The 18th Annual
The Porcupine Awards - 2007

CEC McECHERN AWARD
for an outstanding musical accompanist

TREASA LAVASSEUR, Toronto

At last summer’s Eaglewood Folk Festival I saw Treasa perform with just about everybody. Not only does she front her own band, but she backs up others, adding just the right touch to the mix. Her quirky eyes and smile look out to the audience while her accordion does the talking. She performs regularly with Corin Raymond’s Sundowners and the Clair Jenkins Band.


LENNY BREAU AWARD
only virtuosos need apply!

OCTOBER BROWNE, Toronto ON

Born in England she naturally gravitated to music. Influenced by Fairport Convention, Pentangle, Celtic music and the Beatles, she took up playing the acoustic guitar for which she went to New York City to study. Eventually she made her way to Toronto and in the past 15 years has established herself as a clever, thoughtful and skilled Celtic guitarist and has performed in several Irish touring shows throughout Europe and North America.


MAC BEATTIE AWARD
This is the Mac Beattie Award for musicians who are proud to be identifiably Canadian.

KATE WEEKES, Whitehorse YT

Her mother was a musician and music lover; her grandfather a bus driver. She was born in the south and migrated to the north, to Whitehorse to live on the brink of time. She writes orchestrated melodies and joins them with geographical sketches about Bonnet Plume Lake, Red Lake and West of Winnipeg – Land Shaping the People, a Lost Patrol and a Truck Drivers Waltz. Quintessentially Canadian wouldn’t you say.


NEW DRAGON MINE
The find of the year Award!

TONY ALLEN, Toronto ON

Fiddler Tony Allen fell in love with old time music from the American south which took him from busking in Toronto Subway stations to gigging with The Backstabbers band, and finally to the attention of Banjoist Chris Coole who went on to produce Tony’s first solo CD, Steam. He plays and sings, sings and doesn’t play, with humour and heart that erupts forth from his soul. Receiving such a great CD out of the ether was a total surprise once I slapped it into the CD player for the very first time.


MUSIQUE DE LA MONDE
that which was brought here to enrich us all

SULTANS OF STRING, Toronto ON

A mixture of Flamenco rhythms and soaring violin, pulsating guitar and precision bass are what makes up the Sultans of String. Chris McKhool, Kevin Laliberte and Drew Birston fly through ten tracks on Luna, their first full fledged CD.


OFF BEAT
something or someone that's way out there and not stopping

ANDREW NEVILLE & THE POOR CHOICES, Winnipeg MB

This is rip-roaring country tinged rock with a no-bullshit approach, lyrics that reflect what you hear on the street. Songs like Freezin’ To Death in a Boxcar, Molson Dry, Winnipeg Song, Workin’ Man’s Song and Let’R Buck. Full throttle all the way, it’s quite obvious that these guys are going nowhere on commercial radio. The Poor Choices are: Steve Gregg, Rob Vaarmeyer, Nathan Carlson and Andrew Neville.


JACK HAYES AWARD

RAGGED BUT RIGHT, Aurora ON

Arnie Naiman and Kathy Reid-Naiman. Arnie met Kathy in Toronto and they started playing music together about 30 years ago, he on Banjo and she on guitar and dulcimer. They called their little duo Ragged but Right and focused on old time Appalachian music from the Carter Family to the Delmore brothers. Arnie has also collaborated with Chris Coole and was awarded with the last of the Jack Hayes Awards in 2000  for the  CD "5 Strings Attached With No Backing".


PORCUPINE BOOK AWARD

2007 Shakin’ All Over: The Rock n’ Roll Years in Canada, compiled and edited by Peter Goddard and Philip Kamin, McGraw-Hill 1989. ISBN 0-75-549773-5

With cameo features of early Rock recording artists, this book was written in sections by various personalities: Bernie Finkelstein, Richard Flohil, Dan Hill, Carole Pope, David Clayton Thomas, Lorraine Segato, Greg Quill and others. Each was given a subject to tackle and the results are insightful, truthful, meaningful and wise. This book tackles the roots of the Canadian music industry, from Juliette and Don Messer to Flood, Rush and Ian and Sylvia.


GOLDEN QUILL
a song is a song is a song eh? Ya, right!

DAVID FRANCEY, McDonald's Corners ON

A number of years ago I asked the Maplepost listserve about any new talent they might have witnessed at a folk festival somewhere and heard raves about David Francey, even before his first CD came out. A few Juno Awards later, Francey continues to write provocative songs with a sweet inner outlook that sounds timeless. Songs he wrote while hammering nails into planks, songs thought up in his head and sung a capella for he only learned how to play a guitar two or three years ago. Now with several albums to his credit.


