A Review of the CD
"Harbors of Home"
by Gordon Bok, Ed Trickett & Ann Mayo Muir

"Harbors of Home"
by Gordon Bok, Ed Trickett & Ann Mayo Muir

Copyright 1998, THD-CD010
Timberhead Music
P.O. Box 840
Camden, ME 04843
ph: (207)236-2707

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 5/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Blending their well-known warm harmonies with pleasing solo segments, Gordon Bok, Ed Trickett and Ann Mayo Muir provide a solid sense of place, a connection to a multitude of legacies, in their latest release "Harbors of Home." Traversing from the worlds of migrant farm workers, to Australian sheep ranchers and itinerant Aussie wanderers, to shipbuilders, sailors, boats and fishermen, this trio authenticates pieces of history, remembrances of people, places and events too often shunted aside into undeserved obscurity.

Presenting, as always, a smoothness and clarity in their vocals, Bok, Trickett and Muir also provide a sense of poignancy in a number of their tunes through their emotive harmonizations. Pulling at the heartstrings with "We Built This Old Ship," depicting the transition from canvas sailing ships to those powered by engines and boilers, they harmonize:

Continuing on, they add: "The Outside Track," a heartfelt Henry Lawson poem set to music by Gerry Hallom, is another remarkably affective cut. Describing the emotional void created as swagman after swagman (itinerant wanderers) marries, settles down and depletes the ranks, it goes: Judy Small's "From the Lambing to the Wool" provides a litany of the difficulties facing cockies, Australian sheep farmers in the Outback. Written from the wife's ambivalent perspective, these hard times "and there've been times when I wonder if it all was worth the doing" are buffered by a sense of fulfillment "and there've been times when I thought this was the finest place there is." The song concludes with a drollful statement of pride: Portraying the life of migrant workers in "Great Valley's Harvest," they describe the various hardships endured by these harvesters. With incisive irony, the song closes with: The allegorical spiritual "Farthest Field" is the consummate vehicle for vocal harmonizing. Describing a joyous and deserved final resting place, the song goes: "Wiscasset Schooners" is another wistful piece reliving the time when "spars gave way to smokestacks" and boats that dutifully served their purpose were sent aground and abandoned. The last verse is: "Turning of the Year," a well-placed selection that closes out the release, presents the warmth and wisdom made possible through age and experience. As a bidding to all, the last lines are: This is the kind of music from the kind of performers you want to invite into your home. You know your life will be touched and enriched by doing so. Bid them soon.

Track List:

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