Drummer, vocalist and Captain Christian Blotchinger rocked a kilt and Nightmare Before Christmas socks as Potcheen punched in with a series of high-energy Irish folk-rock standards. Most of the band's songs expressed its passion for copious amounts of "Alcohol!" as the line for the bar coincidentally increased and the crowd danced a jig. It wouldn't have been a proper Irish folk-rock show full of alcohol-filled tales if they didn't cover Flogging Molly at the close of their set, "Finding ourselves in the same old mess singing drunken lullabies!"
Music Showcase Westword Music Showcase 2013 recap from Broadways
By Adam Steininger Mon., Jun. 24 2013 at 12:30 PM
Write Comment Categories: Music Showcase Christian Blochinger of Potcheen
Drummer, vocalist and Captain Christian Blochinger rocked a kilt and Nightmare Before Christmas socks as Potcheen punched in with a series of high-energy Irish folk rock standards. Most of the band's songs expressed its passion for copious amounts of "Alcohol!" as the line for the bar coincidentally increased and the crowd danced a jig. It wouldn't have been a proper Irish folk rock show full of alcohol-filled tales if they didn't cover Flogging Molly at the close of their set, "Finding ourselves in the same old mess singing drunken lullabies!"
by Michael Thompson, Denver Celtic Music Examiner, February 2010
It was a great evening of Celtic Pirate Rock as Scruffy Murphy's Pub in LoDo celebrated their 5th Birthday. Few small businesses last this long, and with Irish pubs dropping like flies lately, this one has proven its staying power.
Scruffy Murphy’s Irish Pub, located in Downtown Denver just minutes away from Coors Field, is the perfect place to grab a pint or enjoy some traditional Irish pub fare. With 16 draught beers, a cozy atmosphere and outgoing staff, Scruffy’s is an authentic piece of the Emerald Isle right here in Denver.
It was even better Friday evening with Celtic rockers Potcheen to get the crowd on their feet and moving to the music. Potcheen is the ultimate party band and they really showed their stuff at this party.
Potcheen is the Irish word for moonshine, the raw whiskey that comes from an illicit still, and this music is as raw and real as it gets. The band plays pub standards, favored by every Irish band to hoist a pint, but they play them with energy, enthusiasm, and expertise. From Christian Blochinger on drums, Manuel Nuñez on bouzouki, Laura Quam on dynamite fiddle, Melissa Ivey jammin' on guitar, and smokin' bass from Ryan Waller, every one of these people is an accomplished musician. Together they hold crowds in the palm of their collective hand with some of the finest Celtic rock you're ever likely to encounter.
Happy Birthday to Scruffy Murphy's, one of Denver's best Irish pubs, and kudos to Potcheen for making the evening special!
Rock Your Vote! Coming up with the list of featured acts at the sixteenth annual Westword Music Showcase — which takes place on Saturday, June 19, 2010, in more than a dozen venues across the Golden Triangle — was an incredibly daunting task given the lineup we had last year. But somehow we pulled it off, and then some, booking Ghostland Observatory, Superchunk, Dirty Projectors, BoomBox, Neon Indian, Single File, Tickle Me Pink, Oh My Stars and Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights.
And we haven’t yet announced the local acts that will perform this year. We’ll be pulling those right from this ballot, our list of the very best performers in town in 39 categories. To compile it, we asked luminaries from every facet of the Denver scene to submit a list of the acts that had made the biggest impression on them over the past year. And now that the ballot has been assembled, we need your help in determining the winners in each of these categories. The deadline for all ballots is June 21 — which means you can cast your vote after hearing the bands at the Showcase.
See you there!
Ballots are due on Monday, June 21. Only one ballot per voter; ballot stuffing can and will be detected. Check no more than one band per category, or type your own choice in the space provided.
Our tourbus "Grace" met her demise March 3, 2009 in Lee Summit, MO when a Fed Ex Semi struck her and broke her back. Although the driver (drummer Christian B) was injured, everyone else made it through with minor scratches.
The bus was totalled but we survived the harsh and tossing seas like a band of pirates! Happily, a new pirate ship was commandeered and her name is "Bonny". We just returned from a successful West Coast Tour and she was a trooper!
