This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 8/04
Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews
" What's left to
say but, yes,
that good and
placement on the
Best of 2004
Or risk walking
Okay, you scurvy-laden landlubbers, it's time to get your
sea legs a-working. William Pint and Felicia Dale are back with
ten new offerings that will likely induce any and all listeners
to make way to the nearest harbor and peg-leg it aboard anything
with a mast and sails.
No, you won't find "Michael Row Your Boat Ashore" or
"Benny and the Jets (Skis)" here, but regret not for
this is a collection of invigorating, touching and melodic selections
certain to assuage even the most ardent loather of sea shanties
and songs. The lyrics and music, combined with the strong, engaging
voices of Pint and Dale, create a delightful aural and, yes,
visual mix as the listener is treated to colorful high seas panoramas.
At just over 10 minutes, "The Mary Stanford of Rye"
is the cut that packs the most emotional punch. A tragic, true-life
story of the beauty of nature matched by its danger, 17 men of
the Royal Navy Lifeboat Institute lost their lives in a rescue
attempt that turned out to be unnecessary. The rescue boat eventually
washed ashore as did many, but not all, of the rescuers bodies.
In this sad case, dead men do tell tales.
The opening cut, "High Barbaree," is a high energy
pirate tale that immediately propels the listener into the world
"Billy Boy" features Pint and Dale in harmony and
trading lead vocals in this rollicking call and answer cut.
In other hands, "Lost," a roll call of numerous
vessels lost at sea and the reasons for such, could easily become
dull and mundane. Not so here as Pint and Dale turn it into most
affective mariner history.
"The Packet Rat" details a sailor's love of his
chosen life wherever he is. Think of it as an expanded version,
with multiple Shangri-Las, of "Lost Horizon."
"Heavens A Bar" is the seaside version of "Big
Rock Candy Mountain," with sailors inserted for hobos. Instead
of "little streams of alcohol, come trickling down the rocks,"
the spirits come free of charge in this one in a building down
by the docks.
What's left to say but, yes, shiver me timbers, mate. This
release is that good and deserves placement on the Best of 2004
lists. Or risk walking the plank.
Felicia Dale on hurdy-gurdy, fiddle, whistle, keyboard and vocals,
and William Pint on guitar, mandolin, keyboard and vocals, are
backed by Tania Opland on fiddle and vocals; and Mike Freeman
on percussion and vocals.
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