Day 74: See Calico Jack in Concert in St. Mary’s City

On February 4, Jane Meneely and Paul DiBlassi will perform together as Calico Jack in the State House at St. Mary’s City.   From pirates to Point Lookout, the music of Calico Jack ranges from the raucous ruminations of ne’er-do-well sea captains to more thoughtful ballads about the people who make a living working the water.

Singer-songwriter Meneely has produced three albums of Bay-inspired tunes since 2001.   She will be joined on stage by her real-life partner, singer and guitarist Paul DiBlasi.    He adds his repertoire of classic work songs to Meneely’s portfolio of originals–along with a flair for harmony.

“We’re trying to preserve the traditions and stories of the watermen and their communities. So many people have moved to the Chesapeake region from faraway places,” says Maneely, “and they have no idea what a skipjack is. They don’t know any Bay history. They haven’t heard the stories told around the liar’s bench in an Eastern Shore country store.” Meneely tries to capture the essence of those moments in her songs, whether she’s retelling ghost stories or describing a workday aboard an oyster dredger, “‘freezin’ our butts off on Chesapeake Bay.”  Sometimes saucy, sometimes serious Calico Jack offers audiences a glimpse of a rapidly disappearing way of life and invites them to join in on the chorus.

Doors to the State House will open at 7:00 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7:30.   Clam chowder, vegetarian chili, barbeque sandwiches, cole slaw, cookies, wine, and beer will be on sale.  Plan to come early, and give yourself time to enjoy the company of friends, down-home fare, and the unique State House ambiance before the show begins.  Admission to the concert is $15.   Purchase tickets in advance by contacting the HSMC Visitor Center (240-895-4990 or 800-SMC-1634) or at the door, subject to availability.

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