SHANGHAIED ON THE WILLAMETTE is the lively musical duo of JONATHAN LAY and GORDY EULER. We perform songs and tunes "plundered from land and sea," including traditional Celtic, English, and Old-Time American music, especially the music of the sea and waterways. We accompany our vocal harmonies with a "fleet" of acoustic instruments, including fiddle, bodhran (Irish drum), guitar (6- and 12-string), mandola, tin whistles, harmonicas, and banjo.
Jonathan, whose powerful and supple voice can do justice to a gentle ballad or a rough-and-tumble sea chantey, plays guitar, tin whistle, harmonica, and a rollicking bodhran. Gordy is a skilled vocalist and a multi-instrumentalist who easily switches among fiddle, mandola, tin whistle, guitar, and banjo. This broad range of sounds allows them to craft exciting and varied arrangements and programs.
Our first performance together was in the 1992 Work Songs of the Sea Festival in Portland, Oregon, and we formed Shanghaied on the Willamette in the fall of that year. Since then we have performed in festivals, pubs, outdoor markets, and concerts in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. (See Where We've Been.)
About the Name "Shanghaied on the Willamette" In the days of sailing ships, it was a common waterfront practice to force men onto outward-bound vessels to serve as sailors. This abduction came to be called "shanghaiing" since Shanghai, China was a typically remote destination. From the mid-1800s and into the early 1900s, Portland was one of the more notorious shanghaiing ports on the west coast, along with San Francisco, Astoria, and Port Townsend. The Willamette (rhymes with "dammit!") flows through the heart of Oregonís farmland. Portland is located at the confluence of the Willamette and the Columbia Rivers. You can find out more about them on their website.