Friday, 30 December 2022

Ian & Sylvia Tyson - Calgary/Trucker's Cafe (1970)

We lost an icon yesterday with the passing of Ian Tyson, a man who had a huge impact on country music in our part of the world. After settling into Longview in the mid 1970's, Tyson also settled into country music - releasing a series of singles and recording several albums at Sundae Sound (which we posted last year). 

For us, this 1983 article by James Muretich is a really great profile of Tyson as he was releasing his Old Corrals &Sagebrush LP. "This isn't a comeback, I haven't been away really, just been right here doing my thing (raising cutting horses), which is as important to me as the music," Tyson said at the time. "If the success of the album dictates a higher profile then fine. But I won't get too far from Longview."

We're going to celebrate his legacy with one of the things we absolutely love here at the CCPS, a song about our fair city. "Calgary" is a great song that showcases Tyson's resonant baritone - we've listened to this more times than you can imagine over the past day. This single is billed under Ian & Sylvia Tyson, but it's from their 1979 Great Speckled Bird album - arguably a key moment in Tyson's move from folk to country. 

Get it here.

Saturday, 24 December 2022

Bent Spoon Duo - Holly Jolly (2009)

This Bug Incision CDr brings us to the end of our advent calendar of Calgary Christmas recordings. We decided to go out big - we were talking to Chris Dadge about this disc a few weeks ago and he described it as one of his favourite recordings. This isn't two experimental musicians taking the piss - these are heartfelt and honest renditions of popular and traditional songs of the season. With a lot of instrument switching and excellent musicianship (and vocals!). Our favourite on here is the sparse drums, trombone and vocals of "Let It Snow."

Get the digital download from the Bent Spoon Duo bandcamp.

Friday, 23 December 2022

Santa's Elves - Santa's Elves Sing Christmas (1983)

We didn't realize that our copy of this Christmas gem is in kind of rough condition - but it kind of doesn't matter, since these are the exact same recordings as yesterday's Christmas LP. With improved cover art, at least.

Get it here.

Thursday, 22 December 2022

Team Christmas Choir - A Gift Of Christmas (1981)

Oh, wow. Huge thanks to Jairus Sharif for finding this gem for us... A Gift Of Christmas is a record put out by entrepreneur Graham Ripper in partnership with Franklin Mall. This was linked to a fundraising hockey game Ripper put on in 1981 to collect toys for kids in need. 

We're pretty sure these songs are the work of Ron Mahonin and his Heart Records crew, with a few Mahonin-penned songs mixed in with Christmas standards. AND Chipmunks-style vocals. 

Get it here!

Wednesday, 21 December 2022

German Church Choirs - Ein Deutsches Weihnachtskonzert

This Christmas record is a collection of songs from five German Church Choirs (assumedly all from Calgary and region). We're calling this a Christmas record (on Vocal records) in a fit of assumptiveness - the songs are in German, so we're not 100% sure but that's clearly a Christmas ornament on the cover isn't it?

Get it here.

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Choir Of The Cathedral Church Of The Redeemer - Advent And Christmas Music (1975)

We're onto the LP portion of our advent calendar, with an album of... advent music. This one (on Peter Bentley's Westmount Records label) is from the Choir Of The Cathedral Church Of The Redeemer and is a selection of traditional Christmas songs backed up by a smattering of organ and flute.

Get it here.

Monday, 19 December 2022

Tom Manche - Santa Used To Be A Baker/Snowflake Lullaby (1987)

This one's kind of interesting. Tom Manche is an American producer (probably based in Nashville at the time this record was put together) - so why is he showing up at the CCPS? We suspect he had some deal going where he'd do up songs by aspiring songwriters - in this case, Les Howard, who penned this pair of Christmas tunes. There's a second 7" of Howard-penned songs sung by Manche out there somewhere.

Get this one here.

Sunday, 18 December 2022

Sherry Kennedy - On Christmas Day

Today's Advent single is a single-sided single from Sherry Kennedy, a long-standing member of the Calgary music community. This soft rocker is an original composition about longing for your loved ones on that special day of the year.

