John Boland and Beothuck
The country music party band John Boland and Beothuck (named after an extinct Newfoundland native tribe) was formed in Cambridge, Ontario in 1974 when Boland decided to get a few friends together to play dances. The group consisted of Boland (lead guitar), John Babb (rhyhthm guitar), Mac Babb (singer, bass), Fred O'Quinn (lead guitar) and John Rankin (drums), all of whom save Rankin (who was born in Hamilton) hailed from Bell Island, Newfoundland. Over the course of their career they backed up a wide range of Canadian artists, including Dick Nolan, Roy Payne, Michael T. Wall, Joan Morrissey and Harry Hibbs, and Mac Babb and O'Quinn also played on The Brazda Brothers' album. That's the full extent of my knowledge of John Boland and Beothuck, but I suspect that Boland is a real estate agent in Cambridge these days.
This self-titled LP was recorded at Eastern Sound Studio in Toronto by producer Bobby Munro and engineer Kevin Evans, and released in 1976 on Boot Records. Despite the group's Newfoundland roots, its sound, at least when playing on its own, stuck to country and rock and didn't really include any overt Celtic influences. "Words" is a cover of a soft-rock Bee Gees ballad, while Boland original "The Bottle" is a plaintive country number about the evils of alcohol. "Love Me, Love Me, Love," my favourite track here, is a cover of a minor hit by Canadian pianist Frank Mills (best known for the instrumental "Music Box Dancer"). The story of an old organ grinder and his pet monkey, it's as maudlin as the day is long, but the band really gets behind the song and I dig it anyway. And "That's How I Got To Memphis" is another cover, this time of a Tom T. Hall country number about following a wayward woman to the ends of the earth...or, at least, southwest Tennessee.
Love Me, Love Me, Love
That's How I Got To Memphis
Note: These songs have been archived at It Came From Canada.