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I’ve never heard of The Mickey Finns before until I was asked to write a review for their newest album, Prayers and Idle Chatter, and man, I couldn’t be happier that I got this opportunity. I could tell 15 seconds into the first song that I love this band. The best part is that there was more to listen to and The Mickey Finns simply don’t miss a beat. I’m giving this album a 5 out of 5. It’s truly a complete album from a very talented group of guys. I can only hope this review will give them some of the recognition they deserve.
Members of The Mickey Finns include the singer/guitarist Ray Kelly, drummer Brian Tracey, fiddle extraordinaire Matt Mancuso, and multi-instrumentalist Eric Kaye. These boys simply rock. They are a perfect storm of lyrical content, musical breakdown, and the rough whiskey-soaked voice of Ray Kelly that give The Mickey Finns their unique sound and an excellent album.
Prayers and Idle Chatter doesn’t only flow excellent; it has a little something of everything. Staying true to the Celtic-folk rock sound, they offer up a great platter of tracks. While most of the songs are very fun and danceable, they manage to serve up some awesome up-tempo songs with “Return of the Prodigal Son,” “Absinthe (Makes the Heart Grow Fonder),” and “Dark Roll the Dawn,” some barroom sing-alongs with “McGuiness’ Mass” and “The Jester,” a couple phenomenal ballads with an excellent folk sound in “Tanks and Barbed Wire” and “The Ballad of Duffy’s Cut,” or even some great breaks in the album where they showcase their instrumental talent in some great instrumental tracks in “Loop Reels,” “Two Jigs for Aoife” and “Be Minor.” The great thing is I couldn’t offer up which song is the best on the album because they’re all absolutely excellent. They all combine to make one of the best complete albums I’ve heard.
The Mickey Finns certainly exceed expectation, and I look very forward to trying to make it to a live show of theirs to experience them first hand. I highly recommend this album. Prayers and Idle Chatter makes a great addition to any musical library. The Mickey Finns have plenty of talent, are a pleasure to listen to, and they really lift the spirits. Hopefully they gain the appreciation they deserve, but I certainly look forward to what they may come out with next.
The Mickey Finns – “Sweet Clare Girl”: