The 1750's, press gangs of the British Navy
ferried off many of the strong Irish youths from the southern and
western Counties of Ireland to live and work under the most deplorable
conditions for their British Masters in its far-flung New World
Colonies. In the Colony of Avalon, now Ferryland on the Southern Shore
of Newfoundland, these so-called "Irish Youngsters", under the
strong and resourceful leadership of Peter Kerrivan, defied their
masters' tyranny. Under sentence of hanging, this band of merry rogues
retreated to freedom in the mountainous area of the Avalon Wilderness
known as the Butter Pots. There they eluded and taunted their former
British Masters and flourished for more than a century and became known
as "Masterless Men".
For the next century the story for the
"Masterless Men" was mostly forgotten, but did live on in the
folk tradition of the Southern Shore. In 1991, a new band of Masterless
Men was formed. Led by John Curran of Ferryland, this new breed of
Masterless Men retreated, not to the Butter Pots... but to rehearsal
halls and recording studios, to craft and refine their unique music and
songs and create a new sound that has captured the hearts and
imaginations of thousands.
Like their namesakes, The Masterless Men
of today have evolved and grown. In their incarnation, they paid their
dues, working the bars and community concert halls of the Southern Shore
and St. John's. With the release of their first album, "Ode to
Age" in 1993, they graduated to the larger festivals and concert
halls around Newfoundland. Their much anticipated second album "Breakin'
New Ground", released March 9th, 1996 was produced by Gabriel Award
winning producer Gary O'Driscoll. This album builds on the success of
their influences. They have been featured on several radio and
television programs and have performed at premiere festivals and
concerts to sell-out audiences throughout Atlantic Canada, New England
and south to Florida. They have received numerous critical reviews and
have appeared with such musical legends as Tommy Makem, Liam Clancy,
Foster and Allen, and other internationally known artists.
Imagine a boisterous Newfoundland house
party where everyone plays an instrument or sings a song late into the
night. Masterless Men is the sound of hand clapping favourites, heart
warming ballads and mesmerizing instrumentals. Group members John, Dave,
Bob, Chuck and Perry deliver music that comes from the heart of Irish
Newfoundland and takes you back there every time you listen.