The Gloucester Hornpipe and Clog Society has delighted audiences since 1971 with a lively mix of Celtic jigs and reels, American Colonial-era tunes, sing-along sea chanteys, and original songs of colorful people and places from New England's rich history. From ragtime to oldtime, the band's rollicking, friendly style is fun for all ages.
The Society sings of Old Ironsides, a Boston Harbor ghost, the Massachusetts State Schooner Ernestina, the Massachusetts State Heroine Deborah Samson, and the Great Sea-Serpent of Cape Ann. The six-person band layers vibrant vocals and hearty harmonies with 16 different instruments, including fiddle, flute, banjo, tin whistle, accordion, mountain dulcimer, and guitar. Founder David Rosen plays the age-old delights of bones, spoons, bodhran, and pogocello. The group trades off on an unusual four-string washtub bass, which adds a most amazing thump to the sonic landscape.
The band enjoys performing around New England at concerts and coffeehouses, museums and historic sites, maritime festivals and outdoor summer series, and private events. Three members are from Boston (South Boston and Jamaica Plain), two from Arlington, one from Waltham, and none from Gloucester (despite our name).
- "You are all such amazing musicians, and your performance was lively and magical." (80 Border Street Cultural Exchange Center, East Boston)
- “Your sprightly music was lively and fitting for this happy (Grand Opening), and we feel that old Edmund Fowle himself would be rejoicing in Heaven at the very sound of it!" (Mary Spiers, The Historical Society of Watertown)
- “…an affectionate feel for the music.." (Bryan Baker, review of Airs From Who Knows Where)
- "A band that's become a New England tradition unto itself!" (Dave Palmeter, Folktracks Live, Club Passim