This multi-media project features over 50 musicians and songwriters from all over Newfoundland and Labrador, whose songs cover the gamut of work-related experience from the traditional sea-faring, fishing and lumbering trades to the modern industrial oil and mineral sectors, and all manner of work and labour activity in between. Accompanied by extensive liner notes and a variety of archival photographs, you'll find traditional and contemporary songs representing the population and linguistic diversity of the province, including those from Innu, Inuit and MiqMa'q communities, French-speaking western Newfoundland, and a Gaelic song from the Codroy Valley.
The cover photograph comes from the NLFL photo archive and was taken by Greg Locke. The identities of the women were unknown to us at the time of printing, but have since been revealed as (l-r) Stella Follett, Hazel Savoury, Elsie Marsh and Daphne Grandy.
The title is inspired by a line from "The Man from God Knows Where", a poem about Corkman, Thomas Russell, a United Irishman who went north to organize Presbyterians for the 1798 rebellion viz "We're a civil sort in our wee place so we made the circle wide". The concept captures a family desire to bond growing generations of evermore farflung descendants through sharing and recording their music and singing.
This recording is an international collaboration recorded in Dublin, Ireland, by members of the extended O'Byrne and McGrath clans, and featuring songs that range from traditional Irish and Newfoundland ballads, favourite songs and instrumental tunes of some of the performers, and new compositions by Maurice McGrath.
Gerry Strong: flute, whistles ,vocals
Duane Andrews: guitar (Tracks 6 and 8)
Andrew Dale: bouzouki (Tracks 1 and 9)
Jean Hewson: guitar (Track 13)
Paddy Mackey: bodhran (Track 12)
Fergus O’Byrne: bodhran (Track 2)
Daniel Payne: fiddle (Track 2) accordion (Track 3)
Jim Payne: guitar (Tracks 2 and 3)
Don Walsh: guitar (Tracks 4 and 7)
Shore to Shore: From the West Country to the New Founde Lande came out of a collaboration between SingSong Inc and Wren Music of Devon, England, that started in 1983 and continues to this day. Many traditional Newfoundland and Labrador ballads came here with early settlers from the three West Country counties of Devon, Dorset and Somerset, from where some 60% of Newfoundland settlers originated. This recording was done in 2010 as a special project to commemmorate the 400th anniversary of John Guy's colony at Cupids, NL, the oldest English settlement in Canada.
Don Bursey, button accordion; Bill Ivany, acoustic guitar, harmony vocals, lead vocal on Drunken Miners; George Ivany, organ and harmony vocal on Drunken Miners; Gerald Ivany, electric bass and harmony vocal on Drunken Miners; Kitty Ivany, harmony vocal on Drunken Miners; Sandy Ivany, lead vocals; Angus Lane, monologist on Christmas of ‘49 and vocal on Solidarity Forever; Harold Skanes, mandolin and vocal on Solidarity Forever; Len Skanes, acoustic guitar and vocal on Solidarity Forever.
STATE OF THE NATION
Show Songs from Rising Tide theatre
All titles: Words and music by Jim Payne except:
track 6 (music traditional), track 7 (music by Sir Cavendish Boyle), track 14 (music by James Milton Black); and track 12 based on the Squid Jiggin' Ground by A.R. Scammell (music traditional).
All titles written for and performed in productions of Rising Tide Theatre, Artistic Director: Donna Butt.
Tracks 3, 10, and 12 from REVUE 89; 7 from Gutted Head On; 5, 9, and 13 from Newfoundlanders Away; 1 and 2 from REVUE 90; 4 from Hold Fast; 6, 8, 11, and 14 from REVUE 91.
Arranged by Jim Payne, except tracks 4 and 7 by Jim Payne and Christina Smith, and track 14 by Jim Payne and Rick Hollett.
SS 9293 All titles © Jim Payne SOCAN 1992
Recorded August - September 1992 at AudioGarden, St. John's Newfoundland
Engineered by Rick Hollett
Mixed by Jim Payne and Rick Hollett
Cover art by Pat Stamp
Produced by Jim Payne
Executive Producers: Jim Payne and Donna Butt
Rufus Guinchard: fiddle
Jim Payne: guitar, accordion, vocals
Recorded and mixed at Echo Music and Recording, Ltd. St. John's, NF. 1989 - Sept. 1990, by Jim Payne, Wallace Hammond and Tom Ronan. Cover by Marilyn Koop.
Photo by Justin Hall
Produced by Jim Payne
DOWNLOADS ONLY. NO HARD COPIES AVAILABLE!
