•    Update crazy!   

    The show at Hickory Hollow was a HUGE success. Thanks to everyone who showed up and supported us!
    If you were there and have any pictures, please send me an email! I would love to post them here.

    For those who subscribe to the Flying Fish Sailors blog I apologize for the bombardment of notifications.
    I was just getting the discography pages set up. Things should settle down for awhile.

    I hope everyone had a merry Christmas and here’s to a excellent new year!

  •    Give Me Coffee   

    Give Me CoffeeOur third album; a collection of folk music for the nineties!
    Journey through 200 years of folk music from the far corners of our travels while examining the humorous qualities of coffee drinking and New Age themes, the virtue of drowning one’s husband, and even introducing a lawn mowing chantey!

    Mason’s Apron/Jerry the Rigger

    Do You Want Your Old Lobby Washed Down?

    Give Me Coffee

    Old Woman from Wexford

    The Star of the County Down

    Peaceful Warrior

    Bonnie Isle O’Walsay

    Mobile Bay

    Flowers of Edinburgh/Timour the Tartar

    Mow Johnny Mow

    The Leaving of Liverpool

    The Keel Row

    St. James Infirmary

    Coffee and Half & Half

  •    Loch Ness Monster   

    Loch Ness Monster

    This album is available at Amazon.com
    Click here to order

    • “Loch Ness Monster” (Greg Henkel and Jim Henkel)

    The album opens with the wonderfully dark ode to the creature lurking beneath the murky waters of Loch Ness. Here the beast is less the benign and almost dopey plesiosaur used to sell trinkets to tourists and much more the accursed beast with “Huge red eye, long sharp tooth / slicing knives, ragged spines” which will drag you from the banks and tear you to pieces despite your screams and struggles. Nessie, indeed.

    • “Irish Rover” (traditional)

    An old favorite, it tells the tale of the ill-fated voyage of the Irish Rover, sailing from Cork to New York. After seven years at sea, the measles wiped out the crew and she ran aground in the fog, leaving a single survivor to tell the tale. Greg Henkel replaced the second verse, which introduces the crew, with one describing the Flying Fish Sailors themselves:
    There was fighting Jay Lee, none more surly than he
    There was Jimbe from County Montrose
    There was mighty Mitch Lawyer, stood seven feet tall
    There was Joseph Linbeck and his nose
    There was Bouzouki Jim playing a mandolin
    And Greg Henkel prone to falling over
    And this crew of the doomed played a Flying Fish tune
    As we sailed on the Irish Rover!

    • “The Flupandemic” (Greg Henkel)

    Only the Flying Fish sailors could come up with an up-beat and happy song about the world-wide flu epidemic that killed millions in the first part of the twentieth century. They sing gleefully about the deaths of soldiers and nurses and postmen and families from America to England to the far corners of the world all secumbing to the pandemic.

    • “The Good Ship Calabar” (traditional)

    Also known as “The Calabar” and “The Cruise of the Calabar,” this fast and funny song tells of the adventures of the one horse-power (literally) coal barge The Calabar. In this version, the narrator is an old Lisbon tar, but other regional variations include Irish or British. Everything that can go wrong does, and the crew falls overboard to be rescued by a local farmer. It’s enough to convince anyone to give up sailing and “go by the bloody train.”

    • “The Cat Came Back” (traditional)

    Another rendition of the Harry S. Miller song about old Mr. Johnson’s yellow tom cat. While the words are the same as the version on the Flying Fish Sailors’ debut album, there are subtle differences in the arrangement that show the evolution of the band. They are much more playful in this version, especially with the inclusion of background vocals at the transitions between verse and chorus.

    • “The Wharton UFO” (Greg Henkel)

    Wharton, Texas, is just about the last place on Earth an alien would want its spacecraft to crash, as they learn when a good ol’ boy comes upon their wreck. After they abduct him and begin their various probings and measurements, he loses his “temper for those three foot bastards with their big black almond-shaped eyes,” and turns the tables on them. Rumor has it they can still be seen mowing his lawn and teleporting him beers on his front porch down in Wharton.

