Lee Murdock has uncovered a boundless body of music and stories in the Great Lakes region (16 CDs and 2 books so far). There is an amazing timelessness in this music. Great Lakes songs are made of hard work, hard-living, ships that go down, and ships that come in. The music is grounded in the work-song tradition from the rugged days of lumberjacks and wooded sailing schooners. Murdock comes alongside with ballads of contemporary commerce and revelry in the grand folk style. Making folk music for the modern era, Murdock's work is a documentary and an anthem to the people who live, work, learn, and play along the freshwater highways of North America.
Murdock's Christmas Ship program is a holiday commemoration of the turn of the century tradition of carrying Christmas trees to Great Lakes port cities. At the end of the lumber season every year, Great Lakes Captains would carry one final cargo, heralding the holiday season with a deck piled high with fresh-cut evergreen trees and garlands. Murdock has written a very popular song about one of the more famous of these ships, The Rouse Simmons.
Recorded Sunday, December 13, 2009 at McHenry Public Library.