It’s called 11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory and it’s the ninth album from Quincy, MA punk legends Dropkick Murphys. The record was made right here in Texas and was deeply inspired by the Massachusetts opioid epidemic that claimed an estimated 1,747 residents in 2015. Like many other areas of the country, the synthetic drug fentanyl has led to a significant increase or overdose deaths (nearly 13 percent) throughout the state. The band, who have a documented history of advocacy and community activism, has felt the effects of opioid addiction first-hand, with members losing loved ones to the disease.
The deeply poignant 11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory was released on January 6th and will be supported by a European tour followed by a trek across the US, which will start in Bethlehem, PA on February 11th and conclude in their hometown of Boston on March 19th. Along the way, the band will be making a stop at Revolution Live, just three miles from RU’s flagship location in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
One of the more personal cuts off the record is a cover of the classic Rogers and Hammerstein song “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, a song that heard spoke to singer Ken Casey after leaving one of many wakes he has attended since his friends and family started to falling to addiction. Casey’s commitment to drug prevention goes back years. In 2009, he and his DM cohorts established the Claddagh Fund to raise funds for and broaden impact on worthy, underfunded non-profits that support the most vulnerable individuals in our communities.
During 2015, a year that saw a collective redoubling of efforts from lawmakers, police officers, clinicians and prevention advocates alike, the United States saw record opioid overdoses. Since 2000, over 300,000 Americans have been taken by these drugs. Despite advocacy and prevention efforts from all over, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.