50 shows in a dozen cities doesn’t sound like a ton, but we had one hell of a year.

Ohio became our second home, playing four weekends in Put in Bay, four times in Cleveland, New Philadelphia and Canton.  I think we peed in every Ohio Turnpike bathroom.  Put in Bay is a favorite.  The people of the community and staff of Hooligans treat us like one of their own.  In fact, we now have an adoptive island family – Val, Dan and the kids…thanks for putting up with us all summer.  Still dreaming about the brownies.  Being from Pittsburgh, there’s an unfortunate stigma about Cleveland.  Not with us.  It’s the same city with the same kind of good natured, hard-working people.  5 O’clock, PJs and the Spitfire were all great fun and hopefully 2013 will lead us back.  Jim might even keep his clothes and shoes on at the Spitfire this time.  If you’re ever in New Philadelphia, go to Bud n’ Tooties and likewise in Canton; Buzzbin was awesome.

We also made it up I-79, going to Beaver, Clarion, Slippery Rock University, Erie, and Niagara Falls.  Kelly’s Irish Pub in Beaver was kind of crazy:  a cozy Irish Pub with a Caribbean island setting in the back (complete with its own beach!).  Too bad the weather pushed us indoors, but it was a great time nonetheless.  We found a new home at Wasteland Live in Clarion.  Don is the man and treated us like family.  The sound and atmosphere is great and we can’t wait to get back.  Slippery Rock Rugby Festival.  If you’ve been, then you know.  It’s a party rivaled by few. Let’s just say all of our equipment was sticky with beer the next day.  Erie was a ton of fun too.  The Crooked I is a top notch music venue and Marty is a great dude.  We met The Tradesmen up there and feel like we have an Erie home.  Niagara Falls was our first wedding.  Congrats to Becky and Peter.  They got as wild and crazy as we’ve seen anyone get at our shows.  Another beer-soaked evening.  Beautiful surroundings.  We’ll always remember that one.

East was Sarver, IUP and Johnstown.  Peter B’s was fun in Sarver.  Great spot.  The Coney at IUP was a really cool pub with a huge banquet hall-type space upstairs.  Had a blast there as our pre-St. Paddy’s Day party.  And Johnstown was great both times we were there.  The Clarks took us to Ace’s and after about a 4 hour drive, we made it to the Crow’s Nest…then crashed at Uncle Ron’s house.  (Hey, Uncle Ron, you still have Dan’s iPhone charger…but thanks for the hoagies and macaroni salad).

Then, there was Pittsburgh.  The Steel City.  Our home.  You were very good to us this year.  We had some great bar shows and great event/festival shows.  This year for St. Patrick’s Day at Market Square—you all blew us away.  We feel like we are indebted to the places, owners and staff that put up with us.  We’re loud, sometimes lewd and not always in key, but we have fun.  And we work hard so that the people that come out have fun.  It’s not perfect and we appreciate the support more than you could know.

Surprise of the year has to go to Pittsburgh City Paper reader’s voting us The Best Pittsburgh Rock Band (that’s not The Clarks).  This completely blew us away and is our Grammy.  Thanks to everyone involved.

We got our hands involved in some charity events this year and hope to do even more in the upcoming year.  The George Show is our cause and this year’s show was a great success.  The Pittsburgh Polar Plunge looks to be a yearly event for us (Kraig, you’re nuts, but we love you).  Children’s Hospital.  Disaster relief.  We’re glad to do what we can, no matter how small it is.

Thank you to everyone that played our CD and came out to our shows.  A ton of you come out all the time and it really means the world.  There are now over 1,000 Bastard Bearded Irishmen albums floating around out there. We’re as shocked as you!

There were some bands that made this year special for us too.  We always have fun with Steel City Slingers, Fist Fight in the Parking Lot, Lungs Face Feet, The Clarks, Backstabbing Good People, The Misery Jackals, Johnny and the Apple Stompers, Bagpiper Doug Greer, Gene the Werewolf, Nina Sainato, The Tradesmen, Broke Boland and the Dirty Pickles, Thunder Vest, The Flutter and Wow, Ando Ehlers, Dethlehem, Gunt Punchers, Cardiac, The Wheals, The Sablowskis, Legendary Hucklebucks and some others…  You gents and ladies are great at what you do.  Let’s get wasted in 2013.

Special thanks to WDVE, Randy Baumann, Val, Mike, Scott and Bill; The X , Tim, Bob and Abby; WYEP and Cindy; Brian Drusky and Ben at Grey Area; John and the Thunderbird; George and Alisa at Excuses; Roy, Gary, Larry and Kevin at Hard Rock; Altar Bar; Carlos and Hooligans Pub; the Rex; Mulligan’s; Moondog’s; Diesel; Hambone’s; Nan and Julie and Pittsburgh Irish Festival; Iron City; Dormont and Verona; all for letting us crash your events and establishments and drink way too much.

From all six of us, we want to thank our manager, Matt Mager, our saving grace/everything man, Alex Herd, our tech/roadie/merch guy Mike Hall and Kevin Dobson, Joey Leuch.  Mary and HDS for the t-shirts.  You guys do so much for us and we thank you.  Couldn’t do it without you.

Last but not least, our families for putting up with us this crazy year.  We love you and your support means everything.

2013 will hopefully be even better.  The equipment moved to the Thunderbird House recording studio after the show this past weekend.  We’re going to get to it and put together something that we think you’ll like more than the first record.  There are some really great shows coming and we can’t wait until we see you again.  It all starts again St. Patrick’s Day.

Until then, love, best regards and have a safe and prosperous New Year!

Jim, Dan, Jon, Danny, Rachel, Ben



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