Laura Bassett is a New Hampshire native who grew up with folk music and the sea chanteys of the Mystic Sea Music Festival. After discovering the active folk singing community in Boston, she has since moved to Seattle, where she shares her love of both traditional and contemporary sea songs.
Gordon Bok and Carol Rohl
Think of maritime music or the traditions of the Northeast, and Gordon Bok is at the top of the list. Gordon has written, sung, and helped to preserve the heritage of the working waterman of the Northeast. With over 30 albums, Gordon brings his rich and diverse repertoire to make each concert a unique experience.
Carol began playing her grandmother’s 1912 Clark Irish harp in 1986 and now performs with a 34-string Triplett Celtic harp. She plays traditional Scottish, Irish and South American tunes as well as music by contemporary folk composers.
Visit Gordon Bok’s website.
These women know how to serve up a chantey in salty and authentic style while weaving the enchanting harmonies that bring out the best in maritime music. Their haunting songs will have you longing for the age of sail and the rolling deck under your feet. Come listen to touching ballads, rollicking chanteys and hilarious songs of drinking and other merriment.
Visit Broadside on Myspace
Hank Cramer is one of the best-loved folksingers in the American West. He’s known for his booming bass voice, smooth picking on a vintage flat-top guitar, and a wry sense of humor. Hank’s repertoire is a mix of original, traditional, and contemporary folk songs. They tell the stories of cowboys, sailors, soldiers, miners, adventurers, and just plain drifters. That fits with Hank’s life story: he has been an underground miner, a professional soldier, shanty-man on a square-rigged sailing ship, wrangler for a high-country outfitter, and a world traveler. Those experiences make Hank’s music ring with a special authenticity.
Visit Hank Cramer’s website.
Kat is one of the most accomplished guitarists and singer/songwriters in the folk, Celtic and traditional music genres. Elating, moving, and amusing audiences with her beautiful blend of sweet melodies, gentle honesty and searing humor, Kat’s music reflects a wide range of life’s experiences with unusual clarity and authority.
Northwest maritime music fans may recognize Kat as one of the performers on the classic Victory Music CD from 1989, ‘Victory Sings at Sea’ and as one of The Ferryboat Musicians that played on the ferries of Puget Sound. After living in Chicago for years, she has moved back to Vashon Island and re-established herself with Northwest audiences. She tours the U.S., Great Britain, Europe, and Australia.
Visit Kat Eggleston’s website.
Mary Garvey is one of the Northwest’s most acclaimed and prolific songwriters. Her songs have been recorded by Gordon Bok and many others. Her songs celebrate maritime culture, especially that of the coast of southeastern Washington State and the lower Columbia River.
Helen Gilbert hails from England and has a delightful voice flavored with her accent. She regularly leads the third-Thursday Pub Sing at TS McHugh’s, and you might see her in Morris dancing around the Northwest. Along with traditional songs, she sings quite a few maritime songs and was a collaborator in compiling the Port Townsend Chantey Book.
Percy Hilo has been a songwriter/singer/song collector/folklorist in the Northwest for over 30 years. He has performed at coffeehouses, festivals and many worthwhile benefits and community events. His original songs in American Folk stylings have been published over 30 times and sung ’round-the-world. He believes in sing-a-long, tempering social concern with humor.
Still enthusiastically performing together after twenty-five years, Holdstock and MacLeod continue to perform authentic renditions of the songs of their homelands. Whether performing shanties and other traditional music of the sea or nineteenth century ballads, Allan MacLeod and Dick Holdstock are still captivating audiences from coast to coast. Audiences always join in by singing and laughing along to their outrageous songs and stories. Dick and Allan trade off on mandolin and guitar accompaniments to some of their songs and frequently use acappella arrangements. They have mastered the art of traditional harmonies which often are described as descants. There strong melodic tones resonate with all who have the pleasure of hearing them.
Visit Holdstock & MacLeod’s website.
