The 16th Annual
The Porcupine Awards - 2005

for an outstanding musical accompanist

Peter Jellard, Toronto

A talented multi-instrumentalist, I can’t think of anyone who fits the philosophy of this award more. While his main passion is playing fiddle and accordion, Jellard has also been recorded playing the sax, banjo and electric guitar. His love of Cajun and Zydeco music is balanced by his caring temperament when he hooks up with traditional Irish and Quebecois players. He was one of the first Canadian musicians to start a Cajun band – The Cajun Ramblers, while also performing with The Grievous Angels and currently, Swamperella.

only virtuosos need apply!


A most unusual musical thinker, this guitarist / mandolinist has been at the forefront of contemporary change, pushing the boundaries a little wider with each note he plays. Having recorded with Harry Manx, Folk Alarm and The Sisters, his driving chords and progressive melody lines have certainly had an impact on the rules of musical nature.

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

BRENT QUADE, Quadeville, ON

There is nothing superficial with this guy. His album is amateurish, just a collection of his songs recorded on the cheap. That said, he’s the real deal. A rare gem to find in an ocean of music. He sings about what he knows, borrowing time honoured melodies, using a simple country music style you’d think was dead and buried. His songs reflect what goes on in the Madawaska farm and timber country where Mac Beattie used to perform with his Melodiers.

The find of the year Award!


An animated young singer that is creating quite a scene, whether performing in the duo called The Undesirables or with his own band, The Sundowners, Raymond has that magical touch giving him the ability to be quite an engaging performer. His self penned songs work well whether in concert or laid down on record. Very listenable, likeable and accessible – he hits all the pressure points.

that which was brought here to enrich us all


Originally from the Ottawa Valley, Merovitz broke onto the music scene singing for the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band. His passion for Yiddish singing inspired others to help revive a fading cultural art form. After living in Calgary for several years, he has recently moved back east. Has been recorded singing with many other Klezmer type bands over the years.

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


He released a double CD of music that goes wherever his universe seems to unfold. Utilizing the unquestioning loyalty of a plethora of musicians who have played in his various musical projects, from the Mountainside Band to the Woodchoppers Association, it’s a combination of folk, jazz, surreal, classical, has the ability to soften then shrill and is always undeniably interesting. Taking music as far from its roots as possible without ever losing site of his home planet.

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


Brian has the ability to utilize a musical genre but not be limited by it when he composes his precious songs. He uses the blues and yet his songs weave in and out of them. Incorporating modern day life that fits in perfectly with this over-used musical style, he brings going to meetings, dating a girl with a Saab, or being a high tech guru with a slightly humorous detachment. He is the Buddha of the Blues.

one that keeps coming back at you



Not only are these guys an infectious group of performers with energy burning from their rims, they can relay the time honoured essence of a good song that lingers in the memory long after you’ve heard it. Blending hillbilly soul with Manitoba punkishness, this song has a great melody line, a great refrain and a shocking title that keeps it at the forefront.

to those who make CDs sound so great



Having worked with Junkhouse and various Hamilton musicians, Marshall is a holdover from the days of Grant Avenue Studio. His mentors included Daniel Lanois. He rubbed shoulders with soundscape artists like Scott Merritt. He works from a renovated small church in a quiet neighbourhood and tries to capture the heart and soul of the artists he produces. His latest work has seen him in New York City with Peter Yarrow. The thing is, just about everybody you talk to that has worked with this guy loves him.

just a good excuse to recognize another great CD



This album just rocks. From the very first note to the last it does it’s job of featuring one of the world’s best harmonica players doing the kind of material that frees his hips and lips with near perfect production. The CD cover, designed by Michael Wrycraft, is great! It even lists the keys! And the blending of musical genius between Del Junco and Kevin Breit is spectacular. It’s the kind of album I’m always waiting for.


