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Wild Rovers

music_LYLBTheWildRovers‘Tis the season when the green Guinness flows and the Wild Rovers procure the kind of set to match the liquid meal: Celtic, multi-layered and strong, their songs—like the drink—will put you in a dizzying spin of pub-friendly sing-alongs. And that’s why they’re the busiest band in Santa Cruz during St. Patrick’s Day. With six shows in town during the next two weeks, the Wild Rovers have been called to arms for an annual musical onslaught that starts this Wednesday opening for the Young Dubliners and culminates in a headlining show at the Catalyst Atrium on the day itself, Wednesday, March 17 (with stints at the Boardwalk, Poet & Patriot, and the Crow’s Nest in between). This, perhaps, surprises no one more than the band itself. After all, before forming in 2004, none of the members had any previous experience with Celtic music. Though everyone in the ensemble had roots in rock—classic and alternative, they wanted to do something different. Martin Sweet, founding singer/guitarist, explains, “We noticed there aren’t a lot of Celtic bands, so we just began putting together our own songs and kind of balancing traditional folk with alternative, harder-edged Celtic rock.” After a debut at the Poet & Patriot’s open mic, which saw Sweet and his cohorts filling the “then-smoky, stuffy pub” with Celtic zeal, the band’s fate was sealed. Now a seven-piece permanent fixture at the Poet, what makes the Rovers especially suitable to bestow the magic of the Irish is their ability to morph between raucous mainstream jigs and Celtic punk swagger (think Pogues and Flogging Molly), and culturally rich, long-standing folk tunes. Vocalist Christina Cree adds angelic vocals to the mix, and the Wild Rovers land onstage with no less than 12 instruments that coalesce into a sound more explosive than that last Irish Car Bomb you chugged. Still, Sweet envisions that the band may eventually be forced to subdue their delivery. “We might have to start going acoustic for our hearing,” he admits with a laugh. “Our wives really want us to be able to listen—and we already struggle with that enough.” |


INFO: Full show schedule at myspace.com/wildrovers7

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