Bridging the Gap (2023)

Bridging the Gap is our newest release of six songs presenting the current trio makeup of the group. The album leads off with “The Bridge Came Tumbling Down”, Stomping Tom Connors’ homage to the workers who died in the 1958 construction disaster building the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge linking Vancouver to the North Shore. Both “Bridge” and “Snap the Line Tight” are fresh arrangements of songs that have long been in Fraser Union’s repertoire. They fit well with two other offerings that reflect the Canadian landscape, “Prairie Sky” and “The Wild Goose”. Rounding out the album are Linda Allen’s plea for “A Safe Place” for women, and the classic “The Bells of Rhymney” which we’ve adapted to highlight Welsh poet Idris Davies’ words excerpted by Pete Seeger from Davies’ powerful epic “Gwalia Deserta” (translation “Wasteland of Wales”). 

Song titles

The Bridge Came Tumbling Down, A Safe Place, Snap the Line Tight, Prairie Sky, The Wild Goose, The Bells of Rhymney

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Henk Piket

Ever since his early days as a stalwart of Vancouver’s folk club and coffeehouse scene in the Sixties, Henk Piket’s fingerstyle guitar playing and warm bass voice have accentuated his range of repertoire from country and jazz standards to the traditional and contemporary folk and blues that he loves so well. One of the original members of Fraser Union, his subtle vocal harmony, dobro, and guitar were a staple of the group’s blend until he retired in 2022. 

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Traveller: Stories and Songs in the Key of Connection (Book)

By Barry Truter

Traveller is a smorgasbord of international offerings with a common theme: connection through music. With its interleaving of 10 nonfiction stories and 15 original songs, a sprinkle of poems, and a dessert of 8 instrumental pieces, this collection flows loosely from tales of land journeys to sea adventures and from short trips to long voyages while winding gently through times past and present. There are works to touch the spirit and turn the brain, test the heart and protest the way of the world. Anecdotes of encounters with fellow musicians sit comfortably with songs that range from the personal and political to the historical, environmental, and social. Musical styles run from ragtime, folk, and blues to Caribbean, rhumba, and swing.

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In Times Like These (Single)

By Roger Holdstock

The single In Times Like These evolved from a song-writing workshop taught by Susan Crowe at a Georgia Strait Guitar Workshop. The lyrics are a reflection on more than 25 years of a relationship, going back over rough and smooth times and the pleasures of long-term closeness. Although written and sung by Roger Holdstock, this is still a Fraser Union project with Barry Truter on guitar, Henk Piket on dobro, and our good friend Michael Burnyeat on violin. Recorded and engineered by Victor Smith.


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Dan Kenning

For over twenty years, Dan Kenning’s rich voice and robust stage presence were an important part of Fraser Union. He brought his work experience as an elementary school teacher, prospector and fisher to the group, as well as his involvement in workplace health and safety issues. Many a classroom kid learned “Drill Ye Tarriers,” “Salmon Circle,” Kettle Valley Line,” and other BC songs from Dan. He retired from singing with Fraser Union in December, 2008. 

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Jill King and Tam Lundy

Jill King and Tam Lundy were two of the four original members of Fraser Union along with Roger Holdstock and Henk Piket.  All four met at the Vancouver Folk Song Society and discovered that their voices created a magic blend of harmony.  With an interest in similar traditional and contemporary folksong material, the foursome started practicing and performing together. The song, “God Speed The Plough,” was brought to the group by Jill and remains in Fraser Union’s repertoire to this day.

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Roger Holdstock

Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin

One of Roger Holdstock’s early memories from England when he was about five years old is of his grandfather playing concertina. When Roger was six, his family moved to California, where his two older brothers immediately bought guitars. Roger’s brother, Dick Holdstock, who continues to perform folk music in California and England, had a strong influence on Roger’s choice to play music with folk roots.

Roger feels privileged to have found a rich community of musicians and friends since moving to Vancouver in 1974. Since the early 1980s, when the original members met through the Vancouver Folk Song Society, Fraser Union has been a central part of his musical, social, and work life (including performances for the college classes he has taught).

From benefit concerts to festivals, from picket lines to academic conferences, from living rooms to stages, Roger believes that the songs chosen by Fraser Union encourage voices to join together and to build community—and that keeps him singing.

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Fraser Union (1988)


The self-titled first album • 1988

(Cassette; out of print)

Song titles

Bank Trollers, Lord Franklin, The Yankee Sails Tonight, Canning Salmon, This Land is Whose Land, Arthur MacBride, God Speed the Plough, Drill Ye Tarriers, Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out, Don’t Cry in Your Sleep/Campbell’s Farewell to Redcastle, Children of Africa

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Split Shift (1989)


Fraser Union with the Vancouver Industrial Writers’ Union • 1989

(Cassette; out of print)

Song titles

Bank Trollers, Snap the Line Tight, Grand Hotel, Bosses’ Lament, Truck Driver’s Song, Everything Possible, The Soda Jig, Hard Rock Miner, Canning Salmon, All Used Up.

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Traveller (CD)

By Barry Truter

Barry Truter has been a traveller for most of his life. He was born the son of a diplomat whose assignments took his family to a new home every few years. But Truter’s wandering lifestyle didn’t cease when he moved into adulthood; his first job was as a deck cadet on a merchant ship sailing from Europe around Africa and into the Red Sea. His journeys are reflected in the musical style and diversity of this album of seven originals and seven carefully chosen covers supported by guest appearances from musician friends including Fraser Union bandmates Roger Holdstock, Henk Piket, and Dan Kenning.

Truter’s lead vocals accompanied by guitar, octave mandolin and ukulele shine on the album’s arrangements, from sparsely emotive versions of Bruce “Utah” Phillips’ “The Killing Ground” and the Fijian farewell song “Isa Lei” to tasteful licks and soulful backing vocals by some fine Vancouver musicians on the self-penned “Levuka Town” and Leadbelly’s “The Bourgeois Blues.”

There is no dearth of content on the album. Originals such as “Song for Robert Dziekanski” and “Ships of the Deep” are reminders that we live in an insecure world of increasing inequity. But there is also hope and spiritual regeneration on offer in the lyricism of “Roll River Free,” the east/west musicality of “Dravida” and the anthemic chorus of “This Old World.”

Song titles

Levuka Town, Walking Blues, I Wandered By a Brookside, Duncan’s Dream/The Soda Jig/Siobhan’s Gallop, The Killing Ground, The Bourgeois Blues, Song for Robert Dziekanski, Roll River Free, Dravida, The Amphritite, Ships of the Deep, This Old World, Time to Go, Isa Lei.

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