Canada isn’t an old country – as it goes we will celebrate her 148th birthday this coming July, but we do have a longer history associated with the British and French. Canadians are as patriotic as the next folk and we like to talk about how we won the War of 1812 (even though it was a essentially a war between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, its North American colonies and its American Indian allies).

Anyway, when thinking about Canadian music I felt it was appropriate start with something patriotic. It doesn’t get better than Henry Adam Svec’s Harry Smith-like collection of Canadian folk music. Svec built upon the work of famed Canadian folklorist Edith Fulton Fowke and re-recorded a number of early Canadian folk songs with players like Andrew Penner of the Sunparlour Players, Andy Magoffin of The Two-Minute Miracles, Wax Mannequin, Andrew Sisk, and Olenka Krakus.

One of my favourites is The Bold Canadian, which was written by a private from the Third York Militia’s First Flank Company with the glorious name of Cornelius Flummerfelt. Private Flummerfelt apparently wrote the ode while marching home from Detroit after defeating the Americans led by the larger than life Sir Isaac Brock. This version of the song is by Geoff Berner, a punk rock accordion player from Vancouver.

You can download Folksongs of Canada Now: An Archive of New Field Recordings collected by Henry Adam Svec. All songs are available free HERE!


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Domestic now, but spent early to late 80s playing drums in a hair metal band in Toronto. Since then I've lost the hair and have found new ways to scratch the rock and roll itch.

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