Bahamas 1935, Volume 1: Chanteys And Anthems From Andros And Cat Island

(
Rounder Records
1999
)

These chanteys and anthems are the earliest field recordings made in the Bahamas, sung by spongers from Andros Island and featuring the rhyming style that has vanished since the end of the sponging industry. Twenty-one of the album’s 24 songs are previously unissued.

Here is an amazing wealth of brief but perfect melodies, playfully rhythmicized in the African manner and harmonized in ways that are as unique as they are moving. The folk songs of the Bahamas are as limpid and charming, as full of light and delightful movement as the endlessly lovely gold and turquoise seas that bathe the shores of these islands.’ –Alan Lomax