The Three Jacks

There is a great tradition, or at least a stereotype, of an association between storytelling and drunkenness among the Irish. With his new project, the Three Jacks, Henk "Jack" Milne proves musically there's much to be said for tradition. And storytelling. And drunkenness. But let's be clear here: The Three Jacks are actually a quintet, and they're not all guys. But they do make solid music, and a certain complex renaissance of instrumentation is draped all over their devoutly Celtic debut, Treachery, Lust & Misfortune, as Milne's Guinness-stout rock tells their elaborate lyrical tales. Traditional Anglo songs are woven into the mix here and so are reworked Milne originals such as "The Bare-Ass Girl" and "The Volunteers." Milne, fiddle master Jack Stamates, and guitar star Jack Shawde formed the Jacks as "the acoustic wing of the Volunteers." (Those who missed out on the 15 years of pub glory, and two albums, provided by that Milne-fronted South Florida C-rock collective should dropkick Murphy themselves.) Drummer Diane Ward (yes, that Diane Ward) and beloved bassist Debbie Duke signed on and have been dubbed "the Two Jills." Treachery ranks as magnificent, but if you know anything about Celtic rock, or the characters involved, you know this stuff will really kill live. That's a fact of history. And drunkenness.

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Greg Baker