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Any Folk Music in Bermuda?

Joe Offer 22 Feb 15 - 02:27 AM
cptsnapper 22 Feb 15 - 10:54 AM
JenBurdoo 20 Mar 15 - 02:24 PM
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Subject: Any Folk Music in Bermuda?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Feb 15 - 02:27 AM

Subject: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: JenBurdoo
Date: 09 Feb 15 - 12:12 AM

I'm hoping to visit in mid-March. Any Irish pubs or sessions there?

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 09 Feb 15 - 02:10 AM

The Bermuda Folk Club used to do a regular thing at the Spanish Point Boat Club.

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 09 Feb 15 - 06:39 AM

Forgive me if this sounds at all petulant, but why on earth would anyone travel all the way to Bermuda to listen to Irish music?

Surely there must be a wealth of indigineous music in Bermuda. If this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I'd spend as much time as possible soaking up as much of the local traditional music as I possibly could.

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 09 Feb 15 - 06:48 AM

Probably not Fred, according to Wikipedia, the islands were apparently uninhabited when discovered by the Spanish sea captain Juan de Bermudez in 1503. It was settled 100 years later by the Virginia company. So the earliest music there would have been British, and from a maritime tradition.

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Feb 15 - 06:51 AM

Fred - I worked in Bermuda a LONG time ago , and the 'Indigineous' music was virtually Non existent ! There WAS an English Pub Restaurant
that USED to have resident Folkies , but the last I heard was it had moved to Rock .

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 09 Feb 15 - 07:27 AM

Even the so-called authentic calypso and pan was imported. Another early maritime Bermudian form was fado. All long gone.

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 09 Feb 15 - 07:32 AM

Strange. That probably explains why, among my entire collection of LPs, CDs, cassettes etc, I have absolutely nothing devoted to Bermuda. Was it all caught up in the Bermuda triangle I wonder.

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: GUEST,Pete Sumner
Date: 09 Feb 15 - 09:43 AM

I lived in Bermuda from 1974 to 1983 and helped to run the Bermuda Folk Club...
It had started a couple of years earlier.
We expanded a concert series and brought many top performers to the Island . And the club met twice a month
The Robin Hood and Hogpenny pubs were the center of acoustic music in Hamilton.

The folk club website has current info and you might find someone to hang with, but the sessions you are familiar with in Europe do not exist, as far as I know.

Roy Harris was my first guest pick as he was gigging on the east coast...that must have been 1975...
Do you remember that Roy....?

Mike Harding came over several times and several 'pop up' sessions ensued....but the mists of time and Heineken have drawn a veil...good though!

Happy days...

Pete Sumner
San Francisco

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 Feb 15 - 10:21 AM

Thought you might pop up on this thread, Pete.
Greetings from the Backwoods of Lincolnshire! 😄👍

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 09 Feb 15 - 02:12 PM

Pete: Did you ever happen to hear of Al Donahue or Frank Walsh during your years in Bermuda? They opened & ran the first record store in Hamilton. If you remember Ponzi's House of Music in Oceanside, CA that was the same Al & Frank. I've been trying to reconstruct the pre-Eddy de Mello years there in Hamilton. Any old stories would be appreciated.

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: GUEST,Jennifer
Date: 09 Feb 15 - 02:25 PM

I'm looking at a guest house practically next door to the Robin Hood pub. Not interested in the music so much as the museums and other history (though for me they've always gone hand in hand). There's an art museum, a dockyard, half a dozen forts, a cathedral and a few other things that look interesting. Having trouble finding a place to stay so far, though; the cheapest is a resort across the strait from the airport. One, it's a resort, and no matter how cheap I don't need a four-person room. Two, the buses don't return on that road after five, so I wouldn't be able to stay out long each day. So I want something more central if I can get it, because Hamilton looks pretty walkable. Or does it get very quiet in the evening, everything closed and the like?

No sessions in the pubs, though, huh? That was my favorite part of our Scotland trips.

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Feb 15 - 08:44 PM

I do wonder when Stan Rogers and his band stormed into Bermuda, and Stan was so inspired that he composed "The Flowers of Bermuda." It was probably in the late 1970s.

