The importance of being earnest

Ken Casey is calling from Denver, Colorado. The Dropkick Murphys frontman seems in a chipper mood, but then it’s the very day that the Boston Irish punk troupe releases their new album, “Going Out In Style.” Seems Casey has something else to be cheerful about, though.
“It’s going to be 70 degrees here today,” he says with great relish.

“It’s great to have only a shirt on. I might even go and buy a pair of shorts,” he boasts.

After an incredibly bitter winter in his hometown, his joy is palpable.

As for the record, the band brings in old pals like Bruce Springsteen and comedian Lenny Clarke as guest vocalists, but South Boston writer Michael Patrick MacDonald — author of “All Souls” and “Easter Rising” — takes a larger role, fleshing out a basic theme into a fully realized story.

“It’s a traditional with Irish music that used to happen fairly regularly,” Casey says of literary and musical hook-ups. “If you look at James Joyce’s ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ coming from a song. ‘The Old Triangle’ inspired by a Brendan Behan play, it’s kind of a lost art. Especially because of the way people get their music now by iTunes and all that. We still try to make albums. It’s an exiting idea to us. But it seems in order to get people to take notice of an album, you almost have to do something like this rather than it be just a bunch of songs.”

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