Willie Drennan Band. Wired Up Again.

Unique Fusion of Folk and Rockin' Blues.

I/ Folkybilly RocknRoll

2/ Boom Boom Baby

3/ Oh Dearie Me

4/Over The Hills and Far Away

5/ Road TO Freedom

6/ No Whiskey In The Jar

7/ My Heart

8/ Lambeg Boogie

9/Til The Cows Come Home

10/Different Road

11/Rockin Roarin Bagpipes/Black Bear

12/ Sourhill RocknRoll

A collaboration between grassroots Willie Drennan and rock guitarist, David McClean

David McClean                      Willie Drennan                      

Review:

The album begins with,’Folkybilly Rocknroll’ which is akin to supercharged folk music as in harpist meets punk bluegrass with an overlay of Slade for good measure.

Much of the music here is a melange of rock and folk but interestingly the rock input veers towards 1970’s Britpop.

So I hear echoes of the influences on people of a certain age, of which I am one and I suspect so also is Willie, bands such as T-Rex to give just one example .

An exception to that homegrown fusion however is,’Boom Boom Baby’ which has echoes of Mississippi delta blues and the energy of Elvis when he was still known as ,‘ The Hillbilly Cat’.

Overall the result is a successful fusion of sound that is personal and regional and ultimately universal.

Alister J McReynolds

August 2020.

This album was due for release in May 2020 but postponed due to Coranvirus Lockdown. It is now available. 

Other musicians on this album are: Davy Angus, John Trotter, Derek Montgomery, Ali McKenzie, Jim Cuthbertson, James Christie, Ian Burrows, Cherith Knipe, Judith Knipe, Caroline Drennan, Diane Wilson.

Watch Folkybilly RocknRoll:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTrdk2RqjJU

1/ Folkbilly RocknRoll

You can dance all night when the moon is shining bright

Folkybilly Rock n Roll

You can dance all night when the moon is shining bright

So good for your soul

 

Folkybilly RocknRoll, so good for your soul

Folkybilly RocknRoll, so good for your soul

They say this song is just a curse

They saythe tune is ten times worse

They say the beat would drive you mad

Makes us all oh so glad

 

Folkybilly RocknRoll, so good for your soul

Folkybilly RocknRoll, so good for your soul

Their music they would make you hear

 They blast it in your ear

They would tell you how to dance

 You like different? - here's your chance

2/ Boom Boom Baby

 

Chorus

We're the boys that make the noise

We're the boys that you'll enjoy

Come on down and see the show

Boom boom baby and away we go

Boom boom baby and away we go.

 

Gonna play this guitar all day long

Gonna bang my drum until the sun is done

Gonna slap my bass all over the place

Gonna beat my drum into outer space.

 

Blatter it high and blatter it low

I'm gonna blatter it quick and blatter it slow

Slide it up and slide it down

We're the loudest noise in town.

 

Hear that rhythm and hear that sound

Feel that beat go round and round

From the soles of your feet to the top of your head

It's loud enough to wake the dead.

3/ Oh Dearie Me

 

Yin step forrit an twa steps back

Lord hae mercy on me for heaven's sake

A'll en up sax fit unner the grun

Shud A iver hae ony mair nor a wee bit o fun.

Turned on the wireless tae hear sum guid news

The weatherman was singin the Blues

He went rain hale sleet an mair rain

An we micht niver ever see sunshine again.

 

Went tae the bank lukin cash oot

The bank man yelled an lashed aboot

Man dear yer sae far in arrear

Hoo dare ye even cum in here.

A towl the doctor hoo bad A feel

He says richt eneuch hi yer naw weel

A niver seen onythin like yer state

Ther's naethin A can dae it is too late.

 

Scunnert tae the teeth half-hungert an cowl

Went tae the kirk tried save m'sowl

But the meenister cudnae show me the wye

He'd signed the broo the ither day.

Tae thon Pearly Gates A'm feart tae be gan

A'm feart tae be stannin fornenst yer man

Ye hae spent yer time jist gypin aroon

Ther's yin road noo an that is doon

4/ Over the Hills And Far Away

 

Chorus

Hey ho away we go over the hills and far away

Hey ho away we go over the hills and far away

 

Hear about a land that's far away

Take you more than a year and a day

Heard about a place where the wild wind blows

What will we do there nobody knows

 

Hear about a place where spirits run free

Sounds like a land for you and me

Up to the mountains down to the glen

When will we get there we don't know when

 

Sing us a song that's old and clear

Sung by a man for a thousand year

Heard by the rocks and the wind and the rain

Far far away and back again

 

Come to the land of the brave and the true

Loved by the many but seen by the few

Come to the place that's pure and free

Sounds like the land for you and me.

