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Dreaming In Hells Kitchen

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Album Review

The third album by this group of Irish-American Celtic rockers sees traditional Scottish fiddler Johnny Cunningham in the producer's chair. While his history is solidly rooted in Scottish music (Silly Wizard, Relativity, and Nightnoise), recent years have seen him branch out in diverse directions. His involvement with the Raindogs in the early '90s through his session work with the Dropkick Murphys' Sing Loud Sing Proud prove that he's no stranger to the rock & roll end of the musical spectrum. On this album he generally doesn't tamper with the Prodigals' edgy style of folk-rock. His fiddle accompanies the band on select occasions but, oddly, what sets this album apart from their previous two records is the strength of their original pieces. While the entire band is credited with composing the music for the Prodigals' own songs, the lyrics are, by and large, written by accordion player and co-lead singer Gregory Grene. The selections in which he sings lead are generally more gentle and uplifting — on the surface, if not in lyrical content too. Guitarist Ray Kelly sings lead on half of the songs and delivers them in a more coarse and surly manner. The rhythm section of bassist Andrew Harkin and drummer Brian Tracey are firmly established as one of the most melodic and grooving duo involved in rock & roll, folk, Celtic rock, worldbeat, or whatever category this innovative quartet inevitably gets labeled as.

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '90s, '00s

Based in New York, this Irish/American group should not be confused with Mike Garden's Scottish outfit bearing the same name although they share styles. This band has obvious traditional influences coupled with strong punk and drum'n'bass references. The accordion playing style of Gregory Grene resembles that of John Whelan and is the Prodigals' lead instrument. Grene's expertise on accordion and his understanding of Irish music elevates the group as one of the premier Celtic rock bands leading into...
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Dreaming In Hells Kitchen, The Prodigals
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