must be at least 25 years old



This double album was recorded back in 1975 from performances at the Third Festival of Traditional Music in Montreal. It features artists from Québecois, The US, Breton and Ireland. It also captured the birth of the nationalist folk boom that spread throughout Quebec with the rise to power of the Parti Quebecois. Artists featured on this album are (from Québec): Groupe de Portneuf, Ruine-Babines, Louis 'Pitou' Boudreault, Rêve du Diable, Barde, Jean Carignan, Yves & Lucie Verret. Les Freres Conan, Robert Perros; (Acadie): Irène & Edith Myres, Gilles Losier; (Louisiana) Marc Savoy Group, Bayou Des Mystères; (USA) John Wright; (France - Breton): Les Freres Conan, Robert Perros, Gweltaz, Mikael Moazan. This album was recorded over five nights, capturing the best performances at the festival and was recorded by Service D'Animation Socio-Culturelle in collaboration with the National Film Board and the University of Quebec. Produced by Jean Luc Moisan and André Gladu.

A Great Canadian Album

CALICO, Produced by Erynn Marshall & Chris Coole, Merriweather Records M04EM

This is an unbelievably good album of Appalachian music by fiddler Erynn Marshall who has researched every detail of the music she loves. Just put it on the CD player and before you know it you’re someplace else, listening to traditional fiddling and singing that springs from within her heart. Also worthy of mention here is the playing of Chris Coole: he lives with Erynn and shares her passion for what she does.

Lifetime Achievement Award

ROY FORBES, Vancouver, BC

He started out as Bim in Dawson Creek and moved to Vancouver to seek his fame and fortune. The fame certainly came - the fortune, I'm not too sure about. But if fortune can be transformed into fortunate, then Roy has certainly been successful. With his unusually high nasal voice blended into crooning country blues, he is never very far from the tree from which he fell. In the late 80's he decided to become Roy Forbes again, started producing records and is the occasional host of CBC radio holiday specials called 'Snap, Crackle and Pop'. It is here, in the radio tube, that Roy really shines a light by featuring a variety of artists in various genres, with passion and knowledge that sparkles across the country.


BOB BOSSIN, Gabriola Island, BC

Toronto born, Bob was introduced to the world of grand musical entertainment from an early age. He started writing witty songs with tongue-in-cheek acerbity and was first recorded on a University of Toronto recording of the Lady Godiva Memorial Band doing ‘The Talking MacGill Train Blues’.  He eventually teamed up with Marie-Lynn Hammond to form Stringband who helped define Canada in the 1970s. He currently lives on Gabriola Island, BC, raising kids, and still writing and recording fine music.

HANK FISHER, Peterborough, ON

He’s probably Canada’s most identifiable washboard player. His tall frame holding up 45 pounds of musical junk attached to his washboard; his head crowned in with a metal helmet with a desk bell and a Volkswagen hubcap. He started as a member of The Lost Followers, toasting the bars of Peterborough, playing everything including the kitchen sink. His songs poke fun at such things as ‘The Donut Shops of Ontario’ to the ‘Marmora Pig’. Has played in Fred Eaglesmith’s Flying Squirrels, Hank and the Honkers and currently fronts The Country Squires.


Moved to Canada from New England in 1981. Always left leaning politically from the school of Pete Seagar and Woody Guthrie. A consumate folk singer, forever taking part in song circles, participating at The Woods Camp, or sitting in the front row of the Flying Cloud Folk Club. Mother of folk singer Eve Goldberg as well as Ruth and David, who also play music. Passed away in Toronto in 2005.


Half French, half English, Marie-Lynn has been able to get her heard around this Canadian contradiction by blending the beauty of it into her identity. After a decade of performing across Canada in Stringband, she retreated into a solo career that explored the inner workings of Canadian identity. Always political, quick witted and personable, she has continued to release albums of excellent work.

EVAN KEMP, Vancouver, BC

Blinded as a young boy, this Vancouver native fell in love with the music he would listen to on the radio. The songs of Wilf Carter and Eddy Arnold with their yodeling inspired him to try his voice as a country music singer. He eventually recorded for Aragon Records fronting his great band The Trail Riders in the early 1950s. In fact, Aragon’s first LP was Evan’s first album. His songs identified British Columbia: The Beautiful Nicola Valley.

