As a relative newcomer to the Canadian music scene ( Seven years ), or multiple scenes as they are across this vast nation, from city to city and province to province I often heard the name Stony Plain crop up, delving a little deeper the name Holger Petersen was always to the fore and upon investigation the names of many of Canada's finest artists were linked inextricably to both. Stony Plain Records has always been synonymous with honesty and integrity, in my mind that in a nutshell is the reason the lifeblood has flowed for so long through the veins of this major Canadian independent label, owned by Holger Petersen the celebrated broadcaster and music aficionado, who's love of great honest to goodness music of all genres shines through in all the label stands for.
57 Tracks ? yes you heard it right, 57 tracks on this fabulous compilation, three CD's and over three hours of music from the iconic Canadian label celebrating forty years producing some of the best in roots, folk, country, rock and blues music from across Canada and beyond. Producing and releasing albums for a who's who on the Canadian scene over the years such as Colin Linden, Corb Lund, Harry Manx, Kevin Breit, Spirit Of The West, Long John Baldry, Amos Garrett, David Wilcox, The Paperboys, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Jeff Healey and more recently with MonkeyJunk and Paul Reddick the quality of artists is inarguable, Stony Plain have also licensed releases in Canada for Blind Pig Records for notable American artists such as Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, Duke Robillard, Emmylou Harris, Eric Bibb, Taj Mahal, Maria Muldaur and Rory Block.
So with all that in mind, how do you equate or become educated with forty years of music from Stony Plain ?
The answer is to sit with these three CD's and track by track be introduced to a cross section of what the label has built it's acclaimed and award winning reputation on, Grammy nominations, Juno and Maple Blues Awards, along with Holger being named to The Order Of Canada, part for his broadcasting and a whole big part for the label he created and still nurtures, he has a nose for talent, or that should read a nose for talent that no one else seems to have spotted, and treating the artists with respect along the way cements the degree of respect shown in return from those he works with. Three discs ranging from Singer / Songwriters, to Blues, R&B, Gospel, Swing and Jazz giving a cross view of the genres the label has offered over the decades and the last disc also offering some rarities and tracks never before released.
The backbone of Canada's most celebrated indie artists in all genres over the last 40 years is contained within, an education to the listener, a fertile ground on the plains of Alberta for the artists that produce the sounds of a nation.
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