A big thanks to our wonderful sponsor PocketShot. They have given more help and love to Grace than anyone. Potcheen couldn't have made the road if it weren't for the fine people at PocketShot!
There was an incredible array of fine Irish music at the Colorado Irish Festival this year, but in my opinion, local Denver band Potcheen outshone them all. It's astounding that I can say that, when such big name bands as Gaelic Storm headlined the festival, but frankly, I think they've left behind their traditional Irish roots and moved into an Irish-flavored mainstream rock vein instead. Of course, that's what attracted over 40,000 people to the festival, and the biggest crowd at any festival concert for their Saturday performance. Nothing wrong with that, it's just not my pint of stout.
By the way, for those traditional stout fiends like me who wonder why the festival has served Coors products the past couple of years instead of the customary Guinness, the answer is the same. Over 30 thousand pints of beer were consumed at this year's festival, making it the largest seller of Killian's Irish Red in the U.S. for 2009. If you can get thirty thousand people to petition Guinness to make a better offer, give it a try.
Now Potcheen is no more traditional than Gaelic Storm, with their electric guitars and drum kits, but to me, they hold the essence of good Irish music, and package it in what they call “pirate-punk-folk-rock.” And their audience obviously agreed. While the Elders were holding forth on the main stage, Potcheen still managed to pack the pub tent with screaming fanatics, who danced and sang and joined in the fun with manic fervor and energy. Everyone from little children to their parents, middle aged and older couples and everyone in between was up and dancing by the end of their performance. For sheer mind-blowing audience interaction, these people are second to none.
The Elders were amazing, Brother was astounding, McPeake rocked the crowds, Eileen Ivers helded them enraptured, and Gobs O'Phun had them rolling in the aisles with laughter, but Potcheen just blew them all out of the water. Make sure you see them play whenever you get the chance.
Hello Everyone. Thank you all for your good thoughts & prayers! We really appreciate the support from you all. Just an update to let you know that Christian has arrived home safe & sound. He looks like hell, but he's as much a wise-ass as ever, and we are sooooo glad and relieved to have him home. The gig last night opening up for the Young Dubliners was a great success. David Derby ROCKED on the drums and the house was packed. The Young Dubliners put on an AMAZING show and if you've never seen them, highest recommendations to do so when they come to town again. The condition of Grace is unknown, but we will keep you updated on things as we get more info. Rock on, friends!
Hey folks, as some of you know, our band leader and drummer Christian and our beloved bus, Grace, were in an accident with the boys from Savage Henry on Tuesday in Missouri. We just want you all to know that WE ARE OK! Christian However was the only one with serious injuries and was taken to research Medical in Kansas City..
We are sending out good thoughts and prayers to all the boys, and we were told that Christian will be home safe and sound sometime next week..
ALSO, we will be playing ALL of our upcoming gigs this weekend! Christian's long-time friend (and life-saver!), David Derby, will be filling in on the drums for us. Please keep Christian in your thoughts & prayers. In the meantime, we are pulling together and SOLDIERING THROUGH! Check back with us frequently, as we will have NEW TRACKS from our upcoming album up today, as well as any available updates about the accident. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR CONCERN. Love, Potcheen
It’s not every day that you get hijacked by a bunch of scallywag pirates and live to tell the tale, but that’s exactly what happens when you jump onboard the pirate ship Potcheen, or rather its large green bus.
Potcheen is Denver’s premiere Celtic Pirate-Punk-Folk-Rock Band (try saying that one twice..or even once after you’ve had a shot or two of whisky). The band’s name means “Irish moonshine” brewed high in the hills of ole’ Ireland.
The band formed in 2003 and has been through some changes over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is its fearless captain. When he’s not out fighting off salty wenches you’ll find Christian Blochinger managing the band, singing a little shanty, and most importantly, behind a massive drum set even Bill Kreutzmann would be proud of. I was fortunate enough to get some one on one time with the legend himself. When did you start pounding those drums, and why drums?
Blochinger: I started doing percussion when I was about 20, but didn’t get into full-fledged drumming until 12 years later. I saw “String Cheese Incident” and was inspired. That’s when I also bought a drum set for my son. It was something we were able to do together. I’m self-taught and I play by ear.
