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 Everyman’s
enjoyment on A Chesapeake Sailor’s 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 Sailor’s
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 Gang—a 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.
enlightening liner notes are accompanied by vintage maritime illustrations
to complete this delightful package.
This release is part of the Maritime Music International
1. We Be Three Poor Mariners
2. Tobacco Is Like Love
3. To Portsmouth
4. While Up The Shrouds
5. Saturday Night At Sea
6. Tom Bowling
7. The Jamestown Homeward Bound
8. Norfolk Girls
9. Running Down To Cuba
10. The Old Virginia Lowlands
11. Bound for Baltimore
12. The Titanic
14. See You When The Sun Go Down
15. Sailing Down The Chesapeake Bay
16. Mail Day
John Townley and the Press Gang - A Chesapeake Sailor's Companion: Four Centuries of Maritime Music on the Chesapeake Bay