One thing you can say about my band The Flying Fish Sailors is that we lack a broad commercial appeal. There’s just not that many people in the world all that interested in a rousing sea chantey or depressing sea ballad. Still, it’s good fun music and we enjoy our fair share of loyal fans and seem to draw new ones when we play.
On top of that, there’s certainly no shortage of nautical bands scattered around this small blue planet.
Movies like Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and the recent sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest have had some effect in recent years in popularizing all things piratical. I noticed this most strongly in my recent visit to San Francisco. I suppose this whole “Pirate Pop” thing will only benefit us when we play in the future.
Why do I bring this up? I bring this up because last Friday I had a “when worlds collide” experience.
I may play in a folk band but I love alternative rock and even some popular music. I would say my tastes are ecclectic and diverse even if my band plays mostly within a certain niche.
Friday night I was in Sig’s Lagoon and Thomas (the proprietor) called my attention to a CD that had just come into inventory. The name of the CD is “Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys.”
Ok, a Sea Chantey CD…cool. Their not all that hard to find and I kinda shrugged. Thomas drew my attention to the producers…Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski. Ok, Interesting. But Johnny Depp? I’m so tired of Johnny Depp. You can go to your local ren fair and see a dozen or more Jack Sparrow wannabes wandering the site. Bleh.
At Thomas’s urging I took the CD in hand and gave it a closer look.
The song list was not surprising. It’s a two CD set featuring the expected songs like Cape Cod Girls, Mingulay Boat Song, Shenandoah along with some bawdier one’s like Good Ship Venus and The Mermaid.
But what was really startling is who the performers are. The CD is billed as “various artists” but those “various artists” include Lou Reed, Loudon Wainwright III and his son Rufus, Stan Ridgeway, Bono, Sting and the list goes on.
I bought the CD on the spot and I have REALLY enjoyed it so far.
Here’s the song list:
01. CD1: Cape Cod Girls – Baby Gramps
02. CD1: Mingulay Boat Song – Richard Thompson
03. CD1: My Son John – John C. Reilly
04. CD1: Fire Down Below – Nick Cave
05. CD1: Turkish Revelry – Loudon Wainwright III
06. CD1: Bully In The Alley – Three Pruned Men
07. CD1: The Cruel Ship’s Captain – Bryan Ferry
08. CD1: Dead Horse – Robin Holcomb
09. CD1: Spanish Ladies – Bill Frisell
10. CD1: Coast of High Barbary – Joseph Arthur
11. CD1: Haul Away Joe – Mark Anthony Thompson
12. CD1: Dan Dan – David Thomas
13. CD1: Blood Red Roses – Sting
14. CD1: Sally Brown – Teddy Thompson
15. CD1: Lowlands Away – Rufus Wainwright & Kate McGarrigle
16. CD1: Baltimore Whores – Gavin Friday
17. CD1: Rolling Sea – Eliza Carthy
18. CD1: The Mermaid – Martin Carthy & the UK Group
19. CD1: Haul On The Bowline – Bob Neuwirth
20. CD1: A Dying Sailor to His Shipmates – Bono
21. CD1: Bonnie Portmore – Lucinda Williams
22. CD1: Shenandoah – Richard Greene & Jack Shit
23. CD1: The Cry Of Man – Mary Margaret O’Hara
24. CD2: Boney – Jack Shit
25. CD2: Good Ship Venus – Loudon Wainwright III
26. CD2: Long Time Ago – White Magic
27. CD2: Pinery Boy – Nick Cave
28. CD2: Lowlands Low – Bryan Ferry w/ Antony
29. CD2: One Spring Morning – Akron/Family
30. CD2: Hog Eye Man – Martin Carthy & family
31. CD2: The Fiddler – Ricky Jay & Richard Greene
32. CD2: Caroline and Her Young Sailor Bold – Andrea Corr
33. CD2: Fathom The Bowl – John C. Reilly
34. CD2: Drunken Sailor – David Thomas
35. CD2: Farewell Nancy – Ed Harcourt
36. CD2: Hanging Johnny – Stan Ridgway
37. CD2: Old Man of The Sea – Baby Gramps
38. CD2: Greenland Whale Fisheries – Van Dyke Parks
39. CD2: Shallow Brown – Sting
40. CD2: The Grey Funnel Line – Jolie Holland
41. CD2: A Drop of Nelson’s Blood – Jarvis Cocker
42. CD2: Leave Her Johnny – Lou Reed
43. CD2: Little Boy Billy – Ralph Steadman