I spent much of my younger years performing and writing music and continue to do it, albeit not as often. Here are some of my original folk/roots songs, many based on Canadian culture and history. Audio is included where available.
This is my first farming song, written with a focus on the hardship that Manitoba farmers have pretty much every single year when winter’s end results in the flooding of the fields, roads, and homes of so many of the farming families between Winnipeg and North Dakota. They’re quite resilient people and, unfortunately, get the short end of the stick too much of the time when it comes to help from the government.
Back in 2006, I was knee-deep in folk songwriting and went through a bit of a Bluegrass phase. When i’d found some documentation on the shutdown of one of the Ontario lines during the 1960’s, I immediately thought of a banjo-plucking, back porch tune that has a pretty obvious connection to the classic Salty Dog Blues.
This is one of the first folksongs I wrote back in late 2005/early 2006 after deciding I had more to explore musically than snobby, orchestral stuff. This seemingly simple, recreational tune is as old school as it gets.
When one is writing folksongs, especially on this side of the pond, it’s something of an expectation to write at least one immigration tune, if anything to pay tribute to the tradition. This one has a similar roll to Archie Fisher’s The Final Trawl, which clearly influenced the call-outs in the song, perhaps a little too closely. I still think it stands on its own and was a nice singalong piece on those couple of occasions I performed this one in public.