Bill Grogan’s Goat - Third Eye album review

Celtic-prog shenanigans from Motor City

Bill Grogan’s Goat - Third Eye album artwork

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Folk has never been afraid to revisit old classics. This is a case in point with Bill Grogan’s Goat. Three albums in, this Detroit five-piece are confident, uncompromising and, well, rollicking fun. They take traditional shanties and songs like Haul Away Joe and Ye Jacobites By Name and work them inside out. To call this music ‘Celtic Rock’ is too safe. For newcomers, think ceilidh meets piratical roistering, hardcore punk, a pinch of Tool, and Irish balladeering, and you begin to get the picture. Frankly, it could be a hot mess, but Third Eye is marvellous. It’s held together by the skill of the personnel. Mindy Whalen and Gerry Smith have winsome voices, and the band deliver a delicious confection of bagpipes (yes!), mandolin, fuzz guitar, and fiddle. At the centre is folk-prog-rock set Knockdu, which snakes and swirls and injects folk prog with a sense of fun that is sometimes absent from the genre. It’s music to caper around the kitchen to – they even have bouzouki. Unlike John Cleese in the famous Cheese Shop, you won’t be shouting ‘shut that bloody bouzouki player up’. Fire up the bodhrán and prepare to have a smile on your face.