Simon Spalding presented an engaging performance Friday evening at the Trent River Coffee Company in New Bern, under the theme of The Florida’s Crew, a rarely heard song about the exploits of the Confederate commerce raider CSS Florida and its crew, composed by a crew-member.
Playing a variety of exotic instruments—a fiddle, a 2-string Chinese fiddle known as the erhu, a travel-size guitar tuned in 5ths, and a Tahitian ukulele—and changing hats throughout the performance, Spalding sang and played songs and tunes from Scotland, Britain, Canada, Ireland and America, many of which were nautical pieces.
Several of the songs and tunes were Spalding’s own compositions, including The Ballad of S.S. Rex, a fascinating ballad about a gambling ship and her owner. [Note: Use the internet to look up S.S. Rex and Tony Cornero Stralla, and you will find more about this.]
What makes Spalding’s concerts more fun and interesting than the typical musical event is his informative, quite-often humorous, and always exuberant narrative that provides his audience with an extra measure of entertainment.
Many of the songs heard in concert are on the compact disc, Pacific Wind Sampler, copies of which are available for sale.
Bethany is fortunate to have the association of artists like Simon Spalding and his wife Sara Spalding, our music director. Be on the lookout for the next concert, and experience it yourself. You will not be disappointed!