The Crimson Pirates,
The Crimson Pirates
(self-produced, 2001)

Pirate bands once roved the high seas, terrorizing poor merchant vessels wherever they went.

These days, pirate bands release CDs, entertaining Renaissance Faire patrons wherever they go.

If you like pirate songs, you'll like the Crimson Pirates. If you don't, you won't. It's that simple.

The band, which apparently formed somewhere in the vicinity of the New York Renaissance Festival, approaches those old, familiar nautical songs with enthusiasm, vigor and nice harmony singing. Their sound is very similar to that of Maryland's excellent Pyrates Royale -- and indeed, the Crimson Pirates list the Pyrates as an inspiration in their liner notes.

Crimson singers are Robin Flanagan, Don Kilgoyne, Kelly Kilgoyne, Karen Komornik, Kelley McKinnon, Dan O'Driscoll and Lionel Ruland, with guest appearances by Ann Alford, Jared Hoffert and Mark James Schryver. They accompany themselves with guitar, mandolin, bodhran, tambourine and clave.

As for the songs, they're pretty much what you'd expect to hear, including "Drunken Sailor," "Old Maui," "Mermaid," "Cape Cod Girls," "Charlie Mopps," "Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her," "Haul Away, Joe," "Rattlin' Bog" and "Wild Mountain Thyme." The "Moonshiner Mega-Mix" sounds more ambitious than it is, simply swapping verses between "The Moonshiner" and "Wild Rover."

The Crimson Pirates are good at what they do. If you like that sort of thing (and I often do, when I'm in the right mood for it), then this is a fun collection of piratical frivolity.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 22 May 2004

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