Gordon Bok found his first music in his own dooryard. His family sang Scots, German, Italian, Australian and American traditional and popular songs -- all learned in places they had lived. As he began to work the boats along his coast, he heard the songs of the Maritimes, and ballads and chanteys from around the world. "But at home, Hank Williams was our kitchen-music, especially in coastal Maine," he said, "so I was singing those songs too, with Kendall Morse and others around home."
When he couldn't find songs that matched his own experiences or needs, he began to write his own, and has kept up a lively flow of poems, songs, stories, choral and instrumental works. One Maine chorus took one of Gordon's choral works on tour in Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece as part of their American repertoire. He reinvented and developed the cantefable/ "folk-opera" form which is now widely used by storytellers and musicians in this country. His contributions to folk music aso include innovations to the instruments he uses. Gordon worked with friends Samuel Tibbetts and Nick Apollonio to develop the acoustic twelve string guitar to a power and diversity of sound unequaled in the field, partly as a result of the "balanced bridge" which he invented in the 1960s. Gordon also helped to promote the 'cellamba* and viola da gamba as instruments for accompanying folk music. In the 1970s, he developed and marketed the multi-keyed "Bok Whistle", an idea that has taken root in commercial whistle companies, who now build deeper instruments in different keys.
Gordon's legacy includes thirty-four recordings featuring his own compostitions and traditional and contemporary folk songs from around the world. He has also published two books and a handmade, limited edition of his poetry and the wood engravings of Capt. Edward Porter, edited and printed by Porter.
The Sounding Board Coffeehouse (View)
433 Fern Street
West Hartford, CT 06117
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|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|