(AM Media) Dropkick Murphys' video for the powerful song "Gotta Get To Peekskill (feat. Violent Femmes)" premiered today (April 6) at 1:30pm ET on the band's YouTube channel.
"Gotta Get To Peekskill" is the current single from their forthcoming Okemah Rising album, out May 12 via the band's Dummy Luck Music / [PIAS]. Okemah Rising is the second in Dropkick Murphys' series of works interpreting the words of Woody Guthrie for a new generation.
The "Gotta Get To Peekskill" video features performance footage from Dropkick Murphys' 2023 European tour intercut with clips of founder/vocalist Ken Casey as well as Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie of folk punk legends Violent Femmes.
In the song, Woody's defiant lyrics reference the 1949 Peekskill Riots - a confluence of American racism, antisemitism and anticommunist paranoia that brought the Ku Klux Klan to the banks of the Hudson River in violent opposition to a Paul Robeson concert - and the resolute solidarity of the musicians (including Guthrie and Pete Seeger) who joined Robeson in a rescheduled concert the following week.
Dropkick Murphys' Ken Casey commented on the collaboration, noting: "We had the privilege of collaborating with the Violent Femmes on this feisty track. Acoustic Dropkicks sounds a lot like the Violent Femmes in my opinion, so the collaboration is musically and symbolically fitting. And singing a song about fighting the Ku Klux Klan is always extra fun."
Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie said, "We have always loved the Dropkicks' aggressive approach to roots material. They don't need any help, but it was a pleasure to contribute flamboyant acoustic bass guitar. I was moved by the vocal interplay between Gordon and Ken. Mysteriously, the end result sounds suspiciously like Dropkicks meets Femmes. Which is a good thing!"
Referencing both the song's lyrics and its lyricist, Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano said, "Long live Paul Robeson! Long live Woody Guthrie! It's an honor to be singing and playing on this song."
The Okemah Rising album (available on CD, LP and streaming services worldwide) follows Dropkick Murphys' highly-acclaimed This Machine Still Kills Fascists album, which exposed the band to new audiences through airplay on stations like SiriusXM's Outlaw Country, coverage in outlets such as Rolling Stone Country, Paste, CNN, Americana Highways and SPIN, and via Dropkick Murphys' first-ever acoustic, reserved-seating theater tour in 2022.