Colter Wall Releases New Song to Coincide with the “Calgary Round-Up”

photo: Brad Coolidge

Canadian country folk artist and formidable singer Colter Wall has just released a new song as the first taste from an upcoming album. Called “Calgary Round-Up,” it’s an old song from early Canadian cowboy singer and yodeler Wilf Carter. Colter Wall has been promising to live crowds recently that his next record will be filled with old tunes forgotten in the modern world, and he delivers with this song. He’s been playing “Calgary Round-Up” in concert recently, and its release coincides with the opening of the actual Calgary Round-Up—known today as the Calgary Stampede—which started its annual festivities June 6th.

“It’s the largest outdoor rodeo in the world, but don’t tell anyone in Cheyenne that, ’cause they’ll get really mad,” Wall said introducing the song recently.

Colter Wall captivates audiences by evoking the ghosts of folk and country’s past with his haunting voice and primitive style. Along with his original tunes, Wall is about the perfect character to carry tunes like “Calgary Round-Up” to a new generation of ears. Little imagination is needed to hear the song like you would have heard it in the past when Colter sings.

Wilf Carter is considered the Father of Canadian Country Music, and opened the door for later Canadian performers such as Hank Snow to have prominent careers in both Canada and the United States. When Wilf Carter performed in the United States, he went by the nickname Montana Slim, and was well-renown in the States for his unique echo-style or three-in-one yodel. A member of both the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, he began performing in the early 1930’s after being kicked out of his house by his Baptist minister father at the age of 15.

Wilf Carter worked as a lumberjack, and was a train hobo, playing guitar for money when he could before settling in Calgary as a cowboy. Calgary is where Wilf Carter found a home for his music, and began performing at the Calgary Round-Up, and on trains and stages up and down the Canadian Rockies. The Calgary Round-Up was first founded in 1886, and Wilf would regularly perform at the event. He served as the Grand Marshall in 1979.

No word on when the new Colter Wall record will be released, or any further details, though rumors have it expected some time this fall. Colter is currently on tour, and has some big festival performances lined up, including the Red Wing Music Festival on July 14th, Newport Folk July 28th, Pickathon outside of Portland August 3rd and 4th, and Cody Jink’s Loud and Heavy Fest on August 18th.