Son of Rogues Gallery
Sons of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys (Anti-)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Feb. 22, 2013
Son of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys(Anti-)
Leave it to producer Hal Willner to lend the term "alternative music" some significance again. As the title implies, Son of Rogues Gallery follows the 2006 Wilner production spearheaded by actor Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski, an outgrowth of their work on the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Yes, the 36 mostly traditional tunes on two discs turn on pirates and the sea, but while the songs are folk based, renderings range from spoken word to rock, performed by an incomparable cast of characters including Keith Richards, Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Dr. John, Frank Zappa, Iggy Pop, Michael Stipe, Courtney Love, Richard Thompson, Shane MacGowan, and that isn't the half of it. It's equal in heft to the first one, and just as uneven. Waits/Richards collaboration "Shenandoah" and Smith being accompanied by Depp on "The Mermaid" will draw immediate and worthy attention. Dr. John brings some voodoo to "In Lure of the Tropics," and one can envision the rolling sea when Iggy croons "Asshole Rules the Navy." Like Willner's past efforts with Disney movie music and the jazz of Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus, this Rogues Gallery is serious, yet playful, never coming anywhere close to "yo ho ho" caricature.