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Arundel Folk Club, Arundel, England
A warm and wonderful husband and wife duo from Seattle, USA, William & Felicia specialise in showcasing the wide diversity and melodic content of maritime music from all over the world. With vocals and guitar, mandola, Irish pennywhistles, percussion and the exotic sounds of the vielle-à-roue or hurdy gurdy, the duo bring an energetic and contemporary spirit to their material - every foot in the room is sure to be tapping with the vitality of their music. William & Felicia are also both fine audience communicators, establishing a warm and friendly rapport with their audience wherever they play. Exciting and instantly engaging, William & Felicia are a live act that are definitely "making waves" on the UK folk scene!
Northwich Folk Club, Northwich, England
William Pint & Felicia Dale gave
us a wonderful evening's entertainment with powerful songs, poignant
songs and humorous songs, with great harmony singing and well
worked out accompaniment on guitar and hurdy-gurdy. From
the opening "John Riley" and the storming "One
More Day" to the gentle but heart-rending "Beaches
of Lukannon", there was quality in everything they did.
And they were so approachable, too, Felicia being very happy
to display her hurdy-gurdy to those interested, and they left
Northwich a few CDs lighter. They should be better known
- and I'm sure in time they will be. Next time they come
over from Washington state, they'll be welcome back in Northwich.
Pint & Felicia Dale
Black Swan Folk Club, York
THE sea has inspired many a great song
and the American folk duo William Pint and Felicia Dale certainly
know how to bring out the best in nautical works both past and
At the Black Swan Folk Club last night
they entertained an appreciative audience with a pleasing variety
They regaled us with salty tales of
sailors returning to their loved ones after seven years sailing
the oceans of the world.
One of their favorites, The Bay of Biscay,
fell into this category, although it also had a ghostly dimension
which was well suited to the wood-panelled upstairs room in one
of York's most historic pubs. Perhaps a case of the
And there was a feminist slant on the
well-known theme of a sailor having a woman in every port. Their
song suggested that the ladies had a lad on every ship!
And the ballad about two Norwegians
rowing across the Atlantic, based on a true story from 1896,
was a tour de force.
The husband-and-wife team from Seattle
charmed the audience with their singing in close harmony and
their instrumental skill. Felicia played the hurdy-gurdy, which
can be overpowering, with beautiful restraint. And her whistle
tunes were a delight.
William pitched in with some fine, energetic
guitar playing which complemented his powerful and expressive
The concert had a Gallic flavour with
frequent Breton tunes and atmospheric French lyrics. It was the
first time I've ever heard a French whaling song. The title,
roughly translated means Strike the Whale.
William, with his tongue firmly in his
cheek suggested that, in these times of political correctness,
it should be changed to Photograph the Whale. The Black Swan
Folk Club certainly had a whale of a time last night.
The Yorkshire Evening Press
Friday, September 25th, 1998
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Pint and Dale sing rousing songs of
"William Pint and Felicia Dale
have traveled the world playing maritime music and finding new
songs about the role of the sea in people's lives.
They'll bring their music to Olympia's
Oldtime Medicine show at 8 p.m. Saturday.
But if you expect a quiet folklorist
presentation, you'd be far wrong. Pint's driving guitar
and mandola and Dale's soaring hurdy-gurdy produce a ringing
folk-rock sound that energizes the singers' close harmonies.
'80s on a
and knew she
had to have
dates from the
and was used
but Dale's use
of the ancient
"People often say we sound like
four people," Pint
said in a telephone interview from their
home in Seattle. "Maybe it's because we play loud.
With a wailing hurdy-gurdy and guitar and two voices on top,
we make a lot of noise."
For the last few Decembers, the Seattle
duo has performed in Magical Strings' Yuletide Concerts,
so they are not strangers to acoustic music fans in Olympia.
Dale first heard a hurdy-gurdy in the
late '80s on a Seattle street, and knew she had to have
one. The hurdy-gurdy dates from the 11th century and was used
mostly for court dances, but Dale's use of the ancient stringed
instrument strikes a balance between old and new.
