Following up on the success of Canoesongs, Portage Productions enlisted author/adventurer James Raffan and producer/engineer Paul Mills to create a second volume. The result of this collaboration is another satisfying collection about paddling from the perspective of Canadian folk singers. Of the fourteen tracks, six were recorded especially for this volume.
Opening with the sound of a paddle moving through water, the opening song A Canadian Song features words written by Susanna Moodie in 1852, put to music by Ellen Hamilton, and performed by her band Night Sun. The next song is the a capella "Cry of the Wild" by Dave Hadfield, who is known for his songs about the outdoors.
Mike Ford (of the band Moxy Fruvous) lightens the tone of the album with Les Voyageurs, a song the whole family can join in on during sing-alongs on the drive to the put-in. The other funny song is a 20s-style ditty by Nancy White, proclaiming "the eskimo roll is the downside of boating." The song evokes Christine Lavin, both in character and literally within the song itself. Another track evoking a lost Vaudeville-era is Ross Douglas's ukulele-driven Kokanee Canary Canoe.
The most touching song on the album is Lorraine McDonald's Red Canvas Canoe. The song is told from the perspective of an old woman who places an ad to sell the canoe she and her husband used to paddle while he was still alive.
Shelley Posen is Canada's answer to Tom Paxton, reminiscient of Paxton's ability to write a memorable sing-along, as well as his voice. His Canoeing my Troubles Away features a chorus all paddlers can relate to: "Canoeing my troubles away. On a lake or river, I'd paddle all day. I get endless enjoyment and full-time employment. Canoeing my troubles away."
Like the first volume of Canoesongs, the more you listen, the more the album grows on you. I highly recommend this collection for those who enjoy a more relaxing, acoustic, paddling experience.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Website design by David N. Pyles