one who thinks sea music means Haul Away Joe sung slightly
off key to the reedy strains of a concertina is in for a revelation
when William Pint & Felicia Dale hoist sail and set their
vocals and guitar, mandola, Irish pennywhistles, percussion and
the exotic sounds of the vielle-à-roue or hurdy
gurdy, the Seattle duo William Pint & Felicia Dale bring
an energetic and contemporary spirit to their material.
on several cultures, Pint and Dale perform traditional and modern
music and songs reflecting the immense vitality of those who
live and work on the sea. Their music fits into the world of
modern folk, rock and popular song, but it's rich with the myth,
narrative, rhythm, rhyme and lyric associated with the days of
the tall ships.
Felicia Dale grew up in an environment steeped in
the traditional lore of the sea. Born on New Year's Day 1958
and raised on Vashon Island in Washington State's Puget Sound,
she spent her childhood sailing Northwest coastal waters and
cruising Canada's inside passage. Her father was
a sea captain who brought back tales and treasures from exotic
ports of call. Her mother is a transplanted Parisian; Dale learned
French as her first language and acquired a lifelong love for
the songs of the French seafaring tradition.
first musical venture was a duet act with Waterbug recording
artist Kat Eggleston when they were both sixteen.
exposure to the vielle-à-roue or hurdy-gurdy was
first through several Seattle area players and then from a performance
by the French group Cabistan while on tour at Mystic Seaport
in Connecticut. Upon her return to Seattle she immediatley commisioned
an instrument from California luthier Michael Hubbert.
striking vocal harmonies are matched by her creative use of the
hurdy-gurdy and Irish pennywhistles, taking these traditional
instruments far beyond their usual roles as she blends them into
the texture of a song or departs on improvisational romps with
born December 20th, 1953, was led astray into the folk world
in 1970. He was wooed away from his early rock and roll influences
(The Who, The Kinks, and The Beatles) by
the folk/rock sounds of Steeleye Span and Fairport
Convention. This led to a growing interest in the more traditional,
less electric music of such artists as Martin Carthy, John Renbourn,
The Chieftains and the eclectic songs of the Incredible
1977 he headed west to escape the cold Wisconsin winters of his
native Milwaukee and to pursue music. The salt air of Puget Sound
and the rich, seafaring history of the Pacific Northwest soon
led him to explore the song and lore of the deepwater sailors.
With his band Morrigan he recorded an album of Irish tunes
and nautical songs By Land or By Sea, for Folkways
Records in 1979. Along with composer Paul Ely Smith and Robert
Kotta in the group Ellipsis, he investigated the unusual
combination of minimalist, folk and classical music. Flying
Fish Records released their 1984 self-titled recording produced
by Mícheál Ó Dhomhnàill. The same
trio also performed and recorded as Copperfield, a popular
Northwest band specializing in British Isles and Celtic music.
The trio opened concerts for Richard Thompson, Martin Carthy,
Silly Wizard, John Renbourn, David Bromberg and others.
performance, William Pints emotionally expressive singing
is complemented by his powerful guitar and mandola work with
which he can supply settings of great delicacy or wild, driving
Dale have won an ardent following across the United States, Great
Britain, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands with their recordings
and appearances at festivals and concerts.
have recorded eight albums, the independently released CDs
Port of Dreams
Waves, and Waterbug
label releases, Hearts
of Gold, Round
the Corner, When
I See Winter Return, Hartwell
Horn , White
Horses,""Seven Seas and "Set of the Sail".
and Dale gather together material from many locales and cultures
including the West Indies, Wales and Brittany. No dead tradition,
seafaring music is very much alive in the hands of William Pint
& Felicia Dale, and in the daily lives of people still dedicated
to sailing tall ships in the 21st Century.