THE OFF-BEAT FOLK AWARD
I got to be an official Frère one night in Picton, subbing for Sonny Lemontina. In fact, I was asked to produce the guitar solo with slide: no problem, it sounded just like the original. Just think: working at a Cheesie factory in Belleville then stinking up the bus on the ride home at night! Say cheese.
Does anything need to be said about the mother of Canadian folk collectors? For over 50 years she collected wisdom and rhyme in her native Nova Scotia. Countless books and recordings have been made of her collection. She died in her 90th year.
The Westray Mine in Nova Scotia is the setting: a spark sets off a time-bomb as coal dust and gas turn into a fire ball that takes the lives of 26 miners. They knew it was unsafe from the start. The government helped fund it, the company hoped nothing would go wrong, but 26 lives later, one wonders who will pay. It's still before the courts awaiting decision. Stone's song captures the sentiment of the people of this horrified community.
One of our unsung heroes, Reid has had everything go wrong that could go wrong in his brief career in the music business. From his appearances on Singalong Jubilee, his songs covered by the Wolftones and the Irish Rovers, his solo album 'Hard Rock Miner' to the bottom of the heap. Well he's back and still writing fantastic songs.
Hauntingly beautiful, the blending of their voices is stark, alone, warm and strong. Traditional songs of Newfoundland given the royal treatment. Do it again, please.
Born to play accordion, Canada's undisputed polka king celebrated his 35th year in show business this year. Unable to be recognized by the Canadian establishment for his work, he wonders what he has to do to get a Juno Award? Well, here's his Porcupine. He went on to win 3 Grammy's in as many years (for Best Polka Recording), something no other Canadian has ever accomplished.