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January 2016 -- The Pyrates Royale have some difficult news to share with you, our friends, fans, and colleagues.

Co-founder Brad Howard informed us that he has quit the band. Nearly a year prior to that, Damon Hersh and Ellie Cattle resigned because of personal obligations in the real world. After fulfilling a couple of contracted performances the band is dissolving.

Darcy Nair and Craig Williams are working on building a new band. We'll be doing a broader musical range of songs and tunes than in the past. We'll keep you informed as things develop.

Most bands break up after several shows and are never heard from again. It's an unusual band that lasts more than a year. The PRs have lasted nearly three decades. There have been 17 members through those years. This is without even counting the mysterious deaths of our many drummers.

During that time we have played gigs from New York City to Key West and St. Louis, at fairs, tall ship festivals, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, on historically important ships, and at corporate functions, not enough weddings, too many funerals, and a Cub Scout Blue and Gold Dinner.

We've also been fortunate to have shared stages with wonderful musicians who have warmly welcomed us at every turn. To our friends The Corsairs, Ship's Company Shantymen, The Crimson Pirates, Gypsophilia, The Brigands, Janie Meneely, Rich Follett, William Pint and Felicia Dale, The Boarding Party, and the various talented musicians at the Carolina Renaissance Festival, Sterling Renaissance Festival, St. Louis Renaissance Fair, Great Lakes Medieval Festival, Georgia Renaissance Festival, Florida Renaissance Festival, Virginia Renaissance Faire, and Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire as well as so many others we've met along the way, we thank you.

But the most important performances for us have always been those at the Maryland Renaissance festival. MDRF is the best festival we've played; and we've been very fortunate to have done that. This fest was our birthplace and home. It would be difficult to overstate the level of support that the Smith family, Entertainment Director Carolyn Spedden, and the cast and crew have given us over the years. We are so very grateful for their many kindnesses and concessions over the years. They continue to be our Renfaire heroes.

Please don't call or email the office staff to complain about our absence. We haven't been fired. The PRs are walking into the sunset for our own reasons.

We are also thankful to our various camp followers and CD sellers over the years; Michael Heaney, Brian "Hemloche" Lazar, Kim Workman, Shaun M. Bagley, Eric Dunn, Meredith Eriksen, and Sam Cattle and our Camp Mom Linda Lazar. They worked long hard days for us, and we appreciate their labors.

Finally, we thank the hundreds and thousands of fans and friends we have met along our journey. Without your support and appreciation our band would not have lasted. We've come to know many of you personally. We don't know if it showed, but there were many times that the simple act of being allowed to perform for you has gotten us through very difficult personal times. The deaths of our dear friends Bill Huttel and Paul DiBlasi and the events of 9/11 are only the most obvious examples. We valued your friendship and the various toys and baked goods you've shared with us.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you have done for us.

-- Craig Williams for The Pyrates Royale

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December, 2006

The Pyrates Royale will ring in 2007 for the very first time at First Night Dover in Dover, DE. We'll be playing at the Delaware Public Archives, 121 Duke of York Street in Dover at the following times:
6:30 - 7:15 pm
7:45 - 8:30 pm
9:00 - 9:45 pm
10:15 - 11:00 pm

First Night Dover web site

Also, if you haven't already, Dec. 31 is your last day to vote for your favorite musicians in the Renaissance Festival Music Awards!

September 6, 2006 -- In this week's Gazette: Ready for some maritime music, arrrr ya?

August, 2006

Here's where and when we'll be playing every day at the Maryland Renaissance Festival:
11:00 AM -- Globe Theatre
12:30 PM -- White Hart Tavern
3:00 PM -- White Hart Tavern
4:30 PM -- White Hart Tavern
6:00 PM -- White Hart Tavern (Pub Sing)

Also of note: The 2006 season marks our 20th anniversary as a performing group!

The Carolina Renaissance Festival has moved the dates of this year's annual "Pirate Christmas Weekend." (Putting the "tide" in "yuletide.")

It will be November 11-12, 2006

We'll be there... hope to see a lot of you there, too!

February 10, 2006
A New Year, and All Kinds of News!

The Pyrates Royale has garnered two WAMMIE award nominations from the Washington Area Music Association. Tales of the Brigantine is up for Best Traditional Folk Recording, and the group has been nominated for the third time for Best Traditional Folk Music Group. Awards night is February 20!

...but wait! There's more!

