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Alberta Excursion

Original Music by Melanie Gall
Piano: Bennett Paster
Bass: Jim Whitney
Guitar: Ross Martin
Mandolin/Fiddle: Dennis Lichtman
Accordion: Will Holshouser

Produced and Engineered by Bennett Paster at Benny's Wash & Dry

The creation of this album was generously funded by the
Alberta Foundation for the Arts

For more information, or to pre-order a physical copy, please contact Melanie:

1- Athabasca Trail
(Melanie Gall/Arthur Conan Doyle)

In June, 1914, famed author of the classic Sherlock Holmes detective novels visited Canada, passing through the province of Alberta on his cross-country excursion. He was so impressed with the Athabasca Trail (a long-distance portage route on the North Saskatchewan River), that he wrote a poem about his adventure.

2- Frankie Slide
(Robert Gard/Melanie Gall)

On April 29, 1903, a section of the mining town of Frank was buried in a massive rockslide, which killed much of the population. This is the true story of a baby found amid the rubble.

3- The Bruin Inn
(Melanie Gall)

Built in 1929 by the Northwest Brewing Company, this historic St. Albert Inn has a fascinating history, and was one of the only places in the province where men and women were allowed to drink together. The inn was so infamous that it even inspired a distinctive "Bruin" beer brand, with the slogan: "Drink Northwest Beer - It's a Bear!"

4- Prairie Flower

(Melanie Gall/Rhoda Sivell)

Rhoda Cosgrave Sivell was an Irish-born 19th century Canadian poet and rancher. She wrote poetry describing her experience on the Alberta ranges, and was considered the first Canadian "Cowboy Poet."

5- Speir Thoo the Wast Wind

Melanie Gall/Traditional)

Many of the early Hudson Bay adventurers in the lands that later became Alberta were from the Scottish Orkney Islands. This traditional Orkney poem was composed at the time when Orcadians were highly valued as seamen and trappers by the HBC.

6- The Balled of Isobel Gunn

(Melanie Gall)

The forgotten story of Isobel Gunn, the brave Orcadian woman who, after disguising herself as a man and signing on to work for the Hudson Bay Company, was the first European woman on Canadian soil.

7- My Own Alberta Girl

(Melanie Gall)

From an early 20th century poem, the delights of the Alberta girl (with an additional verse in French, to celebrate the bilingual 'filles d'Alberta'!

8- Edith Cavell

(Melanie Gall)

The most beautiful mountain in Banff is named "Edith Cavell," but few know the story of its namesake. Edith Louisa Cavell was a WWI British nurse, celebrated for treating wounded soldiers from both sides. After covertly helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium, she was executed by the German army.

9- Lake Louise

(Melanie Gall/Harriet Monroe)

American poet Harriet Monroe (a woman who was instrumental in the “poetry renaissance” of the early 20th century), wrote these lines praising the beauty of one of Alberta's most famous lakes.

10- A Trip 'Round Alberta
(Melanie Gall)

A humorous tune about the province of Alberta and the crazy elements that make it so unique (yes, the beaver dam is *actually* visible from space!)

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