Tales from the Clubhouse – volume XVI

New blog post is up. Come visit..*

* fair warning. I make fun of Republicans.


Tales from the clubhouse – vol XV

New blog post is up. Come visit..

Upcoming September Shows

Posted: August 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Shillelaghs always bring out the best audiences…

September 6th
The Sordoni Theater
100 WVIA way, Pittston, PA
Tickets are $10. Refreshments will be served.
Show being recorded in HD for future broadcast
Tom Flannery the the Shillelaghs take the stage at 7pm…..
(and hope to last an hour before being banned forever by NPR)
Following our set is a set by MIZ
This should be a good ‘un. Seats are gonna fill

September 29th
The V-Spot
906 Providence Road
Scranton, PA
Come see us make Vinnie proud…at the CBGB’s of Scranton
(but with clean toilets)
There ain’t a better gig for a band in Scranton.
This is it boys and girls. The pinnacle.
Rock and Roll nirvana.

Here’s the original article online…

Storyteller finds musical outlet

Published: August 16, 2012

Tom Flannery is a storyteller. When an idea pops into his head, he has to find the words to get it out.

These days the Archbald resident is putting his tales to music, backed by three other performers. The group, called Tom Flannery and the Shillelaghs, recently released its first studio recording, “Teen Angst and Green Flannel.”

Inspired by musical greats Pete Townshend and Woody Guthrie, Flannery has been toying with songwriting since the ’80s, but it took a while before he was willing to share the tunes.

“The first time I noticed that what I was writing wasn’t terrible was the mid ’90s, and it took three years after that until the songs were good enough to let other people hear them. That was ‘Song About a Train’ in 1998, a record that I’m still very proud of,” Flannery said.

Though the creative process is different for everyone, for Flannery the lyrics always come first. He has an assortment of notebooks full of ideas, sometimes potential song titles, sometimes a verse or a chorus. For the most part though, he likes to let the full story pour out.

“Mostly I’ll sit down and try to write a complete lyric. From there I’ll either grab my guitar or sit at the piano and try to find a melody that fits. I may tweak the lyrics some, but for the most part the melody is created to fit the lyrics,” Flannery said. “But when the songs come, they come fast. Sometimes they don’t come, but when they do, I find that most of my records are written in short bursts of time, in a frenzy almost.”

Once the songs and lyrics are down, Flannery adds the band to the frenzy.

The Shillelaghs – Joseph “Wiggy” Wegleski (guitars and ukulele), Lenny Mecca (bass and background vocals) and Chris Condel (drums) – supplement Flannery’s lead vocals, guitar, and harmonica. After working as a solo artist for so long, Flannery is first to admit the band provides him with some necessary restraint.

“The songs are still mine, but I’ve got to discipline myself. It’s not just me and the guitar anymore, so I can’t veer off on tangents like I’m used to, four bars here instead of two, sing the chorus twice instead of once,” Flannery said. “I’ve got to remember there are three guys behind me expecting certain things in a certain way, and they’re all holding things they can and will throw at me. They’re all quite violent and don’t like surprises.”

All kidding aside, Flannery said he is thrilled to be part of the gang.

“I’d made all acoustic records for 10 years, not because the songs weren’t suited to a band, but because I couldn’t afford a band. So I’d write rock and roll songs and just adapt them to myself,” he said.

When Flannery could no longer control his impulse to “make loud noises,” he saved his pennies and called Wegleski. Wiggy agreed to the gig, and said he had two other musicians in mind.

“I had no idea they were Chris Condel and Lenny Mecca, probably the best rhythm section in the area,” Flannery said. “It was all sorts of surreal. I went from sitting in my basement writing 16 verse ballads about coal mining disasters to being stared at by the best pick-up band around with looks that said ‘You better show us something folk-boy.'”

The first thing Flannery showed them was “If Only I Knew,” the opening song on the band’s debut recording, “Teen Angst and Green Flannel.”

“It opens the record. It sets the table,” Flannery said. “It’s the first song I wrote for the record, and the first song we recorded. We did two takes. Done. I hadn’t even met the band yet. Chris was banging away and I didn’t even know his name. He scared me. I had no idea what I was doing. I played that riff so hard my finger started to bleed.”

The rest of the songs on the CD, including “I Don’t Want to Go Home Anymore,” and “Now She’s Gone” rock just as hard, and string together to tell the story of lost teen Jimmy, who is on the outside looking in.

“I used to be a teen, and now I’m the father of a teen. I could spend the next 20 years writing about teenagers. They fascinate me,” Flannery said.

The band’s upcoming gigs include a live recording session at WVIA in Pittston on Sept. 6 and a show at the V-Spot on Providence Road in Scranton on Sept. 29. Both shows are open to the public. CDs and downloads are available for purchase through the band’s website, http://www.theshillelaghs.com.

“My goal is not to have any copies left in my basement a year from now,” Flannery said. “And for it to replace Huckleberry Finn in schools.”

No More Of This For Me

Posted: August 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

Wrote these lyrics last night. Pounded out the melody on the piano today. And slammed it out on the guitar just now. It’s what we should all be doing.

“If I turn away and say leave me be / who’s gonna have my back when they come for me?”

No More Of This For Me
(T. Flannery)

If I turn away and say leave me be
who’s gonna have my back when they come for me?
why should I expect what I won’t give
willing to die so others may live

No more of this for me
No more of this for me
I ain’t gonna leave you be
No more of this for me

Words are to power like bullets to a gun
if we shout ’em together fear turns to run
don’t bring me your God with his secret police
arresting me for disturbing your peace

No more of this for me
No more of this for me
I ain’t gonna leave you be
No more of this for me

Three chords and the truth in an unmarked grave
spinning like a top when we “behave”
bow down for shreds of dignity
eyes wide open but too scared to see

No more of this for me
No more of this for me
I ain’t gonna leave you be
No more of this for me

Is it worth living this way / is it worth the price we have to pay
pull in the garage and close the door / prescription pills and hardwood floors

It’s always the weakest who just say no
face down oppression by refusing to go
where others are led like children away
the strong count their money with nothing to say

No more of this for me
No more of this for me
I ain’t gonna leave you be
No more of this for me

If not now…..when?…how long is too long
now you can rot for singing a song
’till there’s a riot going on they’ll sit and stare
wondering why the world don’t seem to care

No more of this for me
No more of this for me
I ain’t gonna leave you be
No more of this for me

Free Pussy Riot!

Posted: August 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

Join us in support….

Merchandise is here



What a honor to share the stage with Lorne Clarke, Jason O out of State College, and Reading’s favorite son Kris Kehr. Great crowd. Fun to play the new songs…even without the volume. All in all a great gig. We ended up all banging away on the chorus to “I Just Want Her Off My Mind”.

Some new video

Posted: August 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

For my friend Todd….back from Iraq…..and he just became a proud papa. Hope to see you soon my friend.

Version of one of his (and my) favorites. Drowned.

Tales from the Clubhouse vol XIV

New blog post is up. Come join us..

New Band Poster…

Posted: July 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Not bad for a band that hasn’t had a group pic taken yet. Thanks to your friend Bruce…