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October 31, 1939|
Gordon Bok (born October 31, 1939) is a folklorist and singer-songwriter who grew up in Camden, Maine.
Bok's first album, self-titled, was produced by Noel Paul Stookey (Paul of Peter, Paul, and Mary) and released in 1965 on the Verve Records' Verve Folkways subsidiary. His second album, A Tune for November, was released on Sandy Paton's Connecticut-based Folk-Legacy label in 1970. His association with Folk-Legacy has continued since that time, though his more recent work (from the early 1990s on) has been released on his own label, Timberhead Music. For a long time,[when?] he was best known[by whom?] as part of a trio with Ed Trickett and Ann Mayo Muir, Trickett accompanying with the hammered dulcimer and guitar and Muir with the harp and flute.
Bok sings in a baritone and plays six-string guitar (both the steel-string acoustic guitar and the nylon-string classical guitar) and 12-string guitar. In his playing of the nylon-string guitar, he embraces the tradition of Latin American guitar music.[according to whom?] He also plays a self-built instrument he calls the "cellamba," a six-string, fretted cello.
As a songwriter, Bok draws on his experience in and around the working boat culture of the Gulf of Maine. He lyrics include stories of fishermen and other sea-folk,[according to whom?]. At times (especially in the 1970s), he reaches into the wealth of sea myth of the North Atlantic.
As much energy as Bok invests in making songs, he is equally energetic[peacock term] as a folklorist and gatherer of songs. His repertoire encompasses contemporary songs written by his friends from all over North America, Australia, and the British Isles. As well, Bok sings, in the original languages, folksongs from Italy, Portugal, Mongolia, French Canada, Latin America, and the Gaelic Hebrides, among other places, and knows a huge body of old anglophone folklore.
Bok is also an artist mainly dealing with sea themes done in wood carvings.