Here’s a new sea shanty in the British Isles mariner’s tradition – but in this case with a contemporary theme – climate change. This is the first in a series of shanties concerning dilemmas that face us now – covid, refugees, global warming, the dying of the great whales, and so on.
BY THE RISIN’ OF THE SEA
Shanties for Our Time
Album release April 4, 2022
Traditionally sailors sang shanties about their struggles with the elements, their hardships and toil. These contemporary shanties address our modern crises – climate change, Covid-19, oil slicks, species die-offs, and existential angst – with poignancy, black humor, and yes, even hope.
2021 Finalist, International Acoustic Music Awards
Title Song video winner of numerous Film Festival Awards
Matamoros is a rousing Civil War adventure romance set on the Rio Grande in 1863.
By 1862 the Union had blockaded all Confederate ports. Just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, Matamoros – a foreign port – was the only harbor where the South could ship its cotton to Europe, and smuggle in arms for the rebellion. So it became a haven for Yankee and Rebel spies, gunrunners and cotton smugglers, runaway slaves, Mexican guerreros, Texas Rangers and rogues of every stripe.
But Matamoros was also full of French Foreign Legionnaires and Austrian footsoldiers – because that same year, Napoleon III had invaded Mexico, to install Archduke Maximilian of Austria as Emperor.
Set against the backdrop of two wars, this is the story of Clay – an expatriate Southern gentleman running a gambling hall – and Allie, his ex-con artist partner, bringing her cotton train to market – in a star-crossed affair that may or may not survive their conflicted allegiances amidst the tides of battle.
If Matamoros were a movie, it would be Casablanca meets Gone With the Wind in Deadwood. A Civil War saga in the Old West.
“An in-depth view of the machinations surrounding the Civil War battle for Texas.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
But Matamoros isn’t just a novel. It’s also a CD of songs – each track about one of the characters in the novel. There’s an Irish folk tune sung by the Irish Legionnaire; a mariachi anthem about Quintero, the Cuban revolutionary-turned-Confederate-Spy; a sea shanty sung by the naval blockade runner; all rounded out in the Americana folk tradition. The CD is available now at Amazon, HearNow and Spotify
James Kahn’s storytelling has transcended mediums and thrilled audiences for over 30 years, and he’s just getting started.
Kahn wrote novelizations of blockbusting films like Poltergeist, Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Goonies before extending his writing talents to the small screen on shows like St. Elsewhere, E/R, and Melrose Place.
As a singer-songwriter, Kahn released four albums of original material with famed producer David West that include well known players like Gabe Witcher on fiddle, Matt Rollings on piano, and John McFee on pedal steel, among others.
Kahn’s science fiction novels, comprising the New World Trilogy, were recently reissued due to demand and his new thriller novel, Incarnate, is due out at the end of 2014.For physical/ digital CD sales click HERE