To celebrate New Year’s Eve 2020, The Dogmatics band re-released a compilation that includes 21 of their classic songs, on Rum Bar Records. The cover includes a guitar pick illustration that I had originally created for merchandise use.
Rumor has it that the band hopes to record some more new music in 2021 to follow up on their 2019 EP “She’s the One“. In the meantime, give their classic 80’s Boston garage rock tracks a listen.
I had the good fortune of being invited to play Mandolin on a new holiday song that is being released as part of the launch of a new Boston-area label called Red on Red Records.
The song called “An Irishman for Christmas” is first-time collaboration between Simone Berk (Kid Gulliver, Sugar Snow) and the legendary Jerry Lehane (The Dogmatics) further supported by a strong cast of Boston musicians: Ed Riemer, Billy Loosigian, and Norm Hartley.
In addition to getting to play on the song, I also helped with the design of the digital album cover and some light-hearted promotional graphics to help promote the song release alongside the Red on Red launch party.
It’s a fun and rocking song, and it’s already getting some positive reviews.
“I’ve jokingly stated that my disinterest in “modern” Christmas music includes anything recorded after 1970. But honestly, “An Irishman For Christmas” is an absolute delight and instantly joins the list of songs I will look forward to playing every year at Christmas time.” – Faster and Louder
I redesigned their band logo based on some past concepts, did some hand lettering for their single release “Georgie”, and designed the CD Label artwork for the full release to look like a vintage paper label inspired by historical vinyl releases from Atlantic and others.
Jerry may be best known for his role in the Boston band The Dogmatics. This is the first time he’s released these five solo recordings that were done in the early 90’s. Check out the album liner notes to read the entire backstory and see the lineup of other great musicians who joined in on these recordings. The selection of songs cover a lot of ground, from hard driving rock to catchy melodies.
Jerry and I talked through the timing and context of these recordings, then we went through a few rounds of exploring a variety of design ideas.
For the full album cover, he gravitated toward the final design that showcases the grit of Boston from the one-point perspective of Green line T tracks.
The single cover for the track “Kiss My Tattoo” was a photograph I took a while back of a light installation at an art gallery that evokes a curious tension between the shadows of two figures.
The single is out now on major streaming services. You can pre-order the CD from Rum Bar Records, and it releases in full in the first weeks of July. Here are some early reviews…
“This song kicks ass! The sound and the cover photo will take you to the Rat in Kenmore” – Medford Jim
“It’s a cool noisy..and raw.. mid-tempo rocker. In the Dogmatic territory but a bit more energetic even!! We love the way it’s loose. it starts with 10 seconds of amp hum, like they’re in the studio waiting to let go. You can feel the way the guitarist just gets carried away in the solo. You want a real rock feeling…it’s right there with Kiss My Tattoo.” – Boston Groupie News
Design by James Young, Cover Photo by Kyle Tran on Unsplash
Our band Peter O’Halloran & The Hired Men has been playing in some shape or form since around 2008. We perform at a small number of live venues each year due to the varied personal lives of all the members. Therefore we’ve never had the opportunity to get into a studio to record anything properly (yet).
Our buddies at Rum Bar Records have been creative about releasing material from various artists in response to COVID-19. We hatched the idea of releasing some of our practice recordings captured over the years and were able to put it out there as a free download in the hopes of cheering folks up in these trying times.
The Hired Men at Beachcomber Quincy MA 2015 – R to L: Jimmy O’Halloran, Johnny Coe, Dan O’Halloran, Peter O’Halloran, J. Young, Marie Kettenring