I think there are 'trad ' folks in folk music who want the performers to adhere rigidly
to the original versions of the song. I've heard some folks disapproval of using harmony in traditional Irish music, b/c (supposedly) in all those centuries of Irish friends and family gathering to sing; no one added harmony to the song. I' m not even sure that's true, but there are folks who think that way. I remember once in a song circle, I led the song Candyman. I had a lot of rousing support with folks singing along ( and rewarding applause btw). However one member of the 'trad police' loudly announced his displeasure that I sang the song in the "wrong key" and that he had never heard it sung that way. His comment landed like a lead balloon in a more open minded group of musicians.
There seems to be almost a religious fervor with those who want to preserve the old style of folk music - as opposed to those of us who embrace the 'folk process' and just want to have fun.
The Johnson Girls , as mentioned by a previous poster, are a band of women I' ve heard in concert,
who bring a refreshing energy to Chanty music. However, glancing at their website, I see that even Pete Seeger voiced a compliment on their robust style that to me is at best a left handed compliment. "I didn't know women could sing that way " is how the old school gent put it.
Ah well, you gotta love Seeger, but after all, he is the one who tried to yank the cord out from Dylan's electric guitar.
Personally,I' m glad that Dylan decided to graduate from the old school.
Room for all, in my book, and if you only want to sing seas chantries as performed in a prior century - go ahead. Meanwhile, I love a good song anyway it's done - as long as it's done well- whether it's Ragoan Road by Mark Knopfler or a pristine melody by the Pennywhistlers or for that matter, Dylan 's uproarious Pretty Peggy O.
Sing on - and sing out , folks.