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Gordon Bok

Gordon Bok

Gordon Bok grew up around the boatyards of Camden, Maine, and worked on many different boats from fishing boats to passenger schooners to yachts, on his own coast and others. As he sailed, he learned songs and ballads of the sea and the schooners and the fishes and fishermen. Later he sang of mythical sea folk, seals and selkies who came to him in dreams and legends. At a time when folk music was experiencing a great revival, he was a leader in preserving, collecting, creating and sharing a wide variety of rich and intensely beautiful songs of both land and sea. His mastery of both the 6- and 12-string guitars added to his already well-developed vocal expression to create an unmistakable style that has carried him through decades of being one of our most cherished folk artists. He has made more than a score of albums, and many other musicians, including Archie Fisher, Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem, have recorded his songs. In addition, his music has been used in films and published in folk music anthologies, including Rise Up Singing, and his own collections, Time and The Flying Snow and One To Sing, One To Haul.

Gordon grew up in a musical home and started playing guitar when he was nine. After high school, he worked on boats and collected sea songs. During the winter, he worked as a carpenter and teacher in Philadelphia where he discovered a thriving folk music scene and began performing. Dissatisfied with the images generally portrayed of people who work on the water, he began to write songs based in the experiences of those he knew, real people whose language was honest, whose feelings were credible. These early works, songs like "Bay of Fundy," began to get attention, as did his rich voice and fluid guitar work. Paul Stookey, of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, produced Gordon's first album for Verve.

In addition to performing in concert halls, coffeehouses and festivals throughout the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Scandinavia, Gordon has taught choral singing and song writing at summer music camps and other gatherings. He has organized choral groups in his own community and gladly shares his knowledge with others wishing to do the same. A superb storyteller, he often introduces songs in concert with a bit of their origin and history.

Besides his countless solo appearances, Gordon toured for nearly thirty years with the trio, Bok, Muir and Trickett. He has also performed with his wife, harper Carol Rohl and with Anne Dodson, Cindy Kallet, Bob Zentz, Margaret MacArthur and other well-known folk artists. He has appeared in concert with the Paul Winter Consort and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and has been heard on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion. He has served both as Artist-in Residence and faculty member of the College of the Atlantic. Although he never graduated from college, he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the Maine Maritime Academy in 1997.

Albums

Gordon Bok In Concert
Gordon Bok In Concert

Apples in the Basket
Apples in the Basket

Herrings in the Bay
Herrings in the Bay

Dear to Our Island
Dear to Our Island

In The Kind Land
In The Kind Land

Gatherings
Gatherings

North Wind's Clearing
North Wind's Clearing

Schooners
Schooners

Return to the Land
Return to the Land

Ensemble
Ensemble

A Rogue's Gallery of Songs for the 12 String
A Rogue's Gallery of Songs for the 12 String

Another Land Made of Water
Another Land Made of Water

Seal Djiril's Hymn
Seal Djiril's Hymn

Peter Kagan and the Wind
Peter Kagan and the Wind

Cold as a Dog and the Wind Northeast
Cold as a Dog and the Wind Northeast

Bay of Fundy
Bay of Fundy

Clear Away in the Morning
Clear Away in the Morning

A Tune for November
A Tune for November

February Tapes, Vol. I
February Tapes, Vol. I

The Play of Lady Odivere
The Play of Lady Odivere

Other Eyes
Other Eyes

Because You Asked
Because You Asked

Song of the Lady Odivere
Song of the Lady Odivere

Then and Now
Then and Now

Jeremy Brown and Jeannie Teal
Jeremy Brown and Jeannie Teal

 

Songbooks

One to Sing,  One to Haul
One to Sing, One to Haul

Time and the Flying Snow
Time and the Flying Snow

Windcalling
Windcalling

Oh I Am Calling
Oh I Am Calling

 

Musical Style:
Acoustic, maritime and traditional

Region:
Nationally touring

Reviews:
WBUR-FM
Gordon Bok Review
The Village Voice
Plowshares
More reviews...

MP3 Samples:
Geordie
Sufferin'
Connemara Cradle Song
Wiscasset Schooners
More samples...

Artist Website:
www.gordonbok.com

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