Hearts of Gold
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publications have to say about it.
(RECORD REVIEW: Hearts of Gold) William Pint & Felicia
Dale, Waterbug Records
"The Seattle-based duo of
William Pint and Felicia Dale make nautical music fun, dynamic,
and varied -- and above all, musical. Too often, performers of
sea music seem to figure that loud is good, and gale force is
better. Pint & Dale come at this stuff with more subtlety,
and their material ranges beyond the usual shanties. It's
not the volume of the air, but that the wind can blow gently,
as well as stiffly.
Varied instrumentation, a wide-open
sense of rhythmic possibilities, two very fine voices, and a
nice mix of traditional and traditionally based music from several
cultures make Hearts of Gold a real treat for the ears and a
recording that bears many listenings, even for those who are
not usually big fans of "nautical music."
The duo's vocal enthusiasm and
relish for the music transcend any narrow interest in any particular
type of music. They are obviously both fine musicians who could
play many kinds of music
Felicia Dale's hurdy-gurdy
provides a strong fundamental drive in many of these songs, and
the lilt of her tin whistle fills space after space with its
high pitched delight. William Pint's fine guitar work runs
from quiet and subtle to flat-out hard driving rhythm. Both voices
are versatile and expressiveWilliam's at times does
some marvelous swooping; Felicia's full bodied alto sounds
a bit like June Tabor when she sings lead.
Shanties include Tony Goodenough's
lusty, ribald "Pump Shanty" (the pun is obvious), the
Welsh "Hob Y Derri Dando," and a wild, percussion filled
version of the West Indian shanty "The Essakeeba River.
" Sea songs often advance
the proposition that the seafaring life is superior to life on
It's a questionable proposition
at best given the hard work and danger aboard ship, and one often
wonders just who it is, the land lubber or the sailor who needs
convincing. Pint and Dale's rousing performance of the title
song "Hearts of Gold" might just possibly convince
a few landlubbers that the life of a sailor really is more exciting
than a life on land.
Closer to land, "Companioned by
the Sea" by Marjorie Howell and Bob Zentz, is a pensive
hymn to the sea as seen by one living right on the shoreline.
Sarah Davis's "Wreckers"
is a spooky, morally challenging tale of land-based pirates who
are "respectable people," who lure ships onto the rocks
with a false light. The traditional "Bay of Biscay"
(also known as Willie the Waterboy') is a hauntingly
told ballad of the return of the ghost of a lover lost at sea.
There's fine instrumental work on a handful of tunes too,
including a marvelously and quite literally cranked-up version
of the Scottish pipe tune "The Atholl Highlanders."
William Pint and Felicia Dale take sea
music to places it's never been. I'd take the trip
with them anytime."
Dwight Thurston, The Canton Voice, Canton
CT, Feb.9, 1995
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can taste the salt and travel the seven seas
Delightful vocals, dazzling range of instruments."
Folk Roots Magazine, England
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Pint and Felicia Dale have always left a strong impression with
their previous material, and live they display a real spirit
and lust for originality. Hearts of Gold' their latest
album sees the duo carrying on their self appointed task of championing
songs of the sea and associated lifestyle. It's their ability
to add so much upbeat melodic flavour to everything they do,
be it through their beautiful expressive vocals or their blissful
delivery, that sees them put in a slick but never clinically
so, professional performance.
With musical contributors adding fiddle, keyboards,
various percussion and even didgeridoo to their already considerable
array of instruments that include hurdy-gurdy, whistles, guitar,
mandola, cittern and more, the stage is set for a celebration
of talent and musicianship."
Rockn'Reel Magazine, England
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"Here's another splendid
set of nautical
material from this Seattle-based duo that spotlights guitar and
hurdy gurdy as its lead instruments. A high percentage of tracks
are sea songs related to the subject of sailors longing for/being
away from/traveling towards home. Two selections in that category
are the title track, which features hurdy gurdy, keyboards, and
fine harmony singing of lyrics taken from text found in the journal
of an 1832 whaling voyage; and "Pump Shanty," which
is segued in medley with a spirited dance tune sporting digeridoo,
hand drum, and ankle bells accompaniment.
