Although I have never been to Ireland, I can only assume that being in the audience while Marys Lane plays is a lot like being in an Irish pub. It is apparent from listening to their music that where the band goes, craic abounds; anyone who names their band after a street whether a plethora of women named “Mary” have lived obviously knows how to take life with a grain o f salt. While I don’t believe that the music of Marys Lane will appeal to everyone, it will absolutely be enjoyed by audiences familiar with the sound of Irish music. (Technically, the group labels themselves an Irish/Folk band, but their latest recording definitely skews much more Irish.) Their most recent album, Live in Ohio City, is the first full-length recording for the group, and includes fourteen live tracks.
Truthfully, the quality of this recording seems a little closer to “bootlegged” than simply “live” to me, but there are few songs for which I feel it’s really an issue. And while I will freely admit that that sound quality initially caused me to put off listening Live, I eventually decided that it lent well to the “pub sound” Marys Lane so embodies, and was able to really enjoy much of the album.
So, if you enjoy a little raucous music while going about your day, or (like me) you sometimes like to pretend that you’re cool enough to have spent time in Dublin’s Temple Bar district, perhaps you should give Marys Lane a listen. You can find their album (along with a lot of other cool music) on the website for Bad Racket. I’ve left two videos for you below. One is their cover of the old Irish ballad “Carrickfergus”, which closes the set on Live in Ohio City. The other is “Step It Out Mary”–because who doesn’t enjoy a fast-paced but incredibly sad Irish song?! Enjoy!