The Tossers celebrate milestone with Chicago concert
By Thomas Conner Live Musicemail@example.com Twitter: @chicagomusic March 13, 2013 2:57PM
The Tossers will take the stage March 16 at the Metro in Chicago.
With Kevin Flynn & the Avondale Ramblers, the Blind Staggers and Continental
♦ 9 p.m. (8 p.m. doors) March 16
♦ Metro, 3730 N. Clark St. (two blocks north of Wrigley Field), Chicago
♦ Tickets, $17 in advance or $20 on show day for the 18-and-older gig
♦ (800) 514-3849; metrochicago.com
Updated: April 16, 2013 3:12PM
Chicago has produced some of the finest Irish rock bands in the United States — one of which is back together and celebrating a milestone occasion on St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
The Irish punks in the Tossers will celebrate a new album and their 20th anniversary with — what else? — their annual pre-St. Pat’s bash at the Metro in Chicago.
“We’re not doing anything fancy for it,” said the Tossers’ singer and mandolin player T. Duggins, a Tinley Park native.
“There’s never been nothing fancy about us.”
Immediately after asking if he remembers the band’s first St. Patrick’s Day show, I realize it’s a foolish question.
“No,” Duggins laughed, “not at all. I’m 38, we started this when I was 18. We hadn’t written any songs. We played traditional stuff just so we could get into bars.
“I do remember our first show ever, though, at Robert’s Roadhouse (in Hickory Hills).
“I remember this old man, Shawn. May the Lord have mercy on him — he’s gone now, but he was this old Irish guy who used to go crazy at our shows. He’d go totally wild. He’d get a bodhran and come up on stage and jam with us. …
“People at our shows, they like to have a really good time, that’s for sure.”
The Tossers — Duggins, tin whistler and Tinley Park native Aaron Duggins, guitarist Mike Pawula, fiddler Rebecca Brooke M., drummer and Tinley Park native Bones and new bassist Peter Muschong — predate the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, both of whom have shared bills with the Tossers.
For 20 years, the group has been hailed as one of Chicago’s more invigorating live performers, mixing Irish roots with a Pogues-ish punk fury.
Now older and with some members having children, the band doesn’t assemble for shows as often as it used to, though both Duggins and M. have a standing gig at the Abbey in Chicago on the first Friday of each month.
Released March 5, “The Emerald City” is the band’s latest album, produced by Andy Gerber (Smoking Popes, Local H) at Million Yen Studios in Chicago.
The title does not refer to Oz or Seattle.
“It’s about Chicago, absolutely,” Duggins said, “because it’s a very Irish city and always has been. The Daleys proved that fact. Just look at the poll sheet of our judges. It’s all Sullivans.”
The 14 tracks on the Tossers’ Victory Records release “The Emerald City” are available to listen to via Rdio at http://rd.io/x/QVB4kSJ4obc.
The Victory Records band launched its new website on March 1 at thetossers.com.
Billed as the world’s loudest folk band, the Tossers play Irish drinking music for punk rockers.