We also placed in the Top 10 Renaissance Music Performers in the 1st Annual Renaissance Festival Performer Awards run by The Renaissance Festival Podcast and the Brobdingnagian Bards. Many, many thanks to all who voted for us!

...but wait! There's more!

We are in talks with Carnival Cruises, planning our first-ever Pyrate Carribean Cruise. It'll be a week-long adventure in early March 2007, with ports of call in Mexico and the Carribean.

...but wait! There's even MORE!

For the first time in... well, a REALLY long time, we are fully stocked -- meaning, we have copies of ALL 4 CD TITLES including Love at Fyrst Nyte and Tales of the Brigantine! These are available at all of our performances, as well as through the mail -- go to our online order form to fill out your collection. Special price for all 4 CDs -- $50 plus $5 shipping.

Oh. And I got a new pyrate chapeau. It's very... pink! I absolutely love it, a million thanks to my friend Kitty.

August 23, 2005

Welcome Back to Revel Grove
You know it's that time of year again... because I'm finally getting around to updating this poor, neglected "News" page.

It's been a busy year with big changes for many of us, but most of that busy-ness wasn't official band busi-ness so I kept my trap shut. (Well, here, anyway.)

The biggest change band-wise is that Bonny Peg Riley has resigned from our crew. We wish her well, and appreciate her contributions to the insanity for all of these years. She can be seen performing irish music with our own Molly Stubbs, in the Northern Virginia-based group Keltish.

This weekend marks the start of our annual 9-weekend run at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, also fondly known as "home," because this is where the Pyrates first got its start. We've almost got The Pyrate Camp and Petting Zoo set up, we've rehearsed for Pub Sing, and we even have ambitions to bring some new songs and silly bits to our show. Mind you, I said "ambitions," there's no guarantee...

January 10, 2005

Happy New Year, ya lubbers!
It's turning out to be another quiet winter break with not a lot of invasions (read: performances) on the near horizon, but that gives us plenty of time to refine our plans for world domination. And boy, do those plans need refining.

Next month, we will be seen and heard at the annual Privateer Feast hosted by the Maryland Wenches Guild. Also fondle-ly known as "Save the Boobies," this event raises a heckuvalot of money for breast cancer research. Always a good cause in our book.

In the meantime, I've dug up some old reading material for you to enjoy:

  • Rambles Magazine Interview with Skivee
  • Washington City Paper Pop Quiz

    Also, I've finally dipped my toes into the brave new world of web page forms. With the help of someone who actually knows how to write a cgi script, I've added a couple of forms which will hopefully make emailing and ordering CDs a wee bit easier.

  • CD order form
  • Email form

    November 18, 2004
    I'll lead with The Bad News... We're sorry to say that we will NOT be performing at First Night Annapolis on December 31 -- More details here

    Now for The Good News! As they say, The Eagle Has Landed...
    Or, in this case, The Brigantine.
    Copies of our long-awaited (and awaited, and awaited, and awaited some more...) fourth CD The Brigantine are now available! Click here to get your copy! Many, many thank yous to those who pre-ordered this CD, and thanks to the rest of you for your patience and loyal faithfulness while you waited. Hmmm... reminds me of a certain song.

    And many thanks also to our Maryland fans who drove all the way to the Carolina Renaissance Festival last weekend and caught our shows! This festival is definitely different than what we're used to in Maryland. This was our second visit, but I think the patrons still don't know quite what to make of us -- we are a stage act that doesn't juggle or eat fire or sword fight. So, it was wonderful to see familiar faces in the audience singing along and not just staring at us like our eyes were on stalks.

    September 24, 2004
    Well! I certainly have been uncharacteristically quiet for some time, haven't I? I could say that there hasn't been a whole lot to talk about lately... but the truth is that there has, I just have been criminally lazy on that front. Perhaps even feloniously so. (My my, we certainly are in a big-word frame of mind today, aren't we? Just making up for lost time, you gotta problem wid dat? Stop talking to yourself, that's just weird.)

    At any rate. Here we are in the thick of, the midst of, one might even say the gooey center of, The Maryland Renaissance Festival season. And in fact, this coming weekend is the scurviest one of the entire year: it's Pyrate Invasion! God save us indeed. So there will be more salty types roaming the village of Revel Grove than you can shake a marlin spike at. Which is probably what I'll be doing, when I'm not cowering in the Pyrates Royale camp, sucking on a rum flavorered, er, sucker and holding onto my stuffed squid for dear life. Never mind where I got the squid, all right? It was all perfectly legal.

