Mike Aiken’s “Save The Whales” Video Is Pure Americana

Mike Aiken’s “Save The Whales” Video Is Pure Americana
Country Joe McDonald’s Classic Tune Morphs Into 1880s Sea Chantey, Puts Focus On Extinction Issues
Nashville, TN (June 19, 2013) — Mike Aiken’s “Save The Whales”
video offers compelling vintage film clips and photos interspersed with
more modern images to drive home the deadly-serious issue of whale
extinction.  Aiken’s taunting,
spirit-filled vocal is riveting on this classic Country Joe McDonald song which morphs into an 1880s sea chantey.
mike aiken whale tail
“This
is an issue that’s really close to my heart,” says the Virginia-based
singer/songwriter. “I’ve spent a good part of my life on the sea –
sailing the waters from New Bedford to Halifax and the Azores and
watching these gentle giants,” he recalls.  “To see them so close to
extinction because of man’s folly is just criminal to me.”
A
vocal supporter of sound ecological principles, Aiken thought this song
might be “cool” enough to draw attention to the plight of these glorious
creatures.  “It captures a subtle mix of the romance of the sea and the
reality of modern-day slaughter,” Mike says.  A “hippy, gypsy-feeling”
track reels us back in time to the days when whales were plentiful and
there was some honor in the difficult days at sea and the danger of the
harvest.
Mike
has felt an affinity for the creatures for many years, and oh, the tales
he can tell.  One night in particular draws his memory these days,
though, and it takes us back to 1994:
“We
were two days out of Nova Scotia, making an ESE course heading for the
Azores.  I was on a night watch, we were sailing along comfortably in
thick fog watching for ships and icebergs as best we could.  My wife Amy
was asleep below and I was harnessed in, sitting on the starboard side
of the cockpit, leaning against the coaming, soaking in the sounds and
watching the instruments for changes when right behind me I heard a
whale breach.  I turned to see his back going under not a yard from the
boat, aiming for us.  I was startled and grabbed hold of the handrail
and waited for the impact.  Surely this giant was going to collide with
our keel.  But no.  A couple of minutes later, the same thing happened
and I jumped again but this time more intrigued.  We continued on
together like this for probably a mile when way off in the distance
through the fog I heard a tail slapping the water like a child being
called home from the playground.  ‘My’ whale surfaced one more time and
then was off.  We’d been enjoying the company of these giants since we
arrived off the New England coast and the sightings continued to Nova
Scotia and on to the Azores.  When they catch your eye, man, they look
right through you.”
Mike
and his wife live aboard their 42′ sailboat based out of southern
Virginia and so they see man’s impact on the environment in a way many
of us can only imagine.  “It’s going down daily,” Aiken notes.  “Between
the decimation of this planet’s creatures and the cartin’ off of coal,
we are destroying our air, our land, our waters and our futures.   If we
don’t start turning this around, who will?”
It’s
a question that deserves an answer and Mike is hoping that his
thought-provoking video will draw attention to the issues impacting our
planet – and lead us to a solution.  The clip,
produced and directed by Andrew Piland for Hawksilver Productions, broke last week on
BILLBOARD.com and it’s now garnering attention on Mike’s YouTube site as well.  Mike
hopes the number of views continues to increase – not to help further
his career – but so that more people will become involved in this cause
and a change can be effected.
Aiken cover “Save The Whales” is from Aiken’s sixth CD, CAPTAINS & COWBOYS, on Northwind Records.  The track features the outstanding musicianship of Mike
Grando/drums, Dan Baird/bass & electric guitar, Mike Aiken/acoustic
& electric guitars and vocals, Tammy Rogers/fiddle, Michael
Webb/accordion, Amy Aiken/percussion & background vocals and Ben
Strano/background vocals. 
The CD was produced by Baird, Strano and Aiken.

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