Shanteyman David Lovine
born 2 October, 1951 San Jose, California
Okay. So, I call myself “Shanteyman” David LoVine , a handle earned and given while sailing aboard the Brig LADY WASHINGTON. I was also her Cook, but that’s another story.
First, a little history. I was a short, fat kid (still am) who started playing Trombone/Euphonium in the 4th grade and on through High School, and a couple colleges, a rock n roll horn band in the early 70’s and into the 33rd US ARMY BAND, Heidelberg, West Germany. A great gig! Back home in the States in ’77, I used my G.I. Bill to go to Cook school in Santa Cruz. I laid off the trombone and started singing in a 50 voice chorus and a 16 voice chamber/jazz group. It was a very rewarding musical experience and Santa Cruz was an interesting place to be in the late 70’s. So, I moved up to the Sierra’s, got a Cook’s job at a lodge and continued my G.I. Bill schooling at Columbia College with a focus on the voice and theatre.
One day there was an audition notice on the board from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. They were looking for Instrumentalist/singers for the 1980 season. I arranged for an audition, did it, waited for a few months and got the job. It was six nights a week for 7 months singing Elizabethan/Medieval material along with playing Sackbutt (trombone ancestor) and various drums and percussion, all outside and in the elements. I was fortunate to work for 7 seasons. I got a handful of roles with a few lines and some singing and juggling. During this time I started playing concertina and bodhran and began learning Irish/Scottish/British Isles songs. In ‘82 I made my first trip to sing at theVictoria Folk Music Society. In the years since then I have visited many of the Coffeehouse/Folk Clubs in British Columbia and Alberta. Along the way meeting folks with a passion for singing the Traditional songs and having lots of fun!
Numerous trips to the Oregon Coast and it’s small ports filled with working boats, sparked an interest in Maritime music. I sat and played and sang in a lot of small restaurants and cafes for meals and tips. During this time I was introduced to the sea songs and shantys collected by Stan Hugill. I moved from Ashland to Portland and the STOREFRONT Theatre for more actor/music work and quickly found the local, weekly Song Circle filled with wonderful singers with a Maritime bent. More songs and harmonies.
October ’90 I was celebrating my birthday with a trip to Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands, when a chance to cook on a fishing boat came open. The STINGRAY – built 1913, rigged as a purse seiner, with a 5 man crew. I bought provisions, learned to cook on a diesel stove and cleaned the galley. On deck I worked stacking the leadline and corkline and on good days we tossed salmon in the hold! I finished up my theatre commitments in Portland and packed up my gear and returned to Friday Harbor to await the next Salmon season. The Skipper was in Mexico for the Winter and I was snug on the STINRAY.
Three weeks later the Brig LADY WASHINGTON pulls in, ties up. I take a little trip down to the end of the docks with my concertina and meet the Master and Mate, sing a few songs with the crew and get invited out for a day sail. I’ll remember always the way it felt to bring the music back to where it came from.
That one day sail turned into a 5 day trip and then into a month. I became cook and taught the crew some songs and we sang loud and proud from Port to Port and in bars and host Yacht Clubs and on the streets late at night as only a crew from a Tallship can do and rain or shine, day or night it was the best of times and some of the worst!
There is nothing like entering a new port under full sail and black powder cannon and swivel guns blasting away. Now, that’s an entrance! We sailed the waters of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia teaching school kids by day and taking folks out for evening sails. We headed out and down the coast back to the LW homeport of Aberdeen,Washington for maintenance and more groups of enthusiastic tourists and trips up the Chehalis River for a couple months. I got some fishing/cooking time in back up on the STINGRAY before rejoining the LW for a voyage that took us down the Washington coast across the bar at Astoria and up the Columbia River 330 miles all the way to Pasco. Sailing in the desert with Cowboys and trains!
Through the years I’ve returned for periods of time and sailed San Francisco Bay and up the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and traveled South to sign on for stints from San Diego to Ventura and was fortunate to be part of the crew during the filming of STAR TREK:GENERATIONS, in which the LADY WASHINGTON appeared as the USS ENTERPRISE circa 1796.
That’s how I became Shanteyman David LoVine.
I lived in Seattle for several years and performed at various Folk Festivals and Wooden Boat gatherings. I got work as one of the towns people on NORTHERN EXPOSURE, had a few episodes with a couple lines and even got to play concertina in a flashback. I then took a sailor/cook/actor/musician job on the East Coast aboard the AMARA ZEE –a 19th Century replica Thames River sailing barge. We did shows in small communities along the waterways of the Chesepeake Bay, the Hudson River and the Erie Canal (35 sets of locks!) from Troy to Buffalo.
In ’99 I moved back to Heidelberg and worked for the American community in a restaurant and also learned the picture framing/mat cutting trade. I returned to the States in ’02, wandered about for 7 months back in the Northwest and now have settled back in San Jose, learning more songs and working 8 months a year for the California Department of Food and Agriculture as a Trapper in search of the Medfly. I’m also doing stagehand and backstage work in the area for a number of venues along with roadtrips as a gopher and waterboy with the band Los Lobos. Oh yeah, I work as a character model for portrait painters and play drums in the Cupertino Symphonic band and am thoroughly enjoying myself!