Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wayne Palsson

More information about Wayne Palsson, our Shanty Leader for Wednesday January 13th...

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.

Wayne Palsson to lead the January 13th Sing Shanty session!! Yay!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cheqa Rodgers

More information about Che Rodgers, our Shanty Leader for Wednesday Dec 9th...

Che was a self-educated and highly driven child. He started working on boats at around fifteen; and studied boatbuilding and traditional rigging shortly thereafter.

He worked as a rigger for a couple years before taking to the water full-time as a bosun, and later as chief mate on the schooner Spike Africa. He obtained his captain’s license at 19.

Che has sailed on many traditional and modern vessels since, several of them schooners, and spent most of 2014 in the UK aboard a pilot cutter yacht built by Luke Powell of Working Sail. He and the owner (of limited experience) sailed about 1,200 miles over seven-plus months from Falmouth, Cornwall, to the Outer Hebrides of Scotland via the Irish Sea. It was a hell of a learning curve! Currently he’s working on small adventure-cruise vessels in Southeast Alaska.

On to music...Che plays mostly mandolin and banjo, usually in American old-time or Irish circles. Lately he’s been collaborating with fellow local musician and sailor Daniel Macke; often performing as a duo. They play folk-inspired, original compositions on mandolin and bouzouki.

Che also dabbles in instrument building and repair, and he’s slowly building a fiddle with the full intention of actually learning to play the thing one day. He has rebuilt his mandolin after a critical case of "terminal gap-osis", and has enjoyed renovating a couple of banjos from the 1880's to 1890's.

Che Rodgers to Lead December 9th Shanty Sing. Double ARRGH!!!!

Che Rodgers is one of Port Townsend's brightest stars: a fantastic musician and singer, and all-round good egg. This session should be very memorable.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Whateverly Brothers to Lead November 11th Shanty Sing. ARRGH!

Dan Roberts and Chris Glanister of the Whateverly Brothers will lead the next second Wednesday Song Circle on November 11th.

Video: "Son of a Son of a Sailor" with Pint and Dale and Jan Elliott- Glanister at the Conway Muse, October, 2014

Dan Roberts - "As the eldest brother, Dan has the most experience in music and performing. Raised in the Bay Area and coming of age in Berkeley (he swears he has no memory of that), he 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 allows him to sing lead, bass, or make strange noises. He also plays a mean set of spoons and admits to being a recovering elementary school teacher."

Chris Glanister - "Chris has been hanging around folk music for too many years and it shows (mostly in the waistline...). He grew up in England listening to Burl Ives, Pete Seeger and the popular British folk group, The Spinners, along with Led Zeppelin, the Monkees and lots of classical music. As the
co-founder of the local Seattle celtic band Watch the Sky! he has been entertaining audiences with his whistle playing and vocals for many years.

He started his musical career as a recording and live sound engineer and at some point had to play the music he was hearing. He's since added bohdran, cittern and cowbell and banjo to his musical lineup, and loves the Scottish and maritime influences in the music he plays."

Have another listen - "Haul Away Joe."

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Don't forget...October 14th is our next Shanty Sing at the Maritime Center. We're looking forward to seeing you all.

Breaking news, a switch in song leader. Matt Moeller is unable to make it in October; he will be with us at a later date.
So, this month we will be led by the extraordinarily talented members of the Maggie B Shanty Crew. You are in for a treat!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Hoorah! Sing Shanties & Songs About the Sea - 2nd Edition Now Available!

The second edition of the special expanded maritime music lyrics collection of Stephen Gottlieb Lewis is now available.

Why a second edition?
Well, it turns out that the first edition was hugely popular. The first edition sold out quickly; those copies are now worth their weight in gold. Keep hold of yours, as it will be a collectors’ item in years to come.J

We kept being asked, “Where can I get a copy of the book?” Rumors spread of a mass mutiny, so an effort was launched to satisfy the demand. We took the opportunity to make some minor corrections, while keeping the page numbers of the songs the same as in the first edition.

Where can I get a copy of the new edition?
You can get a copy of this second edition, at the same reasonable price of only $11.95, from The Chandlery at the Maritime Center. But hurry, this may turn out to be just as popular as the first edition.

A special thanks to Ellie Mathews and Carl Youngmann who have been stalwarts in researching and compiling material for the update.
"The reprint is distinguishable from the first books by its new cover, an extract of a photograph made of the half-brig Daisy, taken by Robert Cushman Murphy. Murphy sailed as a naturalist/passenger on the Daisy in 1912-13. She was the last wind-powered whaling vessel to put in at Grytviken on South Georgia Island."  ~ Ellie Mathews

Also, thanks to those Shanty enthusiasts who contributed edits – you know who you are. This new addition continues to be a beautiful remembrance of Steve Lewis. You should all feel very proud.

And a special thank you to the Northwest Maritime Center and Kim Brooks - Chandlery Manager for your support as one of our major sponsors, publishing and selling this second edition, and continuing to host our monthly Sing Shanties Song Circle at the Center.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Welcome Chris Gilbert, our new Sing Shanties Admin!

Chris Gilbert has been a part of our Sing Shanties Song Circle for some time now, and has recently accepted the role as our Sing Shanties website administrator! We welcome Chris, not only appreciating him stepping into the task of updating our web presence and content, but for his lively folk and maritime music as a shantyman and the lead singer and musical performer of his group Happenstance.

More about Chris Gilbert here!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Matthew Moeller to Lead October 14th Shanty Sing!

Matthew Moeller is a gifted shantyman and musician who hails from Olympia. He'll be returning to Port Townsend this October to lead a rousing October 14th Shanty Sing! Read what Mike James has to say on the flyer about Matthew. You won't want to miss this Sing-Along with Matthew Moeller; he's a hoot!

Matthew Greeting Helen Gilbert at WBF

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sea Chantey Sing-Alongs with Wayne Palsson - Wooden Boat Festival

Port Townsend, Washington 
September 11, 12 and 13 - 2015

Sea Chantey Sing-Alongs with Host Wayne Palsson 
in the Marina Room at Port Hudson, 
Friday and Saturday Nights at 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

JW Sparrow leads August 12th Song Circle!

Lots of entertaining information here about JW Sparrow in a blog post from September 12, 2013, when John led his first Sea Shanties Song Circle here in Port Townsend. This will be John's 3rd visit to Port Townsend to lead our Sing Shanties Song Circle. Be sure to save the date and help us spread the word - invite your family and friends!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tania Opland Leads July 8th Song Circle!

"Tania Opland - born and raised in Alaska and now often found in western Washington, in southeast Ireland, and on the road - has recorded four solo albums to date, to excellent reviews in acoustic music magazines on both sides of the Atlantic. She also has a duo album with her husband/music partner Mike Freeman, and two collaborations with Freeman and award-winning author Anne McCaffrey.

Opland's repertoire starts from a base in the traditional musics of North America and the British Isles, spreads through most of Northern Europe and touches on other cultures around the globe. Her array of musical instruments includes an unusual five-string violin/viola, cittern (or octave mandolin), hammered dulcimer, ocarina and hurdy-gurdy, along with more common instruments such as guitar, recorder, and, of course, voice. 

Tania Opland has been touring and recording for three decades, and has appeared on radio and television in the U.S., Canada, Russia, Uzbekistan, Scotland, Ireland and England."

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.