Less Celtic and more maritime, Bounding Main takes traditional Irish, Canadian, and British ballads and shanties and transforms their simple folk melodies into haunting, intricate, tight harmonious tunes. You can hear them having fun in their music and know they're loving it, even if shanty singing doesn't make you rich! They've recently released a new album Kraken Up. Awesome title, right? It kraks me up too.
We open with a classic "Dogger Bank" with Christie at the lead and the rest of the crew providing rhythm and harmony. We then move onto the group effort "Heilan' Laddie", proving the group can work as an entire group without a soloist and backup. They work seamlessly in an out of different parts with great ease and beauty. How have they not taken over the world with their voices? The catchy and high-energy "Sloop John B" will be forever in your head and make you sing along within seconds. "Day of the Clipper" reminds me of a rebel Irish song in its melody but is actually a Steve Romanoff song. The ladies have a song to themselves in "Night Watchman's Lament", and they never disappoint. (Side note: yes, there have always been ladies on the sea, pirate, captain, or otherwise...Grace O'Malley, anyone?) "Pull Down Below" is a classic Bounding Main song with Christie again at the helm. The guys (mostly) take their turn "Green Eyed Girl" with David singing solo, and it's a beautiful tune. You can actually hear the sorrow and eagerness and the beauty in the love between two people separated by the sea in the harmonies that keep in time with the waves and rocking of the boat. The group also sings and adapts "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" to make it their own, and that they do. The other highlight is in the song "Rolling Up, Rolling Down." I cannot get this song out of my head. I feel like going down a street in Chicago and having a battle with a gang, West Side Story style! I've been singing "Rolling Up, Rolling Down" to my nephew. He's eight months and growing up on Bounding Main already. He's going to be one swell guy. He might even grow up to be in the Navy! Retired Bounding Main member Maggie Harrington returns for a lovely solo on the French song "Le Capitaine de Saint-Malo", and I'm glad she did. The album closes with another classic "Strike the Bell."
Get their album on iTunes now, or even better buy the CD to get an extra song! Get both digital and the CD! You won't regret it. Once you go shanty, you never go back.
You can also like them on facebook.