Ferryboat Music, LLC is an independent music label based in the Pacific Northwest. The mission of the company is to develop, record, and distribute quality recordings of traditional and contemporary folk music.
The name Ferryboat Music harks back to the days when the label's founders, Steve Guthe and Hank Cramer, entertained weekend passengers aboard Washington State Ferries on the Seattle-Winslow run. Much has changed since then: Winslow is renamed Bainbridge Island, Steve has passed away, and Hank's tour schedule rarely allows him to perform aboard the boats anymore. But the Ferryboat Music logo endures as a symbol of rousing acoustic music from the Pacific Northwest.
Hank Cramer is the label's principal performing artist, with over 15 CD's in his portfolio.
The sea-shanty band Constellation's Crew has also recorded two discs on the Ferryboat Label.
Other Northwest artists have released their music through Ferryboat Music in a cooperative arrangement. They include David LoVine, a real shantyman who writes contemporary songs about life aboard ship in Northwest waters, and Robby Thran, who writes and sings about his life experiences as a working cowboy. Ed Kramer, banjo player from Denver, has not yet released a solo project, but records for Ferryboat Music on Hank Cramer's CDs. Mark Iler – singer/songwriter, lead guitarist, and harmonica player from Seattle – records extensively on Ferryboat projects, and tours with Hank and Constellation's Crew. Michelle Cameron, first-chair cellist of the Mid-Columbia Symphony, also records and tours for Ferryboat Music. She will release her first solo album soon.
Ferryboat Music also distributes "legacy" recordings of Steve Guthe and Hank Cramer, both individually and in their duo The Rounders.
Ferryboat Music recently expanded into visual arts as well as audio recordings. Videographer Rachel Maskew has produced DVD's of the "Pine Stump Symphony" folk festival and the "Tall Ships 2005" visit to Victoria, BC. She has also produced music videos of "A Soldier's Songs" and "Christmas In The Trenches". Still photographer Kit Cramer has produced a DVD titled "Horses", illustrating her life as a modern horse wrangler in the Cascade Mountains (with musical accompaniment by Hank Cramer, Ed Kramer, and Bud Fogerty). Kit is responsible for all cover photography and graphic design for Ferryboat's many CD releases, and serves as the label's booking and business agent, as well.
Hank Cramer IV – the folksinger's son – develops and maintains Ferryboat's websites (including ferryboatmusic.com, hankcramer.com, and seashantycamp.com). He is a college student in Colorado, majoring in computer science. He is also a songwriter, singer, and guitarist in his own right.
Ferryboat Music does not own and operate its own recording studio. It contracts with two outstanding Northwest recording studios. David Lange Studios in Edgewater, WA is used for most tracking and all mixing and post-production activities. Mountain Sound Studios in Twisp, WA is sometimes used for recording of individual tracks. Both are excellent studios with first-rate engineers.
We are committed to fostering the folk music culture in our region. Ferryboat Music helps sponsor a number of acoustic music events, including The Pine Stump Symphony, Sea Shanty Camp, and the Tumbleweed Festival. We are members of the Western Music Association, Folk Alliance, Three Rivers Folklife Society, and Victory Music.