PORCUPINE SONG OF THE YEAR
one that keeps coming back at you

HARRY MANX & KEVIN BREIT, Victoria BC & Toronto ON
"Bottom of the Hill" from In Good We Trust

Written by Kevin Briet and sung by Harry Manx on their second collaborative CD called “In Good We Trust”, it’s just one of those good time songs that roll you down gently. A great hook, hummable melody and infectious feel


PRODUCER
to those who make CDs sound so great

STEVE DAWSON, Vancouver BC

Known for his brilliant guitar playing in the duo Zubot & Dawson, Steve Dawson has been producing excellent albums for some exceptional artists: JOHN WORT HANNAM’s  Two-Bit Suit; SHUYLER JANSEN’s Today's Remains; THE SOJOURNERS: Hold On and JENNY WHITELEY’s exceptional CD Dear. A good, clean sound, well mixed, sounding strong where nothing is over-harsh.


STEVE'S FAVOURITE ALBUM of 2006
just a good excuse to recognize another great CD

THE UNDESIRABLES, Toronto ON
Doghouse Dreams
Produced by David Baxter and the Undesirables

Sean Cotton and Corin Raymond have been playing together for a dozen years, ever since high school in Georgetown, ON. Their sound is two voices and one guitar, and while this works extremely well in live performance, it proves sparse over the course of a CD. Doghouse Dreams, their sophomore effort, effectively utilizes the talents of several bright lights while remaining loyal to the core of the Undesirable sound. Produced in collaboration with David Baxter, it is a warm bed of ten songs, without filler. The Undesirables just the way you always wanted them!


CLASSIC CANADIAN ALBUM
must be at least 25 years old

THE HALIFAX THREE
Produced by Bob Morgan, New York City, 1963

The Halifax Three formed at a New Year's Eve party in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1960, when Dennis Doherty sang for the first time with Richard Byrne and Patrick LaCroix. At first called the Colonials, they made a rare single for Rodeo Records in 1961 ("All My Trials"/"They Call the Wind Maria") and did a lot of local television, moving on to bigger success on the Montreal nightclub circuit. In May 1962, they successfully auditioned for Epic Records in New York, their name changing at this point to the Halifax Three. This was the first of two Albums recorded in 1963.

After the breakup of the band, Doherty joined The Mugwumps with Cass Elliott and Zal Yanovsky which ultimately lead him into joining the Mamas and the Papas. Doherty died in January 2007 in Mississauga, ON


GEM OF CANADA
A Great Canadian Album

NORTH TO ONTARIO 2007
     Bluegrass Compilation
     Produced by Tom McCreight

A compilation CD with 18 tracks featuring bluegrass artists of Ontario. And while that may sound rather bland, it’s not; there’s so much variety and quality here filled with rich nuggets of golden banjo, fiddle and mandolin. From Tannis Slimmon to the Good Brothers; Emory Lester and Alicia Robichaud, most of the songs were recorded for this CD put together by Executive Producer Tom McCreight.


2007 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

GOLDEN PORCUPINE
Lifetime Achievement Award

MARGARET CHRISTL

Margaret Christl was born in Scotland, the daughter of a coal miner, and emigrated to  Canada in 1966.  She has lived and performed in North America ever since.  Strong traces of her Scottish background are evident in her powerful singing, and in the folk songs and working-class anthems that she loves to perform. Her talent was recognized when Maggie was a child, and she has continued her singing ever since.  Maggie’s exquisite singing can move people through nuances of emotion with a beauty and honesty that makes them feel enriched by having heard her.  Maggie’s repertoire encompasses a wide range of material from traditional songs, such as Child Ballads, to her own compositions.  Her songs bring tears, give hope, make you smile or tap your feet;  they give you a sense of poignancy of our common humanity. Associated with Toronto folk band “Friends of Fiddler’s Green” in the 1970s, she was invited to do an album on American label Folk-Legacy along with other Friends, Ian Robb and Grit Laskin (1976). This spawned enough interest for a subsequent Margaret Christl album (77) called “Jockey to the Fair. After moving to Calgary she recorded a fantastic album called “Looking Towards Home” in 1986. After a while she moved back to Toronto and then down to Philadelphia before returning to Canada in the mid-1990s.


