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Just as watery mist remakes the world and whisky remakes the man, Angus Mohr revitalizes traditional Celtic music’s brogue with an American blues accent while rejuvenating rock ’n roll’s broad spectrum with bagpipes and pennywhistles. No one is ever going to mistake Angus Mohr for a cover band. Sure, they play songs like “Foggy Dew,” the 1916 Easter Rising ballad, and “Whisky in the Jar,” a sixteenth century tale of love and betrayal, and their set list is peppered with songs penned by Dylan, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, and the Ramones. But you’ve never heard “Ring of Fire” or “I Wanna Be Sedated” until you’ve heard it with the pipes’ spiraling keen.
Angus Mohr’s piper, Matthew McDaniel, plays penny-whistles, guitar, and keyboards–sometimes all in a single song. He also shares lead vocals with bassist and frontman Paul McDaniel. Drummer Steve Mossholder takes a turn at the mic as well, lending his tawdry rasp to “Drunken Sailor” and Flogging Molly’s “Devil’s Dance Floor.” Mark “Byrd” Tester says little, but wields his guitar with precision and grace.
These four men in kilts prove that you don’t have to wear saggy pants or skinny jeans to join the musical revolution. Welded together not by genre, but by a philosophy that embraces resistance to oppression and the fight for freedom, Angus Mohr crosses musical boundaries to pull in a diverse audience where fans steeped in blue collar classic rock, hippies old and young, grown-up metal heads, and the occasional post-industrial punk, dance to timeless music about timeless ideas. Music that is, like mist and whisky, the water of life.
“Buckle your kilt,
Sharpen your dirk,
Fill your flask,
And get ready to rock
With Angus Mohr”