David Kessler grew up in New England singing with family and friends. Although he’s a newcomer to the Northwest, David is no stranger to chantey sings, having co-founded the MIT Chantey & Maritime Sing, the North-East Chantey Sing calendar, the Single Malt & Song Society, and the Liberty Clipper’s annual Black Tot Day sing and sail. He learned to sail as a teenager and has crewed on a variety of boats and ships — from dinghies, to a Tartan 30, to the tall ship H.M.S. Rose.
With songs that have become folk standards, known and sung wherever great choruses ring out, Tom accompanies himself on button accordion and ukulele -— but it’s that powerful vocal style and infectious humour—that quality of entertaining—which keeps audiences coming back again and again. Tom’s repertoire—from traditional shanties to songs fashioned out of his own seafaring background—recruits his audience for a voyage by turns reflective, dramatic and humorous. Now resident in Canada’s Rocky Mountains, Tom was born in Northern Ireland and that Celtic heritage is obvious in his clear, strong voice, evoking quiet sorrow for a fisherman lost to the sea just as honestly as it powers out a shanty “to be heard above the gales.”
Visit Tom Lewis’ website.
Brian, actually Dr. Brian Maskew, originally hails from Yorkshire, England and keeps up the tradition of singing British folk and maritime songs. Brian has cut CDs with Hank Cramer and has been on the faculty of most of the Shanty Camps held around the Northwest during the past few years.
Mariide, known for her performance teaching of maritime history and lore for schools and museums, has one of the most powerful and saltiest voices around. She has been one of the mainstays of the Northwest maritime music scene since its beginnings. She was the founder of St. Elmo’s Choir, and was one of the original members of the Victory Sings at Sea group.
A longstanding social justice and environmental activist, Mariide’s musical roots are in the 1960′s Seattle folk scene. In 1966 she became the open-mic host at the Last Exit, a happening that set the benchmark for Seattle open mics. She is known for her witty songwriting on political and social themes.
Matthew is a true son of the NW, having been born and raised there. That may explain his love of the rain and foggy days. He also has an undying love of the water and boats.He lives aboard a classic wooden yacht, built in 1930, with his lovely wife and two cats. He writes and sings songs on the NW, its people, the ships and the shore (including clams). He also singls baritone for the local group The Whateverly Brothers.
Visit Matthew Moeller’s website.
Wayne has been singing chanteys and maritime songs up and down the West Coast for almost a decade, focusing on songs with rich tones reflecting the fishing and maritime trades. His own nautical experience on the high seas and local waters helps to anchor his interpretations of traditional chanteys, new and local sea songs, and even a few overlooked classics by Gilbert and Sullivan. Wayne is the host of Northwest Seaport’s Chantey Sing Series.
William Pint & Felicia Dale rank among North America’s most exciting and acclaimed nautical performers. William Pint & Felicia Dale raise the humble sea chantey to unexpected heights! Their music fits into the world of modern folk, rock and popular song, but it’s rich with myth, narrative, rhythm & rhyme from the days of the tall ships. Be it with guitar, flute, or hurdy-gurdy, they have played on both sides of the pond and have been generating exciting music and dynamic CDs.
Visit Pint & Dale’s website.
A self-proclaimed refugee from Seattle’s 1960s folk music scene, Jon Pfaff is a notable exception to most everything. As a classically trained musician, he has conducted choirs, sung in major choral programs, and performed with folk groups the Talismen Trio in the early 1960s, the Runcible Spoons in the late 1990s, and the Halibutts. Jon casts a wide musical net, as he is also a member of the Vancouver (Canada) Folk Song Society Shanty Crew and frequent collaborator with Northwest Folklife. He occasionally performs with Chris Roe as the duo Fairweather Friends.
Dan Quinn is a professional captain of sail and motor and has sailed tall ships in the South Seas. Not only that, but Dan sings great tunes and shows a bit of the blarney in his tall tales of the sea. You might find him spinning yarns at sea story, liar, and fisher poet contests, where he’s won some prizes.
“I have a banjo and I’m not afraid to use it” — Tom Rawson is a friendly, banjo-playing folkie who’s guaranteed to have you singing along and will leave you smiling. Tom will pull up his maritime repitoire, some of which can be heard on his two CDs. Visit Tom Rawson’s website.
