Listen again to the great Ralph McLean chatting to Hub founder Rob Ellen on BBC Radio Ulster about his quest to encourage concerts in peoples own homes, when the Medicine Show toured Ireland this year with Chuck Hawthorne and Libby Koch (featuring interview and session with them too) 35 minutes into the show.(click picture)
Ahoy me hearties! Please help your self to my New Year Single mp3 (above)
I plan to arrive in England or Scotland on April 27th and play my way down to Devon for the 4th and 5th of May, then work my way up to Scotland, with tentative plans to return to Ireland on May 13th, and want to play as much as possible during that time, both in rollicking impromptu pirate bands and in singer songwriter situations. I'll be getting some assistance from Rob Ellen and from Fiona Elcoat and Flying Pixie Promotions. Fair Winds!!!
Since I last toured the UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands with Phil Lee in 2009, I've totally let my imagination focus on pirates. A few years back I started touring the Virgin Islands, first with Eric Brace and Last Train Home and then with The Big Happy, and decided I needed to write a pirate song, which, having no foresight of what was to come, I named "The Pirate Song".
A few years later I was touring the US in a Broadway show called "Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash". The cast was a great mix of actors, musicians, and songwriters, and after shows we would gather in hotel rooms for jam sessions. The cast all insisted I start writing a pirate musical, so I started reading up on the history of pirates and writing songs about their life. After I amassed a collection of songs, I decided to record them and put them out on the CD "The Blue Buccaneer".
Soon after releasing the CD I did another Caribbean tour with Paul Griffith and Lorne Rall, and found that there are pirate and seafaring festivals all over, and formed Tom Mason and The Blue Buccaneers to perform at festivals and seaside bars. With Paul busy touring with Todd Snider and Lorne off with James Inveldt, I've come to love an ever changing crew of Blue Buccaneers. We have fiddlers in Florida and Minneota, pipers in Australia, and rhythm sections all over the world.
When the Brixham Pirate Fest in Devon asked me to play the first weekend in May, I saw a great opportunity to come back. I'd missed the big East Nashville Revue tour in 2010, and it's high time I came back. In Nashville I met a wonderful Irish singer-songwriter named Tony McLoughlin who has sailed extensively and built boats, so we hit it off immediately. Tony suggested we tour together, so I'm flying to Ireland in late April for some shows and then we'll do some shows in England and Scotland, hopefully hitting some of the venues I played with Phil Lee a few years back, and hope to do some house concerts as well. Most of all I look forward to playing with musicians I have yet to meet!
2012 was a momentous year. The Blue Buccaneers just recorded "A Pirate's Christmas", which we'll give a bigger push in 2013. The Americana Gazette have me as their cover story this issue. At the Americana Conference in Nashville I got to hear one of my favorite songwriters, Mary Gauthier sing my song "I Thought I Heard a Train", which I had sung at my father's funeral a few months before. I found myself stepping out front again after being a sideman on and off. I didn't do any theater, though dressing up and talking like a pirate fills that need pretty well.
!!! Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers will be playing at the G & S Lounge from 9-9:30 PM on Sunday, March 17th, St Patrick's Day, in a show sponsored by SteadyBoy Records and 3rd Coast Music as part of NOTSXSW. Many of Nashville's most dread pirates will be appearing!!!.
Then I'll fly into Ireland and meet up with Tony McLaughlin on 23 or 24 April, play in Ireland that weekend and then head by ferry to
April 30 Largs, Open for Colin Hay
2 May Filey, Belle Vue Pub
3,4 May looking Bristol Totnes, Falmouth, Cornwall
5 May Brixham Pirate festival, afternoon
6 May Isle of Sheppey, Concert for Sheppey Folk and Blues Club
7, 8 May tentative gigs around Sheppey
10 May back to Filey?
11 & 12 May tentative pirate weekend in Conwy Wales.
17 May Village Inn, Fairlie, Scotland
18 May Afternoon Dingwall
19 May Strathpeffer House Concert TBC
20 May Inverness Market Bar
32 Church Street
21 May Argyle Hotel, Ullapool
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