All acoustic Irish, Colonial American songs, and sea shanties with a slight punk influence.


Shellback: A nautical term for an experienced sailor.

In 2007, fresh from the break-up of CT pop punk band Boys From Recreation Park, guitarist Charlie McShane decided to take his musical hobby in a different direction. With an acoustic guitar and a love of The Pogues, he began to play around with a couple old Irish standards. He figured it might be more fun if he got more people involved, and started to look around.

Enter mandolinist Edgar James Yother V. Ed found Charlie's "musicians wanted" ad and got in contact. Formerly of CT ska band The Sifters, Ed had also played in The Soul Merchants with Rec Park's singer, Greg Brayman. With Ed's encyclopedic knowledge of celtic-folk and sea music, the group was on it's way.

Charlie knew Bill Pruchnicki was eager to get back to playing music. An experienced drummer who has played everything from death metal to acoustic-alt folk, Bill reduced his drum set to merely the bass and snare and started learning the classics.

Looking to add to the sound, the band now called "Shellbacks" enlisted Greg Brayman from CT reggae band The Soul Merchants on washboard and backing vocals, expanding the repertoire and playing out.

The band entered The Pad studios in early 2008 to record "Sailing The Seven Songs" with producer Matt Mauro. With a distinct unplugged sound, "SSS" showed the band's affinity for traditional tunes and shanteys with a slight punk flavor carried over from their previous bands.

The band's set list is constantly expanding and they will play anywhere, from clubs to bars to basements.


CD: "Sailing the Seven Songs" available at performances. Also available at

Set List

We play anywhere from half-hour shows to 4 hours. All of our songs are traditional.

A Man You Don't Meet Every Day
The Banks of Newfoundland
Banks Of The Roses
Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine/Road to Boston/Yankee Doodle (marches)
Captain Ward & The Rainbow
Dirty Old Town
Felix The Soldier
Home Boys Home
I'll Tell Me Ma
The Kerry Recruit
The Leaving Of Liverpool
Mason's Apron/Tam Lin/Master Crowley's
Mingula Boat Song
Old Lady Over The Sea
Paddy West's
Parliament of England
Rocky Road To Dublin
Rose of Tralee
To Go To Sea Once More
Ward The Pirate
The Wild Rover
While Cruising ‘Round Yarmouth
Whiskey In The Jar
Wings Of A Goney
Barrett's Privateers
Down Dairy Down
Fire Marengo
Haul Away Joe
John Rise Her Up
Roll The Old Chariot Along
Rolling Down the River
The Old Chariot
South Australia
Top Man and the After Guard
Wild Goose Nation

(Charlie solo)
And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
Far Away Boys
Pair of Brown Eyes