Welta’q – “It Sounds Good”: Historic Recordings of the Mi’kmaq(2009) features:
• 24 tracks showcasing the vibrant musical life of the Mi’kmaw people in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Québec
• traditional Mi’kmaw songs; songs by the first Mi’kmaw powwow drum group; fiddle tunes and folksongs; hymns and anthems; a lullaby; and the story of Mi’kmwesu, the flute-playing trickster
• important archival recordings from institutions across Canada and field recordings from private research collections
• artwork by Mi’kmaw artist Jerry Evans
• 60-page accompanying booklet with textual and musical transcriptions of the songs; translations of Mi’kmaw texts; extensive notes contextualizing each selection; and discussion of Mi’kmaw musical instruments and dance styles
Mentioned in Song: Song Traditions of the Loggers of Newfoundland and Labrador (2014) is the first audio compilation of songs about lumbering, logging, and woods work in this province. The CD includes 23 archival recordings and four new arrangements, representing diverse cultural communities and regions. The accompanying 90-page booklet explores the place of song in logging culture. Mentioned in Song presents a compelling account of the collective identity, cultural practices, and musical traditions of this distinct occupational group.
Mentioned in Song is produced by Dr. Ursula Kelly for the Back on Track series.
Praise for Mentioned in Song
“Shines light on expressive culture related to an important industry in the province, while also demonstrating the living nature of folksinging traditions.”—Ethnologies
“An invaluable contribution to the documentation of North American woods traditions.”—Journal of American Folklore
Ahâk! Ahâk! Moravian Music of the Labrador Inuit (2018) is an anthology of archival recordings by Labrador Inuit choirs, bands, and musicians spanning seventy years of this unique musical tradition. The CD includes newly remastered performances from the 1971 LP Nain Eskimo Choir along with numerous recordings from archival and private collections. Also included is a richly illustrated sixty-page booklet on the Moravian musical traditions of Inuit Labrador.
The Nain Brass Band and the Nain Moravian Church Choir are MusicNL's 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners
Aaron Collis and Emilia Bartellas have quickly gained a reputation as two of Newfoundland's outstanding traditional music interpreters, performing dance tunes from the province's rich musical history in a tight, dynamic playing style. As members of local trad band, The Dardanelles, Aaron and Emilia have performed on stages across Canada, the US, and as far afield as Scotland and Australia. Both Aaron and Emilia have individually been awarded The Dermot O'Reilly Legacy Award for promoting traditional music and demonstrating leadership and creativity in the tradition-bearer community of Newfoundland and Labrador.
In 1929, at age 44, Londoner Maud Karpeles arrived in St. John's, Newfoundland, to "prospect" for British folksongs. Through what was then known as the English Folk Dance Society, she was intimately involved with the British folksong and dance revival inspired by her mentor and colleague, Cecil Sharp (1859-1924).
Over a combined period of 14 weeks in 1929 and 1930, Karpeles carried out her fieldwork, often under challenging circumstances. During this time, she recorded her experiences in two diaries, and took several photographs of the people and places she visited.
Curated by Dr. Anna Kearney Guigné, Karpeles' journey and experiences in Newfoundland provide the basis for this beautifully produced book, illustrated by stunning photographs of people from whom she collected songs, as well as the communities in which they lived. Some of those communities have since been resettled and no longer exist today.
Available as download or hard copy.
This page is for single songs that haven’t been previously released on CD. Watch for more of them to appear on this site, especially while we can no longer participate in live performance events. The songs and accompanying notes are listed below. Thanks to my brother Ray and sister-in-law Valda for the photos of their jukebox.
Doughboys and Molasses, Oh! Traditional Songs from the Gros MorneRegion offers listeners a new perspective on the musical heritage of this distinctive area of Newfoundland’s west coast. The disc features 23 carefully restored tracks originally recorded from local singers by folk song researchers in the mid-twentieth century. Also included are four new performances specially commissioned for this compilation.
The accompanying booklet explores the stories of the songs, the singers, and the collectors, as well as the role of singing in family and community life.
Deantha Edmunds, soprano
Karrie Obed, tenor
Innismara Vocal Ensemble
Suncor Energy String Quartet
Tom Gordon, organ
Executive Producer: Tom Gordon
Producers: Ursula Kelly and Meghan Forsyth.
In 2018, Ursula A. Kelly and Meghan C. Forsyth published the most comprehensive collection of songs and stories from the logging industry ever compiled in this province in their book, The Music of Our Burnished Axes. This album features 21 songs from the book performed by artists from throughout the province.
With your purchase of the All Tracks download option or a hard copy mail order of this CD comes a 40% discount on the book from Memorial University Press (MUP). Find out more here: