Tanglefoot (band)

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Tanglefoot's 2006 lineup
Tanglefoot's 2006 lineup
Background information
OriginOwen Sound, Ontario, Canada
Years active1979–2009
LabelsBorealis Records
Past membersSteve Ritchie
Al Parrish
Rob Ritchie
Terry Young (d. 2022)
Sandra Swannell
Joe Grant
Bob Wagar
Tim Rowat
Frank Skrzeszewski
Terry Snider
Bryan Weirmier

Tanglefoot was a Canadian folk band from Owen Sound, Ontario. Formed in Peterborough in the early 1980s by schoolteachers Joe Grant, Bob Wagar, and Tim Rowat to play traditional music, they became a five-piece band playing largely original music. They regularly toured Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.


The band has toured frequently throughout Canada and the United States, and also regularly in the UK. The band's song subjects are largely derived from history, especially Canadian history. Subject have included the Frank Slide, The War of 1812, Laura Secord, the first flight in Canada, and the tale of Sir John A Macdonald's wife Agnes Macdonald riding the cowcatcher across Canada.

Tanglefoot's lineup from 2007 on was: Steve Ritchie (guitar and whistle), the band's longest-serving member, Al Parrish (double bass), Terry Young (multi-instrumentalist incl guitar, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, whistle), Sandra Swannell (fiddle and viola), and Rob Ritchie (piano), returning after a five-year hiatus to replace departing pianist Bryan Weirmier. All the members sang and all, to varying degrees, wrote for the band.

After performing for nearly three decades, Tanglefoot ended their run with a pair of farewell concerts at the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound, Ontario. In a comment on 27 June 2009 Al Parrish said that there was no bitterness in the breakup, but after more than twenty years the time had come to call it a day. Parrish also said there was a possibility of reunion gigs in the future, but nothing was planned.

In October 2010, all five band members appeared together back at the Roxy Theatre for a leukemia fundraiser. The concert was billed as "The My Sweet Patootie Show with special guests, Al Parrish, Rob Ritchie & Steve Ritchie". Organized by former Tanglefoot members Sandra Swannell and Terry Young (who had founded their own group My Sweet Patootie), the concert featured all five performers in a variety of configurations but they played only a couple of Tanglefoot songs and the event was not particularly a "Tanglefoot reunion".

In September 2012, the founding members of Tanglefoot (Joe Grant, Tim Rowat and Bob Wagar) were inducted into the Pathway of Fame in Peterborough, Ontario.[1]

Three longstanding members of Tanglefoot – guitarist/vocalist Steve Ritchie, bassist/vocalist Al Parrish and keyboardist/vocalist Rob Ritchie teamed up with drummer/percussionist/vocalist Beaker Granger in 2012 and currently perform and record as RPR.



  • Dance Like Flames – Released by Borealis Records in 2006; BCD-179CD
  • Way More Live – Released on DVD by Borealis Records in 2004; BDVD001
  • Captured Alive – Released by Borealis Records in 2003; BCD-157CD
  • Agnes on the Cowcatcher – Released by Borealis Records in 2002; BCD-143CD
  • Full Throated Abandon – Released by Borealis Records in 1999; BCD-115CD
  • The Music in the Wood – Released by Tanglefoot Media in 1996; TML14-0896CD
  • Voyageurs et Vagabonds: Songs of the Voyageurs – Released by Ooze River Music 1995; ORM8-989
  • Saturday Night in Hardwood Lake – Released by Tanglefoot Media in 1994; TML12-1194CD
  • Grain of Salt – Released by Ooze River Music 1992; ORM11-1192CD
  • Voyageurs & Vagabonds (cassette) – Released by Ooze River Music[2] 1987; ORM5-287
  • Songs of the River (cassette) – Released by Ooze River Music 1984; ORM-002
  • Igg's Pig: Songs and Stories for Young Canadians' – Released by Waterloo Music[3] 1984; WR-8030


  1. ^ Peterbourgh This Week, 17/12 August
  2. ^ [1] [dead link]
  3. ^ "Traditional Children's Songs". Thecanadianencyclopedia.ca. Retrieved 29 May 2023.

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