Plague Dad is a high-energy acoustic duo out of Portland, Maine.
Frank Gallagher (vocals, 6- and 12-string guitars, mandolin and banjo) and Miguel Sanchez (vocals, bongo, spoons, stomp box and what have you) have honed their sound busking for hours around Portland and playing parties and club dates throughout Maine.
Plague Dad’s become skilled at not just commanding attention, but rewarding it, and the audience is growing.
Plague Dad delivers an authentic and compelling sound, crafted with steel strings and wood, calfskin and oak, drawing on a repertoire of tightly crafted original material and carefully curated covers. But whether they wrote the song they’re playing at any given moment or not, the Plague Dad sound draws you in: taut, sparse melodies and hauntingly urgent grooves that somehow fill the room, big or small.
One writer called it three parts Stanley Brothers and two parts Minutemen — and a Plague Dad set is just as likely to feature a song from the one as it is from the other — but a growing number of folks who’ve caught them live don’t really care what the label says, they just like what they hear, because Plague Dad connects.
The Plague Dad project came together in the early days of the pandemic. Laid off from his job, Gallagher spent the time up in his attic, writing and recording new songs, and just trying to make sense of it all. Eventually some of those recordings made their way to family and friends, and building on that support, Plague Dad has continued to attract attention and build an audience.
Plague Dad dropped a debut 7” in November 2020, and the first run of 250 copies is nearly sold out. They’ve got a new five-song EP coming on November 5, 2021. Tentatively titled Back In The Tree, the new material will be released in a limited run of 100 cassettes and 100 CDs, and will be available exclusively through the band’s Bandcamp page and at live shows.
Plague Dad also contributed a cover of Urine Speaks Louder Than Words to a compilation called Songs for a Bunny Named Pat, released on Eden-Wolf Records in July 2021. The CD project features a dozen covers of songs by Pat the Bunny from various artists, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting Books Through Bars. The limited run of 100 copies is going quickly, but a few copies are still available.
The debut 7-inch record includes three songs: two originals one special bonus track.
The Vinyl: Sanitized For Your Protection
Plague Dad’s debut disc, Sanitized For Your Protection, is a 7-inch record that features three tunes, recorded in isolation, on acoustic instruments, in the early days of the pandemic. Get it here.
Rust is a song about trying to do your best every day, even when it’s hard. And lately, some days that’s pretty goddam hard. And some days you fail.
Plague Song is exactly what it sounds like: a grim and pessimistic tune. It’s in 6/8 time and a major key, but don’t let that fool you. It’s all just window dressing for a depressing message about a fate that’s both inevitable and inescapable.
Sickness is from a 1988 record by a San Francisco band called the Donner Party. It’s a great song, probably written somewhat tongue-in-cheek at the time, and one that cuts close to the bone today – but it’s hella fun to play, and there’s a lot to be said for that.