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Shanneyganock – St. John’s Live Review


 Shanneyganock – St. John’s Live Review


Who: Shanneyganock
From: St. Johns, Newfoundland
Where: Club One, George Street, St. John’s NL
When: March 8, 2014

Style: Traditional/ Newfoundland

Score: 8/10


Newfoundland’s own Shanneyganock played at Club One in St. John’s earlier this month to a sold out crowd. For lovers of traditional Newfoundland music, this was a must-see. Shanneyganock, consisting of Chris Andrews, Mark Hiscock and Bob Pike, have just put out their eleventh album, Rockin’ on the Water. A new video release, Home Boys Home, written by Darrell Power and produced by Roger Maunder is also in the offerings. No moss grows on these b’ys backs. They are prolific and creative hardworking musicians who represent the province with pride and tenacity. The band was accompanied by fiddler Patrick Moran and drummer Billy Sutton.

Club One will be closing this month. The final show will be tonight March 21st with Halifax rockers Gloryhound. Part of the proceeds from Shanneyganock’s show will be going to Vera Perlin, a charity that specializes in helping individuals with developmental disabilities. Club One will be replaced by a Hooters restaurant…yes, you heard right, Hooters.

The show opened at 9:30 with Gillyhickey; Billy Hickey and Greg Gill. Greg Gill played a powerful rendition of Rick Emmett’s Magic Power. Sons of Erin with Ralph O’Brien took the stage at 11:00. The club was flying by then. People crowded the stage clapping and dancing along with the song Meet Me Tonight.  The band displayed tight harmonies and amazing musicianship. When it came time for Shanneyganock to play, the crowd was in rowdy form, and ready to dance the night away. They began their set with MacNamara’s Band, playing this standard Irish song with energy and drive. There was a nice piece of button accordion and fiddle work by Patrick Moran and Mark Hiscock on the ballad, Great Big Sea, and the two accompanying reels, Cooley’s and Red Haired Boy. Makes me wish I’d practice just a bit more!

The crowd was a mixed bag of ages from the twenty somethings to the older crowd who remember the band from back in the day. Chris Andrews’ interaction with the crowd was contagious and the people loved him for it. He asked the crowd, “Are you sad about Club One closing? Are you happy ‘bout Hooters opening?” The cheer went up for both…guess it’s a draw.  Nowhere in Canada is homegrown traditional music so intensely part of the psyche of a hardworking and proud people. For the fans, it is their identity as Islanders that connects them to Shanneyganock’s powerful ballads. These ballads express their lives, loves and dignity as an island people.

Their style was as you would expect: Newfoundland chic; jeans, t-shirts with a touch of color from the plaid in some of the b’ys flannel shirts. No pretense here, just good music and fun!

For twenty years the members of Shanneyganock have sung Newfoundland’s anthems.  A memorable moment was their rendition of Ron Hynes’ Sonny’s Dream, performed with heart and feeling in true Newfoundland style. Every fan’s voice was lifted with pride to this song of lost dreams. Sung form the shores of North America, to Erin’s isle, this ballad speak to all who hear it. The band also performed the title track Rockn’ On the Water, written by Angus Stewart that is on their new album by the same name. Once again the crowd joined in loving every moment, as they too performed with the band.

Overall, it was a great show. The lads delivered a good performance, and the appreciation from the crowd was overwhelming. We’ll be seeing more of Shanneyganock in the years to come, just not at Club One. So, good-bye Club One: hello Hooters…I wonder if they will be serving Scrunchions?

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Reviewed By C. Egan
Photos By: Shawn Peckford