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River Song

Steel Rail

River Song is Steel Rail’s third album, released in late 2005. It features 14 more original songs by band members Tod Gorr, Ellen Shizgal and Dave Clarke, along with many lyrics by Lucinda Chodan. A sense of place resonates throughout the music and songs of River Song, whether it’s the dark blue hills of Charlevoix County in Quebec or the rolling prairies of Western Canada.

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Album tracks 

1.    Big Sky Blues (Chodan/Clarke, 3:05). A warp-speed song about yearning for the prairies from rainy Vancouver. 

2.    That’s How the Summer Slips Away (Chodan/Clarke, 3:50). Folk ballad. A drive along the North Shore of the St.   Lawrence becomes a farewell to summer – and a promise of love. 

3.    Somewhere Else Tonight (Chodan/Clarke, 3:58). Bittersweet memories are set off by the Christmas trees in a parking lot in the rain. 

4.    Cool, Cool Walls (Chodan/Clarke, 3:20). Gentle fingerstyle guitar and a dreamy vocal bring back a child’s impressions of a hot summer day. 

5.    Belmont Days (Chodan/Gorr, 2:42). An ode to Montreal’s late, lamented Belmont Park that takes off like an amusement-park ride. 

6.    Tread Softly (Shizgal, 3:16). A solemn but uplifting song about a final farewell. 

7.    Wooden Ships (Chodan/Clarke, 3:10). This hymn-like tribute to the Sailors’ Church – Notre Dame de Bonsecours in Montreal -- has already been sung at anniversary celebrations at the chapel. 

8.    Let It Rain (Chodan/Clarke, 2:47). Rain can make the difference between a good crop and a disaster on the prairies. This uptempo song with its chime-like harmonies is a farmer’s plea that the skies open up. 

9.    Still Keeping Time (Shizgal, 3:22). This lush waltz is a salute to 50 years of love in three-four time. 

10.  My Valley (Gorr, 2:56). A flight over the Rocky Mountains sparks a mellow reverie. 

11.  River Song (Chodan/Clarke, 3:52). A sad story that is repeated too often in the North End of Winnipeg 

12.  I Wonder If You’re Sleeping Tonight (Chodan/Clarke, 3:45). Long-distance love in a sleepless night. 

13.  Goodbye Again (Chodan/Clarke, 2:35). A high-velocity travelling song from the point of view of the one who’s left behind. 

14.  La Rive (Chodan/Clarke, 5:22). For centuries, boatbuilders thrived along the St. Lawrence River east of Quebec City. Then a way of life disappeared.   

Guest musicians 

Gaston Bernard, mandolin
Geoff Somers, fiddle
Rick Haworth, resophonic guitar 


"River Song is a fiery Canadian bluegrass joy."  -  Vancouver Province