The south side of Chicago has a tough, working class reputation. It’s also known for one of the largest populations of Irish this side of the Emerald Isle. So It’s not entirely incongruous that a hard luck kid from the south side of town would choose to play traditional Irish folk music in pubs around the neighborhood. At 18, Tony Duggins was doing just that – playing pub favorites and covers of greats like Ewan MacColl. Before long, he had roped his brother and his best friends into playing original songs he had written, and so became the Tossers. They took their name from the slang term for a miscreant or bum. In the early 1920′s, the Irish instituted their own currency after the southern free state won independence from Britain. British coins became worthless throwaways, “tossers.”
Although their name is irreverent, their music is not. The heart of their distinct sound is derived through the melding of traditional Irish and Punk Rock roots. Combining the folk instrumentation of mandolin, fiddle, tin whistle, and button accordion with amphetamine fueled guitar, bass and drums, the Tossers play with a furious edge that teeters between rage and raucousness.
Possessing the ability to masterfully employ stark tempo changes, from the brink of the insane to the solemn Irish ballad, the Tossers do not disappoint. Their live shows come with a little bit of blood and sweat, and a whole lot of whiskey and beer. Their albums are dedicated to nuanced musicianship and emotional introspection.
The recent completion of the band’s 7th full length album, The Emerald City (Victory Records, 2013), has raised the bar.
T.Duggins – Vocals & Mandolin
Aaron Duggins – Whistle & Button Accordion
Rebecca Brooke M. – Violin
Mike Pawula – Guitar
Peter Muschong – Bass
Bones – Drums
The Emerald City (Victory Records, 2013)
On a Fine Spring Evening (Victory Records, 2008)
Gloatin’ and Showboatin’: Live on St. Patrick’s Day CD/DVD (Victory Records, 2008)
Agony (Victory Records, 2007)
The Valley of the Shadow of Death (Victory Records, 2005)
Purgatory (Thick Records, 2003)
Communication & Conviction: The Last 7 Years (Thick Records, 2001)
The First League Out From Land EP (Thick Records, 2001)
The Tossers/Citizen Fish split single (Thick Records, 2001)
Long Dim Road (Thick Records, 2000)
The Tossers/The Arrivals split single (Smilin Bob Records, 1998)
We’ll Never Be Sober Again (Folk You Records, 1996)
The Pint of No Return (1994)