Singer/Songwriter duo to give a concert on September 27.

News Release, Historic St. Mary’s City

The East Coast duo of Janie Meneely and Rob van Sante brings a breath of sea air wherever they showcase their largely homespun folk music from the Chesapeake Bay and beyond. On Friday, September 27 from 6:00–7:15 p.m., they’ll be performing at the Maryland Dove dock, located on the grounds of Historic St. Mary’s City. Money raised by this performance will benefit Maryland Dove, a representation of a cargo vessel, and named in honor of Dove, one of the two ships that sailed to Maryland in 1634. 

Provided seating will be on the dockside facing the shipboard “stage” and overlooking the scenic St. Mary’s River. Concert goers are invited to park at the Old Statehouse/Farthings parking lot, 47418 Old State House Road, St. Mary’s City. 

Signage will be available to direct concert-goers to the waterfront. Advance ticket sales will be available at the Historic St. Mary’s City Visitor Center, located at 18751 Hogaboom Lane, St. Mary’s City, Maryland.

Tickets can also be purchased by calling the Visitor Center at (240) 895-4990. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the Maryland Dove gate.

From the musicians:

“Singer/songwriter Janie Meneely, was born and raised on the Chesapeake Bay. As a former liveaboard sailor and professional boating writer, she brings her nautical perspective to the world of folk music and storytelling, celebrating the maritime history, characters, and traditions of the Bay region. Her music captures the raucous ruminations of ne’er-do-well charter captains who encounter mermaids and delivers more thoughtful ballads about the people who make a living “working” the water. Her songs often evoke the woman’s perspective on the maritime industry.

“Twiddles,” a turn-about tale on the “girl-in-every-port” theme, long ago moved into the folk tradition, popularized by chantey choirs and Ren Faire players on both sides of the Atlantic. Her clear vocals (you can understand the words!) and subtle guitar accompaniment are almost always framed by choruses the audience can join in on, making her concerts a fun gathering for all concerned.

Five years ago, after she lost her husband to cancer—they sang together professionally as Calico Jack—she partnered with Dutch-born guitarist and singer Rob van Sante, who lends his knack for melodies and flair for harmony to Meneely’s compositions. Commonly seen performing with the likes of Alan Reid (of The Battlefield Band) or John Connolly (who penned the maritime favorite Fiddler’s Green), Rob draws deep from the well of traditional music, adding his virtuoso guitar as accompaniment or offering spellbinding a cappella renditions of gems he’s collected during a lifetime of performing around the world.

Whether they sing about the past or the present, the Bay or Beyond, Meneely and van Sante are delighted to share a few hours of music, merriment and (sometimes) mayhem. Be ready to sing along.

People are talking about Meneely and van Sante:

“Janie Meneely has an exceptional ability to sing a vivid picture of a place —namely, the Chesapeake Bay, its distinctive sights and sounds and smells and history. You might never see a wooden skipjack, follow an osprey toward the sunset, or haul in a net full of oysters, but you can experience it through Janie’s lyrics and lovely, powerful singing. And she won’t let you forget for a moment that the history of the Bay is the history of maritime women.”

Mike Livingston, Folklore Society of Greater Washington

“Janie Meneely and Rob van Sante are wonderfully engaging performers with a wide-ranging repertoire of maritime music. Their performance at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center was lively and entertaining. They also presented a marvelous program of Chesapeake Bay songs and stories at a local school, easily keeping the attention of 200 young people.” Laura Orleans – Executive Director, New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center.   

“Rob and Janie’s artistry and respect for their craft become immediately evident to audiences. Their clean, soaring harmonies complement one another perfectly, and the two combine a sense of traditionalism with an interpretive style all their own.”

Bruce Russell, President, Havre de Grace Maritime Museum”

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...