Recently, Galway Guild was asked to play at a benefit for the Philadelphia Flyers Scott Hartnell’s, Hartnell’s Down Foundation in conjunction with the Claddagh Fund. Not only did they play with the Dropkick Murphy’s bass player and frontman Ken Casey, but they also played a song of DKM’s called “Tessie.” Galway Guild mixes so-Cal sounding punk rock with traditional Celtic instrumentation such as fiddle and banjo. Rich Gavetti provides the hard pound drumming while Anthony Orsino drives the band with his bass lines. Joe Magee layers on top of the unique sound with his trashy acoustic and electric styling on the guitar, and Bill Razzano provides a folk accent on the banjo. Meanwhile, Bekah Lacorte, who is classically trained in violin, adds a silky overtone. All of this combined leads to a profound and unique sound far different from any other Celtic rock bands.
The band had a modest starting and was just originally “three guys on barstools” as they refer to themselves, until in 2010 when they began practicing together, forming set lists, and booking a few shows around St. Pat’s. Luckily, the plan was cohesive, and the band began having bigger dreams, wanting to play at bigger venues and incorporating more instruments, thus leading them to search for more bandmates. Finally after much searching and tweaking, they had the band that they have today.
Their Irish ancestry is rather a crucial and pivotal point for the band’s image and venues. Obviously, everyone in the band has some Irish blood and are passionate about the Irish music they play, but they also draw upon a lot of Irish history in the area that they reside in (Duffy’s Cut in Malvern, PA) as well as the executions and unfair treatment of the Irish Coal Miners in Carbon County. This inspires their music and as Gavetti cleverly puts it, “We have a lot of creative emotion to write about in our backyards.” Their influences range anywhere from the classical rock of Led Zeppelin to hardcore delivery of the Deftones. To think that they can incorporate such a wide variety of music influences into their own music and still be classified as Celtic rock is absolutely mind-blowing.
The band has been rehearsing and has many things in store for any fans out there. This past August, they did a live recording at Jimmy D’s, which they considered to be a warm up for the show they have coming up at the Blockley in Philadelphia on December 28th. It’s all part of their preparation process in order to bring their A game to the live recording, and these live recordings will be released as an EP this fall. They’ve also been working on a documentary film project about the band this past summer, and simultaneously they are working on some original tracks that will be recorded for their first record in 2013. Much homage to their Irish roots, they will be headlining an Irish fest at the Deck at Harbor Pointe in Essington, PA on November 10th, alongside Jamison (another Irish band). The aforementioned concert in Blockley will be filmed and published alongside the two-disc documentary. Though Galway Guild mostly plays in the tri-state area, they are looking to open for Blaggards in 2013 and tour Ireland in 2014, so expect big things from this band in the form of their first record and touring.