Based out of Los Angeles, a melting pot of artistic inspiration, comes the new band Staggering Jack. This group is filled with a vast array of talent and influences that blends wonderfully into a singular sound. While grounded in the Celtic style of music, incorporating Celtic themes and instrumentation, the original tunes featured on their album The Sailor’s Daughter gives the genre a new, vibrant energy. Furthermore, the rest of the song selection isn’t your run of the mill traditional set list either. Simply put this album is not a collection of rehashed tunes spun in a different manner but something all together new and different.
Perhaps two of my favorite songs are “Johnny O’Brady’s Lea” and “Crow in the Sun.” The wonderful clear voice of Kerry Morigan, the picking of Morlan Higgins and the driving percussion of Tony Stefani in “Johnny O’Brady’s Lea” creates an eerie tone that evokes the emotion in the story being told in the song. Accompanied by Nishtan Motyka on violin hitting the high end and Jason Mullen thundering away on the bass you can’t help but be sucked in and captivated by the haunting tale. On the other hand, the stripped down acoustic arrangement of “Crow in the Sun,” originally composed by famed guitarist Dáithí Sproule, is so natural and peaceful it evokes the feelings of serenity and peacefulness as one might enjoy by appreciating the simple joys of nature. Even hearing the sliding fingerings of the guitar are placed to add more character to the piece.
Nevertheless, their original songs “Jack and Ginger,” “The Sailor’s Daughter,” and “Driving Away” shows a different side of this band and their wide array of influences. For instance, “Jack and Ginger” shows their funk side and comes off as being up beat because of the infectious beat, even though it is a tragic song of family difficulties. “The Sailor’s Daughter” instead is a haunting tale with almost a jazzier side showcased in the mandolin and guitar solo. Finally, “Driving Away” is a great song to throw on and hit the highway. The wonderful fiddle and harmonies blend beautifully and push the song a long while Kerry’s voice reflects the true heartache and pain of the lyrics.
Overall, I love what this band has to offer and the sound that they put out. As of now, the EP has been released with 5 of the tracks on it and highly encourage you to get it. The EP contains their original songs and I know you will not be disappointed.
Artist: Staggering Jack
Buy Album: Sailor’s Daughter
Stephen Mc Sweeney is a high school English/Drama teacher. Besides writing for the Celtic MP3s Music Magazine, he enjoys acting, writing and playing Celtic music. He can be seen as one of the members of the band Terrible Musicians, where he plays percussion and mandolin.