The Broken Shillelaghs Biography:
The Broken Shillelaghs were originally started by Jerry Collins & Shaun McCann in June of 2002. We were planning a Pub Crawl through Gloucester City, and decided it may be nice to hear some Irish Music along the way. So we brought our acoustic guitars. As each Crawl passed, we learned more and more old Irish Songs and threw in a couple Dropkick Murphys, Pogues, and Flogging Molly Songs as best we could, here and there.
In March of 2003, Doc & Joe’s booked the two of us to play 3 dates prior to and on St. Paddy’s Day. By December of that year, we asked Jared Keenan if he wanted to play along with a snare drum and tamborine, to which he did. Michael Franco helped out our acoustic volume on 2nd acoustic guitar and Shaun picked up a mandolin.
The newly revamped Shillelaghs played Doc & Joe’s in December of 2003, but decided we needed some more volume.
All being in the classic punk-rock band “The Cuffs,” we already had the equipment we needed to mic up. Our first electrified act was at Doc & Joe’s and then onto Dominic’s Tavern for St. Paddy’s Day 2004. To our suprise, the word on the Shillelaghs was out and Dominic had to turn crowds away at the door.
We continued on, playing parties, beef & beer benefits, and various bars, including Oh! Hara’s in Gloucester City, and Casey’s on 3rd in North Wildwood.
In November of 2004, Anthony Sacchetti joined the band on bass.
August of 2005 saw the passing of Jared as he was off to law school in Boston, (precious) New England. Without a drummer, Flyin’ J was able to easily weasel his way into the group at Jared’s departure.
In February of 2007, our former-guest accompaniment Phil B. Collins, brother of Jerry, joined the Broken Shillelaghs on tin whistle and accordion.
June of 2007 saw the departure of Michael as he delved deeper into his school-work at Temple Medical School. Just after Mike left the band, our first self-titled CD was released. The CD was recorded at Why Me? Recording Studio in Gibbsboro, NJ between 2005 and 2007, and featured 13 tracks.
Our second CD, “Greetings from County Camden,” was released in 2009. In May of that year, Anthony left the band. Kevin Young, a founding member of the classic South Jersey Irish Rebel Band “Spirit of ’16,” joined the Shillelaghs on bass quickly thereafter.
Towards the end of 2008, Jerry decided he would like that band to record the Pogues song “Rainy Night in Soho” for his upcoming wedding. Kevin was so excited to be back in the studio that the session jump-started the recording process for our third CD. We continued for several months, and “Shake Your Shillelagh” was released at Irish Weekend 2011.
In October 2011, Kevin left the band and moved to Florida. Eric Budesa, a former bandmate of Flyin’ J from the Arch Rivals, joined the Broken Shillelaghs as the new bass player.