Gordon Bok A Rogue's Gallery of Songs for 12-String
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- Released: September 15, 1999
- Originally Released: 1999
- Label: Folk Legacy
Dirty Linen - 4-5/00, pp.58-9"...songs like Henry Lawson's 'On the Wallaby', the traditional 'Belamena' from South Caicos, and Bok's own classic 'Old Fat Boat'...make this a very pleasant listen..."
- 1.McKeon's Coming
- 2.I'm a Rambler, I'm a Rambler
- 4.Duncan and Brady
- 6.Marina / Bimbo de Colonello
- 7.On the Wallaby
- 8.Old Fat Boat
- 9.Ramble Away
- 10.A Most Unpleasant Way, Sir
- 11.Mist Covered Mountains / Bonnie Galway
- 13.St. Thomas
- 14.Woodworker's Litany
Solo performer: Gordon Bok (12-string guitar).
Includes liner notes by Gordon Bok.
Digitally remastered by Bob Katz (Digital Domain).
Personnel: Gordon Bok (vocals, guitar).
Liner Note Author: Gordon Bok.
Editor: Bob Stuart.
Photographer: Sandy & Caroline Paton.
To call Gordon Bok the voice of the Maine coast would be kind of trite, and it would probably embarrass him. But as someone who has actually lived the seafaring life he sings about in songs like "Old Fat Boat" and "Woodworker's Litany," he delivers such material with an unusual authority, and the tunes he writes evoke with sometimes startling clarity the stark beauty and forbidding ruggedness of that region. It would be inaccurate, however, to pigeonhole him as a regional singer; although his accent is always frankly down east, the songs he sings in that accent are as likely to come from Ireland and Australia as they are to come from Maine or Nova Scotia. On this album (made at the behest of Folk-Legacy head Sandy Paton, who requested a set made up entirely of arrangements for the 12-string guitar), Bok makes a rare foray into the blues ("Duncan and Brady") and also plays a brief set of Italian tunes ("Marina/Bimbo de Colonello") as well as a charming calypso number called "Belamena." Bok's deep, rumbly voice isn't exactly a natural fit with the calypso sound, but his guitar playing is so unassumingly virtuosic that the song still works beautifully. In fact, Bok's guitar playing is itself something of a wonder of nature. He's explained it in the past by saying that no one ever told him the guitar had limits, so he's always played it as if it hadn't any. That's as good an explanation as any for his astonishing technique. ~ Rick Anderson
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