Songs You May Have Missed #735

The Bills: “Bamfield’s John Vanden” (2005)

Folky Victoria, B.C. quintet the Bills eschew the usual mandolin, fiddle and accordion for an infectious a cappella sea chantey.

Though this song sounds for all the world like a traditional, it was actually written by the Bills’ Chris Frye in honor of his great uncle, Bamfield, British Columbia coastal fisherman John Vanden, who passed away in 2011 at age 96.

Since its appearance on 2005’s stylistically diverse Let Em Run LP, the song has found favor (and inspired cover versions) in folk circles, so maybe it will attain “traditional” status.

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