Charlie Ipcar

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: GUEST,Pete Sumner
Date: 10 Feb 15 - 12:59 AM

Some cool stuff to rattle the old memory banks...
Charlie...Stan's first gig was many stories come to mind....but the writing of that song was inspired by a brief trip I took him on to the newly emerging maritime museum in buddy Andy Banbury joined us....and I have some photographs/slides of that very day.
We were riding some scooter things and Stan rode a moped but they couldn't find a helmet to fit at the rental there he is with this globe perched on the top of his globe beaming from ear to ear...again...I have the pics....

Garnet and a David Allan Eadie came on the second visit....they visited again in April 1983 a month before the fatal crash in Cincinnati.....I had left the island in the February and missed that performance.
Many wonderful memories of the man and his music

For guest Phil....
Those names are new to me....but Eddy DeMello was a great friend to me and my musical buddies....he financed an LP we made in buddy John Conolly's song 'Mr Punch and Judy Man' was on it and got some airplay on local radio...
Eddy passed this last year....he was a gentleman indeed...

Jennifer...staying so far from Hamilton is not practical...unless you want to spend a mint on taxis.
Why not go on the folk club web site and find a contact....please mention my name, but it's been forever and I doubt anyone currently there will remember...but it's worth a shot...
Tell them your predicament and see if anyone has any bright ideas....loads of enthusiastic amateur I'm sure you'll get some sort of response.

Hey Backwoodsman....coming back to the flat lands in youngest daughter Lizzy is getting married in Cleethorpes....I promised her a short speech....he he he....

All this Bermuda talk has made me very pensive....It was a pivotal period in my persuaded me that I wasn't cut out to drive a desk and follow my dreams into making a living in music....somehow...

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: GUEST,Lin
Date: 10 Feb 15 - 02:28 AM

Hey Jen:

Here you go:
Bermuda Folk Club
c/o Spanish Point Boat Club
1 Spanish Point Road
Pembroke, HM 01

email for club is:

Mid March when you will be there -
Saturday, March 14th, 2015 - IRISH NIGHT

Will you have access to a car when you are there? Or using only public transportation? The Web site has driving directions too!!

If you go, report back to us about the Irish night, how you liked the club, etc.

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Feb 15 - 07:17 AM

a young folk singer lass in Bermuda
i never saw any any act ruder
she sang a few hits
then showed off her tits
i reckon the band must have screwed her

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: OldNicKilby
Date: 10 Feb 15 - 07:22 AM

So that's where Roy Harris got the version of "Hugh of Lincoln" from, it's known as "The Queen's Garden "

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Feb 15 - 08:16 AM

The Robin Hood was my first Full Pro Gig September '73 til March '74 .
That was well worth giving up the Day Job for . Do they still do cheap Moped hire ?? Then , it was $7 a day and no Insurance required !
I ran a Honda 90 , and still have my Bermuda driving licence as a souvenir !
And Hi Pete - Long time No See !!

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 10 Feb 15 - 09:50 AM

Thanks for a great thread Jen. Hoping you'll find a place closer in.

Pete: I've collected an embarrassing tonnage of DeMello Productions vinyl over the years. Just assumed he would live forever somehow. If you also knew Warren Brown perchance, I am sad to report the old salt passed on Christmas Day last. When I wrote "All gone now." up there...

I split time between Key Largo, Freeport, GBI and Bermuda from '54-'72 and had a Solex before my Honda 50. How strange to remember them here.

Donahue & Walsh ran the house music for the Furness and Alcoa Lines and an inter-island thing sort of like DeMello Productions. Not much out there so far.


Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: RoyH
Date: 10 Feb 15 - 10:17 AM

HI Pete Sumner, how good to see your name on here. I remember my Bermuda trip very well. It is a highlight among my career memories. I also remember being disappointed at the lack of indigenous music there. You phoned a lady, (a well known local resident I believe) on my behalf, to ask about local folklore. She wasn't very co-operative. She said she was fed up with people coming here for a few days and wanting to write books) Did I say it was a highlight of my career? I should say it was a highlight of my life. Its not every day you get invited to a millionaires paradise and get paid for it. So you are in San Francisco now. You certainly know where to live! I haven't sung there for some years but if I ever get back again we must meet up. All the best to you , and THANK YOU for getting me to Bermuda.