Get it here.

Saturday, 17 December 2022

Roy Thoreson - O Holy Night/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen-We Three Kings (1979)

Switching over to the 7" single part of the CCPS collection for this next bit of your Advent Calendar... here's a record from World Whistling Champion Roy Thoreson. As you can probably imagine, both sides feature Thoreson whistling familiar songs to the accompaniment of a church organ. 

Get it here.

Friday, 16 December 2022

Centre Street Church Choir and Orchestra - Come & Behold (1996)

We had pretty low expectations when we put this one into the tape deck... but this one was a surprise to us with its high production value. The Centre Street Church Choir and Orchestra are huge and produce a lush sound. This is a big, ambitious production.

Get it here.

Thursday, 15 December 2022

Trilogy - Two Thousand Years Of Christmas

Trilogy is a Celtic-tinged trio (hence the name) featuring Eileen McGann and her frequent collaborator David K, along with Cathy Miller. Our scan of the cover doesn't quite do this one justice - there's a bit of gold paint on this which is quite amazing. The songs on this tape are a mix of traditional English songs, original compositions by Miller and McGann... and "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch." It's maybe a weird one in the mix... but we're always suckers for that song.

Get it here.

Wednesday, 14 December 2022

Stratus - Christmas With Us (1991)

We featured a 7" from the Stratus Singers (or just Stratus, as they're known here) earlier this year. This tape kicks off with a Stratus original about Santa getting stuck in singer Mary Jo Smith's chimney and the hilarity that ensues. The rest of side one features more modern Christmas tunes, which the second side features traditional carols. 

Get it here.

Tuesday, 13 December 2022

Banks, Brown and Company - Christmas Everyday

We've decided to right our historical wrong of posting Christmas tapes/etc. at the wrong time of year, so get ready for a sort of CCPS Advent Calendar... starting with Bowden-based gospel soft rockers Banks, Brown and Company. This is super smooth stuff, a bit more laid back than their earlier full-length LP (which we'll get to posting at some point). But very Christmas-y.

Get it here.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

Lunatique - hands to yourself (2015)

We were pretty excited to snag a copy of this a the Record Collector's Show a few weeks ago - Lunatique were a pretty great band, with their scrappy, femme-forward punk kicking us in the pants each of the times we saw them. We hadn't listened to Lunatique in a long time - we'd forgotten that they also had a couple of slow-burning, neo-shoegaze tunes in this mix - which are highly worth checking out.

Get the download via the Lunatique bandcamp.

Saturday, 19 November 2022

Preoccupations - Preoccupations (2016), New Material (2018), Arrangements (2022)

It's impossible to overlook the impact that Women had on the Calgary scene - and the same goes for Preoccupations. When they burst onto the scene in 2013 as Viet Cong, everyone took notice: the angular post-punk guitar of Danny Christiansen and the awe-inspiring musicianship of Scott Munro into the mix of Matt Flegel's deft bass work and Mike Wallace's staccato drum attack did some great things. 

Over the course of these three tapes, the band's songs becomes increasingly claustrophobic and dense with layers of synth and reverb enshrouding them. The chiming, angular guitarplay that characterized their Viet Cong release is largely gone - while other bands are still mining that space, Preoccupations have moved on to deeper space.

Get these tapes (or LPs, if you choose) from the good folks at Flemish Eye.

Friday, 18 November 2022

Sargeant X Comrade - Magic Radio (2020)

We're super excited to have this tape in our mitts - Sargeant X Comrade, a collaboration between singer Yolanda Sargeant and producer Evgeniy Bykovets - is a quite excellent thing. They get pegged as low fi soul - but to our ears they owe more to trip hop minimalists Portishead, taking that 90's sound and updating it in a tasty, tasty way. Sargeant's voice channels a great combination of Nina Simone and Beth Gibbons while Bykovets's production is adds just enough experimental elements to not overpower the danceability of the tracks on this, their first full-length release. 

