Four weeks until the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival and we’re psyched to be a part of it.
If you’re wondering when you might catch us there, here’s the current schedule of Mudhook’s appearances at the festival:
Friday, June 7
7:00 – Evening Concert
Saturday, June 8
12:00 – Workshop: Contemporary Sea Songs (Village Green)
2:00 – Boatshed Concert
4:00 – Workshop: Dogwatch/Fo’c’sle Songs (Charles W. Morgan)
Sunday, June 9
12:00 – Roundrobin w/the Chanteens (Joseph Conrad)
1:00 – Workshop: The Irish Influence on Sea Music (Village Green)
Just a few weeks now until the Mystic Sea Music Festival
Mudhook as been invited to be one of the featured performers at Mystic Seaport’s 2013 Sea Music Festival.
We’re both honored and humbled to be included…and to say we’re looking forward to it is a MAJOR understatement!
What a summer we had. First, we had a great time playing at the Boston Irish Festival in Canton. Then came Boston Harborfest’s fun (and hot) gig on City Hall Plaza as part of the tall ship and July 4 festivities. The phenomenal (and hotter) Ocean State Tall Ships Festival in Newport RI followed, and last week we got to play for the UNH Marine Docent Program’s 35th Anniversary Dinner at Odiorne Point in Rye, NH. Lots of music, lots of singing, and lots of summertime fun!
Having a blast on Boston’s City Hall Plaza as part of Harborfest 2012
Now we’re heading into autumn and we’re really looking forward to seeing all our friends (old and new) at this year’s Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival. As always it will be held the last weekend in September, and we’ve been invited to perform at the evening concert. We’ll post more details as we get closer, but we hope you’ll mark Sept. 29 & 30 on your calendars so you can join us for a great weekend of music.
In case you missed the news, we’ve been asked to play the 2012 Boston Irish Festival this weekend…one of the largest Irish festivals in the northeast. Since it’s held on the grounds of the Irish Cultural Center of New England in Canton, which is only a few miles from where I grew up, I’ve gone to this festival just about every year since its inception.
Over the years, I’ve seen some fantastic acts there, including Solas, Paddy Reilly, Eileen Ivers, The Clancy Legacy and, returning this year, Gaelic Storm. To be included on the bill is a wonderful honor.
The whole festival is a great take and a family friendly event, so if you can join us, it’d be great to see you!
In case you missed it, Mudhook is going to be part of the 31st Annual Boston Harborfest this summer, which is part of the city’s joint Fourth of July / Visiting Tall Ships festivities.
Since this year marks the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, Boston Harborfest has a major celebration planned in conjunction with Boston Navy Week and Independence Day.
The USS Constitution, which played a major role during the War of 1812, will be the centerpiece, as warships and military tall ships from several nations sail into Boston from June 28 through July 4.
Old Ironsides in Boston Harbor
To be included in the concert series at this event is a huge honor for us. We will perform a three-hour show on City Hall Plaza from 4 – 7 p.m. on July 3.
We can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate Independence Day 2012, and we hope you’ll come by for the festivities.
We had a great time performing on October 15th in Durham. Malcolm Smith, a leader in the Durham Unitarian Universalist Fellowship represents a new activity. Oyster River Folk, where the the Fellowship cultivates interest in all things folk in the area. They have recently built an incredible new meeting and performing space, largely in the round, with an angled vaulted ceiling that is a dream for live, natural acoustics. A PA system is absolutely unnecessary in this special space. Everyone in a performing group can hear one another, and everyone in the audience said the listening experience was perfect.
We wish Oyster River Folk every success – this is a great thing that’s just beginning. We hope they’ll keep us in the rotation with an invite back before too very long.
Check it out….
PORTSMOUTH — The crowd in the Press Room dining room might have only closed their eyes to picture themselves on a trip on the high seas.
Belting out a sea chantey was once a way of passing time and improving teamwork for those manning the decks of sailing vessels, but a Saturday Maritime Open Sing was just about having a good time and preserving a bit of Seacoast tradition.
Michael Jeanneau, a member of the musical group "Mudhook, at the a PMFF Shanty Session. Cunningham/ Democrat photo
Dozens of participants in this weekend’s Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival gathered at the Press Room on Daniel Street for a untethered sing-along that allowed anyone to suddenly launch into a seafaring song with total support of an enthusiastic audience.
“It’s like a jam session … it’s highly rhythmic stuff,” said Barbara “Babs” Benn, an organizer of this year’s 11th annual Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival.
Saturday marked the official start of an annual festival that celebrates the local and national heritage of seafaring and maritime trades by taking nautical songs to pubs, cafes, churches and the streets of Market Square.
Benn said this year’s festival features 17 musical acts with some being solo performers and others being groups with more than a dozen members.
Performers Saturday and Sunday included Liam Robinson of Lincolnshire, England; Celeste Bernardo, originator of the Sea Music Concert Series at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park; and, for the first time, the youth group S.S. Chanteens.
