There is nothing on Scrubbaloe Caine’s ‘Round One’ album that would hint at the melodic rock sound to come.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Scrubbaloe Caine
ALBUM: Round One
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Henry Small – electric violin, lead vocals * Al Foreman – keyboards, harmonica, lead vocals * Paul Dean – lead and slide guitars * Jim Harmata – lead guitar * Jim Kale – bass, vocals * Bill McBeth – drums, percussion, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Edmonton Rain * 02 Do I Love You (Does A Guitar Play The Blues?) * 03 Rosalie * 04 Gonna Keep An Eye On You * 05 Daybreak * 06 Trouble * 07 Feelin’ Good On Sunday * 08 Travelin’ * 09 Crazy ‘Bout A Blues Guitar
In the wake of Randy Bachman finding religion and his quick departure from The Guess Who in 1970, bassist Jim Kale saw the handwriting on the wall and followed suit forming Scrubbaloe Caine two years later. The band recorded a couple albums in their lifetime, toured heavily throughout the hinterlands of their native Canada only to wind up broke and disillusioned.
A tale as old as time, but Scrubbaloe Caine were an important part of Canadian rock history featuring future Streetheart and Loverboy guitarist Paul Dean and vocalist Henry Small who would go on to Small Wonder, later sharing his pipes with legendary pomp gods Prism.
Now before you get all ‘hot and sweaty’ thinking this could be an AOR extravaganza, think again. There is nothing on Scrubbaloe Caine’s ‘Round One’ that would hint at the melodic rock sound to come a few years down the road. In fact the album is very typical of the time playing a southern fried blues rock, maple-leaf style. Think Mama’s Pride, Elvin Bishop and maybe a little Black Oak Arkansas.
Plenty of harmonica, electric violin and if you can believe it- kazoo! The material is not much to write home about (in this case – Winnipeg) and the album is about as exciting as REO Speedwagon‘s output in the Mike Murphy years, in other words, boring. Paul Dean does shine throughout ‘Round One’, in particular his slide guitar work on the closing ‘Crazy ‘Bout A Blues Guitar’, but the song itself is nothing more than an extended jam while Small’s vocal impression of Jim Dandy’s washboard histrionics is best forgotten.
Streetheart, Loverboy and Prism completists will want ‘Round One’ and their second release ‘Street Level’ in their collections as well as those interested in early Canadian rock history, but ‘Get Lucky’ – this album is not. You have been warned.