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Old 09-27-2023, 10:42 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Default White Squall by Stan Rogers (cover)



I learned of this song, released in 1984, from my daughter and my grandson just recently and decided to cover this song in honor of my grandson's birthday. So this song is dedicated to Henry! This is quite a dramatic song about the dangers of commercial shipping on the Great Lakes in North America from the white squall, a meteorological phenomenon of a sudden violent gale out on the lakes generated in the midst of a very warm calm.

I used a standard tuned guitar (it shows up on the left) and a Nashville high-strung guitar (which shows up on the right) for this song and also added some single note lines for the instrumental sections to get close to the sound that Stan Rogers achieved in the studio. Stan Rogers' music was well loved in Canada, his home. He was born a year later than I was, but died young at age 33 in a tragic loss.

If you are interested in either the chords or lyrics here is a link: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab...chords-1744854 Stan Rogers played this song with a capo on the 2nd fret; I played it with capo on the 4th fret to suit my voice a little better.

By way of background, I grew up on the southern edge of Lake Erie just west of Cleveland, OH. So I grew up watching the huge ore boats and lake freighters going back and forth on the lake. The town Wiarton referenced in the chorus of the song is in Ontario on the east side of Lake Huron, straight north of where I grew up. My mother's uncles (my grand uncles) were all engineers on the ore boats of the Great Lakes. When Stan Rogers referred to "the Sault" in the first and last verses of the song, he was referring to Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan, along the water passage between Lake Huron and Lake Superior.

I think this is a beautifully crafted song. I hope you like this; thanks for listening.

- Glenn
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Old 09-28-2023, 01:19 AM
Railroad Bum Railroad Bum is offline
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Glenn, thanks for hopefully introducing more folks to Stan Rogers' songs. He is a legend in my book, but I am an old folkie like you. This is a great tribute to Stan's music, so thank you. And happy birthday to your grandson!

Incidentally, I was born in Cleveland also. My family moved away when I was quite young, but I had one sister who stayed there until I was a teenager, so I have quite a few memories of that city. My father worked on the docks of Lake Erie for a time as well.

Anyway, good stuff, my friend. It's always worthwhile to introduce people to music and songwriters that they might otherwise miss, especially if you don't live in Canada.--Tim
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Old 09-28-2023, 06:37 AM
Rogerblair Rogerblair is offline
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Good one, Glenn. A good friend used to perform that song, and others by Stan Rogers, at our song circles so it brings back good memories for me.

Well played, and the photos in the background help to sell the mood and spirit of the song.

Roger
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Old 09-28-2023, 07:18 AM
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Coler Coler is offline
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Great song Glen. I like doing it live on my 12 string but I capo up a step or three from the original . Loved your version.
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Old 09-28-2023, 09:00 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Originally Posted by Railroad Bum View Post
Glenn, thanks for hopefully introducing more folks to Stan Rogers' songs. He is a legend in my book, but I am an old folkie like you. This is a great tribute to Stan's music, so thank you. And happy birthday to your grandson!

Incidentally, I was born in Cleveland also. My family moved away when I was quite young, but I had one sister who stayed there until I was a teenager, so I have quite a few memories of that city. My father worked on the docks of Lake Erie for a time as well.

Anyway, good stuff, my friend. It's always worthwhile to introduce people to music and songwriters that they might otherwise miss, especially if you don't live in Canada.--Tim
Thank you Tim!

That's terrific that you already know about Stan Rogers' music! And I actually did not realize you were an old folkie -- something we have in common. Also, that's interesting about the Cleveland connection.

I'm so pleased that you liked this! Thanks for taking time to comment. I hope all is well for you and your son.

- Glenn
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Old 09-28-2023, 12:19 PM
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Great performance Glenn! It almost sounds like a 12 string with the two guitars playing like that.
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Old 09-28-2023, 03:51 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Originally Posted by Rogerblair View Post
Good one, Glenn. A good friend used to perform that song, and others by Stan Rogers, at our song circles so it brings back good memories for me.

Well played, and the photos in the background help to sell the mood and spirit of the song.

Roger
Thank you for your kind comments, Roger, they are much appreciated. I enjoyed this project. I hope all is well for you.

- Glenn
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Old 09-28-2023, 04:19 PM
Railroad Bum Railroad Bum is offline
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Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
Thank you Tim!

That's terrific that you already know about Stan Rogers' music! And I actually did not realize you were an old folkie -- something we have in common. Also, that's interesting about the Cleveland connection.

I'm so pleased that you liked this! Thanks for taking time to comment. I hope all is well for you and your son.

- Glenn
Thanks for the response, my friend. Yeah, you know that the world is a lot smaller than we often think it is, and the people to whom we gravitate are often the ones we are supposed to know, I believe.

Yes, I am a huge folk music nut. I was listening to Dylan when I was 14, and that opened me up to so many other artists. Then I gravitated toward The Grateful Dead, and their influences, especially Garcia's, were heavy into folk and traditional music. And I grew up surrounded by bluegrass, old-time country, and traditional country music. My grandmother fingerpicked a mean version of the Spanish Fandango, and the Carter family lived about 40 miles from where I mostly grew up. My great uncle was an accomplished guitar player and was in the Grand Old Opry stage band in the 1950s, so music runs deep in my family, I suppose. I have always been drawn to it, and it's always in my head, which is sometimes annoying, lol.