 

Chorus

Hey ho away we go over the hills and far away

Hey ho away we go over the hills and far away

 

Hear about a land that's far away

Take you more than a year and a day

Heard about a place where the wild wind blows

What will we do there nobody knows

 

Hear about a place where spirits run free

Sounds like a land for you and me

Up to the mountains down to the glen

When will we get there we don't know when

 

Sing us a song that's old and clear

Sung by a man for a thousand year

Heard by the rocks and the wind and the rain

Far far away and back again

 

Come to the land of the brave and the true

Loved by the many but seen by the few

Come to the place that's pure and free

Sounds like the land for you and me.

5/ On The Road To Freedom Now

 

We’re on the road to freedom now

On the road to freedom now

So shed your heavy load and join us on the road

On the road to freedom now.

 

 

To find the road to freedom you take the trail

Where some folks weep and some folks wail

Then take the long winding lane

To feel the wrath and feel the pain.

All roads to freedom are not the same

You might cross Sorrow you might catch Blame

But once you make it round the final bend

It’s all the same freedom in the end.

 

Just like the fox who roams at night

Across the fields in pale moonlight

She loves to follow freedom’s way

Down her own freedom road

She love’s to stray.

And she knows that road with danger is fraught

She knows by dawn she might get shot

And if she never makes it round the final bend

It’s still the same freedom in the end.

 

That road it goes up the highest hill

To view the world and feel the thrill

Then out across the seven seas

To feel the world in the breeze.

But first it’s down the darkest glen

When you’re out of there you don’t know when

But once you make it round the final bend

You will feel freedom in the end.

6/ No Whiskey In The Jar

 

As I was going over life's great big scary mountain

I met the fat-cat bankers, all their money they were countin'

With their friends the commissioners and their corporate advisors

I said stand and deliver for youse are the boul deceivers.

 

With me ring dum dey do dum de dah

Whack for my daddy-o,

Whack for my daddy-o

No whiskey in the jar.

 

Well with my trusty laptop I just took their money

And stuck in in my pocket for it looked a pretty penny

But I knew it was all wrong as soon as I got to thinkin'

For their money it was boggin' their money it was stinkin'.

 

I went home to my chamber for to take my slumber

I dreamt a crazy dream for sure it was no wonder.

But my friends they did betray me, they rung their politician

And toul them that my dreams could start some revolution.

 

It was early in the mornin' before I riz to journey

Up comes the Parliament with their own wee private army

They looks in my computer and sez I was not clever

They'd evidence enough to lock me up for ever.

 

If anyone can save me, it's my sisters and my brothers

If we'd all get together we could stand by one an other

We could tell them where to stuff it, where they would not think it funny

We could tell them where to go with all their stinkin' money.

7/My Heart.

Every time I see that girl to walking down the street my heart goes,

Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding, Diddely Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding

Every time I think of her my heart it skips a beat and it goes,

Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding, Diddely Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding

 

My heart is beating like a Lambeg Drum A Num A Num A Diddely Dum Dum.

My heart is beating like a Lambeg Drum A Num A Num A Diddely Dum Dum.

My heart is beating like a Lambeg Drum A Num A Num A Diddely Dum Diddely Dum.

Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding, Diddely Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding

Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding, Diddely Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding.

 

If only I could talk to her and tell her how I feel but I go

Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding, Diddely Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding.

Maybe then she'd fall for me and happy we would be but I go

Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding, Diddely Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding

 

My heart is beating like a Lambeg Drum A Num A Num A Diddely Dum Dum.

My heart is beating like a Lambeg Drum A Num A Num A Diddely Dum Dum.

My heart is beating like a Lambeg Drum A Num A Num A Diddely Dum Diddely Dum.

Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding, Diddely Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding

Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding, Diddely Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding.

 

Now that we're together with our children one , two, three my heart goes

Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding, Diddely Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding

Little boys who want to learn to beat the drum like me, my heart goes

Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding, Diddely Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding

 

My heart is beating like a Lambeg Drum A Num A Num A Diddely Dum Dum.

My heart is beating like a Lambeg Drum A Num A Num A Diddely Dum Dum.

My heart is beating like a Lambeg Drum A Num A Num A Diddely Dum Diddely Dum.

Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding, Diddely Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding

Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Ding, Diddely Dinga Dinga Dinga Diddely Ding Diddely Ding Ding.  

Words and Music  by Derek Montgomery.  Main vocals by Derek. Inspired by a family tradition of lilting out drum rhythms to facilitate the learning of tunes.

