The Jolly Rogers
The Jolly Rogers are a pirate-themed Renaissance folk group who perform at Renaissance fairs in the Midwest United States since 1991. Their high-energy performances of traditional sea shanties, humorous songs and improvisational comedy skits are big crowd pleasers wherever they go. The band's music also makes regular appearances on Marc Gunn's Renaissance Festival Music Podcast, and came in 9th place for top music performers in the podcast's First Annual Renaissance Festival Performer Awards in 2005.
The music of The Jolly Rogers is mostly carried by vocals, which in many songs are chorus pieces with some or all the members performing at one time for the duration of the song with an occasional solo (recurring or at single parts of the song). Many of their songs are accompanied by a guitar, especially at live performances, which keeps the rhythm of the song and adds more reinforcing rhythm to the song. On album recordings, the band at times has guest performers who play other instruments or play other instruments themselves, including a bodhran, flute, hammer, bones, fiddle, violin, banjo, bass, accordion, drums, and trumpet. The songs from the first two albums of the Jolly Rogers were based on historical shipfaring songs, especially those with pirates as a theme.
The Jolly Rogers is an all-male group consisting of five to six members. The current lineup is:
- Chris Berger, a.k.a. Kane (vocals)
- Sean Foree, a.k.a. "Bottomless" Pete Yar, The Pariah (guitar, mandola, vocals)
- Cliff Lawson, a.k.a. Devin Blackhook (vocals)
- Kurt Hanover, a.k.a. Blood Beard (vocals)
- Mark Stahl, a.k.a. Mayhem (guitar, vocals)
- Clint Glidewell, a.k.a. Calico Jack (vocals) He left in 2003 to pursue a career in social work, and was replaced by Sean Foree.
- Brian Price, a.k.a. Captain Spitte (vocals) Former member of the Jolly Rogers, he left in 2004 as a member of the Army National Guard as part of a NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo. He officially resigned his position on May 22, 2006. Brian originally taught Chris Berger and Kurt Hanover their first sea shanties and was a member of The Jolly Rogers for several years. Beginning in 2015, between his deployments, he began performing as Mick O'Celtie at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, a character based on the second disc of the "Loose Cannons" (a.k.a. "Midnight Buffet," attributed to "Mick O'Celtie and his Celtones").
The Jolly Rogers have released 12 albums, the first four of which are out of print.
- Roll Me Hearties, cassette tape copyrighted 1992 by Amp Records, executive producer Glenn Major recorded and mixed by Alpha Music Productions.
- Side A: “Union”/”Calibar”/”Black Ball Line”/”Royal Oak”/”Home Boys Home”/”Green Fields of France”/”Blackbird”
- Side B: “Morning Glory”/” Roll Me Hearties”/”Bold Feinian Men”/”Mrs. McGraw”/”South Australia”/”Galaway Girls”/”Cruskin Lan”
- Pirate's Gold, released in October 1997, consists mostly of historical sea shanties and a few original songs, all from the first four out-of-print albums.
- Loose Cannons/Midnight Buffet, is a two-disk set first released in Sept 2000 which contains traditional songs, a few originals, and a few cover songs of contemporary songs. Loose Cannons/Midnight Buffet was re-released in February 2007 after being re-mixed and remastered.
- Disc 1 - Dead Men Tell No Tales (2007 title: The More Looser Edition)
- Disc 2 - Midnight Buffet (2007 title: The Have Some Pie Edition)
- X Marks the Spot, released in October 2003, was the first album of entirely original pirate-themed songs written by members of The Jolly Rogers.
- Cutlass, Cannon & Curves, their ninth album, is also a collection of all-original compositions. It was released in September 2005.
- No Refunds, recorded live from a show in Kansas City, released on CD in 2007 and on DVD in 2008.
- SCORE, released June 2010, is a third collection of all-original songs. The title is a subtle reference to 2010 being their twentieth season (2010 = 20th year, 10th album).
- Beg, Borrow & Steal, their eleventh album, released in September 2012. Features several songs with Chicago-based pirate group, Bounding Main.
- Pirates Evermore, their twelfth album, released in September 2014.
- XXV released in the fall of 2016 to celebrate The Jolly Rogers' 25th anniversary.
Cover Songs and Tributes
- American rock band Jessica's Crime recorded a version of the Jolly Rogers' classic, The Devil's Son, for their 1998 debut CD, Psychosemantic.
- The Jolly Rogers - Cutlass, Cannon and Curves Album Credits
- 1st Annual Renaissance Performer Awards
- "Homepage for The Jolly Rogers". The Jolly Rogers. Retrieved 2016-11-08.
- The Jolly Rogers on Facebook The best place to find up to date Jolly Rogers happenings
- The Jolly Rogers Official Website - CD playlists & release date information, instrument usage & some biographical information.
- The Official Jolly Rogers Fan Club on Facebook - Announcements, get togethers and other fun group stuff.
- The Jolly Rogers at MySpace
- The Jolly Rogers Performances on YouTube
- Jolly Rogers store at CDBaby
- The Jolly Rogers on iTunes at iTunes