Scrubbaloe Caine

scrubbaloe caine

Scrubbaloe Caine is at the roots of what would become several other Canadian household names. The band was formed when guitarist Jim Harmata and bassist Bob Kidd, who’d played together in the mid 60’s in Jason Hoover and The Epics and the R&B All Stars, and keyboardist Al Foreman left their on-again, off-again individual groups in Vancouver for Calgary, where they hooked up with mutual friends guitarist Paul Dean and Henry Small (ex of Gainsborough Gallery) in 1970. The five auditioned numerous drummers before settling on Bill McBeth, who Dean had previously worked with in a Calgary-based band called Canada.

The band did a few shows together, but Kidd quit in 1972, only a few months in. Jim Kale was recruited as the replacement bassist, following his recent departure from The Guess Who.

The band relocated to Toronto and signed a deal with Dynaflex Records in ’73, and headed to Hollywood that summer. They recruited David Kershenbaum as producer and released ROUND ONE on RCA before year’s end. The band’s dual-guitar attack, augmented by keyboards and occasional harmonica work from Foreman and Small’s electric violin made for an eclectic rock mix. The band released a pair of singles, “Feelin’ Good On Sunday” and “Rosalie” while touring throughout western Canada. Other tracks included the lead-off “Edmonton Rain”, “Daybreak,” the bluesy “Feelin’ Good About A Blues Guitar,” and their cover of the Leiber/Stoller-penned Elvis hit “Trouble.”

They relocated to Toronto the next year and went back into the studios. In the meantime however Dynaflex closed its doors and the band found themselves deep in debt. They financed the rest of the recordings themselves, while shopping for a major label. They released “Feelin’ Down,” “I’m A Dreamer,” and “Tearfall” over the next year or so while trying to keep a presence on the circuit. But unable to get signed, the band called it quits in 1975.

Dean moved back to Calgary and tried his hand at a few bands including Cannonball and The Great Canadian Rat Race. He eventually wound up in a band that morphed into Streetheart. After recording their debut lp, he then moved on to form Loverboy with ex-Moxy singer Mike Reno and fellow Streetheart alumni Matt Frennette on drums.

Henry Small formed Small Wonder who had two albums on CBS before joining Burton Cummings‘ touring band, then landed the job as Prism’s lead singer. He also gained a reputation as a songwriter, penning songs for the likes of Eddie Money, as well as a member of The Rock, formed by the late Who bassist John Entwistle. He formed The Shift, releasing the OUT OF DARKNESS album in ’99, then made the transition to radio DJ for a Kamloops station a year later. He released the solo album TIME in 2002 while also launching a production/advertising company called Small World Studios.

Foreman moved back to Vancouver and still records blues/jazz and regularly performs on the west coast circuit. Bob Kidd died in 2000 of cancer. Kale owned the rights of The Guess Who name, and continued to tour and occasionally record with a revolving door lineup for the better part of the next two decades, until Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings talked him into staying home for the “Running Back Through Canada” tour in 2004.


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