    All right. So please do pay us a visit, and dress in your pyratty best. Note: If you haven't any pyratty best, by all means please do wear something. Some of us have weak hearts and even weaker impulse control.

    Copies of our latest CD "Tales from the Brigantine" should be in our hot little hands in as little as 3 weeks. Capt. Moone has said this at least a few times in the past month, so any skepticism is not entirely unwarranted at this point. But go 'head, accuse us of lying. Our rebuttal: "pyrate!" *pointing at self* If you really must grill someone (on a spit over some designer mesquite chips is mine own personal favorite) please do speak with Capt. Moone. No, really. I'll be over in that corner with my squid, no help at all, lalala...

    April 14, 2004
    (Cue stereotypical nature show music)

    Announcer voiceover: After a long harsh winter, the characteristically shy and cranky PyrateLady emerges slowly from her cave, blinking in the bright sunshine and instinctively reaching for her boarding dagger...

    I did some spring cleaning. Moving will do that to you. This week pyrates.com moved to another server -- er, sailed to another port, I mean -- and as your official webmaestro I took it upon myself to go over this web site with a fine-toothed comb and a pair of white gloves. (No, I didn't WEAR the gloves. Sheesh, what do you take me for? Skivee wore 'em. Oh yes, he whined plenty about it. Maybe because they were elbow length?)

    At any rate, I trimmed off some older content and did a lot of reorganizing, so if you've bookmarked any internal pages from the original pyrates.com, your bookmarks will no longer work.

    -- This space intentionally left blank until we have actual real news about the upcoming CD. Like a real release date. Wouldn't that be something. --

    September 24, 2003
    updated: Photos page

    Wow! We're halfway done already??? The Maryland Renaissance Festival season is really flying by! This year's Pirate Invasion Weekend was a tremendous success -- not even a hurricane could keep those pyrates away. (Truth to tell, we pyrates was never known for being conservative) There were more salty seafarin' types visiting Revel Grove than ever, and many of them paraded around for our amusement at the Costume Contest. Our camp was jam-packed with fellow maritime entrepreneurs from near and far: the Corsairs (from Texas), the Crimson Pirates (from NYC) and of course our local bretheren of the sea, Ship's Company. A stompin' bellowin' sword-wavin' good time was had by all.

    Well, that's all for now... AHEM! You growl. What about the CD??? Okay, well, I'll tell you... just give me a moment to cower behind this nice, thick stone wall. Gosh, but I like stone walls, such lovely handiwork. Anyway. We're still working on it. Yup. *cue slightly altered recording of the late great Orson Wells * We will sell no CD before its time. The final pressing won't be done by the final weekend of the Maryland Ren Fest. That's all I can say for now. But keep checking this web site, and I'll try to update whenever there's any progress worth reporting. I'm still really liking what we've gotten done so far, it's... just... moving... slo-o-o-o-wly.

    But hey! If you really are dying to throw some money at us... This just in from PyrateCo. Our own Crusty has been immoral-er, immortalized in beautiful sterling silver, as a wee pendant to decorate your neck, your ear, your hat, or where-ever you feel you should be more crusty. Just stop by the Pyrate Camp and we'll be happy to show him off for you!

    August 21, 2003
    Well, it's August and you know what that means... The Maryland Renaissance Festival opens this weekend, kicking off 9 weeks of merriment, music and mayhem! Our Pyrate Camp has moved to the space formerly occupied by the lemonade and soda stand. Last week we set up part of the tent (pictured at right) and have decreed that we really like the new spot! Come by and say ahoy, but don't expect any lemonade or Pepsi!
    Also, it's been a few years and you know what THAT means... Yes indeedy, we are putting the finishing touches on CD the 4th, which will be titled The Brigantine. We're still in the mixing stage, and so far so good... personally, I'm thrilled with a lot of what I'm hearing. This is definitely our most ambitious recording project to date, with more elaborate instrumentation and arrangements. I think that you, Gentle Listener, will agree with me that The Brigantine will be well worth the wait!

