John Blek and the Rats
Cork City, County Cork
John Blek and the Rats are a six-piece folk and country group from Cork City whose infectious brand of Americana influenced balladry has travelled up and down the roads of Ireland, the UK and Europe, kicking up the dust in the dark corners for the last two years.
Born in the modern day dustbowl that is Ireland, John Blek and the Rats take inspiration from range of musical styles such as the outlaw country of Willy Nelson, the protest ballads of Woody Guthrie, the 100 mile-an-hour lyricism of Jack Keruoac and the melancholic country rock of Neil Young. Despite their musical roots being deeply embedded in the past, John Blek and the Rats have a sound that is fresh and modern, while also doffing its hat to a gonebye era. The streak of melancholy that runs throughout their music is tempered only by their penchant for footstomping rhythms and contagious choruses, a passion for revelry and, at times, lunacy.
"Hot for 2011".... By Hotpress
"What IS a major surprise is that JOHN BLEK & THE RATS are still unsigned at the time of writing..." "...they are the perfect band to take a Festival crowd by the scruff of the neck and their tuneful, punky brand of Americana soon curries favour with this gathering...." By Whisperin and Hollerin
"it's not a genre musicians have shied away from since Mumford & Sons' charge on the charts last year, Blek et al bring something all-together more subtle to the table."..... By Drunken Werewolf
"from the winding charm of Take Me home to the raucous shuffle of Hand On My Heart, it's Americana fed folk rock at it's best."
By Celina Murphy, Hotpress.
"The Rebel County's answer to Ryan Adams and his Cardinals."By Celina Murphy, Hotpress.
"Their finely poised countrified folk sounds could be from any number of great American bands." By Brian Hayes Curtin, Cork Independent.
"Insanely debaucherous footstomping night of lunacy." By Mark McAvoy, The Evening Echo