Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Dec 29th 2009 2:00PM by Dan Reilly
"We try to choose our sports stuff wisely because we have undefeated record any time we've ever played at a game," singer/bassist Ken Casey tells Spinner. "I think we've done three Bruins games, six Red Sox games and a soccer game at Glasgow Celtic and the home team has never lost, so we always say, 'Do we want to roll the dice again and keep our perfect record intact?' But this was a very good opportunity to roll the dice again, so hopefully we can keep it going."
'Shipping Up to Boston,' a song with lyrics penned by Woody Guthrie and featured throughout Martin Scorsese's 'The Departed,' has become a staple at many Boston sporting events. The Boston Garden plays it a pivotal moments throughout Bruins games and Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon uses it as his entrance music when he comes out of the bullpen.
"That was always our hope. A band of our nature, mainstream radio or MTV they wouldn't want us but we wouldn't want them either," Casey says. "There's limited ways for the band to grow outside of playing live, so the cross promotions with television and particularly sports is something I always thought would be a great avenue for the band. It's always been great because A, it's a good way to promote the band; B, because we're big fans; and C, it's a good way to get your ass in the door for a big game."
The Murphys are also using the opportunity to promote their new organization, the Claddagh Fund, which benefits a number of causes that are important to the band. They held a charity skate on the Fenway ice for 300 people that raised over $50,000 for the Fund. "There's something about kind of being able to take matters into your own hands as opposed to always doing something for someone else's charity," Casey says. "It's a great way to maximize our fundraising capabilities with the band. With the fan base, we could really turn it into a legion of people doing stuff to raise money."
On top of the risk of losing the winning streak, the band may have to deal with chilly Boston rain, which Casey notes can lead to "a little thing called electrocution." Casey, in particular, is also putting his body in harm's way by playing in an Old-Timers hockey game on Saturday with many of the Bruins legends. As the child of a single working mother could never play organized hockey, Casey is excited to play alongside legends like Ray Bourque and Cam Neely, actors Denis Leary and Kiefer Sutherland, and feared hockey enforcers Terry "Bloody" O'Reilly and Dave "The Hammer" Schultz.
"Growing up around here there's a lot of opportunities to play pond hockey, so I definitely did my share of skating as a kid," Casey says. "Talk about playing pond hockey -- it was the first day the ice went down and there were cones, chairs and tables set over the holes in the surface. You get the puck and you go 'Bourque's coming. Let me skate around the table this way to get away from him.' With Terry O'Reilly and Dave Schultz are playing. Jesus Christ, that could get ugly."
Should Casey survive the weather and the game, he and his bandmates kick off an international tour on Jan. 20 and will release a live CD/DVD that was recorded during last year's string of St. Patrick's Day shows in Boston. "We recorded seven shows and we're just finishing the final edits on the DVD," he says. "We did a live record in 2001 and this has all different songs on it since we've done three records since. When we get back from that trip, we'll start to get ready to do the demo process for our new album, which we hope to have out in the fall."
The live album, tentatively titled 'Live on Landsdowne,' is due out Mar. 16, the day before St. Patrick's Day. The Winter Classic can be seen on NBC in the U.S. and on CBC and RDS in Canada at 1PM ET on Friday, Jan. 1.