Monthly Chantey Sings

Next Chantey SingMary Garvey & Mary Wilson

Friday, September 16
8:00 to 10:00 pm
aboard steamer Virginia V
Historic Ships Wharf in Lake Union Park
860 Terry Ave N, Seattle

The Marys, song leaders

Mary Garvey and Mary Wilson will lead the September chantey sing!  They have performed together at the Princeton Traditional Music Festival and the Northwest Folklife Festival. In the 70s and 80s they sang as The Mercer Girls along with Cathy Chung, and Racine Morton.

Mary Garvey is a prolific writer of songs rich in regional history and social concerns; many feature coastal Washington and the Columbia River. Gordon Bok has recorded several of her songs including “Tie Her Up,” “Astoria Bar” and “Peter’s River.”

She has a fondness for the “pretty music” of her roots — Irish music, Scandinavian music of Washington lumber mill towns, and the maritime and fishing industry in Newfoundland where she went to graduate school. She first unleashed her songwriting talent when the Newfoundland oil rig Ocean Ranger went down. Mary Garvey has performed twice at the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival and has produced several themed recording projects about salmon, orphans, the Irish potato famine, and other topics.

Mary Wilson was inspired to sing sea chanteys by the one of the first women chantey performers, Mary Benson, as well as Jon Bartlett, Bob Kotta, and Paddy Hernon. Mary Wilson directed the Sea Shanty Festivals on the Wawona in the 1970s.

After taking an extended hiatus in a profession which will remain unidentified, Mary Wilson has returned to folk music and chanteys. Her vocal interests range from folk, swing, blues, classical, and gospel. She has performed and recorded with Stan Hugill, Louis Killen, The X Seamen’s Institute, Strikes A Bell, and several community choirs.

Sea Chanteys and other maritime music celebrate our connections to the sea, boats, and those who sail them.  They include work songs and foc’sle ditties with great choruses that tie our present day maritime traditions and lore to those of the past. The call-and-response form makes these songs easy to learn and fun to sing for adults and children alike. Come and lead a song of the sea or just join in on the chorus.

Admission is free but donations to benefit maritime preservation are welcome.  Fun for folks of all ages!  Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Hosted by Wayne Palsson.