Mudmen to return to Blyth next month
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
The Mudmen are returning to Blyth this November for a show at Memorial Hall. This comes after the band has made major in-roads with fans in the area with performances in Blyth, Kincardine and at last year’s International Plowing Match in Walton.
The band, which plays its own brand of Celtic rock music, will be performing in Blyth on Friday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. as part of its 20th anniversary tour, just over a year since they last performed there.
Recently, Robby Campbell, one of the band’s founding members, spoke with The Citizen ahead of the Mudmen’s return to Blyth, saying that it’s an interesting time for the band and its members.
To celebrate the Mudmen’s 20th anniversary, not only is the band touring, but Campbell says they’re in the process of writing a book about their two decades in the music business. They are also hard at work on a new album that they hope to release next year.
Campbell said that the band, which originally hails from the small town of Alvinston, Ontario, has recently begun to focus on touring smaller, but enthusiastic towns that have shown an interest in the band. Blyth has been one of those communities, he said, after the band was in the village last year in the newly-renovated Memorial Hall.
As the music industry has changed in recent years, Campbell said, it has been Ontario’s smaller communities that have kept the band alive. With Campbell and his brother Sandy, both of whom play bagpipes in the band, hailing from a town of 800, they are perfectly at home in communities like Blyth and Walton.
In venues like Memorial Hall, Campbell says the band members are able to connect with their fans, something they can’t do in bigger halls or during festivals like the International Plowing Match.
After touring with the Irish Rovers, Campbell said he learned a lot from them and their storytelling ability and connection to the audience. When the band members are able to do that and tell stories and perform their music is when they’re at their best, he said.
Over the years, the band has been a favourite of Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron McLean and Don Cherry. The band has been featured on a number of Cherry’s videos and, in fact, McLean will be writing the foreward for the band’s upcoming book.
They’ve performed at a number of Canadian celebrations, such as the Memorial Cup, the Brier, the World Junior Hockey Championships and at a Toronto Maple Leafs game. They have also opened for ZZ Top, the Guess Who, the Dropkick Murphys and Nickelback.
Campbell said that a Mudmen show is designed to be a fun night out with some unique rock music that presents the bagpipes in a whole new and pleasing light.
Doors to the show open at 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets for patrons of all ages are $28 each. Tickets for their Nov. 9 Blyth show are available at the Blyth Festival box office or the Festival website at blythfestival.com. For more information, visit mudmen.ca.