Mud­men com­ing to the Le­gion

Renowned Cana­dian band re­turns to Till­son­burg Nov. 23rd

Tillsonburg News - - FRONT PAGE - Chris Ab­bott

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.

20th an­niver­sary

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.”

John Gelder photo

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.

Con­trib­uted photo

Robby and Sandy Camp­bell pro­vide a unique sound to Celtic Rock Band, The Mud­men, play­ing the bag­pipes.

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