Translation available on request.

8/Lambeg Boogie

 

Hey Mr DJ how do you do

Got a brand new song that was written for you

I hope you'll try and give it a spin

It will blast those Blues you've got within

 

It's called the Lambeg Boogie

Lambeg Boogie, the Lambeg Boogie, the Lambeg Boogie

Everybody shout and shake it all about

The Lambeg Boogie makes you feel alright

Everybody shout and shake it all about

The Lambeg Boogie makes you feel alright

 

Well this ain't country and this ain't pop

And we don't care if you like it or not

It's got a great big beat to a great big drum

It will blast your brain till the kingdom come.

 

Lyrics and tune by David McLean

 

Words written by David following an impromptu jam in Willie's backyard where electric guitar met Lambeg drum in natural fusion. It was like the two instruments were meant for each other. The music flowed organic and lyrics seemed the obvious follow up.

9/ Til The Cows Come Home

 

 

Who drives me crazy near every night

You do you do you do

Who says she'll love for the rest of my life

You do you do you do.

You got me howlin at the moon

Dancin like a lune

like a little red rooster

crowing out his favourite tune.

 

My heart's racing in the danger zone

Gonna love you til the cows come home

My heart's racing in the danger zone

Gonna love you til the cows come home.

 

 

Who'll be beside you down the long long road

I will I will I will

Who 's gonna love you when we both get old

I will I will I will

You got me cooing like a dove

From his tree high above

Pouring joy from his soul

For his own true love.

 

My heart's racing in the danger zone

Gonna love you til the cows come home

My heart's racing in the danger zone

Gonna love you til the cows come home.

 

 

Who drives me crazy near every night

You do you do you do

Who says she'll love for the rest of my life

You do you do you do.

You got me howlin at the moon

Dancin like a lune

Like a little red rooster

Crowing out his favourite tune

My heart's racing in the danger zone

Gonna love you til the cows come home.

10/ Different Road

 

Down Different Road you should always go

It goes to and fro and you never know

No, you never know where it might end

It goes up and down and round the bend.

 

Down Different Road they beat a big drum

They play loud guitar till the Kingdom Come

They do the Lambeg Boogie to Rock n' Roll Blues

So bring along your dancing shoes.

 

 

Never take the road they tell you take

Never take their road for Heaven's sake

They say their road is straight and it is clean

It's safe and sure like it's always been

 

Down their road, they say, there are no fears

But it just might drive you to your tears

It's save they say if you do what your told

It's not for the b rave, not for the bold.

 

 

Never heed what they tell you on TV

Never heed what you see on BBC

If they tell you it's right it's probably wrong

So just you sing your different song.

 

Sing out loud like the rooster crowed

As you dance along your Different Road

When you turn down right on Different Street

All the Different people you will meet.

11/ Rockin Roarin Bagpipes/ Black Bear

The title of this piece speaks for itself. Features Ian Burrows on Highland bagpipes. The Black Bear is a traditional Scottish pipe band march that is also popular among folk musicians in Northern Ireland. The format of this tune offers opportunity for dynamics and build up into a climax on Willie's Lambeg drum.  Then David's guitar takes it over the edge to places the tune has never been before. 

12/   Sour Hill Rock 'n Roll

 

This song addresses common crossovers and musical fusions.

 

It was written by Willieat a time when he, David McClean and Johnny Murphy were involved in a musical heritage project entitled 'The Fiddle and the Fife' for Mid and East Antrim Museum.

 

The Boys of the Sour Hill who regularly met at the home of Joe Mills in the latter part of the 20th Cent were of course traditional musicians. But the spirit of their fiddle music could be easily compared and transferred to musicians of other genres across the world.

 

The second verse relates to the traditional fifers who often walked the country roads playing their high-pitched flutes in the days before television.

 

The last verse addresses the spirit of singing. In this case it refers to the story told by Willie's mother about when she attended Slaght Primary School. The pupils were taught the Scottish song 'The Campbells Are Coming Oh Ho' and coincidentally a family who lived down a long lane across from the rural school house were also called Campbell. In the playground a suitably adapted version of the song was belted out by the pupils whenever they thought the Campbells were within earshot.

“Signing out for the good of their soul, just like they do in rock 'n roll”.

 

Also coincidentally, the fifers of Mid-Antrim adapted a version of the Scottish tune to accompany the Lambeg drums and this timing seems to work just spot on for rock 'n roll.

The tune is also similar to 'Miss McLeod's Reel' which has very popular versions in Scottish, Irish, and Appalachian fiddle traditions.

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