Friday, January 6, 2012

The rafters resounded!

Anchors were firmly aweigh at the inaugural gathering of the Port Townsend Sea Shanty Song Circle, when an estimated 90 shanty loving folk filled the Northwest Maritime Center Café to bursting. For two rousing hours the rafters resounded with the echo of sea songs past and present as the community shared their passion for maritime music.

The event was attended by many well-known local and regional singers including Matthew Moeller of the Whateverly Brothers, The Shifty Sailors from Whidbey Island, Tugboat Bromberg and Hank Cramer. The evening also brought to light many fantastic voices from the local community as the song circle format ensured that nearly everyone had the opportunity to sing, request a song or pass along to the next in the circle before Mark Iler brought the session to an end with a delightfully moving melody.

The success of the evening was made clear not just by the sheer number that attended, but also by the camaraderie felt within the room, the old bonds renewed and new friendships that were made. I am fairly sure that the majority of folk arrived with songs they knew and left with at least one they hadn’t heard before. 

Of course, none of this would have come to pass without the stalwart organization and time put in by Lee Erickson and the fearless Mike James who did a fantastic job of keeping the circle on track.  I’m sure I speak for everyone when I offer our heartiest thank you to them for making the evening, and every one hereafter, possible. 

by Helen Gilbert

If you were at the Sea Shanty Song Circle and Sing-Along on January 5, you will remember Helen and her rich voice, as she led the song General Taylor and sang a duet with a member of the Shifty Sailors. Thank you to Helen for her wonderful support and help spreading the word.