The Whitehorse Band – “The Ship That Never Returned”

The Sleeve:
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The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
When I was first asked to write a little something for the Whitehorse Band, I thought it would be easy. But, now that the time has come, I find myself wondering where to start. I guess the best place to start is at the beginning.
 About two years ago, I received a tape of several songs that some one thought would be good for our Sunday morning Jigs and Reels show. I listened to the tape and told the person who had send the tape in the truth, the songs were great, but the recording quality was too bad to put on the air.
 Not to let a little thing like that stop them, these four gentleman promptly ran out to the studio and re-taped every last song, and, within two weeks, had a new tape, much better quality, ready to hit the airwaves.
 As a test of their music, I played a song called “Newfie Boogie” the following Sunday. The response was unbelievable. The requests for that song, and, it seemed, any and all others this band performed, poured in, each and every week.
 In the months that followed, the boys released first, a single, then an album. The requests still poured in, and, it seemed as though people just couldn’t get enough of their music.
 Whether it’s an old favourite that you haven’t heard in years, or something the boys cooked up themselves, a toe tapper or a waltz, what you hear is the Whitehorse Band, one of Newfoundland’s best and most popular bands in recent years, delivering, in fine style, the type of music that has made Newfoundland music a favourite, both and home abroad.
 With this, their second album, they have once again put together more great songs, each and every one bound to be a favourite. I say that without even hearing the album as this is written, because I know what Whitehorse will do: they will play good music. It’s in their blood.
 Now, take this record and listen to it, and I’ll tell you just one thing; I’m looking forward to hearing it as much as you are.
 John Wiles (Host – JIGS & REELS – OZ FM)

 There’s no denying that the boys of the Whitehorse Band are “good ol’ Newfoundland boys” through and through. Just listen to their music and you’ll immediately acknowledge their love of Newfoundland and it’s culture, especially that which is embedded in the music and stories of Newfoundland.
 Their first album, “Dangerous Waters”, is a musical delight, and now, the Whitehorse Band has gone and done it to us again with their “brand-spankin'” new album, “The Ship That Never Returned”.
 You will enjoy the refreshing sounds of this talented Whitehorse Band.
 Sam Whifflen (Music Director, Home Brew Show 97/CFYQ 68/CIYQ, 61/CKYQ, 1010/CFYQ)

 The Whitehorse Band has come to be quite well known and popular on the CHCM Showboat Show. “Seven Years I Loved A Sailor”, “Maid of the Mountain”, “Mother”, “Macdonald Name”, and “Dangerous Waters”, have all been highly requested songs, I for one am looking forward to hearing any new studio work they may be doing, ad I’m sure CHCM Showboat listeners will enjoy hearing once again, from this very talented group of Nflders.
 Gary Myles (Program Director – CHCM-VOCM RADIO NFLD)

 The first release, “Dangerous Waters”, by Whitehorse, was an immediate and tremendous success. This energetic new group have made quite an impact on the Nfld. music scene. To date, “Dangerous Waters” is among the best selling records and tapes in our store. Their enthusiastic approach to Nfld. and Irish music, assures the success of this, their newest effort.
 Roy J. O’Brien (O’BRIEN’S MUSIC STORE, St. John’s, Nfld.)

Personal Review:
This one falls into the category of ‘Relatively Local’ – these guys are from Newfoundland in Canada, and apparently released a few albums.

 The album opens with the title track, “The Ship That Never Returned” (ooh, scary.) and well, if you can get past the Newfoundland accent of John Murphy, the song is pretty good, it’s kind of like the Pogues, to put it in a more, reasonable way, the song is not overly awful, the song and vocals slowly grow on you, and it becomes more and more listenable. Then comes “No Momma On Mother’s Day” – which is basically a song about a guys mother dying. Yea. I’m actually really digging this album and the vocals. Then comes “Geese in the Bog” which so far seems to just be music – no vocals yet, and it’s a lot like that dancing scene on the movie Titanic, you know, the spinning one, with Jack and Rose? Eh, who cares. Anyways, it is indeed an instrumental track. Then comes “The Convict Song” and it’s a slower song, and it’s okay, nothing overly special, it’s not catchy like the first two vocal tracks either. Then comes “The Gay Spanish Maid” – and I do like the vocals and musicianship of the band as a whole, this song is better than the last, but still nothing overly special, I do wish these songs were all fast paced, it would make the whole album amazing. The A-Side ends with “Flowers of Edinburgh” which is another instrumental, and it’s a fast paced one and makes for an okay way to exit the A-Side, I do wish I had more albums by these guys in my collection, it would be nice.

 The B-Side opens with “The Black Sheep” and it’s a slower song, but nothing overly awful, it’s a good way to open the B-Side, the vocals are good, so is the music – I think I’m quite partial with the Newfoundland accent, the music, when it is just vocals and music is pretty relaxing. After that comes “Missing in Action” and it’s a good song, the music seems to follow the same pattern on all of the instrumental tracks, it’s not a bad thing because the lyrics are always well written and good, but yea. Not too bad. After that comes “French Jig” and you remember that scene in ‘The Great Rock N’ Roll Swindle‘ where they did the french version of ‘Anarchy in the UK‘? It’s a lot like that. Then comes “The Answer to 21 – Years” and the vocals on it are good, as is the musicianship, as I’ve said earlier, the album would be a lot better without the instrumentals that are featured on it, as the vocals are the best part of the album. Then comes the track “Father” – and it is a pretty good track, I like the vocals on it, and the musicianship is pretty good… and of course, the album ends with an instrumental titled “Whitehorse Jig” – the album was making a turn for the better but then they had to go and throw this on the end.

Interesting Facts:

Track Listing:
A1 – The Ship That Never Returned
A2 – No Momma On Mother’s Day
A3 – Geese in the Bog
A4 – The Convict Song
A5 – The Gay Spanish Maid
A6 – Flowers of Edinburgh

B1 – The Black Sheep
B2 – Missing in Action
B3 – French Jih
B4 – The Answer to 21 – Years
B5 – Father
B6 – Whitehorse Jig


Catalog Number:

Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Cover Photo – Dave Dowden, St. John’s, Nfld. (753-0950)
Insert Photo – Hartley Cutler, Ramea, Nfld. (625-2567)
Recorded at Echo Studio, St. John’s, Nfld.
Engineer – Jack Windsor
Producer & Album Design – Percy Cutler
Album Mix – Jack Windsor & Whitehorse
Date Recorded – March 1987
Accordian & Vocals – John Murphy
Guitar, Mandolin & Vocals – Percy Cutler
Bass Guitar – Joe Critchell
Drums – Perry Langmead

Other Albums I Own by The Whitehorse Band:


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