By Stewart Grant
On Friday, January 27th, Canada’s Celtic Rock Warriors, “Mudmen”, return to the St. Marys Town Hall Theatre to promote the release of their latest album, entitled “Old Plaid Shirt”. This will be the band’s third concert at the grand old theatre hall after performing sold-out shows here the two previous years. “We’re no strangers to this area,” remarks Robby Campbell, one of Mudmen’s founding members.
For those not familiar with Mudmen, they are a popular Canadian Celtic rock band that formed in Alvinston/Petrolia in 1998. They have built up a big following from coast to coast, with fans that include HNIC’s Ron McLean, who is rumoured to be writing the forward to their upcoming book describing Mudmen’s nearly 20-year journey.
“I don’t think there’s many bands that are more Canadiana than us,” says Campbell.
They certainly have the past experience to back up this claim. Career highlights for the band include performing for (and meeting) the Queen, rocking the stage with Wayne Gretzky for the 1984 Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup Reunion, recording the pipes on the new CBC Hockey Night in Canada Anthem, having their music featured on Don Cherry’s DVDs, and even guesting on Bob & Doug McKenzie’s CBC “Two Four” anniversary.
Per Campbell, “We have played at some of area’s biggest venues as Mudmen and as The Campbell Brothers. To name a few, we’ve played Budweiser Gardens with Johnny Reid, Centennial Hall with The Irish Rovers, Grand Theatre with John McDermott, Harris Park with Kim Mitchell, and Bayfest with The Guess Who.”
Mudmen have performed approximately 2,500 times, selling out shows throughout Canada and playing in nine difference countries thus far. “We have been performing more at Celtic festivals in America in recent years”, says Campbell. “We’re trying to build a legion of fans young and old that want to support the band, rediscover their Celtic roots, and just have fun.”
In looking ahead to the St. Marys Mudmen show, Campbell remarked, “We’ll be mixing new songs from our new Old Plaid Shirt CD as well as favorites from our previous eight albums in an all-ages, family-friendly evening of Celtic music and stories. We’re asking fans to wear an old plaid shirt to the concert to show support. It will be great to see a Sea of Plaid in St.Marys at our CD release concert!”
Mudmen’s current band members are Robby Campbell (bagpipes), brother Sandy Campbell (bagpipes, back-up vocals), Mike Meacher (lead singer, guitar, banjo), Dan Westenenk (bass guitar, back-up vocals), and Jeremy Burton (drums, percussion).
Tickets for the upcoming Mudmen concert at the St. Marys Town Hall Theatre are $20 in advance and available at the Pyramid Recreation Centre, online at ticketscene.ca, or at the door for $25 (subject to availability). On January 27th, doors open at the Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. with Showtime at 8:00 pm. Bar proceeds for the event go the St. Marys Actors Guild. For more information on the band, visit www.mudmen.ca or like the band at their official Mudmen Facebook page.