Mudcat Café message #2652193 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #102165   Message #2652193
Posted By: GUEST,Lighter
09-Jun-09 - 10:08 AM
Thread Name: Origin: John Cherokee
Subject: RE: John Cherokee
Gibb, both your renditions are great. The "Jamaican" one is outstanding.

Hugill's delivery is a little more emphatic, but that may be because he was performing for an audience. On the two occasions when I shantied with the chorus on board the _Conrad_ at Mystic (20 years ago) I was impressed with how unlike a "performance" the real thing was.

The point was, first, to keep the capstan smoothly turning. And next, to hoist the yard up. Not even the shantymen, Stan and Tom Lewis, sounded quite as dramatic as on their records: certainly not as loud, since the acoustics of the open air are entirely different than those indoors. When the mate shouted "Belay!" in the middle of a verse of "Ranzo," we belayed.

Obviously a scratch crew of lubbers at a museum isn't quite the same thing as a crew of sailors on a working ship, but *work* was the focus, not musical sorcery. This is one reason that I think most shantymen were more like J. M. Carpenter's: they didn't ornament much because they thought of themselves more as workers than as musical performers. But as I've said before, we'll never know.

Meanwhile, everybody give a listen to Gibb's shanty clips.