The Cheer'ly Men - Pittsburgh's Shanty Band

 

 

 

Call Amber at

412-779-7516

Members:

all photos by Brian Volinic, Volinic Visuals

 

Jamie Grant

Jamie Grant
(Cello and Vocals)

Following her study of cello performance at Duquesne University, Jamie has traveled around the world, delighting audiences with her musical prowess. After sailing the seas, she found herself in need of a new challenge, and The Cheer’ly Men were happy to oblige her. As Musical Director for The Cheer’ly Men, Jamie focuses on devising new and unique ways to cajole her bandmates into attending rehearsals relatively sober and encouraging them to choose a key and stick with it. Wrangling 9 other musicians comes with its challenges, and so in her free time, Jamie cries into her whiskey and plays with bunnies.

 

Justin Stag

Justin Stag
(Mandolin and Vocals)

In much the same way he just walked onto the Earth, Justin also just walked onto the Cheer'ly Men's ship one day. No one is entirely sure where he came from (just don't tell his folks that). He may be a ghost. He may be a drunk. He may have stolen a poor soul's name and just gone whichever way the wind's blown him, He'll be the Cheer'ly with a mandolin working, at most 1/3 harder than anyone else on stage (because you see, he has at most, 1/3 more strings than anyone else on deck). Being the only known member to have stolen and sold a boat (abandoned though it may have been) he just may be the closest thing to a real pirate you'll meet this far inland.

 

Wil Kondrich

Wil Kondrich
(Guitar and Vocals)

Wil is Pittsburgh’s finest shanty guitar player. After years of elementary school piano lessons and recitals, Wil picked up a guitar in eighth grade and never looked back. In the summer of 2008 he began studying guitar in earnest with critically acclaimed Pittsburgh musician Bill Toms and in the Spring of 2010 he and three friends from high school formed the band,Hot Metal Bridge, and were soon playing a variety of Pittsburgh clubs as well as many local church and summer festivals. Wil began writing his own music and honing his vocal and guitar skills. Now, mixing original rock, blues, and folk with a shot of desperation and a tinge of hope, Kondrich's live performances leave audiences begging for more! Wil released an original solo album "Faded Dreams", performs regularly at various venues around Southwestern Pennsylvania, and is also a regular guest guitarist for local Pittsburgh legends Bill Toms & Hard Rain; The Pump Fakes, and The Grizzled Yinzers. He received a BA in Music Technology at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Armed with a mix of Pittsburgh rock n roll, southern slide, and a 6 pack of Yuengling, Kondrich and his trusty Telecaster bring the volume.

 

Michael E. Moats

Michael E. Moats
(Bass and Vocals)

The skiffle band, 'Flat Top Tony & the Down Home Trio' was conceived in 1978 in Klamath Falls, Oregon, in a small nightclub called Father John's Pub. It was an assembly of the finest musicians attainable in the Southern Oregon Region: "Flat-Top" Tony on Guitar and Vocals, "Two-Eyes" McGinty on Piano, and "Street Lights" Hershel Lipshitz on Saxophone. On June 8, 1981, immediately following Ronald Reagan's 'Message to the Congress Budget Rescission Report', which cut 114 million dollars from the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, Michael Moats, a nine year old bass slappin' prodigy, replaced Tony, who went off to mine for oil shale in Rhode Island. They then changed the band's name to 'Gas Can Fran & the Flim-Flam Man'. And then changed it again a fortnight later to 'Hobo Joe & the Low Soul Glow' before disbanding for good the following Wednesday. Michael has performed with none of the biggest names in the country and is widely recognized as one of the most exciting musicians never discovered. Since moving to Pittsburgh, Moats makes coffee during the day and music at night. Locally, Michael has played with local bands Neil Before Zod, Mean Disposition, The Mindy Cohn Experience, and Pittsburgh's Premier Pink Floyd tribute band, Pitt Floyd.

 

Zack Morgan

Zack Morgan
(Guitar)

Zack can be seen sailing the seas with other local acts. As the guitarist for Heavy Chest and as a freelancer. In his spare time, Zack can be seen writing film scores or just hanging out. Also, don’t spell his name as “Zach.”

 

Michael Rado

Michael Rado
(Vocals)

Michael is the bearded tattooed guy you forgot from TV. He just returned from a three year sabbatical as an apprentice goat herder in Zanzibar. He likes singing and fishing and drinking and is probably a Viking. Mr. Rado smells like a Tom Waits song.

 

Amber Von Liberty

Amber Von Liberty
(Trumpet and Vocals)

Amber has been sassing audiences and blowing her horns for as long as she can remember. A classically trained vocalist and trumpet player, Amber’s powerful vocal style is profoundly influenced by her love of blues, jazz, gospel and opera. While she never expected to be part of a sea shanty band, she is an original, founding member of The Cheer’ly Men, and there is no place she’d rather be. In addition to her musical talents, Amber acts as “Band Mom”/ Administrator for the group... which essentially means that she has a fifth degree black belt in cat herding and paper pushing. She considers herself quite lucky to have the opportunity to look under Michael VonLiberty’s kilt regularly.

 

Michael Von Liberty

Michael Von Liberty
(Banjo and Vocals)

The story goes that once every few years, the devil appears at the same old crossroads in Rosedale, Mississippi to buy the unwitting soul of any such determined picker-of-the-strings he can find to sink his cloven hooves into. Well, last time that happened Michael VonLiberty wasn’t anywhere near that crossroads. As a matter of fact, he was holed up in a swanky gin joint north of the Mason-Dixon where nobody ever heard of selling their soul. He’s the banjo guy for the Cheer’ly Men on 5-string, and despite what the older folks say he ain’t never sold nothin’ but an old Ford F-150 to Ol’ Scratch. When he ain’t hiding out in Reno in a cave up in the hills, you can find Michael ringing-up that resonator in dear old Pittsburgh; ‘cause everybody knows demons are adverse to lake effect snow. Michael VonLiberty is an accomplished musician with 20 years of experience playing stringed instruments, 15 years as a part-time recording engineer and producer, several advanced degrees in science, and more than 10 albums under his belt.

 

Larry Ganni

Larry Ganni
(hits things with sticks)

After spending most of his life land-locked, Larry has dipped his toe in the water and embraced the sea life. While at port Larry can be seen and heard as the drummer for Pittsburgh's Pink Floyd Tribute, Pitt Floyd, and can be heard - but not seen - hosting The Guest Room Podcast. While at sea he misses his amazing wife and adorable dogs.

 

 

With this unique group, no two shows are ever the same!

Cheer'ly Departed

Aaron Anthony: guitar & vocals

John Dubosky: drums

Nick "Cap'n N-Hab" Haberman: drums

Ryan Macel: guitar & vocals

Terry Schiebel: bass & vocals

Agnieszka Sornek: piano accordian & vocals

Terry Schiebel: bass, vocals and gin taster in chief

Ryan Macel: vocals, guitar, and purveyor of fine beer

Nick "Cap'n N-Hab" Haberman: drums, clicky things that also keep the beat and good vibes

Agnieszka Sornek: piano accordian & vocals

Aaron Anthony: guitar & vocals

John Dubosky: Drums

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