Sunday, August 16, 2015

Song Of The Week: 8/16/15

Song: "Let The Train Blow The Whistle"

Artist: Joe McMahon

Album: "Wasted Potential" (split album w/ Brendan Kelly of The Lawrence Arms)

Year: 2010

Place Of Origin: Boston, Massachusetts

Years Active: 1998-present


"Let The Train Blow The Whistle" is so Johnny Cash! Why? Because it was originally written by the "Man In Black" for his 1994 album "American Recordings". The song is basically written as a eulogy to be read at his own funeral. And in Johnny Cash fashion, the eulogy has no problem giving a middle finger to those who deserve it! Forever the rebel, even in death!! He also says he's lived his own life far from perfection, but he has no regrets, even to go as far to say he'll see his enemies in hell!! Joe McMahon, best known as being the frontman for Fat Wreck Chords' band Smoke Or Fire", covered this Cash track and released it on a split album with Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms) called "Wasted Potential".

JOE MCMAHON'S DISCOGRAPGHY (Full length albums only):

2010 - "Wasted Potential" (split album w/ Brendan Kelly of The Lawrence Arms) (Anchorless Records)


Joe McMahon grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and officially got on the music scene dating back to 1998. His original band was called Jericho. The band soon moved to Richmond, Virginia and due to legal problems with a band with the same name, they changed their name to Jericho RVA. After releasing one full length album and one EP, the band once again changed their moniker, this time to Smoke Or Fire. This was around 2004. Smoke Or Fire wound up hooking up with legendary punk label Fat Wreck Chords and would go on to release three full length albums with them, their last being 2010's "The Speakeasy". Like slews of punk rock frontmen, Joe McMahon caught the bug of the acoustic, roots/folk, solo thing that many others including Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), Tim Barry (Avail), Joey Cape (Lagwagon), Tony Sly (No Use For A Name) and many others also caught. His one split release with The Lawrence Arms' Brendan Kelly proves that McMahon fits right in with all the others I mentioned. Currently, McMahon has released several live songs on his personal Bandcamp page which you can stream or buy, he's about to release a split 7" with Billy Liar and he also plans to have a new, full length album out sometime in the near future. Besides his solo material and his work with Smoke Or Fire, McMahon is also half of the acoustic duo called Billy + Joe, which also features Canadian female vocalist/guitarist Billy The Kid. If you dig punkers going acoustic or if you enjoy attending The Revival Tours featuring punkers stripping down their sound, then Joe McMahon is right up your alley.


1. Let The Train Blow The Whistle (Johnny Cash cover)
2. Delawhere
3. Irish Handcuffs
4. Yesterday
5. Filter
6. Little Bohemia
7. Jinx Removing (Jawbreaker cover)
8. Beauty Fades
9. What Separates Us All
10. Monster Among Us

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