Some traditional wordsmiths were better than others: Off/aft and room/home are passable off-rhymes, but Santy/Annie/polka thumps the ear on every chorus of “New York Gals.” Newer tunes include the nostalgic “Lifeline to the Heartland,” “Mary Powell Waltz,” which extols the joys of a day-sail to Kingston, and “Fifty Sail on Newburgh Bay” (cowritten by Pete Seeger).
Since the Barefoot Boys’ last CD, ...With Boots On, singer/guitarist Rich Bala and multi-instrumentalist Tom White have added two more bare feet to the lineup with bassist Rick Hill. This makes for lusty three-part harmonies and a rich variety of instrumental sounds: mandolin, banjo, hammered dulcimer, and concertina swirl their skirts, with pennywhistle and psaltery peeking out like petticoat lace. The CD ends with the timeless music of water and gulls. What could be more appropriate? www.richbala.com.