Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


Home · Articles · News · Music · Familiar Waters... Tom & Chris...
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Familiar Waters... Tom & Chris Kastle play maritime music

Sandra Serra Bradshaw - May 19th, 2005
Just about anyone in the maritime community from here to Chicago and beyond knows nautical musicians Tom and Chris Kastle. The couple recently released their 12th recording, “Familiar Waters,” a collection of maritime shanties from around the world.
The Kastles combine singing, sailing and songwriting in a weave which has become internationally acclaimed for their interpretations of traditional material as well as their original works. They have performed at festivals, concerts, and on radio and television throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
“In 1985 we started to pursue sailing as a way of life and have experienced, first-hand, the traditions and cultural diversity of life at sea, serving as crew aboard tall ships and other traditional sailing vessels,” Tom says. He was asked by the designer of Chicago’s tall ship “Windy” to sail along as first mate. “Once you sail on a schooner, you just can’t stop,” he says.
“We just got back from a month in the Pacific,” Tom adds. “We visited the waters and shores of Fiji on the way to New Zealand and attended a traditional meke performance as well as visited some undersea creatures off the coral coast of Viti Levu.
In New Zealand the couple performed at the National Maritime Museum in Auckland and were featured at folk clubs on both islands of the country.
“We got to tour quite a bit and saw glaciers, penguins, albatrosses, mountains,” Chris adds of their New Zealand trip. They also sailed aboard a 60’ ketch that once belonged to Errol Flynn, saw the oldest square rigger in the world, and took a trick at the helm aboard a steamship from 1899 on the Wanganui River. This was the couple’s second trip to New Zealand and they plan on going back many more times in the future.

LAKE SOUNDS
It was Ted Kamanski of the Chicago Maritime Society who steered Tom and Chris into discovering maritime songs of the Great Lakes. Kamanski told them about the Walton Collection at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. There they fell in love with the old ballads.
“We truly enjoy our Great Lakes heritage,” Chris says.
“It touches, not just here in our region, but throughout the world,” Tom adds. “In fact, in New Zeeland we found out that it is the only place in the world that still uses the Great Lakes scow (a vessel suited for shallow water). While in New Zealand, the couple played aboard the “Ted Asby,” a replica scow.
The Kastles also serve as directors of the Chicago Maritime Festival. Held in February, the event features musicians from all over the States as well as England, Scotland, France, Poland, and Canada. Participants from Northern Michigan include Tom Kelly of the Inland Seas Education Association, the Michigan Maritime Museum, Traverse City maritime artist Remy Champt, “Friends Good Will” (a new tall ship at South Haven), and the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.
This summer, the Kastles will be sailing local waters with the “Inland Seas” and the “Manitou.” Tom on occasion has been captain on the schoolships. They will be aboard May 17-20 and 24-27. Tom will also be captaining aboard some tour boats on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. In Chicago, the couple is often aboard the “Windy” and the “Windy II”.
On Saturday, May 21 the Kastles will perform at Horizon Books in downtown Traverse City. “The Kastles have been playing here for a number of years,” said Christopher Carlson, advents coordinator at Horizon. “They have tons of information on the Great Lakes maritime history and its songs. It is always great to have them. A lot of people in our region are really interested in the history of the lakes. And that interest makes the Kastles very popular around here.”

For more information on the Kastles and their new CD, “Familiar Waters,” write to PO Box 56474, Chicago, IL 60656-0474, USA; Phone (773) 774-7216; or visit their website at www.kastles.net.



 
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