THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dropkick Murphys’ history with Woody Guthrie dates back decades, from covering Gonna Be A Blackout Tonight on their 2003 album Blackout to using some of Guthrie’s writing about Boston in their immortal hit I’m Shipping Up To Boston.
On their recent 2022 album, This Machine Still Kills Fascists, Dropkick Murphys crafted an entire record around the seminal American folk icon, bringing Guthrie’s perennial jabs at life’s class stuggles, injustices and hardships — many from the 1940s and ’50s — into the present, with the resulting music eerily relevant to today’s world.
Okemah Rising is the second and final instalment of this collaboration, and the band bring it home with a bang. Whereas the goal of This Machine Still Kills Fascists was to raise consciousness, Okemah Rising intends to raise the roof. It may have one or two tender moments, but all in all it’s much more of a party.
“Even a party record can have a message though, and we’ve felt that over the last few months as we’ve played Gotta Get to Peekskill and I Know How It Feels on tour all over the world,” the band say. “Every night, when the audience is singing along with Woody’s words, his steadfast defence of the working class, and his fight against social injustice and the abuse of political power comes across loud and clear. So as long as Dropkick Murphys are involved, Woody’s message will always be heard.”