"We're very fortunate that
we ended up with an instrument that really goes well with our
voices and William's guitars," she said. "It's
a wonderful sound, and I love playing it. It can sound like a
violin or bagpipes or a synthesizer, just a tremendous range
Or even, an electric guitar.
"Felicia uses it in atypical ways;
the majority of players today use it to play basically French
dance tunes, a narrow band of music," Pint said. "She
uses it in creative ways. It can be a background instrument,
but it can take the place of an electric guitar as well."
Nowhere is that more apparent that on
up-tempo numbers such as "John Riley" and "Round
the Corner Sally" on their 1997 release of the same title.
"I like the aggressiveness of it," Dale said.
Pint grew up in Milwaukee and performed
in folk groups in the '70s and '80s, before moving
to the Northwest in the late '80s. He met Dale in Tacoma
when a mutual friend introduced them at an open-mike session
at Victory Music.
Dale is a Washington native who grew
up on Vashon Island. With a father who was a sea captain, sailing
and songs of the sea were a natural part of her childhood.
She described her life's
progressions: "I took the requisite piano lessons when I
was a kid and turned into a teen-ager full of angst and a guitar
and gave it all up for horses, and then gave up horses for motorcycles
and then met William. Now I'm back to horses and music.
I have no idea how it all happened."
For Pint, the interest in maritime music
evolved over time.
"It was the Irish music connection,
which I had been involved in before, that got me involved in
maritime music," he explained. "A lot of the body of
sea chanteys come from the Irish tradition. We felt like missionaries
at times with this music in the '70s; people would either
wonder why we bothered to play it at all, or want to know where
it came from."
Of course this was all before The Chieftains
became international superstars and Riverdance step-danced its
way across the television screens.
Recently Dale branched out from music
into writing, having her first young adult story, called "The
Sword of Undeath" published in the anthology "Warrior
"I had always enjoyed writing as
a child," she said, "and now I'm thrilled to be
Today Pint and Dale tour Europe and
various parts of the United States for about five months each
"A lot of our music is derived
from Europe and the British isles, so it's fun to put an
American twist on it and go over and play it for those audiences,"
"I love it in England and Holland;
there's such a desire there to participate and keep this
art form of singing alive that I just feel part of something
incredibly important," Dale added.
Not that there isn't interest here. Pint and Dale keep busy the other seven
months of the year performing at festivals and local clubs in
It makes for a good life. "This music allows us to go to
other countries and meet incredibly nice people, and here as
well certainly, and not work the way most of the world has to,"
"We spend a fair amount of time
working on the computer doing research and practicing. But mostly
it's an easygoing life; we don't have a lot of money
but we're really happy.""
Bill Compton is a free-lance
writer who pursues the musical muse from the suburbs of Lacey.
Friday, January 15, 1999
Duo Brings Tales From the Sea
By Dori O'Neal
herald staff writer
Mix a little mandolin with an Irish penny whistle and the
exotic sounds of a hurdy-gurdy (a barrel organ instrument played
with a crank) [note: We
know that the hurdy-gurdy isn't a barrel organ at all, don't
we?] and you just might find yourself on a musical
But without the threat of motion sickness.
William Pint and Felicia Dale are Seattle folk singers who
combine their musical spirit with a bounty of energy tugged from
the lives of seafarers.
The duo performs for the Three Rivers Folklife Society's
Coffeehouse today at the Community Unitarian Universalist Church
in Kennewick. The music starts at 7:30 p.m.
Their sound seems to fit a myriad of music genres from modern
folk to rock. But it's the the message ion their music along
with a rich blend of myth, narritive, rhythm, rhyme and lyric
that take the audience to the decks of the tall ships that sailed
Their songs have been released on CDs titled Port of Dreams,
Hearts of Gold, Making Waves and When I See Winter Return.
Pint grew up in the Midwest but moved to the Seattle area
to escape the cold winters. The move proved to be a good one
because the Puget Sound imbued him with an illustrious seafaring
history that he used to make songs about deepwater sailors.
He eventually linked up with Dale, the daughter of a sea captain.
She grew up on one of the tiny islands in Puget Sound listening
to her father's tall tales of exotic ports of call.
Dale, whose mother was from Paris, grew up with French as
her first language. That Parisian background adds even more spice
to the music of Pint and Dale.
