John Millard A People's Fame: A Collection of Canadian Folksong

Canada is a young nation compared to its southern neighbour, a people who can be forgiven for not fully realising their rich musical heritage, but not for much longer. Several decades ago, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, among others, helped popularise pre-radio American folk music, but few have taken it upon themselves to do the same here in Canada. John Millard does just this with his collection of pre-1960s Canadian folk songs. He gives us the stories, sights and sounds of early Canada; songs steeped in various traditions but formed by new and unique experiences. Millard, known previously for his group the Polka Dogs and more recently as the leader of John Millard and Happy Day, keeps himself most busy writing music for theatre. A People’s Fame would suit a theatrical rendering, but Millard does a good job of representing Canadian folk history with his sympathetic arrangements. Drawing from five provinces, the songs in this collection are ones Millard chased down, listened for, and found over the last few years. His search was fruitful enough for those hungry for tradition. A People’s Fame provides a great introduction to pre-Stan Rogers Canadian folk music and will, let’s hope, be one many future excavations of the sounds beneath our feet. (Independent)