Sat May 20, 2017 8:00pm – 10:30pm

Sea Music at Branford Folk May 20

Sponsored by: Branford Folk Music Society

Canada’s Tom Lewis, acknowledged as one of North America’s foremost exponents of contemporary sea songs, will close the Branford Folk Music Society’s current concert season on Saturday, May 20 at 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the First Congregational Church of Branford, 1009 Main St., on the Town Green.

Admission for the concert is $25 for non-members, $20 for members and $5 for children age 12 and under. For more information, call 203-488-7715 or access the society’s Web page at

The repertoire of Tom Lewis — from traditional sea chanteys to songs fashioned out of his own seafaring background —recruits his audience for a voyage by turns reflective, dramatic and humorous. Long a Branford Folk Music Society audience favorite, this will be Lewis’ sixth appearance at the 43-year-old BFMS.

Lewis is a 24-year veteran of the Her Majesty’s Royal Naval diesel submarines, although now he’s comfortably located on dry land and audiences are all better off for it musically. His musical career began in 1960 when he was posted to a naval station in Scotland and began frequenting local folk clubs. He retired from the Navy in 1983 and in recent years has split his time between Vancouver, British Columbia, and England while enjoying a full-time performing career.

Born in Northern Ireland, Lewis’ Celtic heritage is obvious in his clear, strong voice, evoking quiet sorrow for a fisherman lost to the sea just as honestly as it powers out a shanty “to be heard above the gales.”

With songs that have become folk standards; known and sung wherever great choruses ring out; Lewis accompanies himself on button accordion and ukulele—but it’s his powerful vocal style and infectious humor which seems to please his audiences.

As winner of the inaugural “Trophée Stan Hugill” (a world famous sea music singer), French fans dub Lewis “The Springsteen of Sea Chanteys”. The Old Songs Festival in New York declares “This man knows the sea ... from the bottom up!”, while a reviewed for Living Tradition magazine (UK) says “Although I always knew he was good, I was not quite prepared for HOW good.”

Lewis’ Branford appearance is one of several at Northeast folk music venues and precedes his being one of the headliners at the 38th Annual Sea Music Festival at Mystic Seaport on June 8-11.

The Branford Folk Music Society is an all-volunteer, non-profit educational group dedicated to preserving and encouraging the growth and appreciation of traditional folk music and song in southern Connecticut. Society concerts will resume on Sept. 9 with the popular Scottish group, North Sea Gas.

Admission: $25, $20
First Congregational Church of Branford
1009 Main Street
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