Postmodern Pirates in 2018 – Bruce Withycombe, Willie Matheis, Thom Sullivan, Kevin Hendrickson, Jeff Langston

Throughout 2018 my ska-rock band Postmodern Pirates lived large on stage in a small venue – The Alberta Street Pub.

Though we had a nice little following who enjoyed our live performances, we never put out any recordings other than a few live clips on YouTube.

At the end of 2018 we went into the basement and recorded a live take of our entire set. After listening to the takes, four songs rose to the top of my interest, and I proceeded to add vocals and organ very slowly over a three year period. I finally built some momentum and mixed them down about a week ago — nearly three years after the fact.

I’m very proud of this band and its kick-ass rhythm and horn sections. Thom Sullivan’s drumming keeps me rockin, along with Jeff Langston’s amazing bass skills. The woodwind heroes are Willie Matheis on tenor sax and Bruce Withycombe on baritone. These two are a longtime team, and you can hear it in the remarkable skill with which they blend using only one microphone.

The band recorded in a small 20 by 14 foot room, with all five of us in it. Drums were bleeding excessively into every mic, including the single Coles mic that was capturing the saxophones. The result is great, but not the most hi-fi sound. But the energy is huge, and you can just hear how much fun the band is having.

Hope you enjoy the Postmodern Pirates new EP on Bandcamp!

Song descriptions

  1. Square Peg. I was trying to write a song reminiscent of The Crazy 8s, and you can definitely hear the influence in the opening horn riff.
  2. Head Above WaterAlthough this is technically a cover of a song I wrote for Pirate Jenny, it’s a fact that Postmodern Pirates were the first to play it live, and that they deserve credit for helping develop the song. It’s a narrative about a washed-up pirate rocker who meets a questioning fan after a performance.
  3. The Responsible Dreamers. This one is for and about aging underdog rockers living out their music dreams in basements all over the world.
  4. The Bunratty Castle Band. Takes an old TV show concept of mine and reinvents it as a Ska song.