Also performing were returning regional favorites including: Emery Hutchins, Bob Stuart, Chris Maden, Great Bay Sailor, Tom Hall and Linn Schulz, Ken Sweeney, Jeff Warner, Mark Ryer, Mudhook, and Gloucester’s Three Sheets to the Wind.
The festival kicked off on Saturday morning when maritime folk musicians took to the streets singing sea chanties that Benn said invite the audience to take on the part of sailors who once sang the songs to pass the time and keep in rhythm as they worked.
Groups and audience members took a break from formal performances in the afternoon when they all met at the Press Room for a more intimate gathering that included singing and enjoyment of a few libations.
Michael Jeanneau — a Dover resident and member of the musical group Mudhook — had the crowd smiling when he suddenly closed his eyes and began to belt out his own version of Sally Brown, which is a sea chantey focusing on a certain sailor’s affinity with a prostitute.
Jeanneau described the song as being about “forbidden love” and joked that sailors would often have a sparkle in their eye over the first woman they saw upon hitting shore after long stretches on the open sea.
The Dover resident has been participating in the maritime folk festival for four years and said it’s important to preserve the heritage of a Seacoast region that has long been connected with sailing.
He said having the audience support is big in keeping the song lively.
“It shows they are interested in your music,” Jeanneau said.
Article by Geoffrey Cunningham Jr. in Foster’s Daily Democrat
We like each of our Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival venues for different reasons. For example, on Saturday, the Moffatt-Ladd House Barn is a perfect concert setting. On Sunday, though, we get to take it to the streets right in the heart of Portsmouth, in Market Square in front of the RiRa Irish Pub.
We did that today, greeted by a good-sized crowd who were ready to listen and ready to sing along. MC Jim Prendergast introduced us and we set of with ‘The Good Ship Kangaroo.Cloudy it was – with us, growing a bit as time went on, and they helped us the choruses on every song. Of course the time went quickly, and before we knew it we were getting ready to finish up the The Final Trawl. Great fun and another great memory.
It’s coming up on four years that we have enjoyed banding together for the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival (PMFF) on the last weekend of September. During that time we have learned a good number of songs, shanties, and tunes that seem to suit our combination of strings, whistles, voices and the odd drum (no offense, Pete). Some people had asked if we were ever going to record and of that, but things just hadn’t lined up.
Well this August we got lucky, when we learned that our friend Jim Prendergast was in the early stages of un-crating the recording gear he had brought here from his long time studio in Nashville.
24 Tracks of Analog Gold
Jim was keen to get things running, and we were ready to give him a project.
At the end of August we began laying down some tracks in the ”emergent’ “Mill Pond Music Studio” on 135 McDonough Street in Portsmouth. I have a small project studio on our top floor, but any recordings there required me to be engineer and performer – not an easy combo. I especially enjoyed having Jim at the helm as engineer, allowing the whole band to focus on the music.
One of the first songs we laid down was The Mermaid, the Child’s ballad sung as a rouser by Pete.
Mike brought his usual boatload of instruments – bouzouki, banjo, fiddle, and whistles… at least. One of the first songs he recorded was “Honor and Praise‘ described in Pete’s post about the album.
I had a go “Jolly Roving Tar,” at a dear song that we learned from Jeff Warner - collected by his parents, Frank and Anne from Lena Bourne Fish in Jaffrey NH, in 1941. His dad had arranged and recorded that on a classic album long ago.
Jeff told me that, more recently the words were traced to a Broadway play called “Lavendar” in about 1885. Interesting how the threads of these traditional melodies and stories weaves through time.
Alan Eaton, our ‘shipboard entomologist’ (which, according to our etymologist, is a bug guy), brought guitar, fiddle, and voice – including a sweet rendition of “Botany Bay’ that was inspired by a version he’d heard performed by Shannon and Matt Heaton. We all had fun singing the choruses on that, and we really enjoyed hearing the duet that Alan and Mike came up with on fiddle and low whistle respectively.
So we had fun, and worked through some of the tedium connected with getting the little things (you know, like the words) right and pulling the album together. The way it has worked out, we were able to complete a special 12 Track advance release just in time for the PMFF. Pete describes that here
We have a few other surprises up our sleeve for the regular release package — so please stay in touch.
We’re just days away from the start of the 2010 Portsmouth Martime Folk Festival, and we’re getting really excited. We’ve got new songs to debut, our first CD to share and a boat-load of friends from home and abroad will be in town to share in the festivities and sing their guts out. Should be a fantastic time.
Oh, and all the performances are free of charge!
The festival website has posted the performance schedule, and you’ll have three opportunities to see us perform:
- Saturday, Sept. 25 (noon til 1 p.m.) — The Moffat-Ladd House at 154 Market St.
- Sunday, Sept. 26 (1:45 to 2:30 p.m.) — In Market Square in front of Ri Ra’s Irish Pub
- Sunday, Sept. 26 (3:15 til 4 p.m.) — The Works Coffee Shop at 9 Congress St.
Back at The Works!