Thursday, November 13, 2008

"The Loyalist"

Here's something unusual: a song about a loyalist in the American Revolution. Or to be more exact, it seems to be about the ghost of a loyalist musing on generations of his descendants who lived in the place that he and his family fled to. The place is described in the song as "Shelburne Bay," which I take to mean Shelburne, Nova Scotia, which is known as a settling place of loyalists in Canada.

The singer is Dave Nachmanoff, with some backup by Al Stewart, whom I've written about before (beginning here). Nachmanoff is clearly a fine musician in his own right, but he's also a protégé of Stewart's, and tours with him. His singing style and song content, at least in this case, owe a great deal to Stewart.

Back in May, Lilly and I went out to the Woodstock Opera House to see Al Stewart, and Dave Nachmanoff was playing with him. "The Loyalist" was not on the playlist, but there were plenty of other songs about people and times no one else writes songs about, such as Hanno the Navigator, Joseph Stalin and aviatrix Amy Johnson. So I enjoyed it. Lilly wasn't quite as entertained, probably, but she humored her old man.

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