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: JenBurdoo
Date: 10 Feb 15 - 07:26 PM

I got an email back, saying "Peter Haynes remembers Mr. Sumner!"

A couple of the guest houses I'm looking back are fairly close to the folk club, it looks walkable though I'm not sure about doing it in the dark if the events run late. I'm not sure about taxis either -- not by the expense, but the difficulty of finding or contacting one ready to go. In general, I'm planning to walk and use public transport, but I have the impression that both facilities and buses/ferries/etc shut down at 5pm, so it would be a turn-up if I got stranded somewhere on the way back due to time. I think I'd spend a full day at the dockyards or St. George's but that might actually end at 3pm or so in order to get back before everything stops running.

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 10 Feb 15 - 09:36 PM

Jen: You could try a bike rental/livery like mentioned above. It's not cheap but if you plan just a couple of days and a nights around it the extra memories, as it were, can be worth it.

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: GUEST,Lin
Date: 10 Feb 15 - 10:51 PM

Maybe you could find out about the taxis from the hotel staff. Or if you contact the club ahead of time by email, ask them if there is a hotel very close to the club. Or other option, find out from club if there is anyone there that could give you a ride (offer to give them a little money) but maybe your hotel would not be too far away and usually folk music people are nice and would not mind giving you a ride back to the hotel. Once you get your hotel situated you could also ask hotel if they offer any kind of service where they could pick you up in the evening after event at club finishes.

I have been in that situation where I have traveled somewhere and went to a folk venue (did not have a car either) and asked around at the folk club if anyone might be going past the area where my hotel was/offered to give them a little money for their trouble) but most folk music people would not take the money and did not mind dropping me off in front of hotel in the evening after folk music even ended.

If you don't feel comfortable doing that (find out how much a taxi would cost and if taxies are available once you know the approximate time the folk music event is over.)

Subject: RE: Any folk music in Bermuda?
From: JenBurdoo
Date: 11 Feb 15 - 09:26 AM

Thanks for the thoughts, folks. I'm not exactly fit or coordinated, so bikes may not work, but I'll check the taxis.

On another note, I have just discovered "Flowers of Bermuda" from this thread (Thanks!) and it makes me want to visit even more. Music is like that for me, it was a powerful stimulant of my visits to Scotland. Only found a few renditions so far, but am trying to learn the words and someday will try the chords (but did I mention I'm uncoordinated?).

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Subject: RE: Any Folk Music in Bermuda?
From: cptsnapper
Date: 22 Feb 15 - 10:54 AM

In the early eighties I had a residency following Johnnie Coppin but I ca't remember the name of the bar. I do remember seeing Tom Paxton at the folk club on the night before I flew home.

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Subject: RE: Any Folk Music in Bermuda?
From: JenBurdoo
Date: 20 Mar 15 - 02:24 PM

The trip went great. I stayed at the Mariner's Club / Sailor's Home across the street from Robin Hood - which is a loud sports bar now. The Spanish Point folk club is still going strong and I sat in on their monthly session on Saturday. There was at least one no-show, so they dragooned me into playing despite my protests and fortified me with a Dark'n'Stormy. My first try, Out From St. Leonard's, was a disaster (couldn't get my voice or the chords right), but Roddy McCorley went over well. I hope no one was recording it...

On St. Patrick's Day I went up to Fort Hamilton to see the Bermuda Regimental Pipe Band - four pipes, two snare drums and a bass drum they had just had delivered from Chicago. The emcee was late, so the drummer lectured us from his i-phone; the first time, he said, that he wouldn't get in trouble for having it on parade! One of the players told me afterward they've played all up and down the east coast, especially a major tattoo in Virginia and another in Halifax. Also in Germany, where they were confused because the audience stamped in appreciation rather than clapping.

It is the fiftieth anniversary of the Bermuda Regiment this year, and they are planning a small Tattoo in October; I just might go back.

The people in Bermuda are so friendly; I was offered a dozen drinks during my stay. It's such a small town atmosphere, too; one of the people at the Spanish Point bar before the show was the Minister of the Environment, and I ran into both the pipe band emcee and the folk club organizer later in other parts of the island. The taxi driver who dropped me off at the Mariner's Club came in with me to say hi to the manager.

Anyway, it was a lovely time, and I appreciate the heads-up you guys gave me about the folk club. You helped make it a success!

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