Monday, 17 January 2022

Allpa Kallpa - Traditional Music of the Andes Vol. 2 (1994), Vol. 4 (1997), Vol. 5 (1998)




We're going to tumble out of the Celtic music and into... the Andes! We were pretty excited to find THREE tapes from Allpa Kallpa in the Doug Wong archives - they're a group of musicians you've probably seen along Stephen Avenue during the summer. Despite the band's omnipresent performances on the pedestrian mall, we didn't really know the full story behind them... until we dug this out of an old copy of the Windspeaker:

It looks like the band recorded and produced these tapes here in Calgary... but it's interesting to see that the two later tapes in this batch have contact numbers in Victoria, BC and Germany. Allpa Kallpa must have covered a lot of ground each year.

Get it here.

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Roger Helfrick - The Call (1994)

We think this is the last of the Celtic tapes in the stack we got from Doug Wong... although we may have missed a few. And even though Roger Helfrick is an Edmonton artist, this was recorded at Richard Harrow's Living Room studio's with the help of a bunch of Calgarians we've heard from during this trip into the land of 90's Celtic recordings. Helfrick is known for his harp playing these days, but it looks he sticks to the guitar on this first recording of his.

And you can get it here.

Friday, 14 January 2022

Eillen McGann - Journeys (1995)

Well, thankfully today's tape from Eillen McGann has (a) a year and (b) some quality Celtic music. McGann has made a career of music for over thirty years, and we hesitated with this tape, not knowing if we should include it as a Calgary release or not... but we think she was based in Calgary at the time of its release. While it was recorded in Toronto, there are enough ties to Calgary (including art by Ohama!) that we're calling it ours.

We're also impressed by how prescient McGann was with the track "Too Stupid For Democracy" off this tape:

It looks like this is still in print, at least in CD form - so we're going to encourage you to get it from McGann's website if you're interested.

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Ceard - Home Brew

To buoy you up from yesterday's tape, we're going to dig back into some good, honest Celtic tunes, courtesy of the Rocky Mountain Folk Club's house band. Ceard happens to feature a few people we've heard from recently - First Draft's John Campbell and Barry Luft. 

Ceard aren't pure Celtic - their tunes bring in elements of country music and sea shanties - but it's a tasty mix that's honest and shows the time the band has put in as a house band.

And the download's right over here.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Kindred Spirits - Celtic Rock

Now, we suspect this is one of the bands that First Draft's John Campbell was complaining about in yesterday's post. We're not sure if the title of Kindred Spirit's tape is Celtic Rock or if that's just there for slick marketing purposes, but... we like to think of it as a warning label. Kind of like when you see that Bob's Good Times Band is playing down at the local pub. If you want to go out for good times, maybe that'll be okay. If you're looking for truly good rock and roll (or in this case, Celtic tunes) - maybe not sure a good idea?

Get the download and let us know what you think!

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

First Draft - First Draft, Gael

Today's pair of Celtic tapes pair well with yesterday's Scatter the Mud release not just because of the Celtic content - but because of the excellent flute and pipe work of Cam Keating, who was a core of both bands. There's no year on either of these tapes from First Draft, but we're pretty sure they were released somewhere around 1990, pre-dating Scatter the Mud. 

As with Scatter the Mud, they're both excellent samples of our city's Celtic music output. Although post-First Draft, it seems like John Campbell was shying away from the Celtic tag as it blew up and bands tried to cash in on the fad (see our previous comment re/ Spirit of the West covers):

Get some First Draft here!

Monday, 10 January 2022

Scatter The Mud - A Modicum Of Mud

Carrying on with our dig into Calgary's 90's Celtic bands, there's no way of avoiding Scatter the Mud. The tape that was in the cache of stuff we got from Doug Wong didn't have a j-card, but we found this on - of all places - There's no year on it, so we're going to go waaaay out on a limb and guess is was released before their first CD, the superbly-titled In The Müd. That CD was so well-received that BMG picked it up for a second pressing and distribution - which led to this amazingly 90's PR stunt:

Get muddy here!

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (Calgary) - The Mountain Road (1995)

Well, we're about to dive headfirst into a slew of Celtic music. We're not sure what was in the water in the mid-90's, but it seems like there were a lot of Celtic bands - some good, some just playing drunken covers of Spirit of the West's "Home For A Rest." This tape thankfully falls into the former category. 

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is a society for traditional Irish music and dance, and this tape is from the local chapter with a group of musicians tag-teaming across the tape's tunes.

It's sure to have you reeling around the mountain roads.

Saturday, 8 January 2022

Christy & Fred Cook - Mélange (1993)

We should have known that Calgary was too big to have just one person putting out tapes featuring the hammered dulcimer. Even though we were aware of Tomko Lamb first, husband and wife duo Christy & Fred Cook have (had?) been at it well before him, having put out their first LP in the mid-80's (on Peter D'amico's Black Bear Records, even!). This tape is a later release, covering a range of folk music from various traditions as well as classical compositions. 

Bang on!

Friday, 7 January 2022

Kilgore Trout - One Voice Starts (1994)

It's been years since we had a tape from Kilgore Trout; if you've been waiting with ants in your pants, today's your day! The best part is, we've got a lot better about providing more context on these posts since we featured their first tape. So we're able to share this clipping, which casually points out how the Vonnegut character they take their name from is kind of at odds with their upbeat and relatively light songs... 

To hear the Trout, press here!