Dirty Linen Review

Canoes obviously played a vital role in Canada's History and continue to be a common means of exploring nature.

Rodney Brown released an impressive album a few years ago after having taken a couple decades off to perform mostly for children. Now he has come up with a collection of original songs that pay tribute to the Nor'Westers who settled in Fort William (Thunder Bay), which became the center of North America's bustling fur trade while paving the way for the exploration of Western Canada.

Canoes, which are depicted in a beautiful painting from 1869 on the CD cover were the main means of exploration, and Brown's historical songs deal with such topics as the Hudson's Bay Company, the canoe brigades, the Métis, conflicts, and the challenges of portage and early cartography.

It's a bit of a cliché to talk about songs making history come alive, but all regions of historical importance should be so lucky. The very able band that supports Brown includes Ian Tamblyn, who also produced the album, as well as Brown's previous release.