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.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Wayne Palsson Returns to Launch Sing Shanties Song Circle's 4th Year!

Chanteyman Wayne Palsson from Seattle will be back to kick off our New Year celebrating our 4th Anniversary at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend on Wednesday, January 14th from 6:00 to 8:00ish p.m. Bring yer mates for a rousing, family-friendly good time, and it's FREE!




"Wayne has been singing chanteys and maritime songs for over a decade, focusing on songs with rich tones reflecting the fishing and maritime trades. Wayne is the host of Northwest Seaport’s Chantey Sing Series and sings in the local group Strikes A Bell. 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." - Northwest Seaport


Monday, December 1, 2014

Deck the Hulls with Bows of Jolly - Captain Daniel (Dano) Quinn Returns to Lead December 10 Song Circle!

Climb aboard with award-winning storyteller Captain Daniel (Dano) Quinn as he leads us in song and maybe spins one of his colorful and original seafaring yarns, collected over 30+ years at sea!
When asked to share his bio with us, Dano writes, "I was born at a very young age, in fact I was an infant at the time, to two parents; my Mother & Father... I grew up in Mystic, CT. I fell in the water while crabbing when I was 5 years old and never came back out! I'm a licensed Captain of both sail and motor vessels and have been working aboard ships for over 30 years. The first half of my career was all in tall ships so I come by my shanty singing honestly. I'm also a story teller with a unique spin. I recite original humorous sea stories in ballad style. I've performed at the Fisher Poets Gathering in Astoria for the past 6 years, I've won the Seattle Maritime Festival "Stories of the Sea" Contest 4 times, and have also won the Northwest Folklife Festival Liar's Contest."
For more about Dano Quinn, here's the link to a recent article about Dano on Three Sheets Northwest by Deborah Bach: Salty stories and tall tales on Dano Quinn CD.

Please share this link and flyer with your family and friends. Holidays are a busy time, so be sure to save this date, Wednesday, December 10 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30ish p.m. to join us at the Northwest Maritime Center (upstairs) for a fun and festive gathering. Please bring your favorite holiday finger foods and sweet treats to enjoy with hot cider, coffee and tea.