by Chris Glanister on 12/10/10 at 2:15 pm
Greetings! The Three Sheets folks asked me to write a blog about maritime music, and so I shall. To me this is perfect symmetry. I grew up the son of dinghy racing parents in the UK, and spent my childhood camping and sailing all around the UK, especially at Lake Ullswater in the Lake District. As a kid I was inspired by the Arthur Ransome series of books that featured many classic sea shanteys in their books, which we often sang in the car heading to a weekend of sailing; my Dad to race, and me to explore in my home built Optomist, just like the Swallows and Amazons did in their own small dingies.
For many years, my Dad and I raced quite a bit out of CYC Edmonds, and today I do my best to get out in my Aquarius A21, and sail as much as I can. Later in life I got into folk music, and my band Watch the Sky have spent many happy years singing celtic and maritime music around the sound, including many shows on the Wawona, late of South Lake Union. Now my other band (just can’t do it in halves…) The Whateverly Brothers does their fair share of maritime music as well.
There is so much maritime history and culture here, and (in my opinion) the “glue” that binds much of it together is the music. Few trades have the strong musical traditions that the maritime trades do, and those musical traditions have a venerable past and continue on into the future. Thankfully there are many venues to see and hear the music. If you’ve gone to the Center For Wooden Boats Wooden Boat Festival or the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, there is plenty of maritime music woven into the music schedule. At either festival, you can hang out with the crew of the Lady Washington or other visiting tall ships at the shantey sings that are held there. Some venues are dedicated to the genre, such as The Port Gamble Maritime Music Festival, and other such festivals around the country.
If you want to know more about the local musicians guilty of singing this great music, here is a great description from the Northwest Seaport Website http://www.nwseaport.org/performers.html
Finally, here’s some music happening on Saturday Oct 23rd. Discovery Modelers, Maritime Folknet and NW Seaport will be putting on the final Sea Music Fest/Rummage Sale at the Armory at South Lake Union Park, 800 Terry Ave, Seattle, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Lotsa used books, rummage, CD’s and collectables. There will be musicians playing all day, with the talents of Mariide, Jon Pfaff, Chris Roe, Dan Roberts, J.W. Sparrow and Tugboat Bromberg. These have been great fun the last few times I’ve done them and this will be the last one before the Amory is renovated to become MOHAI. More info at www.maritimefolknet.org
Lots more to chat about, but this will do for now.
Until next time,