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Quit It! - Spilling Out (2022)

Quit It! got our attention with their excellent 7" EP last year - it came out of nowhere and captured the rage and anger we feel at watching politics today. Their new full-length keeps that burning - and it's quite welcome. Quit It! is a continuation of the River Jacks and Rum Runner, but gone are the accordion and folk rock leanings, this is a more straight-up punk in the tradition of Knucklehead. And, as we have kind of suggested, it's quite, quite good.

Get the download from the Quit It! bandcamp, or get the tape (or LP, if you prefer - heck, they've even put this out on CD!) from Wasted Wax.

Wednesday, 16 November 2022

L.T. Leif - Introducing (2022)

We caught exactly three minutes of L.T. Leif's set at Sled Island this year, so we jumped at this cassette compilation from UK label Lost Map Records. This tape is a teaser for those of us looking forward to the upcoming full-length from the now Edinburgh-based Calgarian - it brings together tracks from their 2016 LP, live cuts, and tracks from a couple of the other great projects they were part of (namely Hex Ray and OK Jazz). It's a great reminder of the gentle beauty of Leif's songs are.

Get it from Lost Map Records.

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Corta Vita - Non, Je Suis Mort! (2022)

We were pleasantly surprised a few weeks ago to hear that this was in the works - a reissue of the collected works of the legendary emo/screamo band Corta Vita by Semi Collective Records. Side A is their 2002 CD and a previously digital-only posthumous released, while the B side is their 2001 demo tape. It's a very nice package that celebrates the importance of the Corta Vita.

If you hustle over to Melodiya, they may have a couple of copies of the limited issue tape. If not, hit the Semi Collective bandcamp for the download.

Monday, 14 November 2022

Prairie Crossing - Twelve Good Years (1988)

We're double-checking our notes, but we think this is the last of the Doug Wong Music-produced LPs that we have to share with you. We featured a single from Prairie Crossing earlier this year - and noted then that they were the house band at Saturday Night Special. 

Get their full-length LP here.

Friday, 4 November 2022

Buckshot Show - The Buckshot Show's First Album (1983)

We're going to guess that a lot of you were wondering when we'd get around to highlighting this crucial Calgary release. For a lot of us, the Buckshot Show was a big part of growing up Calgarian - Buckshot (Ron Barge) and Benny the Bear (Jim Lewis) were right up there with Mr. Rogers and Big Bird. Their TV show launched in 1967 and ran every weekday at noon until 1997. At some point in those 30 years, it looks like the name Buckshot morphed into the more proper first and last name of Buck Shot.

This album kicks off with the song perhaps most associated with the Buckshot Show, a cover of Roy Acuff's "16 Chickens and a Tambourine," and covers a lot of fun ground after that. We always wondered why the show's theme music wasn't included on this - we JUST learned that they used Jean-Jacques Perrey's "The Elephant Never Forgets," where we had always thought it was an original piece of music. Guess we didn't stick around and watch the credits very often.

Since we've got the original production files for this, a couple of fun notes. This was produced in a run of about 5,000 copies - which is pretty substantial for a local release. And it was engineered by Jim Lewis, proving himself to be not just a good puppeteer. But more on Lewis and Barge a bit later...

Get your childhood flashback here!

Thursday, 3 November 2022

Kathy Clark - Special Delivery (1982)

Kathy Clark is country/pop singer with a search-resistant name. All we can tell you about this record is that it's another produced by Hal Redekop - a guy who tended to do gospel records. This one has a few moments where it gets kind of gospel, but the selection of covers (Monkees, Barbara Mandrell) definitely skews pop. 

Get it here!

Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Steve Fincham - Need The Weekend Off? (1986)

Steve Fincham is one of those artists we really can't tell you more about - from the Doug Wong files, we think he may have lived in Banff at the time this came out. His songs on this LP sit somewhere between country and blues - perhaps thanks to the production of Ron Casat and Richard Harrow, this album has a feeling that is suitably loose but also quite polished. 

Get it here.