EMI Canada continues their series of two-fer reissues of classic albums from Canadian country-folk icon Stompin' Tom Connors with this disc, which pairs up 1974's Stompin' Tom Meets "Muk Tuk" Annie and 1979's At the Gumboot Cloggeroo. Leading off the set, At the Gumboot Cloggeroo was Stompin' Tom's last album before a self-imposed exile from the music business (which lasted nearly ten years), which found the defiantly Canadian star protesting the increasing dominance of American talent over his nation's music industry, and the album significantly features "The Singer (The Voice of the People)" and "Ripped Off Winkle," two songs that concern the shabby treatment of Canadian talent. Elsewhere, though, the album is typical Stompin' Tom, full of rough-hewn tunes featuring tall tales ("The Legend of Marty and Joe"), corny jokes ("The Happy Hooker"), good-time numbers ("Gum-Boot Cloggeroo"), and odes to the joys of home and hearth in the North ("Home on the Island"). "Muk Tuk" Annie is a bit more lighthearted, dominated by novelty songs like "Streaker's Dream," "Oh Chihuahua," and the title tune, which concerns a hefty gal from the northern provinces who finds her fortune as an exotic dancer. Elsewhere, Connors does offer one protest number, "Bibles and Rifles," and otherwise splits the difference between Canadian travelogues and sly love songs. Connors is by no means a sophisticated taste, and some of these numbers might suggest the musical equivalent of The Red Green Show, but Stompin' Tom's songs are unpretentious and from the heart, and his strong, rugged voice and delivery are just like his tunes, a full-blooded representation of the true soul of rural Canada. If you love Stompin' Tom, this disc is a great buy, and if you're not familiar with the unofficial minstrel of Canada, this isn't a bad place to get started.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming