Since 1967, Cape Breton’s Men of the Deeps (MOD) have been entertaining audiences on big stages and small stages, narrating the industrial culture and history of Cape Breton Island through heartfelt songs and stories. Their performances evoke emotion at every venue they play. Whether in China or Las Vegas, Mabou or Glace Bay, the camaraderie of the group never fails to spill over into their audiences.
For half a century, this group of working and retired coal miners have been showing up to regular weekly rehearsals and to concerts all over the world, belting out their harmonies, passionately delivering lyrics, and supporting each other as each adds their piece to the bigger picture. They have performed with some of the biggest names in the business: Anne Murray, k.d. lang, Kris Kristofferson, Loreena McKennitt and of course their “sister”, the late, great Rita MacNeil, to name a few. The iconic group has done television specials, radio shows, national and international tours and have nine albums to their credit, with a tenth on the way. They still have founding members; men who have been consistently active in their regular performances, weekly rehearsals and gatherings.
MOD Assistant Conductor / Business Manager, Stephen Muise says the group is looking forward to revisiting some great memories with audiences as they mark this important milestone together.
“Sometimes, travelling on the tour bus is like going back in time,” says Muise. “They share stories of days gone by and experiences they’ve had, people they’ve met and worked with–but it’s all done with humility. There are no egos and everyone takes care of everyone else. Just like they would if they were all working a shift together underground.”
With this rich history in mind, the Men of the Deeps will celebrate with an anniversary gala at the Savoy Theatre, aptly titled The Golden Gala – Celebrating 50 Years with The Men of the Deeps. The event will feature a list of very special guests, who have each been chosen because of their unique connection with the group of former miners. The MOD are pleased to announce among them will be Cape Breton songstress Lucy MacNeil of the Barra MacNeils, Kim Dunn from Rita MacNeil’s band, Cape Breton’s favourite blues rocker Matt Minglewood and multi-talented instrumentalist J.P. Cormier.
Along with an impressive performance list, the Golden Gala will also welcome more than a few well-known guest hosts and a few video treats, and of course, the highlight of the evening will feature all members of North America’s only Coal Miner’s Chorus, the Men of the Deeps. Audiences will also be able to purchase an anniversary compilation CD, which was recently recorded at Lakewind Studios. The gala will take place at the historic Savoy Theatre, Saturday, April 30 at 8pm, with an encore performance scheduled for May 1 at 2PM. The MOD will also be touring Ontario and the Maritimes this spring, performing at Strathspey Place in Mabou on June 19, and playing regularly at the Cape Breton Miners Museum in Glace Bay. Check out upcoming dates here.
Tickets for the Golden Gala can be purchased–for the anniversary price of $50 (tax included)–by calling the Savoy Theatre Box Office at 902-842-1577 or by visiting tickets.capebreton.ca. Tickets for the Strathspey Place concert can be purchased by calling the Strathspey Place Box Office at 902-945-5300 or in person.