The two perform regularly around the United States, Great
Britain and Holland. Their music also touches on the cultures
of the West Indies, Wales and Brittany.
Their latest CD, Round the Corner, was released last
year on the Waterbug label.
Friday, January 8, 1999
Keys Folk Club
"While the rest of us may be addicted to beer, football
etc, Jim Schofield is addicted to running Folk Clubs and a good
job he does of it too. The Cross Keys is another venue under
I'm an infrequent visitor there, but it's always
a good night. Pint & Dale were no exception hailing from Seattle,
Washington State, USA, they specialize in songs of the sea, both
traditional and modern. Now Uppermill is about as far away from
the sea as you can get in this country, but on this occasion
the tide was in and the waves were lapping at the door.
Felicia Dale plays the Hurdy-Gurdy and William Pint a strange
looking guitar with some of the braces on the outside. These
two instruments together with their voices and occasional Tin
Whistle from Felicia were used to produce a well balanced and
precisely delivered set of songs that held everybody in the room
William's guitar style was exceptional, being able to
change instantly from a strong driving rhythm to the melody without
any audible seams. His voice was deceptively powerful for such
a slight man.
Felicia, no mean singer herself, is the first person I've
ever seen play the Hurdy-Gurdy quietly and sensitively as a background
instrument, although I suppose Jake Waltons' work with Jez
Lowe was in the same mould.
Together they produced as good a night in a Folk Club as I've
ever had. Many of their songs were contained on their latest
CD & Cassette "Port of Dreams"
I started the evening with pen and paper poised, intending
to make a record for this article. However when they had finished
their final encore I still hadn't written anything down,
I couldn't take my eyes off William's guitar playing.
I journeyed home from Saddleworth with Leave Her Johnny'
ringing in my ears and looking forward to two years time when
they hope to tour again. I'll be there!"
Stuart Cook, Buzz Magazine, UK
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William Pint & Felicia
McGonigel's Mucky Duck,Houston,TX
Although publicly designated by a member
of the McGonigel audience as "Surf & Turf," Seattle's
Pint & Dale perform mostly Songs of the Sea. William Pint
as a rule leads with the wonderfully deep, rich voice one would
expect from a Sea Chanteyman, accompanying himself on guitar
and mandolin. Felicia Dale adds with her more delicate but sometimes
ruthless voice and her hurdy-gurdy. It is the omnipresence (omnipotence?)
of the hurdy-gurdy that makes Pint & Dale unique.
Equipped with an easygoing stage presence
and an abundant sense of humor, Pint & Dale began with "Hearts
of Gold" and followed with an array ranging from French
sea chanteys to "Catherine," a bagpipe jig on whistle
and guitar. Emma especially liked "The Wreck of the 'Lady
Washington,' a parody commemorating the voyage of a Tall Ship
up the Columbia River...cut short by collision with a railroad
bridge. P&D claimed that the first time they performed "'Lady
Washington,'" a customer leapt up to say "I was there!
I was on that ship!"...quite a surprise. Judith liked their
stark and eerie material.
The not yet released "Tryphina's
Extra Hand," a turn-of-the century poem by C. Fox Smith
set to music, was just in time for Halloween. Two traditional
songs, "I Can Hew [Ike and Hugh...two coal miners],"
and "Pump Shanty" effectively highlighted Pint &
Dale's vocal strengths. Also performed were Sara Davis' "The
Wreckers ("a real doozie" picked up on their English
tour)," Jerry Bryant's ode to the Norwegian marathon rowers
"Harbo and Samuelson," and "All his other wives..."
We never learned the name of that last one, which described an
unusual funeral; "the last time we played that one was at
the funeral home," said Pint & Dale.
Towards the end, William Pint broke
two subsequent guitar strings, and while they were being replaced,
Felicia Dale sang "Willie Taylor." "That was the
first time I've ever done a solo!" she announced. Her major
passion appeared to be the hurdy-gurdy. During break, we joined
other listeners up by the stage for a demonstration, and were
invited to press down keys while Dale cranked the handle. Again,
after the performance, she invited, "Who's ready for a hurdy-gurdy
workshop?" What a lovely concert.
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