Callaghan’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration and Street Party
March 17 and 19, with music starting at 11 a.m.
Callaghan’s Irish Social Club, 916 Charleston St., www.callaghansirishsocialclub.com
For 70 years, Callaghan’s Irish Social Club has remained Mobile’s original locale to celebrate the feast of St. Patrick’s Day. Over the years, owners John Thompson and Richie Sherer have shaped their celebration into one of the biggest annual parties in the city. This year, Callaghan’s is Dublin’ down.
On the day itself, March 17, things will start traditional, beginning with Celtic sounds followed by the band Peek. Sweet Crude from New Orleans will close the day with its mix of Acadia and modern alt. rock. On March 19, the corner of Charleston and Marine streets will transform into the biggest yearly street party in Mobile. As one of the city’s most popular music venues, Callaghan’s will fill this Saturday with some of its regulars’ most beloved musical acts.
Pensacola’s Drunker Shade of Green will open the day with Celtic rock. Local favorites The Mulligan Brothers will perform their locally grown Americana. As the sun begins to sink, Nashville’s Alanna Royale will fill the streets with her hot, sultry brand of modern soul.
Saturday’s music sequence is expertly planned. As the day progresses, the bands will provide a rising energy, climaxing with the day’s headliner. Whether playing the St. Paddy’s party or an ordinary gig, Kansas Bible Company has proven themselves a band worthy of keeping a party going until the last note. When this Nashville outfit first came to Mobile, it won over the Callaghan’s audience with music from their debut, “Hotel Chickamauga,” and its high-energy live delivery.
This band is known for a musical concoction that defies a simple label. A tidal wave of horns, vocals and electricity highlights its music, which is especially powerful in a live setting. Kansas Bible Company is bringing its live show and new sound to Callaghan’s for another St. Patrick’s Day street party. However, local fans might notice a few changes.
The former 11-piece band is now an eight-piece. With so many different life goals and schedules involved, guitarist Mikey Ruth is honestly amazed that the lineup has remained intact for as long as it has. However, Ruth describes the eight remaining as totally dedicated to taking Kansas Bible Company as far as it will go. As for the band’s infectious sound, Ruth say the changes should not disappoint.
“I don’t think it’s [the band’s sound] changing it drastically,” Ruth said. “Honestly, I think we’ll be able to execute dynamics a little better. With having so many people, it was hard to bring it down comfortably. I think with a few less guys that it won’t be as noisy, and more polished at times. That’s what we’re shooting for, but we’re still trying to keep the groove, momentum and energy intact.”
Even though the lineup has not changed greatly, Kansas Bible Company still had to adjust. The band has decided to spend a large portion of its spring tour in the Southeast. This will allow them to workshop and maintain the trademark live energy. After polishing the live show in the Southeast, Kansas Bible Company will get back to business and once again begin its extensive tour schedule. Ruth says the smaller lineup should allow the group more room when it comes to booking tours.
“It’ll be a little easier with less people and less schedules to coordinate,” Ruth said. “Now it’s down to everybody who really wants to go for it.”
At Callaghan’s, the band will feature tracks from its upcoming full-length album “Paper Moon.” According to Ruth, the title has what he describes as a “full-circle” effect. The 1973 film “Paper Moon” inspired the band’s name. Now, Kansas Bible Company is using the film’s title for their new album.
Last summer the band began recording this upcoming album at a Nashville studio known as The Brown Owl. For this release, Kansas Bible Company enlisted producer Skylar Wilson. Wilson is known for his work with Justin Townes Earle, Caitlin Rose and Rayland Baxter. According to Ruth, Wilson’s greatest contribution was his role as a decision maker, which helped condense the band’s studio time to two weeks.
“It was nice to bring in an outside perspective, and someone who could help us arrange what we do and have an outside voice to balance out the communal creative process that we have,” Ruth said. “It’s been a great benefit for us, but it was nice to have a definitive voice to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and cut that deliberation time out.”
The album has been completely mixed and mastered, Ruth said, and the band is waiting patiently for physical copies to be delivered. Ruth said their listeners can expect a more dynamic effort than before. He also said the band wanted to capture the complementary live energy of a polished Kansas Bible Company performance.
“That’s always been a challenge,” Ruth said. “We want to translate what we do on stage with how much sound and energy we put out and get it on a record. Overall, I think the songs are the best that we’ve ever written, and the arrangements complement what the songs are and don’t get in the way.”