Friday, 22 January 2021

Mike Shields - Mike Shields (1990)


Here's another Sundae Sound tape that we can tell you about! Well, a bit, anyways. This looks like maybe the first release for Mike Shields, who has since gone on to a career as a composer for film and screen (that's his work on the recent classic Ginger Snaps). 

It probably makes sense, given where his career has taken him, that this tape is a quality affair with well-written songs and solid production. From the opening bars of "Nothing Is Forever," there's some pretty catchy stuff at play here. This also gives us an excuse to share this video from his first full-length CD, featuring a whole pile of Calgary community landmarks:

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Thursday, 21 January 2021

Janan Frances - Demo



Here's a quick two-song demo tape from Sundae Sound that we wish we could tell you more about. Janan Frances (and band?) cover off a nice pair of jazzy tracks, leading with Etta James' "Don't Misunderstand." We're assuming this tape is from some time prior to 1988, as the article below as Frances attending a country music conference after leaving her jazz band:

Want to know what her country stuff sounded like? Stay tuned! Want to know what this sounds like? Click here!

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Bruce Martin - One Blood (1993)

 


Here's another tape we can't tell you much about - this one is really similar to the Richard Livingstone tape from last week; it's well-produced, highly thematic (is it a song cycle?), and manufactured out of the same BC company.

At least we have the download.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Brent McAthey - Brent McAthey (1991)

We feel like we're making up for the lack of country music over the CCPS's history with this batch of Sundae Sound tapes. You'll be glad to hear that this tape has far more in common with Corb Lund's style of country than, well, we can't even come up with the name of a generic country pop band. 

What's really interesting about McAthey is he's still active with a music career - in both Canada AND Mexico. We have to admit that's a pretty smart business plan - we assume there aren't a pile of country bands playing in Mazatlan. Plus - you can write off your winter escapes!

Get Brent's tape here

Monday, 18 January 2021

Tim Welter - Purple Sage Mountaineer & the Midwest Ranch Boys (1992)

 

Okay, another one from Sundae Sound that we can't tell you much about. Tim Welter sings country music, which you probably could have guessed from the cover of the tape. There are two songs on here, a hurtin' love song and - one of our FAVOURITE THINGS - a CALGARY SONG. Is it better than "Neighbours of the World"? How does it measure up to Cat Ranch's "Song For Calgary"?

Download and find out!

Sunday, 17 January 2021

Seanachie - Preview (1995)

 
We're going to go with something from Sundae Sound that we DO know a bit about for once. We've got Seanachie firmly affixed in our memory as a Calgarian cousin of early Spirit of the West. Same sort of Scottish folk tunes, but far less pompous. We're pretty sure we would have seen them at Folk Fest in the mid-90's; although someone has also pointed out that there's a suburban pub-in-a-box that bears the same name. We're pretty sure we can tell the difference between an over-priced pint of beer and Scottish folk. Oh, and it's fitting that this interview with frontman Gordon McCulloch was done over pints - we hope they were reasonably-priced:


Saturday, 16 January 2021

Richard Livingstone - Imaginations

 

 

You're going to hear this from us fairly often over the next while as we work through this box of tapes: we have no idea what this is. We assume this is a Calgary artist, but the fact that it was manufactured out of BC's lower mainland has us questioning that a bit. Plus, we cannot find anything about this in our extensive search (which is actually limited to the Calgary Herald's archives). 

This is a very polished and well-produced piece, very pop, lots of religious overtones - but really, beyond that, we've got nothing.

Except the download!

Friday, 15 January 2021

Don Johnson - It Ain't Easy Being Blue (1994)

 

Now, before you get too excited, this post isn't about THAT Don Johnson. Thankfully we have a clipping from the Herald below to fill you in - it paints a good picture of the city's blues scene in the early 90's, and checks in with the Texas-born drummer and vocalist (yes, we cribbed that straight from the article). 


This is a great tape, with assistance from the late Johnny V (and mastered by Walt Ohama!). 

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Mike Lownsbrough - Mike Lownsbrough featuring the Law


Well, here's an unexpected one from the Sundae Sound vaults. We remember Mike Lownsbrough as a local TV celebrity (sportscaster? cleft chin and sideburns? something like that?), so holding a tape with his name kind of confused us for a bit. Leave it to Steve Elaschuk to make a random comment about seeing a box of these tapes discarded somewhere - after an attempt at a career change to country music. Well, apparently Lownsbrough may still be at it with a local combo called the Beverly Thrillbillies. 

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Ronnie King - What Goes Around Comes Around


Another Sundae Sound tape, and one which we're not confused by! Especially after reading the Herald article below! This is a fun collection of covers (mostly? entirely? damnit, we thought we had this one!) by former Stampeders bassist Ronnie King and his band which, judging from the article below, was probably playing around town in the late 80's after King had returned to Calgary. The whole affair kicks off with the infectious classic, "Don't You Just Know It," and includes at least a couple of Stampeders tracks as well. 


Get this tape here!


