Captain Billys Privateers
BC Dean''s History Lessons Music to the EarsBy Jim O''SullivanThere was a time, during the irresponsibility of my youth, when I dodged Michael Ryan with a trembling fear for the disciplinary consequences he stored in his quiver.Now, I pop his CD into my stereo and rock out to 'All for Me Grog.'Ryan, a Boston College student development dean, metes out discipline to troubled college kids during the day, and then trades for Colonial garb and a drum, taking his place as a member of the Jolly Rogues.Working on their second CD, a compilation of 17th- and 18th-century sea shanties, the Rogues are a three-year-old touring band of history buffs and crooning musicians, bringing throwback tunes to the New England countryside. They aim to give a tavern feel, with traditional instruments like mandolins and tin whistles, along with tri-cornered hats and hose, lending airs of authenticity.Their music is a blend of American colonial with Irish folk with Scottish and British tavern tunes, even a little spiritual thrown in. 'Most of the songs of the time period came out of England, Ireland, Scotland,' Ryan says. 'Usually, what''ll end up happening is you''ll have a tune with words that will be passed around among musicians, and someone will get a hold of it and change the words.'It''s catchy and gentle to the ear, and I''ve cleverly avoided giving back the sample copy of 'The Road to Boston' that Dean Ryan lent me.His bandmates - Paul Harty on the violin and mandolin; Alan Hicks with the guitar, tin whistle, and banjo; and James Murray on guitar and mandolin - share with Ryan a zeal for interpreting history, and a talent for blending musical styles.But instead of adding another battle re-enactment to their resumes, they picked up the instruments and took to the road, performing in the New England Folk Festival, and this summer at the Old South Meeting House and on Comcast cable. On September 30, they''re in North Reading and Wakefield, and in October, they''ll be bringing history to Concord. Ryan says they''re planning on a European tour for next summer.On their recordings, they opt for the imperfections of live performance rather than an overly-refined, studio feel. 'We don''t want to come across as being a polished, perfectionist group,' says Ryan. 'We want to be a group that, if you walked into a tavern in 1660, or 1670, or 1680, this is what you''d hear.'Ryan, whose judgments on my behavior in those erstwhile days of mischief were even-handed, has een a BC man for parts of five decades. A native of East Gloucester, he graduated from The Heights in 1967, then served 10 years of active duty in Vietnam. He came back to BC, where he is now the assistant dean for student development, and the administrative supervisor for the school''s R.O.T.C. program.'It''s always been the Jesuits or the military for me,' Ryan says. Now it''s the Jolly Rogues, which seems an interesting third to add to the mix. But it''s a good fit for Mike Ryan.And, with the unspoken threat of a postgraduate suspension pending, I''ll say it''s good enough for me, too. B --Boston Irish Reporter Boston, MA Quote: Three-year old Allison is a big 'Jolly Rogues' music fan. Her dad obtained a copy of the CD 'Capt. Billy''s Privateers' and played it around the house and in the car. Now, whenever Jay buckles Allison into her car seat for a ride and asks what CD she would like to hear for the trip, she begins chanting 'J-o-l-l-y R-o-g-u-e-s...J-o-l-l-y R-o-g-u-e-s... J-o-l-l-y R-o-g-u-e-s'. --Allison Concord, MA 4/14/2005 UPCOMING APPEARANCES: Wednesday, July 13, 2005 7:00pm - Concord Library Presents the Jolly Rogues Concord, Massachusetts Saturday, July 16, 2005 6:00pm - JOLLY ROGUES AT Breakheart Reservation Saugus, Massachusetts Sunday, July 17, 2005 2:30pm - Bryant Homestead Craft Festival Cummington, Massachusetts Friday, July 22, 2005 7:00pm - Citizens Park Concert Series Woburn, Massachusetts Saturday, August 06, 2005 7:30pm - JOLLY ROGUES AT THE ISAAC WINSLOW HOUSE Marshfield, Massachusetts Sunday, September 04, 2005 6:30pm - Windjammer Weekend