Songs of the Sea & Sea Shanties
by Richard Adrianowicz & Peter Kasin

Sea shanties were the work songs of sailors before the invention of steam driven ships. They were used to coordinate the hoisting of sails, general hauling, and work at the capstan (raising the anchor), among others shipboard duties. Richard will briefly describe the different types of shanties and their use but the workshop will primary consist of as much singing as possible. Audience participation is encouraged.

Richard Adrianowicz

Richard’s interest in traditional music began in the early 70s when he moved to California. He was part of several groups in the San Francisco Bay Area, the best known of which was Out of the Rain. The band was active from 1983 to 1995 and recorded two studio cassettes, A Common Treasury and Song of the Wage Slave. Richard also produced With the Friends I Love Best, a compilation CD of live concert recordings from Out of the Rain performances.

Richard is one of the regular shanty singers at Hyde Street Pier’s monthly shanty sings in San Francisco, held aboard one of the historic sailing ships moored there. In 2002 he released Time Ashore is Over, a recording of sea shanties and sea songs featuring a chorus of singers from Hyde Street Pier. Raised in Chicago, Illinois, Richard also has a keen interest in songs of the Great Lakes sailors.

In addition to being a vocalist, Richard also plays the guitar, tin whistle and fiddle.

Peter Kasin

Peter Kasin took a strong interest in sea music after hearing a recording of Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd, and after having first attended one of the monthly chantey sings at Hyde Street Pier in late 1989. In addition to his singing, he plays fiddle in the four-piece instrumental sea music band Nauticus, and with the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers. He can be found most Sunday nights in the Irish session at the Starry Plough, hosted by fellow Nauticus bandmate Shay Black, in his hometown of Berkeley. Peter also organizes sea music concerts and festivals in San Francisco.

Website for San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park:


SFFFF 2004: