Music for Pirates

The Bilge Pumps – “Bail Money”

Reviewed by Mark Einstein

In the context of mainly bawdy pirate party music, perhaps primed with a little grog, the Texas based nautical themed musical ensemble, the Bilge Pumps, shiver some timbers with their latest CD, “Bail Money."

pirate musicRecorded live and packaged in an impressive full color jacket featuring five male performers festooned in elaborate swashbuckling garb, "Bail Money” evokes a true sense of  “you had to be there!”  (or possibly, “What am I doing here?”)  The tracks include a comedic blend of eighteen shanties, mostly accompanied by tambour, bells, whistles, guitar and fiddle. The vocals and melodies are catchy with multi-part harmonies and inventive lyrical diversions that pump up an often humorous and original spin. Several tracks feature combined performances with additional musicians from other groups that fill out and enhance the sound with a more professional touch.

As one who hosts many such pirate performers at Rock Hall’s annual Pirates and Wenches Fantasy Weekend, I can imagine the Bilge Pumps to be a great addition to any festival. For those of us who can appreciate the salty, rough around the edges, “Bail Money,” the CD is a worthwhile addition to the collection.  For those who are able to catch a live Bilge Pumps performance, it is an excellent souvenir from what must be a clever and locally popular show.  Above all, in “Bail Money,” the Bilge Pumps fill the sails with engaging, high-spirited, crowd pleasing entertainment that is sure to bring out a little pirate in all of us.

Learn more about Capt. Mark's pirate adventures and how to join the fun on the water here