Friday, May 15, 2015

Canadian Shanty Group The Lazy Jacks Lead June 10th Song Circle!

The Lazy Jacks are crossing the Sound to lead the June 10th Shanty Sing. Be sure invite all your family and friends for a great night of listening to and singing songs of the sea with this entertaining, acapella shanty crew!

The Lazy Jacks is a group of acapella shantey singers from Vancouver, BC who have been together since 2009. They focus on traditional work songs of the sea and are the official group of the Vancouver Folk Song Society. They're unique in that the group is primarily made up of women vocalists. They perform under the direction of Captain Allison Campbell and should not be confused with another Canadian group also called the Lazy Jacks.

This is a free, family-friendly community event you won't want to miss!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mike James Leads May 13th Song Circle at NWMC in Port Townsend!

Co-Founder of Sing Shanties Song Circle, local shantyman Mike James leads May's Song Circle with robust rounds of singin' shanties with gusto! "Singin' is encouraged by knot required." Be sure to invite your family and friends to this free community event for a fun-filled evening.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Robin Dudley Leads April 8th Shanty Sing!

"Here it is nearly April already.  Robin Dudley writes the community arts column for the PT Leader.  When she interviewed us a few weeks ago I asked her if she would be interested in leading a sing.  She jumped at the chance.  She has sailed numerous tall ships from as many ports around the world.  We’re looking forward to her leading and are hoping that some of the Adventurous crew will join her." ~ Mike James

Port Townsend Victorian Days - Shanty Sing and Pub Crawl

March 20th, some of our regulars will be singing shanties at the PT Victorian days, accompanying Dano Quinn at the Hastings Building 7pm-8pm.

Shanty Sing & Pub Crawl

The Victorian Festival rears up Friday night, March 20th, with our Victorian Pub Crawl - featuring sea shanties, saloons, "shanghai tunnels," and fine vintage cocktails throughout a staggering selection of Port Townsends (in)famous watering holes. Join us in the corner room of the historic Hastings Building at the Hastings Building (Corner of Taylor and Water Streets)) at 7pm.
No charge, just good times with great folk
7 pm - Shanty sing! We start the night off roaring out the old sea shanties led by a handful of Port Townsend's saltiest shantymen.

8-? pm After all that singing, a fellow's throat could get a little dry so it's off to a fine selection of the city's finest watering holes. Join up with the entourage or sortie out on your own!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Join Shantyman Chris Gilbert for the March 11th Shanty Sing at the NWMC

Chris hails from London, England and has participated in various folk traditions in “the old country” since his college days. He spent many a happy hour singing in folk clubs and pub song circles. He also became very active in the quintessential English frivolity known as Morris dancing. Rumor has it that he is thinking of bringing the Morris dance tradition to Port Townsend soon. Let’s face it, PT is just the place!

In '92, he emigrated to the US where he lived first in California, then Vermont and finally settled in Washington State. During this time he became steeped in the US folk scene, and is keen to highlight the parallels between the US and the UK folk song revivals of the 20th century. Both of these revivals were stoked by the traditions of Celtic music, and the sea-faring ways that led to Shanty songs.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Join Shantyman Jim Scarantino for our February 11th Shanty Sing!

WHERE?...The Northwest Maritime Center, 431 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA

WHEN?…2nd Wednesday, February 11th, 6:00 to 8-ish

WHY?… Free, Phun, and Family friendly. The February sing will be led by Jim Scarantino, the man with the voice and energy of a “bully first mate.” Aaaaargh! Whether you sing or “knot,” come rant and roar for a fun evening that’s filled with songs, stories, and nautical tales that once echoed across Port Townsend’s waterfront…and still do!

Got a concertina or fiddle? Bring it!...and don’t forget your in-laws! 

Thanks to: The Courtyard CafĂ©, Judy Courtwright Studio, Northwest Maritime Center, and Pippa’s Real Tea.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sounds of the Sea Resound by Robin Dudley PT Leader

I opened an email from Mike James to read: "Holy Mackerel!  Front page, section B.. Robin did a nice job."

I agree. Great article and photo. Thank you for telling our story, Robin!

Robin Dudley, reporter for the PT Leaders interviewed Mike James, Jay Hagar and friends... "Tug" Buse, Jim Scarantino and Steve Blakeslee, about our Sing Shanties Song Circle and songbook.

Sounds of the Sea Resound  - "The skies above Victorian seaports like Port Townsend are accustomed to loud and lusty sea shanties, which are sailors’ work songs. At the Northwest Maritime Center, 30 to 40 people meet each month to sing songs that “echoed across this waterfront like cell phone conversations do today,” said Mike James, one of the acknowledged leaders of Port Townsend’s Sing Shanties group.

People who just want to listen are also welcome at the monthly sing-alongs, and it’s free live music. Beware, matey: when surrounded by voices belting out familiar, repetitive tunes, even stalwart non-singers have been known to chime in. (Almost everybody knows the chorus to “What do you do with a drunken sailor?”)

“When it comes to shanties, you don’t have to sing well, just loud,” James said. “Number one, it’s not a talent show.”

Shanties were developed and sung by sailors who did physical labor requiring concerted effort, often lined up pulling hand-over-hand on a rope, or pushing the bars of a capstan around and around in a circle, raising the anchor.

James has sung shanties at the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle, astonished that the 900-seat theater was filled to overflowing when his group took the stage. The songs are so old, people just seem to know them, and performances turn into sing-alongs.

“That’s the crazy thing,” he said. “You sing through one verse, and after the first three words, everybody knows the refrain.” For the full article click here.