From Salthouse Dock
Part of Bob Webb's worldwide reputation as "King of the Shanty" is based on this recording, originally released as a cassette tape (only) in 1995. The tracks were laid down in Paradise Street, Liverpool, England in December 1994; the very street celebrated by 19th-Century merchant sailors in the famous work-song (shanty) "Blow the Man Down" -- "Oh, as I was a'walkin' down Paradise Street, to me way, hey, blow the man down!" The celebrated Liverpool shanty-group 'Stormalong John' and "Shanty Jack," a talented shantyman and professional mariner from Hull, England joined Bob to make this recording. After it's release, 'From Salthouse Dock' was hailed by Sing Out! Magazine as one of the best sea-shanty albums in traditional style, that is, sung like old "shellbacks" would have given the songs on the long voyage around Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope. Bob and his crew recorded nearly 25 songs in the one-day recording marathon. The newly-remastered CD version of the album not only sounds stacks better than the original cassette release, but includes three previously-unreleased tracks, "The Plains of Mexico," "One More Day," and "Liverpool Judies." This album also features Bob playing the double-headed minstrel style banjo, probably the first time that shanties, which in some cases derived from the minstrel theatre, were replayed back onto the instrument on which they likely originated. Bob Webb has been performing and teaching traditional folk music for four decades. He began his study of sea music in 1977, and has since presented traditional maritime music at festivals, in schools and in concerts from New Zealand to Poland. He has appeared almost every year since 1979 at the famous Sea Music Festival at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, and is also a regular at the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival in New Hampshire. He currently lives and works in Maine, and is also a well-known historian and author of several books about music and sea history.