The boys from Boston are back with accordion and banjo fury, marking a milestone of sorts — Turn Up That Dial is the Celtic rock band’s 10th studio album. Of note, “L-EE-B-O-Y” pays tribute to DKM Highland bagpiper Lee Forshner, who has battled some challenging personal issues of late. The band kept the title and lyrics a secret, as Forshner recorded his instrumental parts in his home state of Florida because of COVID-19 concerns. DKM even used a fake song title to keep their bandmate fully clueless. After the video was finished, the Murphys held a band meeting via Zoom and filmed Forshner’s response to watching/hearing the video for the first time. See that below. It’s beautiful — and a fine example of what makes Dropkick Murphys special.
How many bands could sincerely and effectively nail a tribute to a fellow member? Could honor America’s military heroes, first responders and working women and men in such a way that rejects hyper nativism and “Proud To Be an American” maudlinism? Could be both pro-U.S.A. and pro-planet? DKM seek a better union and a better humanity — and we love them for it. As Al Barr and Ken Casey sing, “For a democracy to work, we gotta see it from both sides. Stop pointing fingers, shut your mouth and compromise.” Well put, lads.
You can hear a lot more yourself in just a few hours. The group is on a dual headlining tour with California punk lifers Rancid, dubbed Boston to Berkely II, which pulls into Ascend Amphitheater tonight. Los Angeles-residing rockers The Bronx open the show, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $29.50 and are on sale right now.