Revel Players

Blow, Ye Winds, in the Morning

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Revels Company founder John Langstaff brings his love of traditional music to Paine Hall and Sanders Theatre in Harvard with Blow, Ye Winds, in the Morning. 21 shanties, ballads, pub songs, and poems, performed by the Revel Players chronicle the joys, sorrows, and workdays of fisherman, sailors, whaling men, and their wives and children, utilizing accordions, fiddles, and voices to capture the period's blue-collar simplicity. The album works like a play -- though it follows no set narrative -- and it's charms lie in the passion and care that the performers have for the material. The choral arrangements on "Mingulay" and "the Seaman's Hymn" are chill-inducing triumphs, conjuring up hordes of townsfolk lamenting fallen friends and relatives, while rousing shanties like "Cape Cod Girls" and "Away Rio" rival the works of A.L. Lloyd and Ewan MacColl. Those looking for bare-bones renditions of nautical classics would be better off with any of Topic Records' excellent seafaring compilations, while those interested in beautifully rehearsed, played, and executed dances and work songs would do well picking up this wonderful slice of ocean memorabilia.

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