Sunday, January 23, 2011

Big Wheels Volume 3

A compilation album on Cynda Records, the "budget" subsidiary of Boot Records.

There's some really dismal stuff on this record, and a few charmers. I've chosen the closing cut to share with you. Why? Because Humphrey and the Dumptrucks rule, that's why. You haven't heard the last of them here.

Side 1:
The Cat Came Back - Stompin' Tom Connors
Fifteen Years Ago - Gleasonaires
Salamander Tug - Stevedore Steve
Cheap Lowdown Wine - Canadian Zephyr
Old Atlantic Shore - Delmer Dory

Side 2:
Sunday Morning Christian - Sean Dunphy
Right or Wrong - King Trio
This World We Call Home - Jim Hurley
Hey Good Lookin' - Eastwind
Man From the City - Humphrey & the Dumptrucks

Cynda Records, a division of Boot Records, 1972
CNS 1102

(from the collection of Johnny Clarke)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Matty Moroz - Country Style

You can be assured of quality product when you pick up a Point Records album. Home to the better-known Gaby Haas and Marg Osburne, Point also released this album, mostly comprised of Hank Williams and Johnny Horton numbers, from a country hopeful about whom the internet knows nothing.

Matty Moroz and the Merry Men

Side 1:
Lost Highway
Singing Waterfall
A House Without Love
I'm Gonna Sing Sing Sing
Stay a Little Longer

Side 2:
I'm a One Woman Man
Gotta Travel On
Nothing Can Stop Me
I'm a Honky Tonk Man
Arkansas Traveller

Point Records, date unknown (mid-60s?)

(from the collection of Johnny Clarke)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Felix and His Banjo Band

Who could resist that face? Or these liner notes?


You have just bought a copy of my new album and you are probably dying to geto home and put it on your record player. But before you play it for the first time I urge you to read these notes carefully as they will help you to fully appreciate this product.

In case you have just seen our show and bought the record anyway you might consider seeking professional help to try and get rid of your masochistic streak.

My Banjo Band, or The World's Worst Banjo Band (as it was formerly known), is a group of highly skilled professional musicians who, under my leadership and influence, have turned into a rabble of mediocre amateurs. No longer burdened by conventional musical guidelines we are thus able to play in previously undiscovered meters and produce sounds that frequently bring cries (usually of pain) from the mouths of our listeners.

I am particularly happy to include some vocal numbers in this recording as, so I am told, my treatment of a song is well known from coast to coast. As a matter of fact, my singing is often referred to as "The voice that bends glass".

Most of our performances take place in asylums, jails, universities and similar institutions and are usually well received by the inmates.

Only once did we encounter a disturbance, at a penitentiary where, during the intermission, near riot conditions developed when prisoners learned that this was not the end of the show.

It is not true that many of them requested isolation cells, and the flood of letters to the media with complaints about cruel and unusual punishment had absolutely nothing to do with our appearance there.

We are also available for fairs and festivals and we seem to start a boom in the economy wherever we go. I often get letters from the Chamber of Commerce telling me how local business (especially travel agents and service stations) picked up as soon as our coming was advertised.



Contrary to the above, the record is filled with zippy and well-played banjo numbers, but a buyer's fears reading the above might be realized when he heard the opening cut.

Westmount Records, 1979

(from the collection of Johnny Clarke)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hank Snow - The Southern Cannonball

Nova Scotian–born Hank Snow is best known for "I've Been Everywhere" and "I'm Moving On," but he released a lot of worthwhile material. Check out The Southern Cannonball — they're not making music like this anymore.

RCA/Camden, 1961
(from the collection of Johnny Clarke)

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Knelsen Family - Country Gospel

There's no wondering why someone jumped at the chance to pick up a copy of this little gem, and so should you, if you ever see one for sale.

Country Gospel was recorded in Calgary at E. K. Recording Studios

Today's selection is "For So Long Now", a spirited little number featuring some nice harmonies. The drumming on this track is pretty special, too. Enjoy!

Vocal records, date unknown (late 70s, likely)
(from the collection of Johnny Clarke)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Starboy: An Original Musical

Which brings us to a gleeful find: Starboy: An Original Musical from 1983, produced by Ariel Productions and Loose Moose Theatre Company. Don't stop believin' indeed!

From what I can glean, this li'l morsel's a Dr. Faustus-meets-The Wall cautionary tale about selling your soul to the devil in exchange for, yep, rockstardom.

Here's the title track, sung by Jimmy and Satina, for your consideration.

Ariel Productions & Loose Moose Theatre Company present
An original musical

Written and Directed by: Randall P. Dark
Music: Ian Crowley
Lyrics: Randall P. Dark, Cary Dark, Ian Crowley

Original Calgary cast:
Satina - Roberta Maurer Phillips
Jimmy - Doug McRae
Kristeen - Jeanette Arsenault
Burt - Mel Tonken
Steen - Scott Parsons
Lucius - Hal Kerbes
Rita - Sandy Birch

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Alan Moberg - Dogwood Country

For the inaugural post on North of Wherever, I've chosen a sunshiney tribute to my old home turf, the Okanagan. There are any number of regional tunes on this album, from "Gastown" to the "Williams Lake Stampede", which explains why the Honourable Ernest Hall, BC's Minister of Travel Industry in the mid-70s, offers a rousing endorsement of Mr. Moberg's efforts on the back of the record jacket.

That's OK by me.

Sweetwater Records, date unknown (probably circa 1975)