Raised in the Bay Area and attending college in Berkley in the 60s (he swears he has no memory of that), Dan also studied opera and received the training that makes his voice one of the most notable and powerful in the folk music community.A true folkie, Dan’s repertoire spans decades. It also spans three octaves which allow him to sing lead, bass, or make strange noises. He plays guitar, mountain dulcimer, mandolin, mandola, six-string banjo, and a mean set of spoons. Dan also is a “bro” with The Whateverly Brothers.
Chris is a talented musician performing solo and in maritime and other groups around the Puget Sound. Chris is known for her strong yet eloquent singing voice, her adept instrumentals, and her charming stage presence.
Madcap mariners “The Great” Sanger & Didele add laughs to a salty brew of sea songs and merriment. They use their musical skills to expose the hilarious side of maritime music, respecting musical traditions by showing no respect whatsoever. This comedy duo regales their fans with twisted versions of classic sea shanties and zany songs of an unknown parentage.
Visit Sanger & Didele’s MySpace page.
Shanghaied on the Willamette is the lively musical duo of Jonathan Lay and Gordy Euler who perform songs and tunes “plundered from land and sea.” These include traditional Celtic, English, and old-time American music, especially music of the sea and waterways. Shanghaied on the Willamette accompanies their vocal harmonies with a fleet of acoustic instruments.
Jonathan, whose powerful and supple voice can do justice to a gentle ballad or a rough-and-tumble sea chantey, plays guitar, tin whistle, harmonica, and a rollicking bodhran. Gordy is a skilled vocalist and a multi-instrumentalist who easily switches between fiddle, mandola, tin whistle, guitar, and banjo. This broad range of sounds allows them to craft exciting and varied arrangements and programs.
Visit Shanghaied on the Willamette’s website.
The Shifty Sailors are a men’ s chantey chorus from Whidbey Island, Washington. While male chantey choruses are popular in Europe, they are one of the few such groups in the United States. They sing a variety of songs having to do with seafaring, and are well-known by many in the Northwest for their enthusiastic and crowd-pleasing presentations. They have performed in Poland and in the Czech Republic where they represented the U.S. at the International Festival of Shanty Music in Prague.
Visit the Shifty Sailors’ website.
From the rocky shores of Spanaway Bay, south of the Puget Sound and directly above the center of the earth, sail the rollicking folk duo Spanaway Bay. Kent and Carol have been engaging audiences throughout the Puget Sound with an eclectic mélange of Maritime, Celtic, English and American folk songs since their trial by fire at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival some years ago. This lively duo are the favorite chantey singers aboard the 1913 schooner Adventuress. Additionally, they perform with Broadside & the Handsome Cabin Boys, and Sanger & Didele. The audience is encouraged to join in on the highly singable choruses, so taste the salty, bluesy flavor of Spanaway Bay!
After sailing for 23 years as an Able Seaman and Quatermaster in the Merchant Marine, Tugboat Bromberg has settled in the great state of Washington. A veteran of the music scene, Tugboat sings, wties songs, and performs a variety of musical styles ranging from country and bluegrass to nautical and piratical.
Visit Tugboat Bromberg’s MySpace page.
Watch the Sky! has been a consistent presence in the Seattle area folk music scene since 1991. Jan and Chris Glanister and Joe Wagner bring Celtic verve to traditional, contemporary, and original ballads and pub songs. Rich, tight vocal harmonies are their trademark backed by driving rhythms and sweet whistle riffs.
Joe’s rock-influenced guitar playing brings a contemporary drive to their Celtic sound while Jan beats bodhran (Irish drum) and dumbec (Middle Eastern drum). Chris is on penny whistles and cittern. Singable music combined with their sense of humor pays off for the audience in a musical experience full of fun and warmth.
Visit Watch The Sky’s website.
The Brothers (Dan Roberts, Chris Glanister & Matthew Moeller) have performed for many years as solo artists and members of obscure folk groups across the Pacific Northwest. Now these three talents are together as the Whateverly Brothers. Drawing from a rich and varied musical history, The Whateverly Brothers harken to the folksinger tradition that “No musical style is sacred.” Hoist anchor! Raise the glass! Sing along!
Visit The Whateverly Brothers’ website.