For a growing number of young Americans, there is a staple of St. Patrick's Day beyond green beer and four-leaf clovers: the music of Flogging Molly.
"In Ireland, it's not a particularly celebratory day. You spend all day in church and have a kind of low-key parade," mandolinist Bob Schmidt said, "But here in the States, it's turned into this great celebration of Irish-American heritage, and being a part of it is great fun."
Based in Los Angeles, Flogging Molly marries the influences of both punk rock and traditional Irish folk songs for a style that sounds like what Charlie Daniels would have made, had he grown up in an Irish pub listening to Dropkick Murphys.
"It's hard to be in a band with any kind of Irish influence and not have St. Patrick's Day not be important," Schmidt said. "We've been doing a tour this time of year for going on three years now. It's a great ramp up to the holiday and allows us to extend the festivities of it all a while more."
Flogging Molly does what every good punk band should: Reach out to the disenfranchised youth.
"Rock has always been the poetic outcast music. Punk rock has always been the rebel voice. I think, for us, it's more about connecting with kids who are more like-minded," Schmidt said. "It's more important to go to places like Tulsa, Okla., and reach out to kids who are dissatisfied with the Bible Belt mentality and the pro-Bush mentality and make them feel like they're not crazy for thinking that." "Graham Lee Brewer