Prolific and punkish singer / songwriter and activist Ted Leo is a vibrant performer and a bit of a poet. He remains one of those rare artists who can churn out tightly-wound records with an amazing frequency that continually reach for the stars while remaining rooted in working class realities. I’ve never fully understood why he’s not in the usual conversation when people talk about the most talented punk musicians out there, but maybe it’s because he’s actually too talented to be considered punk by some people. Not many punk rockers use vibrato at all, and he does at times shade a bit more toward the stylings of Bill Bragg rather than the snarl of Johnny Rotten. But make no mistake, he knows his punk rock pretty darn well.
Whether performing with a full band or solo, he still finds a way to emit an honest intensity that grabs his audience by the collar of their t-shirts and shakes them up like James Bond’s bartender. And, more often than not, the crowd leaves stirred as well. One of my favorite tunes is “A Bottle of Buckie“, which you now have the great fortune to experience courtesy of the InterWebs. Enjoy.