    • “Fire Maringo” (traditional)

    A traditional cotton screwing shanty from a time when, with the approach of winter, Irish crews would desert their Western Packet ships to head south to work in the cotton stowing ports like Mobile or New Orleans.

    • “The Rivers of Texas” (traditional circa 1900)

    A soft traditional American folk song listing and describing the rivers of Texas, but always returns to the Brazos, where the singer’s heart was broken.

    • “Crawdad Man” (lyrics by Greg Henkel)

    Sung to the tune of the “Spider-Man” theme by Paul Francis Webster and J. Robert Harris, Crawdad Man takes the Flying Fish Sailors back their roots to examine their favorite crustacean, the crawdad. Now he’s a superhero, lending a gamma ray-enhanced leg (“cause he can’t lend a hand”) to those in need. This is most likely the only song you’ll find that contains the word cheliped (the legs with large grasping claws on a crawfish) in its lyrics.

    • “Ode to the Lima Bean” (lyrics by Cynthia Ballard, music by Greg Henkel)

    Children around the world should be overjoyed to discover that far from being “healthy” and “good for you,” the lima bean is the worst scourge known to man. As this ode explains, it is responsible for everything from Original Sin and the explusion from Eden to the extinction of the dinosaurs and the Black Plague.

    • “Haul U-Haul Haul” (Greg Henkel)

    There have been long-haul shanties and halyard shanties, shanties for pretty much any activity aboard a sailing ship. Now, in the spirit of their mowing shanty Mow Johnny Mow, the Flying Fish Sailors present another shanty adapted to the modern day: the moving shanty. The song tells of the horrors of moving yourself with a 27-foot truck from the best known rental company. The lesson learned in the end: “Well the next time I move I’ll just buy new furniture.”
    Lest you think the band is advising against the use of a particular truck rental company: “Greg says that it should be noted that he has personally rented U-Haul® equipment on many occasions, and that in his experience, it has proven to be extremely reliable.”

    • “King of the Cannibal Islands” (traditional)

    The Flying Fish Sailors return to the theme of cannibalism with this playful song that’s right up their alley. A crew sailing for Botany Bay is cast away in the Cannibal Islands, where they manage to get along quite well with the King; one of them even marries his daughter, the Princess Wishy-Wa.

    • “Roswell” (Greg Henkel and Jim Henkel)

    Roswell, New Mexico. Icon of the joint obsessions with UFOs and conspiracy theories. This song tells the tale of a witness to the crashed spacecraft on the farm outside of Roswell. He explains everything he’s seen and knows to be true despite the warnings of men with steel hats and the men in black with wires coming out of their heads. And in the end, though he dares not return, he still longs for “enigmatical,” “problematical” Roswell.

    • “American Woman” (Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Gary Peterson, Michael Kale)

    The Flying Fish Sailors add their own sound to this classic by The Guess Who. The result is rather reminiscent of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Ukranian Woman” parody.

    • “Loch Ness Monster” (heavy metal version)

    The album closes with a bonus track. Though the words are the same, this version of Loch Ness Monster shows that the band has a broader range that extends into modern musical styles. The darker, dirge-like tune and lyrics fit particularly well with the deep electric riffs that are a hallmark of today’s metal.

  •    Remant Stew   

    Remnant StewDownload this recording for free!

    Click here for details

    “This album is dedicated to the principles of democracy and freedom of speech; to the oppressed peoples of the earth; to Frank Zappa; and to crawdads everywhere.”

    • “Goodbye Mursheen Durkin”

    Also found under the titles “Goodbye Muirsheen Durkin” and “Muirshin Durkin.” An Irish ballad about a man named Carney who has grown sick of the work of digging praties (Gaelic for potatoes) and decides to leave Ireland and seek his fortune digging for gold in California. There is some debate on who or what Mursheen Durkin is. Muirsheen is apparently a pet name in Kerry, the diminutive of the boy’s name Muiris (Maurice), meaning Carney is bidding his farewell to “Little Maurice Durkin.” Some believe instead that Muirsheen is a title along the lines of Mrs.

