Hard Workin' Men - Boot Records BOS 7102 - 1971
Liner Notes
Produced by Jury Krytiuk
Recorded at RCA Limited Studio, Toronto
Recording & Mixing Engineer: George Semkiw
Recording Technician: "Cub" Richardson
Cover Photo: A.W. Stanton
Comments on songs: Stevedore Steve
Manufactured in Canada by: Boot Records Ltd.

It takes a number of years on the waterfront docks, slugging everything from bags of flour to bars of copper, B.C. timber to raw iron ore, into the holds of the great ocean freighters before any man earns the right to be called a real stevedore. Steve Foote has certainly earned this right. In fact, after his years of working his way from town to town, city to city, across Canada, the United States, and even Mexico, Steve has earned the right to look working men, anywhere, straight in the eye, shake their hands and sing them a song .... a working man's song!

Jury Krytiuk
Hard Workin' Men - This song was inspired by a collection of memories of true to life events which I not only witnessed, but also in some cases, in which I was directly involved. I've seen the daily run of accidents on the docks, and have done my share of carrying away the crushed, unconscious bodies of those involved, then, with the rest of the men, gone back to work to finish the day. But what would tomorrow bring for my injured friend? What kind of day's work would he be able to get? What would his wife and children eat? ..."the East coast way of life is hard as hell, but the men are even harder!"....

I'm A Truckdriver - I wrote this for all Canadian long-haul drivers. Although I have never driven a 'semi', I have loaded many, sometimes to pay for a ride with its driver to the next town or city.

Ballad of Giant McAskill - This is a true story taken from Canadian history. I had some difficulty in researching the true background of this man, for he had become a legend in his own time, and the legend has grown since then. However, it is a fact that he was seven feet, nine inches tall, had a seventy inch chest, and weighed four hundred and five pounds when he was nineteen. That is a medical record! His tremendous strength was the cause of his untimely death, through an accident, while lifting a ship's anchor that weighed two thousand, two hundred pounds. He not only set Canadian history, but also turned the eyes of the world toward Canada's "Hard Workin' Men".

Log Train - A light-hearted song about the northern lumberjacks who, on pay day, are waiting for the only transportation they have to get into town, so that they can raise a little hell with the rest of the folks.

Kingston Chain - Truly a story of "Hard Workin' Men" as it tells of the old chain gangs that were sent out from Kingston Penitentiary to cut out the road bed for the old No. 2 highway, between Gananoque and Belleville, Ontario.

Newfie Screech - The very best of 'likker'. Even though I am a New Brunswicker, I strongly vouch for this, in the wildest story yet, of the effects of this potent elixir. (Just ask the cross-eyed cat!).

Salamander Tug - A love story ... a Newfie love story ... an Irish Newfie love story ... about a tug boat ... and his 'miss-tug' (from Bonavista, of course) ... their marriage ... and the forthcoming blessed event ... into the form of a little dorey.

Minto Miners - It gave me great pleasure to write about the subject of this song. I praise the miners of Minto, New Brunswick, for their raw guts and courage, and the determination that built their town. This same pioneer spirit has made Canada the great working nation that it is today.

Log Drive On The Pickerell - The result of a conversation with an old-timer whom I met while playing in Britt, Ontario. he explained to me that Byng Inlet, right across the Still River from Britt, was at one time the largest logging centre in that region. He showed me pictures of the log drives coming in from the French and Pickerell Rivers to the mills at Byng Inlet. Late that night I had gained a friend, learned some history, and written another song.

Song Of The Stevedore - This song will ring true with any who are familiar with the waterfront docks for this is their way of life.

The Duke - A second-hand story told to me by a grizzled old miner from Timmins, Ontario. It is his account of a tremendous explosion of the dynamite shack of the Hollinger Mine. He swears to this day that his story is true. It could be!

My Heritage, My Canada - The true feelings of a true son of Canada. The song draws our attention to the pioneers, who handed to their sons and daughters, a rough and rugged new-born nation that so desperately needed the grooming of the calloused hands of our ... "Hard Workin' Men".

All selections composed by Stephen J. Foote. Published by Time Being Music Co (BMI) or Skinners Pond Music (BMI)

It has been my pleasure as a Canadian, not only to write these songs, but also to present them to you in this album

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© 1998 by Steve Fruitman for The Great North Wind ®