Pirate Music Review: Pegleg Tango by Captain Bogg and Salty

My family was turned onto the musical world of Captain Bogg and Salty this week. Watch the band’s freakishly awesome music video Pieces of 8ight below. The group bills itself as "buccaneer rock for pirates of all ages."

It’s rare that a children’s music CD is a hit in our home from the get-go. As we listen to Captain Bogg and Salty’s Pegleg Tango CD, I’m alternating between tapping my foot, drumming my hands on my desk and shaking my head. My 2.8-year-old daughter is jumping around the room.

Marketing photo of Captain Bogg and Salty band members. Click to view a large uncaptioned version.

Captain Bogg and Salty never grew up. Thank goodness. Click to enlarge.
Photo credit: Chris Owen.

For many months, I thought her method of "dancing" was just a fun, clumsy expression of her enthusiasm. Captain Bogg makes me realize she’s been longing for a mosh pit. Half the songs on the CD are ripe for energetic reinterpretation by toddlers.

Now, the intended audience for this music probably starts a bit older, say 5-years-old, around the age kids can fully grasp a softened, youth-friendly conceptual idea about pirates. Really, the appropriate age is when you the parent are OK with pretend play about pirates. I explained pirates to my daughter as people who sail in ships looking for gold. She didn’t care. She just likes the beat. At her age most of her CDs will continue to be of simpler fare, but Pegleg Tango definitely has its place.

The band is in its sixth year with six members who reportedly perform in schools and rock clubs throughout Oregon and Washington. They perform the same music for both types of audiences. It seems the Portland area is home to a genre of music known as pirate core.

Bogg and crew arrive in full pirate regalia, replete with pirate swagger and vernacular. Their music has a rock undercurrent, but ranges in style, sometimes with a pop or calypso feel.

What blows me away about this CD is the number of songs that seem perfectly formed. I want to hear them on an updated Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. I want to see them not just as part of a soundtrack of a motion picture, but performed by a full ship of pirates. Someone had better send Johnny Depp a copy.

Most of all, Bogg reinvigorated for me the notion that, although I’ve had a blast raising my daughter through toddlerhood, even greater times lie ahead with the learning and entertaining experiences we’ll share as she grows older. For the most part, these moments will not be brought to us by Disney or Time-Warner because our mass media culture vacillates between homogenized mediocrity and treating kids like adults. Our best chance for our kids to experience childhood lies in indie media and organizations who place their interest in supporting youth culture.


One Response to “Pirate Music Review: Pegleg Tango by Captain Bogg and Salty”

  1. Beth says:

    YAR! Thanks for a great review, AJ. If any of your readers live in Oregon or Washington, they may want to check out the Grease Ball concert with Capt. Bogg & Salty, on March 18th. Also, they’re headliners at the annual Portland Pirate Festival -this year it’ll be September 22-23.

    February 28th, 2007 at 1:58 pm

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