    • “Barney”

    Also known as “Barney, Leave the Girls Alone.” Barney is married to Judy but still has a roving eye for the ladies. This version includes additional lyrics by Greg Henkel in the form of two verses and altered chorus at the end entreating Barney to “leave the boys alone / and let them sailors be.”

    • “Drowsie Maggie/Bald Pate” (instrumental)
    A medley of one of the best known reels, “Drowsie Maggie” (also known as “Drowsy Maggie” or “Sleepy Maggie”) and Greg Henkel’s original tune “Bald Pate”

    • “You Get a Line, I’ll Get a Pole”

    Also known as the “Crawdad Song” or “Honey, Baby Mine.”
    This song was part of David Letterman’s Stump the Band segment on October 10, 2002. A visitor from Texas suggested “Honey, Baby Mine” to the band, then sang the chorus when they were “stumped.”

    • “The Eddiestone Light”

    Also known with the title “The Keeper of the Eddystone Light,” it tells the tale of a sailor, son of the keeper of the Eddystone Lighthouse and a mermaid, who happens upon his mother while “trimming the glim”. When asked about his siblings, he tells her that “one was exhibited as a talking fish, the other served as a savory dish.” She disappears angrily at the news, crying “to Hell with the keeper of the Eddiestone light!”

    • “Remnant Stew”

    An original ballad by Greg Henkel, introducing the theme of cannibalism to the Flying Fish Sailors repertoire. A weary traveller arrives late at an inn seeking a meal and a bed. The innkeeper agrees, sending out her serving boys to start a cooking fire, then going out herself to prepare a “Remnant Stew.” When asked about the ingredients, she is deliberately vague in describing “a recipe from harder times, when we fastened tight our belts,” but she does ask her tenant to leave word in town as he passes through that she has room for two more serving boys.

    • “Cluck Old Hen”

    A traditional Appalachian fiddle tune with additional lyrics by Greg Henkel about an old hen of dubious egg-laying ability.

    • “Fighting for Strangers”

    A dirge-like military song about a boy who signs up to fight for his king in a far-away land. His only rewards for losing an arm and both legs in battle are a military pension and medal from the grateful king, small comfort when he must beg on the streets to make ends meet.

    • “Jo Ann’s Stomp” (instrumental)

    An original dance tune by Greg Henkel.

    • “Ringa Dinga Da”

    A wonderfully silly traditional song about a distiller’s daughter, her wooden leg, her lovers, and her husband.

    • “The Minstrel Boy” (words by Thomas Moore 1779-1852)

    Another dirge-like song, this one from the Civil War and sung to the tune of the Irish air, “The Moreen.” It tells of a minstrel who marched off to war. Though he was slain, his songs remain pure and free.

    • “Rights of Man/Tarbolton Reel” (instrumental)

    A hornpipe and reel medley of “Rights of Man” and the “Tarbolton Reel”

    • “I’ll Tell Me Ma”

    A fun and fast-paced street song about the courting of the handsome and pretty “belle of Belfast City.” The song has several regional variations, but this “Belfast version” is one most often heard.

    • “A Horse Named Bill” (a cappella)

    A thoroughly silly children’s folk song that covers such topics as a horse named Bill’s uncontrollable running, Daisy’s feline-torturing singing, beer hunting, balloon rides, and whales.

    • “Ground Hog”

    A traditional American folk song about hunting (and eating) a ground hog.

    • “Leave Her Johnny”

    Also known as “Leave Her Bullies,” “Time for Us to Leave Her”, or “Leave Her.” This shanty was traditionally sung at the end of a voyage, both to keep the rhythm during the final spell at the pumps and for the seamen to air their grievances with their treatment, the food, the ship’s owners, and so forth.

  •    Live Show – Family friendly!   

    The Flying Fish Sailors will be performing on Dec. 23rd at Hickory Hollow located at 101 Heights Blvd in Houston, TX.
    Hickory Hollow is a fantastic BBQ joint that has a long history of presenting live folk music in Houston.

    The show is free and kicks off about 7:00 pm and goes till around 10:00 pm.
    Come on out, grab some grub and lift a pint of holiday cheer with the Flying Fish Sailors!

    If you need a map, click here.