One thing people really know you from is that big, green tour bus of yours. And I understand it has a name…
Blochinger: Her name is ‘Grace’ and she’s named after the pirate Grace O’Malley, the only female Irish pirate. I got the idea to get a bus after living in New Jersey. Fans out there didn’t want to drive all the way to New York to see shows. So, a local band I knew bought a bus to take fans back and forth. Saves on gas, people can drink without worrying about driving home it is a great idea…I decided to do the same thing for our Colorado fans.
And Grace has quite the presence at the St. Paddy’s Parade...
Blochinger: We play on top of the bus every year during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade downtown. You’ve never lived until you’ve played on top of a moving bus in a parade lined with 80,000 people. Eight cases of Guinness, 20 strippers and a band on a bus playing to the entire city; who else can say that?
Writer’s note: Christian just had Grace converted to run on vegetable oil which is way better for the environment and no more big gas bills.
What’s one of the craziest things that ever happened to you before or after a performance?
Blochinger: Our first St. Patrick’s Day performance ever was at a house in Arvada. After the show, we were loading up and a gang war erupted all around us. Three rival gangs. Everyone was fighting. I just tried to load up the drums as fast as I could and told everyone else to do the same so we could get out of there. Tell us about your most memorable performance. Blochinger: When we played in front of 5,000-6,000 people in New Mexico opening for Los Lobos at the Taos Solar Festival
You’ve made a lot of changes in the band over the years. What is it that keeps you inspired? Blochinger: I think the biggest joy I get in the world is playing, and playing for people. It’s about doing what you love, not about the money. Most people spend their whole life working in a cubicle waiting until they retire to get out and see the world. Why not travel and play music and see the whole world now? I’d rather have the adventure on the high seas. Hop on the Potcheen bandwagon! So there you have it all you land lubbers. I dare you to take the pirate adventure and jump on the bus next time Potcheen visits your neck of the woods. There’s no need to be afraid of this band of misfits. But, if ya don’t come away with a kick in your step and a nice jug of rum I might just have to make you walk the plank myself! ARR Mateys!
This is a new Feature to give our fans a chance to chime in
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we love our fans... without you wed be playing in our basement
\ ** 2010 Colorado Irish Fest:
Everly Laue ~ (Morrison,CO.l) "Potcheen was hands down the best band of the Festival! "
Zak Fox. (Conifer,Colorado) "we definitely enjoyed the music! I always love seeing you guys. My mom made the comment of "why aren't they signed yet!?"
John Karil (Golden,CO) " It was the kind of energy we were looking for all weekend, it simply blew my group of friends away"
Eric Brown (Go Cats Speedshop). "Each song just got better than the last, i couldnt walk away to use the bathroom in fear i might miss something"
Greg Jordan (Centennial,CO) " Im originally from New York and Ive been waiting for a kickass Irish band to floor me all weekend..Mission accomplished Potcheen"
Konaa Stone "you guys were awesome at the festival" Dana O'halloran (Omaha, NEbraska) " We came for 7 Nations and stayed for Potcheen, youre our new favorite Celtic Band in our own backyard"
Kim Downes (Northglenn,CO) "You guys were amazing at Westword!! Loved the violin, such talent!!" Chris Knealy (Denver,CO). "Ive seen you guys dozens of times and you never cease to amaze me, ya just keep getting better each time!"
Shelly Fritzler (Denver,CO) "You guys rocked last night! It was so much fun. Thanks for singing Happy Birthday! See you guys soon..."
Clay Olds (highlands Ranch, CO) "I love Katie Mullens! Great service and great food. They always treat you like royalty! Rock on Potcheen!
Rachel Jane Johnson "Wow! Your new chicks are kick ASS sexy! LOVIN the strong vocals too! Nicely Done Jedi! :O)"
Touring with the Young Dubliners Dec.-July 2010.
Ellen Garrett: (Denver,CO) "Ya'll were hot Hot HOT in Denver!!!"
Jim Hill: (Reno, NV) "We had so much fun with you and the Dubs at the Knitting Factory in Reno on Tuesday. If you ever make it back out here I'll certainly go see you again!!"
Michael Smith (Reno, NV) "thank you all once again for coming to Reno! We loved ya!"
Erinn Fought (Grand Jct. CO) "Loved your show last night at Mesa Theater. Thanks so much for visiting our little Venue. You guys were the most memorable opening act I've seen in a very long time.