« Highly recommended » by Rock’n’Reel

This two-CD set contains fifty-seven tracks recorded and produced for Folkways by the label’s Canadian distributor, Samuel Gesser. His aim was to document the incredible diversity of the music of the country’s peoples, and he succeeded admirably – even if Canada’s black population is represented by only a single recording What you do get, though, are plenty of English, Scottisch, Irish, French and indeed Canadian folksongs and ballads, political numbers, a little music-hall, comic songs in French or English, venerable dance tunes, a child ballad, fishing and hunting songs, play songs and some mouth music. Many of the tracks are a cappella, a good number have guitar accompaniment and some feature fiddle, accordion, harmonica or mandolin. Well represented is the first nation, several tribes of Native Americans, wich is unusual in itself. The only criticism I have is that some biographical details on the performers would be welcome ; nevertheless, this is deservedly a highly recommended introduction to a somewhat overlooked area. Norman DARWEN – ROCK’N’REEL