Tag Archive: traditional folk

Review: Drink & the Devil

Rating: ★★★★☆
therebepirates_drinkdevilwww.therebepirates.net
Genre: Contemporary Pirate Folk.
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Pirate music fans, particularly those who would enjoy traditional shanties with some extra “teeth”

Drink &┬áthe Devil, by There Be Pirates, is an album that begins absolutely perfectly. Storm-brewed winds are met with a steadily growing drum beat, and then a shanty-styled introductory male voice begins the opening lyrics to High Barbary. But then the song quickly launches into a charged mix of energized instrumentals and vocals. This is still High Barbary as you know it, but reenvisioned in such a way as to remain true to its roots, but fresh and virile. (more…)

Review: Marooned

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Marooned
www.marooned-lv.com

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Genre: Faire music, nautical and otherwise
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Grown ups, mostly

Marooned is an album (and a band) that has a morbidly bizarre sense of humor. It’s (mostly) G-Rated, yet remains a CD largely about death, bastards, and booze. The oddness begins right away with Companion, an a cappella song (as is the entire album) that sounds gentle and friendly. The lead vocals are personable and very human, and the backup vocals are soft yet solid. As to the lyrics? Well, that’s when you start to realize that this seemingly harmless song is actually a bundle of peer-pressure, strongly indicating that the singers will only be your friend if you drink lots (and lots, and lots.) (more…)

Review: Poet & Pirate Overtures

Rating: ★★★½☆
Skip Henderson
www.skiphenderson.com

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Genre: Traditional and traditional inspired sea shanteys.
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Grown ups, mostly

Let’s be honest – when I reviewed Skip Henderson’s first pirate album, Billy Bones & Other Ditties, I wasn’t exactly charitable. Featuring about 3 decent pirate songs, 1 drop-dead brilliant one, and 13 or so ho-hum ditties, I actually expressed a level of frustration that the sheer genius of the title track, Billy Bones, wasn’t reflected throughout more of the album. (more…)

Review: Pirate Scum

Rating: ★★★½☆
The Brigands
www.thebrigands.com

Genre: Traditional styled “tavern” music
Rating: G
Target Audience: Fans of folk-oriented pirate music

In a world full of festival pirate music, pirate-core music, and pirate parody music (and we love you all), it does seem it’s sometimes hard to find “real” pirate music. These would be tunes performed in the traditional style of dockside taverns, complete with old-fashioned instruments and vocals supplied by voices that were likely yelling “heave the jib to” or “I’ll gut ya like a Spaniard” earlier that same afternoon. But with their new album, affectionately titled “Pirate Scum”, this is exactly what The Brigands brings to the table. (more…)

Review: Down Among the Dead Men

Rating: ★★★½☆
The Pirates of New Providence

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Genre: Traditional and traditional-styled origninal pirate tunes.
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Late teens to early retirement

Down Among the Dead Men – the first album by Pirates of New Providence – hits the ground running with its initial track, Fire Maringo. Being a traditional song, I’ve heard it performed before, and have never really given it much thought. But the Pirates of New Providence make it a tough song to dismiss. Strong, clear vocals are complimented by solid drums to immediately command attention. Soon the backup vocals and what I believe to be a tamborine also join in to play with the softer and higher notes. All told, it’s a commanding opener, and one that illustrates the truth that sometimes an old song can be made new again through sheer strength of the performance. (more…)

Review: Everyone Loves Singing Pirates

Rating: ★★★½☆
The Seadogs
www.seadogs.org

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Genre: Traditional and traditional-styled origninal pirate tunes.
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Late teens to early retirement

The Seadogs are very likely the largest pirate band in existence. “Everyone Loves Singing Pirates”, being their second shanty album, and their first actually dedicated to the noble subject of piracy, features the combined efforts of no fewer than 14 artists. Not many pirate bands boast enough manpower to crew a small galleon, but the Seadogs certainly come close. (more…)

Review: Kings of the Sea

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Skeleton Crew Pirate Band
www.malloryandmccall.com

Genre: Traditional-styled sea and pirate shanteys, but with some deviation and unique character
Rating: PG
Target Audience: All Ages

The problem with period music is it sometimes leans towards the dry side. And while non-period music is often more fun, it generally clashes with any sort of authenticity (a problem at times, certainly.) But with their new album “Kings of the Sea,” The Skeleton Crew Pirate Band manages to straddle that difficult line and create an album that’s fun to listen to, while still lending itself to a period feel. I use the words “period feel” carefully, as not all of these songs are actually authentic. Many, in fact, are culled from a wide variety of movie favorites – Muppet Treasure Island, The Pirates of Penzance, Treasure Island, and Pirates of the Caribbean all lend tunes and lyrics to this album. But while the sources may be modern, the vocals and instruments throughout carry a traditional piratey air, only deviating a bit with some non-traditional vocal styles now and again. And indeed, many of the other songs truly are period (William Kidd, Pirate’s Love Song, and Henry Martin, for example) although they too feature some artistic liscence with styling (and more power to them!) (more…)

Review: There is a Ship

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
3 Pints Gone
www.3pintsgone.com

Genre: Traditional and traditional-inspired
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Grown Ups

When I was little I used to watch low-budget cartoons from Japan. I remember one with three robots. These robots could combine to make a larger, mega robot. But the trick was, they could do it in any order. When the yellow robot was the head, it created a robot with different strengths and weaknesses than if the red or blue robot was the head – each of whom carried their own unique talents to the equation. And so it is with 3 Pints gone, a renaissance/maritime band that frequently shifts lead singers throughout their album “There is a Ship.” (more…)

Review: Billy Bones and Other Ditties

Rating: ★★½☆☆
Skip Henderson
www.skiphenderson.com

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Genre: Traditional and traditional inspired sea shanteys.
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Grown ups, mostly

Skip Henderson’s “Billy Bones and Other Ditties” is one of the most aptly named albums of all time. Amongst the track listing is, as expected, the song “Billy Bones” – one of the greatest pirate songs I’ve ever heard. And the rest of the album is a bunch of ditties – some more entertaining than others, but few that really leave a mark. (more…)