It will be an evening of salty songs on the Falmouth Historical Society lawn, Thursday, June 23, 6:00PM, when The New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus and The Shifty Sailors, a musical crew from the Pacific Northwest, join Falmouth’s own Rum-Soaked Crooks for a proper “gam” and sing-song.
Formed in 2000, under the direction of Tom Goux, the 25 voice chorus presents a repertoire that reflects the rich maritime heritage of New Bedford and the region. Weaving musical traditions connected to New Bedford Harbor and the New England seafarer, their performances feature the chanteys (work songs) of the Yankee sailor and whaler, ballads and ditties of global mariners and songs of coastwise fisherfolk in North America, the Cape Verde Islands and the British Isles.
The Shifty Sailors hail from Whidbey Island – famed and framed in Puget Sound, just northwest of Seattle, Washington. For over two decades, this group, much like the local singers on the program, has manifested their passion for maritime history and heritage in collecting and sharing their music in concert at festivals, civic events, and charitable organizations in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, California, Oregon, Hawaii, British Columbia, Ireland and, of course, Washington State. The “Shifties” have also found their way to stages in Europe – the Baltic Sea Countries, France, Prague, the British Isles, and Ireland.
The Rum Soaked Crooks ~ Tom Goux, Jacek Sulanowski, Dan Lanier and Iain Geddes-– have been cruising the New England shoreline (and beyond) for the last three decades and have inflicted much musical and poetic damage with a pungent mix of sailors’ chanteys, ballads and ditties. There is often irrefutable evidence left in their wake: victims leaving the scene with toes tapping and choruses ringing in their heads, as they happily hum and whistle all the way home.
The Crooks have shared their songs and stories, both historical and contemporary, at festivals and maritime events across the country and in Europe, and have recorded on the Smithsonian-Folkways and Whaling City Sound labels. Their repertoire spans three centuries of seafaring melody and verse, featuring an exceptional sampling of Cape and Islands sea songs and poetry.