular, is someone to be admired, not made fun of. As a young man Mike lost both his hands, just below the elbows, in an accident. Although he could no longer play the accordian, he did play the harmonica…and played it well! Better, I’m sure than you could, without hands, and only hooks to work with!
As for my father, not a drop of Irish blood in him! He was however born on St. Patrick’s Day and married an Irish woman. Furthermore, Scooter, someone such as yourself, that has nothing nice to say about the vocals on this album, I’m sure cannot sing, himself!
For an album made back in 1981, before digital sound, without thousands of dollars spent on production, as a band who’s members were in it for fun, they did great! As it says on the back, “… old tunes and new, melancholy and happy, rousing and peaceful…”, there were songs on it for everyone.
Let me know when you have singlehandedly, composed a song, written the words, produced artwork, played an instrument, recorded your song and put the album out. Then I will wait annother 28 years to critisize your ineptness!
Heather


My Uncle Mike and Uncle Paul Connolly are AMAZING artists – everyone should be so lucky to have them as uncles and to know what TRUE IRISH HERITAGE is about!!! Their amazing talents and voices have been what keeps our families “heritage” alive!!! I can honestly say that if you do not have “the roots of THE OLD COUNTRY” alive within your family, then you do NOT know what your Irish ancestors have sacrificied for you and your family!!! May God Bless all of us!!! (I just found this website, so my words may never be read by anyone else, but that does not matter, my heart is with my Irish heritage and my love of my family!!!).

Uncle Mike & Paul…All my love, Kathleen!!!

Uncle Mike…I want you to play at Steven & My wedding!!!

XO
Kathleen
P.S. My dad will be there!!!


To Kathleen and Heather,

I followed the band faithfully. I LOVED them! They were the best thing to ever hit the streets ( and clubs ) of Boston! I only have two albums, though. What a Country! And Connemara Rose, which, by the way is my favorite. I would love to know what became of the band, and where they are now. Would love to see a reunion thing! Mike is/was amazing…always smiling and laughing. Never saw him in a bad mood. I loved Barts’ sense of humor.Had the best luck one night in being able to hang out with him for about 20 minutes. Very interesting guy. Anyway..just wanted to drop a line to let you know that not everyone would diss these guys, and some of us loved them very much. Take care!

Sandi