About the Masterless Men
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, Greg, Mock, Wilf and Perry deliver music that comes from the heart of Irish Newfoundland and takes you back there every time you listen.
John Curran ,the band's founding member from Ferryland on Newfoundland's Irish Loop, has touched the hearts of many with his fine song writing, multi-talented musicianship, and his extremely gifted tenor voice, known for delivering the sweetest of ballads and rich traditional Irish songs.
Perry Dawe's mandolin magic exemplifies his mastering of the stringed instruments. His tremendous bass-baritone voice adds so much to the groups' superb vocal harmonies.
Dave Lush's fiery, Celtic bluegrass banjo virtuosity is stunning, and his wry wit belies his other proficiencies as a drummer, keyboardist, harmonica player, and background singer.
Greg Walsh was raised in Bay de Verde, NL and influenced by his father Ray Walsh and the singing and playing of his grandparents, Greg Walsh became interested in traditional music as a teenager and immediately took to playing traditional instruments including fiddle, mandolin, guitar, tenor banjo, piano accordion, bozouki, etc.
After moving to St. John's in 1993 to attend university, he began frequenting traditional music sessions in the area and has since gone on to play, tour and record with many groups including the Walsh Family Band, The Navigators, Celtic Cross (Ontario), The Irish Descendants, Foc'sle, Middle Tickle, etc. A long time fan of the group, Greg played with The Masterless Men on several occasions from 2003 – 2007. He officially joined the band in 2007.
Wilf Curran, a founding member of the band, re-united with The Masterless Men in 2017. He shares the lead vocals with his brother John and brings his unique style & musicianship, honed over 50 years of playing music to live audiences. Wilf was born and raised in Ferryland on Newfoundland’s Irish Loop where he credits his community and his parents for his love and appreciation for Irish and Celtic music.
MAURICE (MOCK) GREENE