Combinations of violin,
mandola, whistle, bass, cittern, and percussion back the pair
several times. For variety, there are West Indian
and Welsh sea shanties, and inland waters compositions like "C'est
l'Aviron" a traditional canoe paddling song, and "Wreck
of the Lady Washington" about a near-disaster on a Washington
state river. The finale is a hurdy gurdy-led instrumental romp
through the classic Scottish bagpipe tune "Atholl Highlanders."
Spearheaded by Pint's singing the overall feel of this excellent
album reminds me of the fine Barry and Robin Dransfield LPs of
the 1970s. Highly recommended."
A.R., Dirty Linen, #54 Oct/Nov 1994
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sea is again the inspiration of this exciting '94 release,
with home a major theme, as it often is with travelers, both
sailors and musicians.
Reminiscent of Gordon Bok and Anne
Canadian River Music
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"William Pint and Felicia Dale have sprinkled
this album with jewels gleaned from their recent travels. Their
time on the road appears to have been well spent. They have assembled
the finest collection of seafaring songs to have graced my ears
in many a year.
These two bards of the northwest are
no stranger to the sea shanty or salty reel. They are equally
at home with ballads of shipwrecks and lost love.
Whether touring as a duo or as part
of a larger ensemble, William and Felicia manage to keep the
salt spray in their lyrics and the sea breeze in their voices.
"Hearts of Gold" is a balanced
mix of traditional and contemporary songs gathered from the desert
northwest to Brittany. Look for a wide variety of musical styles
that will hold your interest. Pint and Dale bring a treasure
of refreshing new sea songs that are accessible without being
trite. As you might expect, the album is packed with rich harmonies;
a cappella and accompanied. William sings lead vocals on most
cuts; his clear tones unequaled. The solo on "Essakeeba
River" is especially gripping and compelling.
I would buy this album just to
listen to Felicia play the hurdy-gurdy. Few have such mastery
of this unusual instrument or can get such a range of emotions
from it. While Felicia only comes front and center for several
songs, she belts out a delightful version of C'est L'Aviron.
Selections include: Hearts of Gold, C'est L'Aviron,
Pump Shanty/Jump at the Sun, Companioned By The Sea, London Julies,
The Wreck of the Lady Washington, The Rolling Wave/Homeward Bound,
Hob Y Derri Dando, Wreckers, Bay of Biscay, Sail Away, The Essakeeba
River, The Atholl Highlanders.
Making lots of wonderful music and providing
back up vocals for Hearts of Gold are John Peekstok (keyboards,
bass guitar and cittern), Anna Peekstok (didgeridoo), Tania Opland
(violin), Jarrod Kaplan (percussion instruments), and Adrienne
The production quality and engineering
for Hearts of Gold is first rate. Rob Folsom has a large following
among northwest artists both for his technical skills and two
of the finest ears in the business." "Hearts of Gold"
is a must for anyone who loves the sea.
Mark Horn, Review for AOL Folk and Acoustic Music
Exchange, reprinted to internet
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and Dale sing a bounty of traditional and contemporary sea shanties
and songs of the sea, as well as a French-Canadian canoe paddling
song. Their taste in nautical poetry is clear sailing and there's
plenty of wind in the sails of their performance. A chorus of
friends augment their harmonies, along with Dale's hurdy-gurdy
standing in for a concertina. Other unusual instruments include
didgeridoo, doumbek, djimbe and ankle bells. That's not
the usual fare for sea songs, and it's what keeps this album
interesting and entertaining.
Pint and Dale sing with
intelligence and conviction. They made an effort to collect the
traditional material from primary sources, and the contemporary
tunes from their authors, among whom are Bob Zentz who co-authored
"Companioned by the Sea," Sarah Davis, Mary Benson
and Tony Goodenough. Pint and Dale robustly perform the traditional
"C'est L'Aviron," and "London Julies."
"The Wreck of the Lady Washington" is a tragi-comic
parody sung to the tune of "The Greenland Whale Fishery."
You won't regret setting sail on a musical journey with
Pint & Dale."
R. Warr, Sing Out! The Folk Song Magazine, USA
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