Over the years, local St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have become just as epic and decadent as any day during Mardi Gras. Irish pubs and local watering holes alike have established traditional festivities that pack their interiors and exteriors with green-clad revelers imbibing whiskey and green beer.
In addition to festive libations, great musical entertainment is a must for any local St. Paddy’s Day celebration. A number of venues, stretching from the Eastern Shore to north Mobile County, have lined up a number of great performers to provide background music for this annual wave of St. Paddy’s Day parties.
Considering the wealth of options, locals may want to consider a musical pub crawl through Mobile and Baldwin counties, which is totally plausible in this golden age of online ride-sharing apps.
For decades, Callaghan’s Irish Social Club in the Oakleigh Garden District has prided itself on having one of the area’s largest and most popular St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The Callaghan’s observance has grown so big that owners John Thompson and Richie Sherer have been forced to expand this annual event into a two-day block party.
Callaghan’s will open its doors on March 17 with “traditional” Irish music followed by sets from two local favorites. PEEK will provide a performance filled with both original songs and crowd favorites. The Modern Eldorados will finish day one with their mix of old-school country and rockabilly.
Day two of the Callaghan’s street party kicks off Saturday, March 18, with the band A Drunker Shade of Green, whose raucous take on traditional Irish sounds (called “pub-core”) should refresh anyone weary from the previous day’s activities. Next, The Mulligan Brothers’ modern Americana will ease the crowd into the afternoon. Paw Paw’s Medicine Cabinet will be up next. This band’s homegrown “indie Southern pop” should satisfy seasoned fans and new ones alike. Finally, Sweet Crude will use its mix of Acadian and indie pop to serenade the crowd through the evening.
O’Daly’s Irish Pub will be the Lower Dauphin Street epicenter for the day’s festivities. This local pub takes great pride in its own two-day St. Paddy’s Day celebration, beginning with “Kegs ‘n’ Eggs” at 6 a.m. on March 17. That evening, Flow Tribe from New Orleans will take the stage with adrenalized Crescent City funk. The Phunky Monkeys also will be visiting from the Big Easy with party favorites that have made them a hit from Bourbon Street to the West Bank. Finally, Mobile band Yeah, Probably will begin a two-night run at O’Daly’s, with “funk, jazz, soul and pop to create a new sound that is sure to grab your attention” — and be featured on the band’s upcoming EP.
O’Daly’s will give Mobilians a break before reviving the party the next day with its annual Green Dress Run followed by an after party that promises to be just as memorable as the previous night’s. New Breed Brass Band will travel from New Orleans with a batch of Big Easy brass. Local party phenomenon The Tip Tops will make an almost obligatory appearance. From Motown to Michael Jackson, this group has a reputation for bringing a party everywhere they go. Yeah, Probably will finish the weekend with a late-night set.
Those venturing into LoDa should not limit their St. Paddy’s Day pit stop to O’Daly’s. A number of other local establishments will be celebrating the day with music. Cathedral Square Gallery will attract crowds to their eclectic surroundings with green sangria and music from Bayou Rhythm, talented local musicians who pull from a repertoire of early 20th century jazz.
On Joachim Street, Alchemy Tavern will rock St. Paddy’s into the late night with a performance from Super Bob. A regular visitor to the Azalea City, this D.C. outfit’s electrifying live show and original sound have earned it a number of dedicated local fans.
Lucky Irish Pub & Grill opened in the former location of Paddy O’Toole’s, which was home to one of Mobile’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day parties. Lucky is continuing the tradition with Lucky Fest at both its Airport Boulevard and Saraland locations.
Lucky Fest will bring a huge tent to its parking lot on Airport Boulevard with a lineup of great music courtesy of The Band U.S., the Marion Mena Band and D.J. Lynch. Infant Richard & the Delta Stones will keep the crowd on their feet into the evening with a set of homegrown music.
At Lucky’s Saraland location, The Red Clay Strays will be in charge of the St. Patrick’s Day soundtrack. Their set of country soul and Southern rock should be a great preview of their set at SouthSounds 2017.
Dority’s Bar & Grill is giving the public a good reason to make the trip to Dauphin Island for St. Patrick’s Day 2017. This beachside establishment will take on the moniker O’Dority’s for its St. Patrick’s Day Fest on March 18.
Lee Yankie & the Hellz Yeah will revive anyone hungover from the previous day’s activities. Yankie and his crew will win the crowd with their impressive, energetic jams. Next, Phil & Foster will take the stage with a down-home collection of old-school folk and country standards. With their combined experience and talent, Phil & Foster might give the crowd a new take on traditional Celtic songs.
Gulf Coast blues and soul diva Lisa Mills will headline. Since returning from her annual run of European dates, Mills has been getting her Gulf Coast fix with numerous performances in the area.
After making stops at all the celebrations in Mobile County, St. Paddy’s pub crawlers should head over into Baldwin County. The Old 27 Grill has built a reputation with its great burgers, serenaded bacon and musical entertainment. This Eastern Shore eatery’s St. Paddy’s gathering will feature The Leavin’ Brothers, led by songwriters Evans and Charles Davis. The Leavin’ Brothers’ rocking country should add even more flavor to Old 27’s musical bacon.
Down in Gulf Shores, Big Beach Brewery will be releasing its Kiss Me I’m Irish stout and serving corned beef and cabbage plates. They’ll also be serving up the blues sounds of Big Daddy McKorkendale, and the band Strictly Isbell will be performing covers of its namesake songwriter.
Obviously, die-hard St. Patrick’s Day revelers have quite a weekend ahead of them, with area establishments well stocked with green beer and fresh sounds. Ultimately, the local festivities have something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for brass, rock or covers, St. Patrick’s Day weekend will be a chance for the public to experience their favorite bands and hopefully discover some new favorites.