The Gloucester Hornpipe and Clog Society has delighted audiences since 1971 with a lively mix of maritime music, Celtic jigs and reels, American Colonial-era tunes, and original songs of colorful people and places from New England's rich history. From ragtime to oldtime, the band's rollicking, friendly style is fun for all ages. On the long-awaited new album, Liberty!, the Society sings of Old Ironsides, a Boston Harbor ghost, the Massachusetts State Schooner Ernestina, the Massachusetts State Heroine Deborah Samson, and the Great Sea-Serpent of Cape Ann. In addition to songs, there are a number of lovely and lively Celtic dance tune medleys along with some original dance tunes in traditional style. The six-person band layers vibrant vocals and hearty harmonies with 16 different instruments, including fiddle, flute, banjo, tin whistle, accordion, mountain dulcimer, and guitar. Founder David Rosen plays the age-old delights of bones, spoons, bodhran, and pogocello. The band enjoys performing around New England at concerts and coffeehouses, museums and historic sites, maritime festivals and outdoor summer series, and private events. Three members are from Boston (South Boston and Jamaica Plain), three from Arlington, and none from Gloucester (despite our name). * 'You are all such amazing musicians, and your performance was lively and magical.' (80 Border Street Cultural Exchange Center, East Boston) * "Your sprightly music was lively and fitting for this happy (Grand Opening), and we feel that old Edmund Fowle himself would be rejoicing in Heaven at the very sound of it!' (Mary Spiers, The Historical Society of Watertown) * "...an affectionate feel for the music..' (Bryan Baker, review of Airs From Who Knows Where) * 'A band that's become a New England tradition unto itself!' (Dave Palmeter, Folktracks Live, Club Passim) Liner Notes from Liberty! 1. Jackie Tar / Off to California trad. British Isles / trad. Irish A hornpipe is a sailor's dance named for an ancient instrument. Here are two of our favorites. 2. The Sea-Serpent of Cape Ann © 2003 Diane Taraz Sightings of 'His Snakeship' have tailed off since a notable 1817 tour of Gloucester Bay. 3. The Ebenezer / Liberty trad. American A working chantey making the usual complaints, paired with a popular fiddle tune from the Colonial era. 4. The Castle Island Waltz / Rolling in the Rye Grass © 1998 John Berger/trad. Irish John named his waltz for a lovely spot near his home in South Boston. Our version of 'Rolling' comes from the brother/sister duo Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford of County Kerry, Ireland. We play it as they did, with repeats. 5. Lovely Ernestina © NEED DATE Jim Bean Jim paints a lovely picture of the grand old Massachusetts State Schooner, who has filled many roles in her long life. 6. The Jamaica Plain Rag © 1984 Owen Hartford Owen co-founded the band, which was nameless in 1971 when he and David Rosen played at a church supper in Gloucester. When asked what they were called, David looked at his music stand, saw sheet music for a clog and a hornpipe, and muttered, 'We're the, uh, Hornpipe and Clog . . . Society.' Whereupon the minister proclaimed, 'Ladies and gentlemen, the Gloucester Hornpipe and Clog Society!' Since then, some 22 musicians have been members of the Society-and as yet, not a single one from Gloucester. 7. The Rosabella trad. English A rousing capstan chantey, excellent for gathering the crew and hoisting the anchor. 8. The Cape Cod Hornpipe / Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier trad. American and Irish John unleashes his frailing fingers on two banjo tunes that were born in Ireland and became hits in America. 9. The Ballad of Deborah Samson © 2005 Diane Taraz The Massachusetts State Heroine enlisted in disguise after the Revolutinary War was officially over, when Tory raids made the army desperate for soldiers. Her steadfast service was rewarded with a military pension, signed by Governor John Hancock in 1792. 10. The Patent Leather Waltz © 1994 Lynn Noel Lynn interviewed former shoe-mill workers in the Merrimac Valley and shaped their memories into this song. They recalled the joy of waltzing on Saturday nights to such favorites as 'Golden Slippers.' Lynn wasn't about to argue with the 90-year-old ladies that 'Golden Slippers' is not a waltz -- so now it is. 11. Zim's Jig / The Gallowglass / The Tar Road to Sligo © 1996 Sandy Davis / trad. Irish The first tune honors Susan Zimelis, the band's hammered dulcimer player from 1985 to 1996. As Susan lay dying from leukemia, Sandy inspired friends to gather at her bedside to play the Irish music she loved. Susan brought 'The Gallowglass' (an old name for mercenary soldiers) and 'The Tar Road to Sligo' to the band. 12. The Lady in Black © 2008 Diane Taraz, with trad. French tune 'V'la, l'bon vent' (Come, Fair Wind) In January 1862 Melanie Lanier tried to rescue her husband, a Confederate prisoner on Georges Island in Boston Harbor. The escape went awry, and her last request led to her notoriety as the ghost of Fort Warren. 13. Full and By © NEED DATE Daisy Nell A ship sailing "full and by" is close-hauled, pointed into the wind (sailing 'by the wind,'), with her sails full. 14. The Constitution Hornpipe / The Constitution & the Guerriere / Hull's Victory trad. American This medley includes the famous broadside account of Old Ironsides' battle in Boston Harbor against a British warship with a perplexingly French name that means "the Warrior." Captain Isaac Hull maneuvered his vessel into the best spot from which to blast away the foe's mainmast. Huzzah!
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