The Mary Wallopers
Irish Rock ’n’ Roll
BC Records, released 6th October 2023, available on 12” vinyl, CD, cassette and everywhere digitally.
Pre order the album here:
New single Wexford online everywhere now.
“They’re revitalising Irish trad for a new generation with rowdy reinterpretations of hand-me-down odes to sex, devilry and drink (mainly drink). Like the Dubliners, the Pogues and Jinx Lennon before them, they elevate the displaced and the downtrodden, sticking two fingers up to the establishment and, in doing so, yanking a thread that unites all rebel music from folk to punk and rap” The Guardian
The Mary Wallopers have announced details of their second album and a huge tour of the UK that runs from November through to Christmas this year.
Irish Rock ’n’ Roll is due for release on October 6th and follows last year’s hugely acclaimed self-titled debut (“these youngsters are all about presenting vibrancy, saltiness and edge via roots music from a bygone age, at a moment when such qualities are all but absent form contemporary pop” Mojo).
If every album an artist makes offers a snapshot of where they stand at that point, then the picture presented by Irish Rock ’n’ Roll is one of a band preparing to go stratospheric. It’s an album that manages to perfectly capture the chaos, humour and excitement of the band’s recent live shows whilst also showcasing the incredible emotional of the traditional ballads that they play (both in songs passed down from previous generations and – for the first time on this record – their own songs that promise to be passed down to future generations). One of those traditional ballads – Wexford – is the second single from the album following The Holy Ground and it’s online everywhere now.
The Mary Wallopers’ Andrew Hendy on Wexford:
“The song was written by Pecker Dunne, who was a travelling musician. He brought so many songs into circulation over the years he played, you’ll have heard the Dubliners playing a lot of his songs. He came from a line of travelling musicians. His father was a fiddle player and his mother was a tightrope walker, the whole family’s trade was entertainment.
Wexford is one of the most beautiful songs in the ballad tradition. He wrote it about growing up in Wexford. It touches on his upbringing and on the grief that travellers suffer in Ireland which is something that’s not really talked about much. It’s an incredible, emotional song. We’ve always gravitated towards that side of folk music – the most accessible side of music, the kind you can just stand on the street singing. Pecker Dunne wrote so many funny songs, which makes it even more hard hitting when he’d sing a song like this.”
Irish Rock’n’Roll was recorded at Black Mountain Studios by David Noonan and features:
1. The Bauld O Donoghue
2. The Holy Ground
3. Rakes of Poverty
4. The Rich Man and the Poor Man
5. The Idler
6. Madam I’m A Darlin’
7. Vultures of Christmas
8. The Turfman from Ardee
9. Hot Asphalt
11. The Blarney Stone
12. Rothsea O
13. Gates of Heaven
Following a packed out Glastonbury performance last month (check the band’s BBC performance here), The Mary Wallopers will play sets at multiple festivals over the summer:
The Mary Wallopers were formed by brothers Charles and Andrew Hendy and their friend Sean McKenna who began traveling the length and breadth of Ireland singing and collecting songs. During lockdown, they build up a huge online following playing livestreams from their home studio. In the years since, the band have expanded to a seven piece and built a fierce reputation as a live act.
The Mary Wallopers are: Andrew Hendy – banjo; Charles Hendy – guitar; Sean McKenna – guitar; Seamas Hyland – accordion; Finian O’Connor – pipes/whistles; Roisin Barrett – bass; Ken Mooney – drums.