Available on CD only through Adelphi Records, and available as a download-only from Amazon and iTunes.
Up and down the East Coast and in pockets all across America, traditional and contemporary folk music thrives at pub sings, chantey sessions, song swaps, and singers circles. Singers meet in public spaces to share loved songs with others in the community and to pass them along to others. Rose Sheehan is a queen among such singers. Rarely touring beyond the northeastern seaboard, Rose is at the very center of folk music activity in Gloucester, Massachusetts. A song leader and recognized organizer of contra dances, seasonal celebrations, and benefit concerts, Rose focuses this album on consummate duets with her son Colin de la Barre (who sings professionally with Olivia Gale as Meridian). Theirs is mother-son music, shaped by years of ups and downs, struggles and enjoyments, till both voices feel smooth and comfortable. Rose honors the songs she chooses—she never uses them as vehicles for her own style but channels her power, her gentle ornamentation, and her word skills in putting their stories across. A typical response after hearing Rose sing, is “Wow, how can I learn that song?”
And the songs themselves? Some have been around for generations; more are contemporary, well-nourished by tradition. Many come from Great Britain, for Gloucester is a maritime town with strong and continuing links across the Atlantic. There are stories here of ships, sailors, love, horses, history, hardship, and folk customs. There are also songs of hope and persistence.
I’ve sung harmony on a few cuts with Rose and Colin. Most have choruses, and it would have been hard to stay silent. Colin encouraged me to find notes and counter-melodies to mesh with the strong, almost archaic sounds he uses to back up Rose’s melodies. It’s their album of course, but mostly I think of this album as a tribute to Rose—an effort in which I’ve played a small but happy part.
Enjoy listening to the re-release of Rose Sheehan’s album, available on CD through Adelphi Records, and available as a download-only from Amazon and iTunes.
1. Sea Coal
Rose Sheehan - Keep On Moving Forward
- Product Code: GCD1040
- Availability: In Stock