Search - Gordon Bok :: North Wind's Clearing: Songs of the Maine Coast

North Wind's Clearing: Songs of the Maine Coast
Gordon Bok
North Wind's Clearing: Songs of the Maine Coast
Genres: Folk, Pop
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Gordon Bok
Title: North Wind's Clearing: Songs of the Maine Coast
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Folk Legacy
Original Release Date: 6/30/1995
Re-Release Date: 8/15/1995
Genres: Folk, Pop
Style: Traditional Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 710146100525

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CD Reviews

Great sea songs
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Bok's rich, deep voice takes you onto the swells of the ocean. On this album he mixes traditional songs ("Western Boat," "I's the B'y") with his own pseudo-traditional tunes (e.g., "Mr. Eneos," "Clear Away in the Morning") and his thoroughly modern folk songs (e.g., "Mister, I Don't Mind," "Old Fat Boat").In the extreme, he weaves a spell of words and sound in a 15-minute storytelling piece, "Peter Kagan and the Wind." Liam Clancy did a fine cover of this on one of his albums, but Bok's original has a quiet intensity that highlights the nautical tension.The arrangements are simple, leaving the way clear for Bok's voice to carry the impetus. That's the way I like 'em, when it's a voice like his. I can't imagine the dirge-like "Bay of Fundy" with any better orchestration than the simple guitar.This is vintage Bok at his best."
Simply brilliant from beginning to end
G. Moses | Men...Of...The...Sea! | 01/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If I had to recommend one Bok CD, I would not hesitate to choose this one. All of the songs have previously appeared elsewhere, but many of Bok's old albums have not yet been rereleased on compact disc; with the exceptions of 'McKeon's Coming' and 'Old Fat Boat,' none of the songs here are otherwise available on CD as of this writing. And in any case, the thematic unity makes for a more immersive listening experience.

The level of quality here is staggering; amost all of the songs--most of them originals--are classics. Bok's oeuvre does not consist exclusively of nautical songs, but I think they're what he does best. Most of them are very exciting and dramatic, and Bok's acoustic guitar and distinctive baritone brilliantly evoke the savagery and desolate beauty of the ocean. He's also a gifted storyteller, as demonstrated on 'Saben the Woodfitter' and the epic 'Peter Kagan and the Wind' (if you like those--and you will--you should also check out Seal Djiril's Hymn).

I envy you if you have yet to hear this music for the first time. Even if you normally shy away from folk music, I'm almost certain that you will enjoy this, and indeed, that it will become an integral part of the soundtrack of your life.
Gordon Bok, the voice of "Down East."
Lowell P. Thomas | Naples, FL USA | 05/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is Gordon Bok at his best, though probably any Gordon Bok is his best. Bok's guitar and and vocals, alone are pure beauty, a joy to the ear. Add to this the fact that his songs reflect his intimate knowledge of "Down East" (Maine coast) water-men. Whether he's singing of a schooner warping into the dock, Frankie, a local fisherman struggling to free his trawl from rocks on the Sheepscot one snowy winter day, or a drunken captain who almost loses his boat and crew off Cape Ann, his music and his boats and the sea are real and true. True and real yes, but always with a bit of magic to soften the edges. The magic of gulls wheeling and dipping in the morning sun, Peter Kagan's struggle against an icy wind that alternately backs and veers around the compass until he lies freezing in the bottom of his dory, - - - and is finally rescued by magic, his lovely wife, a Silkie."