The Sharecroppers’ This New Founde Lande

cover, This New Founde LandeFaith Cormier wrote this review.

The Sharecroppers (Guy Romaine, Mike Madigan and Ed Humber) are three teachers from Pasadena, Newfoundland. This New Founde Lande, their second CD, is largely a celebration of Newfoundland history. The title track speaks about the arrival of John Cabot, an Italian explorer in the service of the English, in 1497. “Viking Winds” is a similar tribute to the Norse voyagers who landed in northern Newfoundland around 500 years earlier. “Good Old Days” is based on a poem by Patricia Wright, who was in her early teens when she wrote about her desire to go back in history and see how her ancestors lived.

Several other cuts could just as easily be entitled “Good Old Days” because they deal nostalgically with the dying Newfoundland lifestyle. “The Simple Things,” “Long Winter Nights” and “My Cove” all fit into this theme.

“Hangashore” is a different matter. It’s a comic turn about a fellow who was too lazy to get up in the morning to go fishing, and about how having a loving wife and a family to support changed his behaviour forever. “Lost Dorymates” is also about fishermen, but it’s the horrible tale of a fisherman’s worst nightmare – becoming separated from his schooner in the fog and lost to try to row home alone.

“Jig You Know” and “Caplin Run” are sprightly instrumentals. “I’se The B’y” is an old standby. “Family of Man” and “All God’s Creatures” are nice fuzzy feel-good songs, the first about peace and the second about diversity. “All God’s Creatures” has been a favourite of mine for some years.

This New Founde Lande has fewer of the Sharecroppers’ own tunes than either of their other albums, Natural and Home, Boys!. It’s a pity. They write good lyrics. Incidentally, I really appreciate liner notes that include lyrics, and “This New Founde Lande” has them. The cover shows the three singers with the fourth member of their trio, John Cabot.

The Sharecroppers’ CDs are hard to find outside of Newfoundland, but ordering information is on their Web site.

(John Harvey Newman Publishing, 1996)

[Update: You can’t order CDs from The Sharecroppers’ Facebook page, but you may be able to by using the contact information you’ll find there. It’s also available on Amazon.]


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