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. Since 1993 they have released an additional six albums. 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, Perry, Dave, Greg, Chuck and Steve deliver music that comes from the heart of Irish Newfoundland and takes you back there every time you listen.