Who is Tim Reilly?
Tim Reilly is a living-history musician who specializes in the musical heritage of the sea. In real life Tim works as a professional ship's rigger at Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea, located in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. If you want to know anything about tall ships and the Whaling Era, then Tim is your man.
In addition to working on historic sailing vessels, Tim gives evening lantern tours at Mystic Seaport, demonstrates maritime skills, and performs "Music of the Sea and Shore" with the museum's Chanteymen.
As you would expect, Tim is a masterful bones player. He is also an accomplished percussionist on triangle, bells, and Irish bodhran. Plus he sings, plays the penny whistle and is a skilled kit drummer.
Tim performs regularly throughout the area and enjoys giving workshops on how to play - and make - musical bones. The multi-talented musician is also a vocalist who specializes in sea chanties. He is a regular workshop presenter at the Rhythm Bones Society's annual "Bones Fest" get-togethers. Tim is a long-time member of the Celtic-nautical musical group Barnacle, which "Uses the sea as a launching pad for the exploration of musical styles such as klezmer, Swedish, Cajun, French Canadian, Celtic, early American and Scots baroque."
The Tradition of the Bones is in Tim's Soul
"We who do traditional music keep it alive," declares living-history musician, Rick Spencer. "Percy Danforth was the guy who kept the concept of rhythm bones playing alive after the minstrel shows died, and now Tim Reilly carries in his soul the tradition of the bones."
Tim demonstrates the bones at Steve Brown's bones workshop at NEFFA (New England Folk Festival Association) in Mansfield, Massachusetts. (Steve is Executive Director of the Rhythm Bones Society, and All-Ireland Bones Playing Champion.) On the box (concertina) is Ken Sweeney, another fantastic bones player. Playing the fiddle is bones player, Jonathan Danforth (grandson of bones playing legend, Percy Danforth). Video recorded by Mary Audette, herself and son Liam both bones players.
Tim Reilly is a consummate percussionist and bones player. He was featured as a Mystic Seaport ship rigger in the February 2008 issue of "Martha Stewart's Living" and has appeared on a number of folk recordings including "Shipmates" by Compass Rose.
Tim started playing bones in 1988 at Mystic Seaport after hearing and meeting Martin Fay of the renowned Irish group, The Chieftains. Since that time, Tim has performed with such luminaries as Benoit Bourque, Skip Healy, the late Mike Shorrock, and Mel Mercier. He has even rattled the bones at the Providence Performing Arts Center in an encore set with, yes...The Chieftains!
Tim often performs with fellow drummer, sea chantey singer and bones-making buddy, Kenny Wolin. Kenny is a professional percussionist with the "President's Own" Marine Corps Band. Watch them get the crowd going with a bones duet at the Mystic Sea Music Festival on June 11, 2011.
An Old Salt and a Really Nice Guy Not only is Tim a real-life seafaring old salt who makes and plays musical bones, he is one heck of a nice guy - and clearly among the salt of the Earth. That is reason enough to order yourself a set or two of Tim Reilly's handcrafted bones.