Big Fat Crow
Black & White Highway
Great Fire of 1900
Between the Lines
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose
Take It Lying Down
PHIL JENKINS vocals, guitars, lyrics, gas
BRIAN DUBBELDAM bass, vocals, guitar, mandolin
LOUIS ROMPRE flute, WX-7, wooden recorder, percussion, vocals
JACQUES CHARPENTIER keyboards
KEN HARPER bodhron
JAMES STEPHENS mandolin, vocals, stomp, ideas, pit boss
CHRIS HONEGGER kit
This composition is intended for repeated play by astute commuters, to make your driving experience more carefree. The first half of the recording should get you nicely where you are going, while the second will bring you on home. And, for good measure, we've thrown in a night on the town.
The beat of my drum begins June 15th, 1951, the same day American DJ Alan Freed played black music on a white station in Detroit, and rock 'n roll is born. In 1961, my family returns to Liverpool, England, from Ottawa, Canada. Soon after a local group called the Beatles releases "Love Me Do." For a decade everyone in Liverpool plays guitar; no-one plays tennis.
Back in Ottawa in 1978, I strike up a career as a performing singer/songwriter, working the corners of bars. I was a roadie with a cover rock band Mainstream for three years, all the while performing solo in bars and concert halls throughout eastern Canada, appearing when asked on the CBC Radio and TV.
I serve my apprenticeship in songwriting with a choir of aspiring singer/songwriters in the musical crucible of Rasputin’s Folk Club in Ottawa.
The songs start to arrive. They go in the dark corners and sing out the shapes they find there, and they run out in the sun and do a funny dance. When asked what I play, I dub it progressive folk. I write about music, columns about world music and songwriting for the The Ottawa Citizen, about the local scene for "Off Beat."
I’m a country boy, happiest with trees for neighbours, so I quit Ottawa and make for Wakefield, a railway stop in West Quebec. It’s the home of The Black Sheep Inn, one of Canada’s great music rooms. I play there and team up with three other guys, and then we’re a band called Riverbend.
In 2004, we released our calling card CD, CarTunes. It’s a musical commute from the country into the city and back, blending songs and instrumentals. Playing original music only, we played at The Black Sheep (several times), the Acoustic Waves Series at the Great Canadian Theatre Company (twice), and at the Nepean Centrepointe Theatre (with the Barra McNeils).