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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