Memorial Members

DENNIS DOHERTY
1940 – 2007 Halifax NS

In 1960, he cofounded a folk group called "The Colonials" who got a record deal with Epic Records and changed their name to "The Halifax Three."
In 1963 he established a friendship with Cass Elliot and he and his accompanist, Zal Yanovsky joined her in "The Mugwumps."
Elliot and Doherty were invited into the formation of a new band, which became "The Magic Circle". Six months later in September 1965, the group signed a recording contract with Dunhill Records, changing their name to "The Mamas & the Papas which lasted until 1968..
Doherty produced a Broadway show called Dream a Little Dream which was a narrative of his perspective of the story of The Mamas & the Papas. It was well received and garnered favorable reviews.
In 1993 Doherty took on not just the VO role of the Harbour Master but all the VO roles in Theodore Tugboat, a children's television show chronicling the "lives" of vessels in a busy harbour loosely based upon Halifax Harbour.
In 1998, the Mamas and Papas were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Doherty was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996.
Doherty died on January 19, 2007 at his home in Mississauga, Ontario from an abdominal aneurysm.[1].


KING GAMAM (Ameen Sied)
b Swift Current, SK, of Syrian-English parents, 9 Aug 1914, d Carlsbad, California, 26 Apr 1994.

He began his career with The Sons of the West, a country band he formed in 1942 in Edmonton. Tthey won the 1950 World Open Western Band Competition in Vancouver which led to a recording contract with RCA Victor, and to Ganam's nickname "Canada's King of the Fiddle." Ganam and his band toured Canada, and after moving to Toronto in 1952, they appeared at Casa Loma and became regular performers on CBC TV's Holiday Ranch. He starred 1954-5 on his own CBC radio show, and 1956-9 on CBC TV's Country Hoedown with Gordie Tapp which he left after a contract dispute. Ganam then starred in 1961 on CTV's The King Ganam Show. Though he moved to California in 1962, he returned frequently throughout the 1960s to perform in Canada. Ganam was one of the original inductees to the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989. In 1990, he received the Saskatchewan Country Music Association Legend and Legacy Award. His original name was Ameen Sied  Ganam, but he found that the Arabic name "Ameen" confused listeners, so he changed the name to simply "King". He felt there was a bit of kinship in his ancestry for the nomadic Beduin tribes were similar to the wandering cowboys that he pays tribute to in his music.


JACK KINGSTON
St Catherines ON  October 4, 1925 - 1996

St Catharines-born, Kingston was a singer of his own compositions who released over one hundred recorded sides. He toured across this country and the States, on his own and also with the legendary likes of Wilf Carter and Hank Snow. He played armed forces bases in Europe and Greenland. Star and entrepreneurial force behind 'Main Street Jamboree', a highly successful radio show of the 50s, broadcast nation-wide fromHamilton's CHML, Kingston also took country music through its transition to television..

Like so many Canadian performers, Kingston eventually sought fame in the States, appeared on the 'Grand Ole Opry' and was well-received on the U.S. country circuit; yet he seemingly scorned the American career he could have had.

In 1963, he returned home to Niagara, and, although active in music and media for two further decades, he ended his playing days with little but a local reputation. When he died in 1996, there was not a word of tribute to his life and career in the hometown press.

In 1949, Kingston joined 'Canada's Largest Travelling Barn Dance' on radio station CKNX, Wingham, Ontario. Within a year, Kingston was being featured on CKNX as 'the Yodeling Cowboy' and in 1950 became the first Canadian country artist to sign with Capitol Records.


Members

TERESA DOYLE
Belfast, Prince Edward Island

Teresa Doyle is one of Canada’s foremost Gaelic singers, steeped in the folklore of her native Prince Edward Island.  Having spent seven years on the Montreal jazz scene in the eighties, she has trained her voice to go steps beyond the ordinary and it shows on her recorded works. She has been a good-will ambassador for Canada, traveling to Scotland, England, Japan (with the Canadian Embassy) and Mexico. She has  performed at Folk Festivals and Jazz Festivals but never strays too very far from the central core of her being: Prince Edward Island.


FRED EAGLESMITH,
Port Dover ON b. 1957

Fred J Eaglesmith was born to a poor farming family near Dunnville, ON – share-croppin’ was a word he’d always use!  When he was 18 he hopped on a freight train headed west and that’s when it all fell into place – he was stricken to writing songs and performing them. He gets major radio airplay over Adult Alternative in the US where he gigs constantly when he isn’t writing songs. Since his first self titled album, released in 1980, he has released 16 albums of his songs. Eaglesmith is a prolific and talented songwriter, and is known for writing songs about machines or vehicles, including songs about trains, tractors, trucks, cars, and engines. Rural life, dogs, guns, drinking and farming/ranching are other common themes. Many of his songs are about failing farms and small businesses.



