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The Salty Walt Story

Who is Salty Walt?

About the Ratlines

Our Music

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Log of the Albatross CD coverBuy our CDs directly from our duplicator, Kunaki:

You can also buy music downloads and CDs from CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/saltywalt.

San Francisco's Best Sea Chantey Band- SF Weekly

Sea chanties and sailor songs

Representing the kind of impromptu musical groups which would form at the forehatch of a ship - using whatever instruments, voices and talents were on hand - we use strong call and response as well as unique harmonies to bring traditional American and British folksongs, sea songs and chanteys to life.

We see our friendship as the foundation of our performances: nothing is better suited to camaraderie than maritime music.

Three members of Salty Walt & The Rattlin Ratlines standing on the deck of a ship

For those of you who don't already know us, we're a group of friends with years of individual performance experience who found ourselves with strong opinions about folk music, and no place to play it. So we made one. We also have strong opinions about politics, health, spirituality, beer, women, and free speech, but you didn't ask about that. We're based out of San Francisco, the birthplace of many strange ideas and nautical traditions. We perform primarily traditional American and English Maritime music, with the occasional nod to some of our other roots. Having our own perspective on performing traditional music, we figure we fit right in.

San Francisco Local Favorites

In 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle called us their "favorite Sea Shanty Band." And in 2006, the SF Weekly selected us as San Francisco's "Best Sea Shanty Band." Walt didn't even know there was such a category until a neighbor told him to look in the paper!

What do we mean by "maritime music"?

There are other sites and sources that explain this in greater detail. But the most concise way to put it is that "maritime music" primarily includes three types of folk music:

  1. Sea Chanteys- Songs sung by sailors to help them get work done.
  2. Forebitters- Songs created or altered by sailors sung when off duty.
  3. Sea Music- Songs in the style of sailor songs, usually about the sea and probably written by landlubber folkies. The best of these usually are not.


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