Camden, Maine Saturday, September 10, 2005 4:00pm - THE BATTLE OF PLATTSBURGH PLATTSBURGH, New York PAST APPEARANCES: Saturday, June 11, 2005 9:00am - Dahme Germany Sea Shanty Festival June 10-12,2005 Germany, Thursday, June 09, 2005 8:00pm - Jolly Rogues in Bad Zwischenahn Germany Germany, Sunday, June 05, 2005 1:00pm - Jolly Rogues at Sarotoga national Historic park Stillwater, New York Saturday, June 04, 2005 8:00pm - Jolly Rogues at Saratoga Historic Park Stillwater, New York Saturday, May 21, 2005 1:00pm - JOLLY ROGUES AT LITTLE FARM NEWBURY MA FESTIVAL Newbury ma, Massachusetts Saturday, May 14, 2005 6:30pm - Lincoln Library Lincoln, New Hampshire Saturday, April 09, 2005 12:00pm - New England Folk Festival Natick, Massachusetts Friday, March 11, 2005 8:00pm - Jolly Rogues ST. Patricks Day Party Wilmington, Massachusetts Saturday, December 11, 2004 6:30pm - STRAWBERY BANKE CANDLELIGHT STROLL PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire Saturday, September 11, 2004 2:00pm - New Bedford Whaling Musuem Saturdays at Sea NewBedford, Massachusetts Saturday, August 14, 2004 11:00am - League of NewHampshire Craftsmen Fair Concord, New Hampshire Thursday, July 22, 2004 7:00pm - NewBedford Historic Whaling National Park NewBedford, Massachusetts Saturday, July 10, 2004 8:00pm - Billericay England Billericay England, Saturday, July 03, 2004 8:00pm - Tewkesbury Battlefield Society Tewkesbury,England, Thursday, July 01, 2004 7:00pm - Tewkesbury England Tewkesbury, England, Sunday, June 06, 2004 1:00pm - Concert at Saratoga National Historic Park saratoga, New York Saturday, June 05, 2004 7:00pm - Van Alstyne Homestead Canajoharie, New York Saturday, June 05, 2004 8:00pm - Canajoharie library & Art Gallery Canajoharie, New York Comments I downloaded the songs 'The maid from Willington' and 'Boys from Blue Hill'. I like the shanty-music. It is easy listening music with a historical value. We in Holland have also many shanty-choirs. You can find most of them on the internet. In my radioprogram I play often one or more songs. But I want some music from America, England, Scotland,etc. Because it is for broadcasting, I want to ask you to send me the original studio-version of your songs in january next year. ( I can still wait some months). And then your songs will be heard here in Ridderkerk in Holland. And Ridderkerk is a little place 8 miles from Rotterdam. --Ad van Eijk Ridderkerk, Netherlands 10/25/2002 Yesterday evening I was in Bad Zwischenahn (Concert with the Shantychoir Oldenburg, the Square Riggers from Delfzijl en The Jolly Rogues from the USA). That was first class --Conny Beckmann Dahme, Baltic 6/26/2005 Email from a Fan, It arrived! Patrick came in with a package, the Road to Boston. Immediately, Alexander and I popped it in and listened to it . I haven't heard your voice in I don't know how long, so it was nice to hear your introductions. As he bounced around on my knee, Alex loved the spirited sound and the fun ride from my foot tapping and my metal knees moving to the beat. From my Club Passim visits, I knew most of the titles. Your group produced an excellent, clean sound. I like that it is uncluttered. It has a good sound. It is an achievement you should be proud of. The entire concept, packaging, and product is a class act. With the historical connection and the quality music, I imagine that the CD will do well. In the weeks to come, I'll be listening to Road to Boston instead of watching the repeats of the Noggin offerings. You and the other three created an outstanding product. Congratulations. The Absolute Groupie Doris '62 Dear Jim and the Jolly Rogues, We all loved your program at the Winslow House. It was particularly appropriate for the place and time. Everyone remarked on how much they enjoyed it and as it is a new venture for us the response pleased us a lot. It was great fun to meet you all and we hope you'll come again next year. Also we appreciate the price you gave us. Thanks again, Cynthia Krusell, President of the Historic Winslow House.
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