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Dance Like Flames

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Album Review

Tanglefoot certainly have a history, and something of a revolving door policy when it comes to membership. Think of them as a Canadian folk-rock band with a good sense of the past and you're hitting close to the mark. There's an ongoing sense of discovery about their homeland in their work, as on "Boot Soup." Fiddler and singer Sandra Swanell brings a light touch to the group that's very welcome and shows herself to be no mean player when she lets fly. However, while they have a number of good qualities, it's difficult to get too worked up about this disc. At times the songwriting seems a little more academic than heartfelt, and even at its best, with "Paddle Like Hell," the music never quite takes off for the stratosphere. Still, they've essentially become an institution, and they do redeem themselves on "When Dad and Uncle Archie Lost the Farm" and the lovely vocal closer "For the Day." It's perhaps more an outing for the converted than those seeking to discover the group.


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

When Tanglefoot formed in the early '80s, the group bore little resemblance to the version that audiences see now. Schoolteachers Joe Grant, Bob Wagar, and Tim Rowat used to wear period costumes as they sang old traditional standards and their audiences were usually their students. The theatrical presentation was a way for them to bring Canadian history alive for the kids, whose knowledge of historical events was weighted heavily on America's past rather than their own country's. The students could...
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Dance Like Flames, Tanglefoot
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