European exploration of and expansion into North America was
facilitated by three important elements: beef bouillon, sauerkraut
and melody (or Protein, Vitamin C and Soul Food, respectively.)
The first two are now fodder for Oxbridge dons, but
the latter has been lovingly recreated by the Press Gang for Everymans
enjoyment on A Chesapeake Sailors Companion.
As the sub-heading suggests, this new CD release offers Four Centuries of Maritime Music on the Chesapeake Bay. From favorites composed during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I, when tobacco was king, to Tin Pan Alley numbers of the early 20th Century, when hydraulics began to replace muscle, this Sailors Companion charts the history of an important musical journey. Like this nation, the songs begin an ocean away from England to Africa and are transformed by commerce, technology and social change into something uniquely American.
A meticulous researcher with musical skills to match, John Townley leads the Press Ganga group of friends and fellow musicians who were shanghaied into a recording studio for these sessions. Among their number are cellist Anne Waple, pianist Blanton Bradley and grand champion Scots fiddler John Turner. Townleys enlightening liner notes are accompanied by vintage maritime illustrations to complete this delightful package.
1. We Be Three Poor Mariners
This release is part of the Maritime Music International Series. Look for upcoming additions from Adelphi Records.