As far as the Cleveland connection, that is pretty much a synchronicity. I immediately recognized you as a kindred soul, and the videos you release are like a greatest hits of my consciousness. It's very weird how people connect, but as Shakespeare wrote, "There are more things in Heaven and Hell, Horatio, than are dreamt in your philosophy."

Beautiful version of a great song, my friend. Thanks again. And Jack, my son, is doing pretty well and is becoming a wonderful musician.
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Old 09-28-2023, 05:17 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Great song Glen. I like doing it live on my 12 string but I capo up a step or three from the original . Loved your version.
Hi Coler,

How interesting that you play this song over there in Northern Ireland. Regarding where to sing this, I would have liked to have sung this a little higher, but I thought that it should be sung relatively low so that it would have a similar sound to Stan Rogers, at least for my grandson, Henry.

Thanks for your feedback Coler! Much appreciated!

- Glenn
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Old 09-28-2023, 05:20 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Great performance Glenn! It almost sounds like a 12 string with the two guitars playing like that.
Hi Honkycat,

Yes, it does sound similar to a 12-string, that combining a regular and high-strung guitar. But the sound is maybe a little cleaner and clear using a high-strung guitar. My daughter thought I would do this song on a 12-string, but when I listened to Stan Rogers' version, I was pretty sure they were using a high-strung guitar.

The world is an interesting place! Thanks for your kind comments! I hope all is well for you.

- Glenn
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Old 09-28-2023, 07:33 PM
Mortimer Nelson Mortimer Nelson is offline
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Very nice. I grew up along the Detroit River, not far from Mariner's Church in Detroit, where every year they observe the anniversary of the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald and all aboard. Watched the same ore boats you did, Ontario just across the river to the south. Thanks for introducing me to this fine tune.
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Old 09-28-2023, 09:34 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Very nice. I grew up along the Detroit River, not far from Mariner's Church in Detroit, where every year they observe the anniversary of the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald and all aboard. Watched the same ore boats you did, Ontario just across the river to the south. Thanks for introducing me to this fine tune.
Hi Mortimer,

Oh, yes, you grew up on the other side of Lake Erie and a little more to the west from where I grew up. But, yes, looking at the same ore boats! How interesting! Have you ever been to the Mariners' Church in Detroit? What a place of history that must be! I've been to Detroit many times over the years, but always on business and it seems always too much in a hurry.

Thanks for listening and for your kind encouragement on my White Squall cover. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I hope all is well for you!

- Glenn
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Old 09-29-2023, 12:16 AM
Mortimer Nelson Mortimer Nelson is offline
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Hi Mortimer,

Oh, yes, you grew up on the other side of Lake Erie and a little more to the west from where I grew up. But, yes, looking at the same ore boats! How interesting! Have you ever been to the Mariners' Church in Detroit? What a place of history that must be! I've been to Detroit many times over the years, but always on business and it seems always too much in a hurry.

Thanks for listening and for your kind encouragement on my White Squall cover. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I hope all is well for you!

- Glenn
Detroit's also to the north of Windsor, Ontario. A good trivia question to ask is what country is directly south of Detroit. Not many folks would think of Canada! I've never been inside Mariner's Church, but unlike you I have no excuse, having walked past it countless times. But yes, watching those massive freighters ply the river as a kid made a very strong and lasting impression.
I just learned from Wikipedia that the Church stopped commemorating the Edmund Fitzgerald in 2006 but rang its bells 30 times on the day Gordon Lightfoot died, 29 times for the Edmund Fitzgerald's lost sailors, and once for the memory of Lightfoot.
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Old 09-29-2023, 09:16 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Originally Posted by Mortimer Nelson View Post
Detroit's also to the north of Windsor, Ontario. A good trivia question to ask is what country is directly south of Detroit. Not many folks would think of Canada! I've never been inside Mariner's Church, but unlike you I have no excuse, having walked past it countless times. But yes, watching those massive freighters ply the river as a kid made a very strong and lasting impression.
I just learned from Wikipedia that the Church stopped commemorating the Edmund Fitzgerald in 2006 but rang its bells 30 times on the day Gordon Lightfoot died, 29 times for the Edmund Fitzgerald's lost sailors, and once for the memory of Lightfoot.
I have been in Windsor, ON; I worked with Ford Motor Co. back in about 2002 on a huge project for recycling machining chips and cutting oil in a large building with something like 80 CNC machining centers for making heads and engine blocks. I had never been under that tunnel under the Detroit River before; it was pretty cool!

And by the way, the project for recycling chips and cutting oil for Ford was a huge success. Hard to believe how long ago that was now. Time flies.

Thanks for your kind response!

- Glenn
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Old 09-29-2023, 10:23 AM
Mobilemike Mobilemike is offline
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Nice rendition! Really enjoyed hearing it.

I learned this song from an Alex Beaton record before I had even heard of Stan Rogers and so Alex's version is always stuck in my mind first, but this is a fantastic song and one of my favorites to play too.

-Mike
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