JEFF HEALEY
Toronto ON b. March 25, 1966

blind from eye cancer since the age of one, Healey picked up his first guitar at three, and - by playing the instrument flat on his lap – founded a technique that went on to become a trademark of his performance. By the age of six, Healey was playing and singing in public. Once he reached his teens, the guitarist had already played in several bands, and experimented with numerous musical genres. At the age of fourteen, Healey had become the principal music specialist at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, routinely airing vintage selections from his now 25,000-strong collection of 78 rpm recordings for his weekly radio broadcast.

Healey started hanging around the Sunday night jam sessions at Grossman's Tavern in Toronto which had become a magnet for the 'who's who' of North American rock scene, Robbie Robertson, Downchild Blues Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dylan, among them. It was here that Healey hooked up with drummer Tom Stephen and bassist Joe Rockman to form The Jeff Healey Band.

The other side of Jeff Healey was his love of classic jazz. In 1988 he started doing a radio show at CIUT called Sugarfoot Stomp, sometimes phoning in his voice from Europe while on tour. He loved to blow the trumpet almost as much as he loved playing guitar and now leads Jeff Healey’s Jazz Wizards


PENNY LANG
Montreal, QC b. 1942

In 1963, a twenty-one-year-old secretary at Montréal’s YMCA walked into a bistro called Café André to audition as a singer, got the gig and started the next day. For most of the next three years, Penny Lang would perform six sets a night, six nights a week, three weeks a month for five bucks a night. That was how she started.

In a few years time, Penny Lang would travel to Greenwich Village in New York, playing the Bitter End and other prestigious clubs. Loyal to her roots, she would sing songs by Montrealers, including a Leonard Cohen poem called Suzanne. Her rendition of it flipped everyone out and she was offered deals to be the first to record it. But something happened, worlds collided and she refused, returning home.

After a few years of touring and playing major festivals, Penny’s health deteriorated and she hit the bottle. “The highs were very high but the lows were almost unfathomably deep.” After the birth of her son Jason – also a prominent musician – she gave up performing for nearly 18 years.

It was a hard road to travel but as the 80s gave way she found the courage to return. Music was her therapy, her lifeblood and her way of communicating with the world. Her lovely voice was as good as ever, and so it remains, all these years later.


MURRAY McLAUCHLAN
Toronto ON  b Scotland  June 30, 1948

Murray McLauchlan moved to Canada at the age of five. In his teens he began playing guitar and writing songs and, after graduation in the mid-'60s, moved to New York. The folksinger returned in 1968 and, due to popularity around Toronto, recorded his first album, Songs from the Street (1971) followed by Fourteen more albums for True North Records

He is best known for his hit "Down by the Henry Moore", which was about the sculpture in front of Toronto's city hall. McLauchlan has had success in the pop, adult contemporary, country, and folk-music fields, with songs such as the Juno Award-winning "Farmer's Song" (1973), "Do You Dream of Being Somebody" (1975), and "Whispering Rain" (1979).

In 2004, after Murrays heart bypass surgery, Murray helped form a group known as "Lunch at Allens" featuring Marc Jordan, Cindy Church and Ian Thomas as a result of meeting in Toronto for lunch at Allens restaurant.


TIM WILLIAMS
Calgary, AB Born in Southern California in the late 1940s

Tim Williams had everything going for him when he was 21: an album produced by Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records featuring Peewee Clayton. Raised on Texas swing and country blues, he has never really strayed from that motherlode.

Apparently weary of America’s wars and assassinations, Williams moved to Vancouver in 1970. His 1974 single “Careful Mountain Pony” was a surprise hit with country radio.

After taking years off to pursue other interests, Williams returned to the stage in 1988 to perform at the Edmonton Folk Festival. His songs have been covered by Valdy, Mel Tillis and Cindy Church.

Tim lives in Calgary and is a member of the Highwater Jug Band


Lincoln County Peach Pickers
Niagara Penninsula, ON Disbanded - 1954

The duo of harmony-singing guitarists Eric Goerz and Johnny Harder, augmented by 'Cousin' John Goertzen on mandolin and 'mouth organ'

"We picked peaches before we picked guitars," says Eric Goerz, laughing. With high close harmonies, acoustic guitars and mandolin solos, these Lincoln County pickers
played what listeners today would recognize as 'bluegrass'

The Peach Pickers emphasized vocals and usually played to seated audiences in halls and high school auditoriums. Goerz and Pickers partner Harder met as schoolboys near Niagara-on-the-Lake Soon, they joined the "Main Street Jamboree" on Hamilton's CHML. The Peach Pickers came to a crossroads in August 1954. Playing on CHML for $40 apiece per show -- almost equal a week's wages for Harder as apprentice mechanic – nonetheless strained their farm and family ties.

Their first recording, Niagara Moon, was released in 1952 on their own label. Recorded on a Sunday morning in Buffalo, NY


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