Sunday, 10 January 2021

Cindy Church - Love On The Range (1992)


Here's another great tape from Sundae Sound, and another tape which is equal parts puzzling and really amazing. Cindy Church has been a regular fixture of the country music scene since the mid-80s when she started playing with Ian Tyson's band, through her work with the Great Western Orchestra, her solo albums, and being part of the quartet, er, Quartette. This tape appears to be an early version of what would ultimately become her debut solo CD - except this tape has (a) a different running order of tracks and (b) has a date two years prior to the CD. Anyways, to distract you from any lack of info we might have, here's a clip from a few years ago of Church playing one of the songs off this tape:

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No download for this one, though - you can give a few tracks from the CD version of this a listen over on Cindy Church's website.




 

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Paul Brandt - Demo (1993)

 

Well, here's a really cool slice of history from Sundae Sound - a tape that literally launched a career. Legend has it that Paul Brandt recorded this and then worked tirelessly to land a major label record deal - picking up a bunch of awards in country music and songwriting as he went. That is, we think it's this tape. Maybe there was another? Anyways, this is a pretty awesome thing to behold. 

But after careful consideration, we're not including the download for this one, out of consideration for the artist.

Friday, 8 January 2021

Ian Tyson - Sundae Sound Tape

 




We haven't had opportunity to feature the legendary Ian Tyson at the CCPS... until now! In the Sundae Sound boxes were three tapes - two official Tyson releases (1989's I Outgrew the Wagon and 1999's Lost Herd, both recorded at Sundae Sound) which we won't be posting (you can get them via Spotify) as well as an archival tape with three tracks. Tyson spent a fair amount of time at Sundae Sound, recording at least five albums there. Maybe more? 

We're not sure of the year on this archival tape, but two of these tracks are from Tyson's 1994 release, Eighteen Inches of Rain. We can't find any reference to the third track, "House In The Hills" - which means we have absolutely nothing of value to add today. 

To make things worse, after careful consideration, no download for this one - out of respect for the artist.

Thursday, 7 January 2021

James Keelaghan - Zodiak Theme (1999)


A bunch of the tapes in the Sundae Sound box from Rob Bartlett are like today's; unofficial releases, session or pre-production copies that were kept for studio reference. We're only going to post a couple of such tapes, ones which are of interest to us... and you KNOW we're fans of James Keelaghan, so we couldn't pass on this. 

There are two tracks on this tape, slightly different versions of the theme for a TV show called Zodiac - Spirit of the Wind. We think. We're pretty sure, anyways...


Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Activate - Activate (1992)


Here's another tape we were excited to find in the Sundae Sound box from Rob Bartlett. Activate were one of Calgary's premier reggae acts in the 90's, led by Don Dixon. Even better, it gives us an excuse to dig out an old VOX article from May 1993:

Get it here!

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Chixdiggit - Dolphins Love Kids (1996)


So, we THINK we know what this is... maybe? A quick look at the liner notes of our copy of the first Chixdiggit CD reminds us that, yep, it was recorded at Sundae Sound (with the assistance of both Rob Bartlett and future Chixdiggit drummer Dave Alcock). So this tape, tucked in the box that Rob Bartlett passed us, is... maybe an early version of that CD? Is it possible that the band made up copies of the tape prior to them getting picked up by Sub Pop? The track listing on this tape is identical to their self-titled CD... we could probably ask KJ for the scoop on this, but that sounds like it would take some effort.

Dig it!

Monday, 4 January 2021

Dixie's Death Pool - Koolwhip (1993)




We were pretty darn excited to find this tape in the box of Sundae Sound goodies that Rob Bartlett passed our way. We're big fans of Dixie's Death Pool, and always assumed their tapes were bedroom recording affairs - it looks like this one, at least, was laid down at Sundae Sound.

This tape is more of Lee Hutzulak's weirdo art rock - drones, sound collages, low fi strummed guitars... This is pretty excellent stuff, high on concept AND high on execution. 

Get it here!

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Back Alley John - More a Feeling Than a Living (1995)


Last fall, former Sundae Sound engineer Rob Bartlett got in touch with us and offered up a pair of boxes of tapes of projects he'd recorded during his time at the notable recording studio. From 1980 to 2011, Sundae Sound was the birthplace of countless great recordings - so we were over the moon to have access a slice of that history. We're going to post a selection of tapes from those boxes over the coming weeks, focusing on those which were either official releases or are unoffical/production copies of broader interest. 

Nestled in one of the boxes from Rob was a tape labelled "Back Alley John," which turns out to be this 1995 release from the late local bluesman. By chance, we had picked up a copy of this tape earlier in the year, and are pleased to present it for your listening pleasure. Back Alley John was a fixture of the local blues scene, and sadly passed away in 2006. Here's the obituary from then, with some great history and memories:


Get the download here

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Oscar Lopez - Sueños (1991)


Today's tape is from frequent James Keelaghan collaborator and latin guitarist Oscar Lopez. We're kind of surprised we hadn't posted this previously - we think we had the CD version of this at one point, but... lost it? Who knows. Anyways, we think this was Lopez's first release - and here's the Muretich article from when it hit the streets: 


This one isn't on Spotify! Get Lopez's Sueños here!