Musical Memories: Rackhouse Pilfer

Sligo’s Rackhouse Pilfer are basically living the dream. Not only are their own compositions winning them accolades and standing ovations around the world, but some of the industry’s biggest talents are taking note of their work. Having been personally invited by superstar producer Ethan Johns to record with Sir Tom Jones and Imelda May last year, the irresistible Irish troupe are UK bound with their sophomore album Love and Havoc, which is headed up by the amazing Bright Lights. We caught up with the group ahead of their UK shows, which includes an appearance at this year’s Country2Country, to find out more about their musical journey to date.

What song reminds you most of your childhood?

Most of us here in Rackhouse Pilfer are kids of the 80’s, so you’d have to go with Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ I think, studded leather gloves and a bad cola!

Which song inspired you to become a musician/singer?

Wow that’s a tough one to pin down. I remember after my parents bought me my first drum kit as child my Dad who was a big ‘Free’ fan told me that if I learned the drum part to ‘Alright Now’ (Cowbell and all), that he’d buy me a set of decent cymbals. I spent weeks at that damn tune and I’m still waiting on my cymbals. Maybe he had bigger intentions though, maybe it taught me my first couple of musical life lessons, work hard but don’t expect anything in return, and don’t trust anybody… haha!!

Which song do you wish you had written?

Right when we started this band we done, and still do our own version of ‘Atlantic City’ by Bruce Springsteen. That song has been so good to us, it really opened some doors at the beginning of the band. So yeah I think we’d be proud to have the Rackhouse name below that one for sure.

Which artist/band has been the most inspirational to you?

As a band I would say Ryan Adams, and also his first band Whiskeytown would have the most influence on the direction we’ve taken. We’re all big fans, his writing, his approach, the way he can change it up, all really great things. Even though we sound nothing like him, which is weird.

Which song/album currently dominates your attention?

Over the last while an album we’ve all really gotten into is Sturgill Simpson’s ‘Metamodern Sounds in Country Music’, we play it every night as our pre show music in the hope of helping spread the word of Sturgill! It’s a very classic country sounding album, but his lyrics bring it into the 21 century for sure and it’s pretty psychedelic. His band are amazing players, they keep it really simple but execute the tunes with great feel, energy and all.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

We’re not sure really, we’ll take anyone’s offer really and give it some Rackhouse Treatment. Last year we got an invite from Ethan Johns who was producing Sir Tom Jones new album, and he invited us to be the session band on Tom’s new album ‘Long Lost Suitcase’. We featured on 2 tracks, one was a duet with Imelda May called ‘Honey, Honey’ and the other a rolling Stones cover ‘Factory Girl’. So that was a pretty cool collaboration, Tom’s the man!


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