Saturday, October 17, 2015

Prince Albert Roving Guitars - Wandering Boy b/w Help The Poor Farmers

"Wandering Boy" b/w "Help The Poor Farmers"
Astral-Plains (CS-69G28)

Dating from the late 60s or early 70s, this is a wonderful 45 with both sides written by Edna Fidyk—her singular voice backed by the crackshot Prince Albert Roving Guitars.

With her voice front and center, “Wandering Boy” is Fidyk’s appeal to an absent lover. A buoyant bass line anchors a bright guitar, with some very subtle percussion and lovely male backing vocals rounding out the sound.

"Help The Poor Farmers" takes side one’s plea, mixes it with protest, and directs it squarely at Pierre Trudeau. Speaking on behalf of farmers everywhere, Fidyk’s voice is again at the forefront, sitting here between a pair of roving guitars and possibly a tiny bit of organ. With genuine lines like “Please Mr. Trudeau do your share / Treat your farmers fair and square,” what might be misguided or na├»ve is instead remarkably prescient and entirely human.

Though I'm not sure if Edna Fidyk was a fully-fledged member of PARG, she does appear on one—perhaps two—related 45s. And as far as I know, PARG released only one other 45 ("The Changing Scene" can be heard on Prairie To Pine) and appeared on Jim Munro's Roving Saskatchewan. I believe Munro was a PARG member and his lone full-length is pretty well my favourite Saskatchewan LP. Astral-Plains was Edna Fidyk's own label and released at least two other 45s (one by herself, one by Jim Munro). Sadly, she passed away a few years ago.

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