    June 18, 2003
    I'm back from my annual week-without-a-shower aboard the Kalmar Nyckel. It was a fanastic experience, as always, and I followed the two most important rules of tallship sailing: 1) Don't fall off of the rigging and 2) Don't drown. Remarkably, I saw more sunshine that week than I have since April, but we did get hit by a pretty hefty storm just outside Alexandria, VA. How we rode out the storm and other exciting happenings will all be revealed when I post my log on the trip... coming soon.
    AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: If you are a fan of ours (one could presume that you are, since you are reading this) and of Cerridwen's Coffeehouse, you don't want to miss our next performance on July 12... it may be our last at this wonderful venue. It's been a lean year for many, and Ariana, the founder and director of Cerridwen's (and a very fine musician in her own right) informed me that the coffeehouse may have to close its doors. I'd be terribly sorry to see this happen, as Cerridwen's has hosted many terrific local musicians, including Tinsmith, Al Petteway and Amy White, Grace Griffith, In Our Cups... and er, us. Tickets are $12 -- see our online schedule for more details.

    June 4, 2003
    Has it really been nearly 4 months since I updated this page? Not that we haven't been busy. Maybe too busy... when it feels like I should be building a freakin' ark in my backyard. It's amusing to read February's update, in which I was bellyaching about all of the snow. But at least in the snow I could go cross-country skiing. Rain is just irritating. I'd waterski down the street if I could, but I don't have a motorboat.
    In fact, our road trip to the St. Louis Renaissance Festival over the Memorial Day Weekend was worth the 14-hours-plus drive just for the sunshine! They must be doing something right out there, the weather was lovely.
    This week brings one of our biggest gigs of the year... Norfolk's Harborfest! We have met so many crews, toured so many tallships and made so many friends at Harborfest over the years. We're looking forward to seeing The Kalmar Nyckel, The Godspeed, Ben "Blackbeard" Cherry, Tom Lewis, Bob Zentz and Scuttlebutt again. Check our online schedule for more details.
    After the festivities in Norfolk end, I'm going to put on my foul weather gear and serve as crew on the Kalmar Nyckel, sailing north along the coast. We'll be docking in Old Town Alexandria on June 13, for anyone who happens to be in the neighborhood. Yes, that'll be Friday the 13th. I expect it to rain.

    February 26, 2003
    Assuming that we can navigate in all this bleeding snow (paging Lord Franklin... um, no, scratch that. Paging Rudolph the Red Nose...), our next public performance is on March 1, at the SOLD OUT benefit for our friends in Team Wench, which will participate in this year's Avon 3-Day Walk. That event raises money for breast cancer research. Click here to find out more and do your part to "Save the Boobies!" (Come on, who doesn't want to save boobies?)
    IN THE NEWS -- no, it's not the latest Crime Blotter. We actually got a mention in the February "Great Music" issue of Washingtonian Magazine. Really! I didn't find the article featuring local folk music on the magazine's web site, but I saw it in print; our name -- spelled correctly, I might add -- rubbing elbows with such well-known acts as Eddie From Ohio and Magpie. Speaking of great local music...
    We've been nominated for Best Folk Group by the Washington Area Music Association -- our second year in a row! We didn't win, but the award went to the very deserving and talented (and married) duo of Al Petteway and Amy White. Hmmm... come to think of it, *last year's* winners are also married to each other. Interesting! Maybe we'd have a better chance of winning the Wammie if two of the pyrates married each other. While that is a rather horrifying thought, it segues quite smoothly into this announcement...
    AHEM. Flagellations to our own Peg Riley (aka Lynn Cunningham), who married Scott Grossman on February 15. So now she's an honest woman. Well, as honest as she's ever likely to be. It was a small and very... unique ceremony, having been completely written, orchestrated and overseen by the happy couple.
    While we're on the subject of Peg, your criminally lazy webmaestro has finally posted a page that reveals the true story of Peg... as far as you know.
    Despite the fact that it's STILL not spring yet, we dragged our online schedule -- kicking and screaming like a woman, it was -- back from the sunny climes of Key West and updated the bugger. Believe me, it hurt the schedule more than it hurt us. Er, well... just go see how busy we are this year.

    January 14, 2003
    With a burst of microphone feedback and a "small cry of despair," (to quote a friend of mine) we said "Bugger off" to 2002 and "Blarg! Prepare to be boarded!" to a brand new year at First Night Annapolis. I'm sure that 2003, like our audience, was terrified.
    That said, well... we don't have a very busy performance schedule this month. In fact, our schedule is, even now, sunning itself on a Key West beach and enjoying a cold Dark 'N' Stormy. Which leaves us pyrate types plenty of time to plot and plan lots of evil for this year. And to read wonderful publicity like this article written by Frank Hui for Ren Radio. Thanks a bunch, Frank! A regular renfest-er and a big fan of piratical music, Frank is our good friend in Texas and a staunch Corsairs supporter. (Don't beat him up guys, he still says you're his favorite pirate band.)