discography with jackets & lyrics
Possibly no other group captures the true spirit of Alberta like Showdown. Though by no means do they belong in a website dedicated to classic Canadian rock …. IT’S MY SITE! … so let’s continue shall we? …

A true collaberation of Alberta talent at its finest, Showdown began as a barn band in Armpit, Alberta in the late 70’s when Garry Lee Berthold would whistle while milking Bessie. His neighbour Charles Holly heard the blissful dairy-duties and before long, the two were jamming with their little animal friends. Deciding it would be best if their husbands simply abandoned farmlife, Mrs Holly and Berthold packed up the kids and hubbies and headed to town. Arriving at the bussling metropolis of Medicine Hat, the two quickly took to fiddles and geetars. Low and behold … they were good. So good in fact they moved to the big city – Leduc. There, they attracted the attention of more farmers, fello banjo and geetarist Kelly La Rocque and drummer Paul McLellan. It wasn’t long before their wives got tired of their katterwalling in the basements, so the boys hit the road, when Berthold got SO-FIS-TEE-KATED and dropped his last name, just going by Garry Lee.

A cult following soon developed, unable to get enough of the group’s pure magnetism on stage. Two-stepping … this silly dance then that one … the boys were hot. They decided corporate types were never going to catch on to their brand of country music mixed with dry prairie humour, so they threw a couple of bags in their pickups and headed for the studios. Eventually agreeing to let Garry’s German Shephard in the building, the guys came out of Damon Studios

in the spring of 1980 with what is quite honestly one of the most cleverly written, witty, ground-breaking, slickest sounding country records to ever come out of Canada, WELCOME TO THE RODEO. With Gaye Delorme’s song, “The Rodeo Song”, the band gained instant notoriety. Though the album jacket praises the song for being a future classic, right below it is a warning for radio DJ’s not to play it. Read the lyrics below and you’ll know why …..

Despite the warnings on the album jacket, stations across the province simply played a ‘beeped out’ version, and let the listeners decide for themselves what might rhyme with truck. Wrongly dismissed as ANYTHING but serious musicians, their superb renditions of “Rocky Top” and “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”, though played, didn’t garner the attention of the now infamous “Rodeo Song”. The band went their seperate ways, back to different farms that is, but still managed to find time to tour the next few years in between haying seasons.

They stuck to the fields for the next few years but flew to Europe in 1988 for a hog-show and managed to squeeze in a few gigs as well. They released the single “Deadly” after coming home and then a remake of A Foot In Cold Water’s “Make Me Do Anything You Want”. Their second album came out in 1990 on Edmonton’s DMT Records, entitled NEW FRONTIERS IN COUNTRY MUSIC and featured Doug Jenson and Charlotte Weibe from Jenson Interceptor. The group’s undeniable Alberta twitch was finally recognized as earth-shattering and unmistakeable and won them Group of The Year in that year’s Alberta Recording Industry Association ceremonies.

Lee resurfaced in Edmonton in ’94. He had a new dog and a new attitude … “F**k them if they can’t take a joke”. He emerged from Soundtrek Studios with what was a blatant attempt at cashing in on past success by releasing THE RODEO SONG LP. The title track aside, the album still contained some catchy tunes that made your feet wanna get up and dance. Though tracks like “Hot Dog Saturday Night” and “Rodeo Cowboy” were quite catchy in their own rights, it was the re-release of “The Rodeo Song” that set the airwaves ablaze. Back was the ‘Alamana’, the dance craze that no one but us Albertans got…

The band again disbanded, going their seperate ways. Lee still performs in and around the Edmonton area in local clubs, while all four still tend to their fields in various parts of the province. Showdown was the epitome of a regional act loved in their homeland, but shunned and scorned outside it. Enjoy the transcription of The Rodeo Song below … I personally prefer my steak medium rare … and have never ridden a cow, but HAVE been chased on top of a barn by one once …

  • With notes from Paul Leask and Glen O’Brien 🙂

    The Rodeo SongGaye Delorme, (1980 Damon Records)

    Well it’s forty below and I don’t give a f*ck
    Got a heater in my truck and I’m off to the rodeo

    It’s an allemande left – an allemande right
    Come on you f*cking dummy get your right step right
    Get off stage – you God-damned goof you know
    You p*ss me off – you f*cking jerk
    You get on my nerves

    Well here comes Johnny with his p*cker in his hand
    He’s a one ball man and he’s off to the rodeo


    Well it’s forty below and I ain’t got a truck
    And I don’t give a f*ck ‘cuz I’m off to the rodeo


    Well here comes Johnny with his p*cker in his hand
    He’s a one ball man and he’s off to the rodeo


    welcome to the rodeo
    Banjo Symphony
    Tennessee Stud
    There Goes Another Love Song
    Rocky Top
    Cosmic Cowboy
    The Devil Went Down To Georgia
    Redneck Disco
    Lonesome 7-7203
    Duelling Banjos
    The Rodeo Song
    rodeo song
    THE RODEO SONG LP (1994)
    Hot Dog Saturday Night
    Spend The Night Together
    Cajun Boogie
    Rodeo Cowboy
    First Time For Julie
    Troubles To Spare
    Greasy Delight
    Ethel Pump
    The Rodeo Song