"FASHIONED IN CLAY" is the fifth album recorded by folk singers Gordon Bok, Ann Mayo Muir and Ed Trickett. And it marks their 10th anniversary as a trio. The good news is that they're still coming up with beautifully crafted songs, each apparently handpicked by a member of the trio (who explains in the liner notes the tune's significance and background), and each lovingly arranged and performed.
Any recording by Bok that didn't contain at least one ode to sailing New England's cold waters would seem incomplete. On this collection we have one of Bok's best: his 12-string guitar arrangement of Larry Kaplan's song "John," the vivid tale of a young salt turning old, weighing his options after 10 years of working "his hands to stone and leather" on a schooner.
Other themes may be less familiar but all of the performances shine brightly, from a lovely hammered dulcimer arrangement of the centuries-old "Carolan's Concerto" to Elmer Beale's recently composed "Fashioned in Clay.".
What's more, the trio's vocal blend is a delight unto itself. And Bok's rich baritone -- at once soothing and strong -- is a constant source of pleasure.
GORDON BOK, ANN MAYO MUIR & ED TRICKETT -- "Fashioned in Clay" (Folk-Legacy FSI 104); appearing Saturday at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall.