Friday 28 January 2022

Stampeders - Backstage Pass (1974)

We somehow missed the news of the passing of Mel Shaw last week. Having dug through as much of the history of Calgary's early days of rock and roll, it's hard not to note the major impact Shaw had on the scene - from his own 7" record, to the Sotan label he founded, to launching, managing, and producing recordings throughout the career of the Stampeders. He also founded Music World Creations, was the Founding President of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the folks who present the JUNO Awards), acted as president of Canadian Independent Record Productions Association, and was the Executive Director of FACTOR (Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Record). That's a major legacy with some truly amazing contributions to Calgarian (and Canadian) music.

So, we'll celebrate his life with this, a 1974 live recording from the band he's most associated with - and a record that he produced (even if the minimal liner notes on the j-card don't mention it). We suggest you crank "Wild Eyes" and toast the legacy of Mel Shaw

Thursday 27 January 2022

Standing Room Only - Standing Room Only, Live At The Hideaway (1997)

We had no idea where to go after that batch of jazz tapes, so we decided to grab these two from a capella quartet Standing Room Only - entirely because this makes the third post in a row featuring a tape with "What A Wonderful World" on it. We're checking the posts, and we think this is the first a capella band we've featured on the CCPS - somehow (!) we've missed the EarthTones (wait, they are a capella, aren't they? are we misremembering?) and Heebee-Jeebees thus far. 

Well, no turning back now!

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Jac Friedenberg, His Piano and Orchestra - What A Wonderful World

The overlap in players on these jazz tapes is getting pretty interesting. We've got a 7" from Jac Friedenberg kicking around that also features Southport Jazz singer Hazel Proctor. But that's neither here nor there - what we should be focusing on is this instrumental tape from the local pianist, which drips in lush string arrangements. It's definitely towards the easy listening spectrum of jazz - which kind of suits us just fine this morning.

Friedenberg hints at the extent of his musical career in the article above; we're pretty sure this 78 from the 50's is also him, which would make his a recording career spanning almost 50 years. Sadly, Friedenberg passed away in 2005.

Enjoy his orchestral majesty here.

Tuesday 25 January 2022

Southport Jazz - Anything Goes with...

We're going to switch gears a little bit here, and bring you a tape from Cannery Row house band Southport Jazz. We're still in the realm of jazz, but it's certainly a lighter end of the spectrum. But, hey, this quartet was the house band at a restaurant and pub, so maybe we shouldn't be super critical - plus, this band seems like they were beloved by Cannery Row's regulars:

Get it here!

Monday 24 January 2022

Cheryl Fisher - Slow Hand Jazz (1994)

Staying in the same jazz vein as our last two posts is this promo only tape from singer Cheryl Fisher. Which, according to the details on the CD over at discogs, features a bunch of the same players as yesterday's Vivianne Cardinal tape. While it's another in the same swinging style, to our untrained ears, this tape sounds a bit smoother than Cardinal's, but that also might just be the effect of the non-stop ringing we hear.

For the download on this one, we're going to point you over to Fisher's website, where she's made the mp3s available for free.

Sunday 23 January 2022

Vivianne Cardinal - Out Of A Dream (1993)

Today's tape is from jazz singer Vivianne Cardinal, and it's a good pairing with the John Reid tape from the other day. And not just because both tapes feature the same bass player, although that's probably an indication that they're both mining the same style. This is the same swinging style, with good songs played well. Which is probably why this tape earned a nomination for best jazz record from the Alberta Recording Industry Awards in 1994.

Get it here!

Friday 21 January 2022

John Reid - Island Shuffle (1993)

Yesterday's flute-filled tape has got us picking up this one next, from another local flautist (and saxophonist), John Reid. Thanks to the amazing Pro Arts Society for their bio of Reid from a few years ago, which hepped us to the fact that Reid was part of Stratus Singers spin-off the Stratus Faction, as well as founding secretary and past president of the Jazz Calgary society. Oh, and the tape's j-card casually mentions that he also founded the Calgary International Jazz Festival. So it's perhaps little surprise that this tape (a) is very, very good and (b) it's deep into the jazz tradition. The tracks on this tape - which are mostly originals either by Reid or his bandmates - are composed and played really well. This is one of those times when we at the CCPS realize how far away from our original punk rock roots we've strayed - and how good of a thing that is. 

Shuffle on over here.

Thursday 20 January 2022

Bonnie Lawrence - Flutes On The Loose (1994)

Next up in our tapes from the Doug Wong archives is this one from Calgary flautist Bonnie Lawrence. We've been trying to find more information about her, but we keep getting oblique references to her participation in projects - it appears she was actively performing as of a few years ago and has had a career that has taken her to South America. 

This tape is a diverse affair, spanning everything from compositions by Canadian jazz flautist Moe Koffman to a traditional Dakota hymn to... "The Rose." But it shows off Lawrence's skill and is tastefully backed by keyboardist Keith Day.

Get it here!

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Annette Chrétien - Echos (1991)

Well, despite a reasonable amount of searching, we can't tell you anything about the artist behind this next tape, Annette Chrétien. We can tell you about the content, though - and that it follows nicely on yesterday's tape. This is great solo, nylon-string guitar that incorporates elements of classical, neo-classical, and world music in a compelling mix. We're more drawn to the second side of this tape, the Echos suite, and its more introspective sounds.

And the download is here.

Tuesday 18 January 2022

Peter Knight - Buscándote (1996)


Next up in our pile of tapes is this one from local flamenco guitarist Peter Knight. It's always a delight to read James Muretich's write-ups of local musicians - in this one, Knight notes that it's important to differentiate between flamenco and flamingo:

(Plus: bonus Huevos content!)

It looks like Knight is still actively teaching in Calgary - pre-pandemic, his son, Harry, was making waves with his little flyin' fingers.

Get the elder Knight's tape here.

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!

Thursday 6 January 2022

Wild Colonial Boys - Live in '88 (1988), After Hours (1995)

We're doubling up the tapes today (we have to - otherwise we'll NEVER get through all these tapes from the Doug Wong archives!) to give you a double dose of the Calgary Folk Club's house band, the Wild Colonial Boys. The first is a live album - which we kind of wish we'd heard first; we get now why they were such a draw. It's a fun recording of a band that's there to entertain - they play well, don't take themselves too seriously, and are incredibly engaging. The second tape today, which is apparently their fifth release, highlights a band with over 15 years under their belts - it claims to be a collection of their most-requested songs. It's perhaps not fair to pair it with the live album - while the sound is superior, we quite prefer the looseness energy of their live recording.

Compare them for yourself here.