Earlier this year, Saint John’s Penny Blacks took to the seas, or at least to a dock in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, to participate in Drew Moore’s series of Tiny Boat Concerts aboard his house boat.
Filming two songs the band felt best suited to the environment, “Good Dog” and “Black Wool,” the band say the experience was worth it just to break out some nautical jargon. Both songs appear on their 2017 release, Long Lights. Disappointingly, the band didn’t take the opportunity to perform the album’s standout track, “The High Tides Motel.”
“It was a blast. A beautiful day spent on the water with awesome folks,” says frontman Jason Ogden.
“It was a tight fit for us, our gear AND Drew and his camera gear on the little deck but we made it work without anyone falling in. You can hear some stevedore machinery or something in the background here and there, but that’s all part of the charm of playing in the harbour in the middle of the afternoon.”
“And of course, once out on the water, there’s all sort of occasion to use cool sea-faring slang and terms: ‘ahoy matey,’ ‘avast, ye land-lubber,’ ‘ARRRRR’ and so forth. Lots of Simpson’s Sea Captain quotes, and the epic, ‘SHIVER ME TIMBERS.'”
“‘Black Wool’ seemed like a fun choice because on the album it’s a long, heavy jam with lots of guitar stuff going on—we wanted to see what it would be like to really strip it back. Lazily bobbing along on the Mahone Bay sort of set the perfect tempo for it.”
“‘Good Dog’ is under five minutes, and it sounds good with an acoustic guitar. I used the houseboat guitar, which has its own unique character. It’s been at sea a long time and it requires a bit of cajoling and understanding of its intricacies in order to make it sing, but she was the yarrrest sea-going instrument there be.”
For more from Tiny Boat Concerts, you can visit them at www.tinyboatconcerts.com