What says “Happy Valentine’s Day” more than Irish rock/punk? Exactly. Flogging Molly has been energizing crowds with their take on traditional Irish music since 1997. Monday’s show at The Tabernacle is sure to be another grandstand of a having a good time and moving to the music.
Describing Flogging Molly can be a difficult task. The violin, tin whistle, accordion, concertina, five string banjo, Uilleann pipes, electric guitar, bodhran, percussion and Celtic influences can lead to several genre classifications. Mandolin and banjo player for the group, Robert Schmidt, makes it easy, saying Flogging Molly is a soul band first and foremost.
“We’re a soul band because when you think about it any good music is soul music, “Schmidt says while discussing the band’s appeal. “If it’s punk, if it’s country, if it’s rock, if it’s R&B…whatever, if it has that heart in it and it’s honest and it’s truth - that to me is soul music. And that to me is what we try to do.
“We just try to be as real and as honest with what we’re doing, and try to be as passionate in putting it across live as we can. We try to bring the experience we have with the music to the people we’re playing it for.”
The musical versatility of each member helps that passion come across, according to Schmidt. Check out this lineup of instruments: Dave King (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, Bodhran), Dennis Casey (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals), Matthew Hensley (accordion, concertina, piano, vocals), Nathen Maxwell (bass guitar, vocals), Bridget Regan (violin, tin whistle, classical guitar, Uilleann pipes, vocals), Robert Schmidt (mandolin, mandola, Tenor Banjo, five string banjo, vocals), George Schwindt (drums, percussion).
King formed the group, but all members bring their ideas to the table. Schmidt says having a multi-instrument format helps with new material and keeping up the energy.
“It definitely makes it easier to get your ideas across and out there. It also allows for a lot of flexibility in interpreting the ideas when they come up,” he says. “When we get a group going and the song is starting to take shape, you can really listen to the song and say ‘what voice does it need.’ And everyone can jump around and say ‘try this.’”
The live experience is the backbone for Flogging Molly, but they have fun in the studio too. They have made a mark in the recording studio with eight albums, including their 2008 release, Float, which reached the Billboard charts.
In May, Flogging Molly is releasing a new album on their new label. Material off the upcoming record will be performed during the tour, including their stop in Atlanta on February 14. The new album is largely based on the state of America at this time in history. You can download their new song, “Don’t Shut ‘Em Down” here.
Right now the band is on their annual Green 17 Tour. When you are an Irish band, St. Patrick’s Day is one of your biggest shows. Instead of celebrating for just one day, Flogging Molly is traveling around playing their St. Patrick’s show as a countdown to the holiday. This means Atlanta gets a mix of Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day – two holidays for the price of one. Tickets are on sale now for $28. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.