PopMatters review, “Sinking Low on the Seas, Rising Up with Gold”

by Michael J. Kramer, PopMatters; October 20, 2006 Link to full article

Review of Baby Gramps and the CD, “Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys”

The captain of this ship is not one of the celebrity musicians, but rather one Baby Gramps, a Popeye-voiced, old-timey, bizarro balladeer whose National steel-guitar workouts and gutteral growls, hoots, and whispers steal the show. Baby Gramps opens the album by steering a full band out of harbor and onto the open sea while singing about how “Cape Cod girls don’t use no combs, they comb their hair with the codfish bones. ” “Heave her up my bully, bully boys, heave her up, now don’t you make a noise,” Baby Gramps and crew sing, for we are “bound away for Australia”. Sounding like a Tuvan throat-singing monk on LSD, Baby Gramps chants with the intensity of a Captain Ahab. This ship might hit the rocks, his singing declares to his shipmates, but we are going to have a damn good time along the way. Sails out all the way and let’s sing of those Cape Cod girls!

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