The Mill Rats
Thomastown, County Kilkenny
THE MILL RATS is composed of three bodies: JAMES MEANEY, JAMES TAYLOR and FREDA MURPHY.
The Rats tale began when the two James' found themselves breathing the same air, beats and vision's of a style of sound they would ultimately create between an acoustic guitar, Djembe and their own
poetry. After taking up residence in an old mill in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, the beats and melodies flowed night after night by the river bank. Their sound captured the breath and heartbeat of Freda, inspiring her to sing and play along with the contagious and harmonious tunes, thus forging the foundations and the existence of the sound that resulted in the birth of The Mill Rats.
Having begun their debut public performances at the weekly Open Mic nights in The Bridgebrook Arms in Thomastown in the Autumn of 2011, The Mill Rats have gone from strength to strength. With over 30 performances to date in Kilkenny, Waterford and Dublin, they have been described as "the most positive band in Kilkenny".
Their sound is almost genre-less, each song holds its own and packs its own punch. The sound rollicks between the sublime guitar picking and dulcet singing of James Meaney to crowd rocking beats where James Taylor and his Djembe help rustle up a unique Cajun-blues-rock sound that honestly you will only find at a gig hosted by THE MILL RATS. When Freda joins the ensemble with her glockenspiel, softer percussion's and a touch of the feminine you have a trio that will simultaneously pluck your heart-strings and move your feet.
Although by their nature they’re very much their own, you can certainly hear influences such as the poetic nuances of Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake, there’s also certainly a touch of Tom Waits and John Martyn with a complex blend of country, Cajun, Appalachian, bluegrass and a hard-core blues soul throughout the whole experience.
The resulting sound is a raw emotional roller coaster , the flow is energetic and the expressions and emotions unnervingly natural and precise. Right now they are quite acoustic in their sound, but they are
not shy of experimenting with electric instruments. Indeed The Mill Rats
will be surprising fans and bands alike as they evolve. Watch this space.