Stringband – “The Maple Leaf Dog”

The Sleeve:
105_5501 105_5502

The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
None.

Personal Review:
 This album was one of those random record store purchases because of a dog on the cover. I tend to do that lots.

 The album opens with the track “Newfoundlanders” and well, it’s a song about people from Newfoundland, and well, it’s like they’re super proud to be Newfoundlanders, and it’s not a bad song at all, it’s pretty great actually. I’m pretty big on celtic music, and it’s a lot like this. After that comes the song “Root Like a Rose” and the song is sung by a female, Nancy Ahern, to be exact, and this woman’s voice is absolutely one of the greatest voices I’ve heard in a long time, the entire album should just be her singing because she is absolutely wonderful. After that comes an instrumental titled “Junior Crehan, Jack McCann & Fair-Haired Mary” and it’s a pretty good celtic piece, I definitely love these little indie Canadian records that I find all over the place, they always seem to have little hidden gems inside of them. After that comes the song “The Casca and the Whitehorse Burned Down” and it’s softer, slower song, lots of different instruments being played and it’s not overly bad or anything, Bob Bossin is on banjo, guitar and vocals for this song, and he delivers it all perfectly. “Won’t You Tell Me” comes next and it’s a slow song with some violin playing, the vocals come in and well, they’re not as great as Nancy’s, or Bob’s – until the song picks up, and though the song is supposed to give off that comedy vibe, which it does – the song still isn’t one I’d say I like and listen to over and over. The song reminds me of one that would be in a late 70’s mid 80’s low budget Canadian film. “Arthur McBride” ends the A-Side and once more, Nancy comes on the vocals and she’s superb. She’s such a terrific singer. I wish I could find more from her. Absolutely stunning way to end the A-Side, wonderful song and wonderful singing.

 The B-Side opens with the title track, “The Maple Leaf Dog” and well, it’s a dog who keeps saving people. “Your sheep-dog’s head looks a lot like his ass,” and that is actually part of the song. Anyways, the song continues on with singing about a dog saving people and such. It’s kind of a blah song. Nancy Ahern’s vocals make it better. Oh, and the mention of Pierre Trudeau. Then we go onto the song “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” and it’s sung by Nancy, but it has more of that jazzy sound to it, and it’s slightly disappointing – okay really disappointing, the violin playing is nice though, so we can be thankful for that, right? “Hearts Are Made of Stone” comes next, and once more Nancy delivers on that beautiful folk sounding voice of hers, way better than that jazz sound she just had. The musicianship on this track really stands out compared to the rest of the songs so far. “The Armadillo” comes next, and well I’m getting really tired of these cheesy comedy attempt tracks, the rest of the album is good except for when these tracks keep popping up. Then comes the track “The Union Cowboy” which, according to the lyric sheet, is dedicated to ‘Bob Cosbey’ and you know, it’s not a bad track at all. It’s pretty good actually, it’s a country track, which is amazing. The vocals are pretty great too. The album ends with Nancy Ahern – thankfully, singing “Grownup’s Lullabye” and she once more, delivers the track beautifully and makes it worth it in the end.

Interesting Facts:
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Track Listing:
A1 – Newfoundlanders
A2 – Root Like a Rose
A3 – Junior Crehan, Jack McCann & Fair-Haired Mary
A4 – The Casca and the Whitehorse Burned Down
A5 – Won’t You Tell Me
A6 – Arthur McBride

B1 – The Maple Leaf Dog
B2 – What a Little Moonlight Can Do
B3 – Hearts Are Made of Stone
B4 – The Armadillo
B5 – The Union Cowboy
B6 – Grownup’s Lullabye

Label:
Nick

Catalog Number:
Nick 5

Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Vocals, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar & Banjo – Bob Bossin
Vocals, Spoons, Bodhran & Acoustic Guitar – Nancy Ahern
Violin, Vocals & Mandolin – Terry King
Vocals – Stand Rogers
Accordion & Tin Whistle – Don Garbutt
Mandolin & Guitar – Ben Mink
Organ – George McFetridge
Electric Bass, String Bass, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Flutes, Glockenspiel & Finger Cymbals – Kierhan Overs
Tuba – Enzo Fabrizi
Trumpet – Frank Dixon
Piano – Frank Falco
Bagpipes – Norma Thompson
Harmonica – Chris Whitley
Cowboy Chorus – Terry King & Kierhan Overs
Drums & Snare Drum – Bob DiSalle
Percussion – Danny Lanois
Supporting Vocals – Nancy Ahern, Kierhan Overs, Terry King, MacKenzie King, The 2000 Buns, Bob Bossin, Aileen Ahern & Stan Rogers

Other Albums I Own by Stringband:
None.

Released:
1978

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