MANDALA, Ontario

Before the days of Canadian Content quotas, before there was much of an industry at all, Mandala was super-charging electricity in clubs wherever they played. Lead by guitars and songwriter Domenic Trioano, the band was blazing its path to the top of the charts behind the sweet soul vocals of The Blue Eyed Prince of Soul: George Olliver. They toured the US and Canada, replacing Olliver with Roy Kenner. Their hits included Opportunity and Lovitis. Other members of the band were Joey Chirowski, 'Whitey' Penti Glan, Don Elliot, Hugh Sullivan, Henri Babraj.

MERRICK JARRETT, Kitchener, ON - 1924 - December 6, 2005

This obit was written by a friend, Jack Cole: Merrick was a fixture in the Toronto folk music scene of the 50s and 60s, playing clubs and hosting radio programs.  He was a performer at the first Mariposa Folk Festival, and at several festivals since, until "retiring" a few years ago. For 17 years he taught two folk music courses at the University of Waterloo, introducing hundreds of students to traditional and contemporary folk. His early recordings of children's and cowboy songs are still popping up from time to time on compilations.


Few people have been truer stalwarts of the Canadian folk music scene than Mitch. The founder and first Artistic Director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival in 1974, he was a mentor to many who came after him. He has described himself as an “old-time Appalachian banjo player and Trotskyite.” He hosted the ‘Simply Folk’ radio program on the CBC for several years bringing the people’s music to them on their public radio network. Mitch was instrumental in the formation of the Summerfolk Festival in Owen Sound and helped establish both the Calgary and Vancouver Folk Music Festivals. He is a pillar of common sense and fluidity on the burgeoning Winnipeg music scene. Canadian music would not be the same were it not for his cunning and dedication.

KEN RAMSDEN, Peterborough / Wilno, ON

A founding member of the Peterborough Folk Festival as well as the local fiddle club, Ken found instant notoriety fronting his legendary band, Reverend Ken and His Lost Followers. A natural funny man with the gift of the gab, he’s the consummate entertainer. His invention of the fallopian tuba (which is basically 30 feet of black abs piping that runs between a tuba mouthpiece and a kitchen sink) and ability to play various instruments has seen him perform in various configurations. He currently divides his time between Peterborough and Wilno, entertaining up and down Eastern Ontario.


Born in as Oscar Melvin Fredrickson in Pouce Coupe, BC in 1923, he changed his name to Kerry Regan. He began playing guitar in his early teens and performing around Vancouver where he worked on fishing boats. His first hit song was My Home By The Fraser which went to number one in the late 1940s. During the ‘50s he performed with Lucille Starr. After toiling on the road for years he decided to retire to farm life in 1960 and wrote his classic song, The Poor, Poor Farmer (since covered by Stompin’ Tom Connors). He has dabbled in music off and on until his death, last year.


Canadian Sunset was the debut album of Stringband back in 1974. Riding high on the songs of Bob Bossin and Marie-Lynn Hammond, they were one of the first recorded acts in Canada to be overtly Canadian. They sang about places like Vancouver, Canadian Politics, baseball and other very Canadian things. They released several albums before calling it a day and going on to indulge in solo careers. Their music helped define Canada in the 1970s.


A true genius of the electric guitar, Domenic’s path as an Italian Immigrant living on Sammon Avenue in Toronto is truly astounding. Having joined The Hawks in the early 60s he soon found his way to funk-freedom by helping found The Five Rogues which later morphed into one of Canada’s premier rock bands of the sixties, the legendary Mandala. When that band ended he, along with long time music partner, Roy Kenner, formed Bush before being drafted into The James Gang to replace Joe Walsh. Troiano married his Toronto sweetheart, Shawn Jackson and recorded several solo albums in the seventies before retiring to record production and writing music for TV and films. He passed away in 2005.


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