Smithsonian Folkways tackles the "Great White North" with its 72-minute ode to trappers, traders, and vagabonds with Classic Canadian Songs. Like all SF collections, the heavily researched liner notes and archival photos are as compelling as the tracks themselves -- it's hard not to love a record adorned with an old black-and-white picture of a group of distinguished looking ladies and gentlemen perched upon a frozen pond holding hockey sticks -- and they do wonders for putting some perspective on the musical melting pot that's been boiling over since the second biggest country in the world by area was colonized by the British and the French in the 1400s. Celtic and French reels, songs of the Cree, square dances, cowboy ballads, and seafaring odes to loves both won and lost populate this fine anthology, which is book-ended by a festive trapper drinking song and a series of "Moose and Bear Calls." Folkways fans will find these Classic Canadian Songs to be a fine addition to their collections.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger