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The Ruffians / Press

“The New York City-based Ruffians opened the show with a rousing, if somewhat more monochromatic, hourlong set of punk-tinged Celtic nuggets -- a few of which were perhaps a bit more R-rated than the usual Alive at Five family fare. Led by the brothers Griffin -- Sean on guitar and Dan on bass -- the six-piece band hit the mark hardest on the opening "My True Love," the rousing fiddle tune "Cat House" and the anthemic closer "More to Life." ”

“Call it second-generation Celtic punk rock. That is: The Ruffians, who formed in NYC in the late ’90s, weren’t the first to cut traditional Irish music with a dose of punk rock, but they have effectively blended the sound and energy of those originators before them: Dropkick Murphys, Black 47, the Pogues, and Flogging Molly. Full of Uileann pipes, tin whistle and button accordion, it’s a sound that has launched them onto the Irish-music- festival circuit and, naturally, goes well with a cold pint. Openers the Town Pants (from Vancouver) play what they’re calling “West Coast Celtic,” built from a “pawnshop’s worth of musical instruments.””

“If you are looking for a meatier portion of Irish music than what you'll find cooking in the Corrs' kitchen, I suggest ordering something from the Ruffians' menu. They've just released “Naked and Famous”, a short collection of six songs packaged in a plain brown sleeve that can do double duty as a drink coaster! Within these songs, one can almost taste the stale beer, greasy food, and smoke that weighs heavy in the air of an Irish bar. Tapping bodhrans, banjos, and spindly flute solos frame these tight arrangements. My only complaint about the disc is they stopped at six songs. Just when you think you’ve pegged the Ruffians as a quaint little Irish rock band, they'll hit you right between the eyes with a piss and vinegar punk version of the traditional tune “I Never Will Marry”. This chaotic musical performance is more like a set of pipes being tossed down a flight stairs, along with the last gal that tried to make a husband out of one of the Ruffians.”

Mike Farragher - Irish Voice

“(3 and a half stars out of four) The Ruffians, “Together for Christmas” (self-pressed). Only five songs and 14 minutes, but an entertaining, hard-edged look at the season from these Irish rockers.”

New York Daily News

“(3 and a half stars out of four) Now this is my idea of a rockin’ Xmas disc! Irish punk-rockers the Ruffians (think of an American, Gen Y version of the Pogues) keep a running theme through the five songs on this seasonal EP – it opens with “Sleep It Off, Gramps” and closes with “(Christmas is Cancelled) Sucks to Be Sober” – and the music (as well as the sentiments) will still sound fresh in every sense of that word by mid-January, which is when the hangover should be wearing off.”

Tim DeGrogatis - The Chicago Sun Times

“If you like your Irish music delivered on a speeding Guinness truck that has lost its breaks, I’ve got a disc for you. The Ruffians have released Live at CBGBs, and it finds the band worthy of gracing the stage that launched the likes of the Ramones and Talking Heads at Manhattan’s temple of punk. This is 43:27 of gloriously ragged playing, in the style of the Pogues and Popes. The band offers a decidedly Irish American take on standards like “Jug O Punch,” which sounds like it was shot out of a cannon to an unsuspecting crowd. “I Never Will Marry” should be an anthem for perpetual bachelorhood, and it is indicative of the devilish take on traditional music that permeates this collection. This love of Celtic culture can be attributed to the deep cultural ties that brothers Sean and Danny (he plays bass). A big name producer will probably propel this great band into greatness, so pick up Live at CBGBs while you can still say “I knew them when.””

Mike Farragher - Irish Voice