Mudmen coming to the Legion
Renowned Canadian band returns to Tillsonburg Nov. 23rd
It can take years to build a reputation and impress as a band.
That’s why The Mudmen ‘Canada’s Celtic Rock Warriors’ - put so much effort into producing their own high-quality blend of bagpipes and rock music.
Led by brothers Robby and Sandy Campbell, the Ontariobased Mudmen have been making a name for themselves across the country for the past 20 years. They’ve played on some of the biggest stages in Canada, and small - including multiple times in Tillsonburg, from the TriCounty Fair to The Royal, Norma Jean’s to My Bar and Grill, and in the summer of 2018 they were the closers for the official grand opening concert of the Kinsmen Bandshell, as well as Cowapalooza in Woodstock.
On Friday, Nov. 23, The Mudmen will be back in town to play at the Tillsonburg Legion and it’s a show their long-established fans will want to see. And one that will make new fans.
“After all these years, and all of our accomplishments, we still meet people who say they’ve never heard of us... which is better,” he added with a laugh, “than them saying they don’t like us.”
The November 23rd concert at the Legion, Robby noted, will be a fundraiser for Branch 153. The Tillsonburg Legion will be sharing the profits.
“There’s not many venues in good ol’ Tillsonburg any more, and we know the Legion is always looking for help to keep the doors open. So we said, ‘Let’s give this a shot, see what happens. Hopefully this will be a big show.’
“It would be nice if that room could be used for more events and bands could come in there and keep the ‘ol Legion rolling.”
Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door for the 8 p.m. show. You can check out the Tillsonburg Legion Facebook page or call the office for details and tickets at 519842-5281. Tickets are also available online at ticketscene.
“It’s going to be fun,” said Robby. “It’s 19-plus, so you can have a beer in your hand. We’re going to throw some new songs in the set list here, and we’re going to show up like we always do and tell some stories, play some songs and have some beers. It’s going to be a good fun night.”
Band members include Mike Meacher - lead singer, guitars, banjo; Dan Westenenk - bass player; Jeremy Burton - drummer; and the Campbell Brothers, Robby and Sandy on bagpipes.
Celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band in 2018, the Mudmen are currently making a 10th album, an anniversary book and anniversary DVD. Three major projects they hope to have completed early in 2019.
“It’s tough when you’re booking and playing shows, and you’re a two-man crew trying to keep up,” said Robby, noting their original plan to release a new album in November 2018 was pushed back until March/April. “The calendar kept racing.”
While that work continues, the band is booking live shows throughout the winter.
“You’ve got to stay busy and try to bring in some money,” said Campbell, noting over the years they have released seven of their own albums without financial backing from a major label. “We’ve always got to have money coming in.
“usually we play the grey Cup party (coming up Nov. 25), but this year we didn’t. i guess edmonton’s got a foot or two of snow so we might be smart that we didn’t. we used to go out west a lot, but lately we’ve been staying closer to home playing the theatres and building a fanbase here. sometimes you can make more money with your overhead down, playing more in your back yard.
The book will cover all 20 years as a band - from the hard days, sleeping on cement floors, to the major successes and national stages.
“writing this book is a big undertaking, getting quotes from people and some celebrities from the past. and we’re doing a dvd along with it, so sometimes you bite off more than you can chew. i would have liked to had the Cd out this year for the 20th anniversary, and the book come out the next year, or vice versa, not have it all in one year competing against each other. it’s nice to have new material - and hype - rather than throwing it all out in one year. but sometimes those things happen.”
writing the book turned out to be harder than he thought.
“in the author’s notes we joke about ‘two guys with one pen,’” said robby, referring to himself and his brother sandy. “There’s so many great stories to filter through. it’s like roddy Piper said, ‘it’s the life i forgot i lived.’
“There’s times when somebody says, ‘Tell me a great Tillsonburg story...’ There’s so many. but sometimes you get thrown that question in a town you’ve played twice and you’re like, ‘They were pretty tame shows, i don’t think there’s anything worth talking about. sometimes you have to jog the ol’ memory.”
There are days when they agree they going to ‘tell it how it is.’ other days they say ‘we should sugar coat it, make it a little more marketable.’
it’s a story they are writing on their own - two guys making it work from two different cities.
“it gets complicated because my brother will tackle a chapter, then i’ll read it and say, ‘That’s great, but i have that story further down the line.’ it’s like one story can fit four different chapters, so it’s hard.”
it’s better to be patient, he said, than rush it out the door.
“i’d rather see it done right than push it out and regret it afterwards.
“with this dvd that’s going to come with the book, i think people are going to be shocked by what we’ve accomplished. if you read the book, watch the dvd, this might just change the way people think about us.”
The Mudmen will be returning to Tillsonburg on November 23 to play at the Legion. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the door.
Robby and Sandy Campbell provide a unique sound to Celtic Rock Band, The Mudmen, playing the bagpipes.