Puerto Angel

Adobe Adobe • Get Out The Shovel • Bunt • The One Rose • Sea Of Tranquility • Nunc Pro Tunc • Dark Dear Heart • Look So Good • Muscle Beach • Radio Girl • Coyote Basin • Riff Raff • Puerto Angel
Adobe Abode
The One Rose (cover song)

ALL RECORDINGS: Paydirt (2020)Quiet Industry (2015)Is This Tomorrow (2009)Joyous Porous (2002)Desert Cure (1998)Chasing Grace (1996)Puerto Angel (1994)The Yearly Ears (dig.comp.’94-98) • Coasting Notes (2011 by Three Metre Day)Atlas Travel (2003)

Adobe Adobe • Get Out The Shovel • Bunt • The One Rose • Sea Of Tranquility • Nunc Pro Tunc • Dark Dear Heart • Look So Good • Muscle Beach • Radio Girl • Coyote Basin • Riff Raff • Puerto Angel

Puerto Angel (out of print*) is the first album by The Henrys. 
With founding member Paul Pasmore on 
bass,and Kim Ratcliffe, Howard Gaul and Mary 
Margaret O’Hara, who sings her own ballad Dark 
Dear Heart, as well a song recorded by Jimmie 
Rodgers, The Singing Brakeman. It’s called The 
One Rose. 

(Rodgers died of TB, and wrote and recorded a 
song called TB Blues, with the following rhyme:

Well she rubs my back with alcohol
Just to cure my cough
She rubs my back with alcohol
Just to cure my cough
I almost broke my neck
Trying to lick the alcohol off

He died two days after his last recording 
session, at age 35.)

*Some tracks from Puerto Angel are available on the collection The Yearly Ears
Reviews of Puerto Angel:

The sticker on the front proclaims the 
involvement of Mary Margaret O’Hara. Sure 
enough, the near mythical songstress crops up 
on three tantalising occasions on the debut 
album of her fellow Canadians, most notably on 
the suitably traumatic Dark Dear Heart. If that 
weren’t enough, The Henrys themselves make a 
lovely, light, languid instrumental noise of their 
own, most readily recalling some of the 
multi-ethnic dabblings of Ry Cooder and David 
Lindley. Leader Don Rooke plays a pretty mean 
kona, which turns out to be an acoustic Hawaiian 
guitar, but their style incorporates just about 
everything from country to jazz. John Hiatt’s 
Radio Girl with vocals by one Michael Dunston 
seems, at best, misplaced in such gentle 
surroundings for what is otherwise a small gem 
of slowly unfolding delights.”

Q Magazine, U.K. Peter Kane


A delight on numerous levels – sprightly, 
balming, edgy and eclectic, making casual darts 
in the direction of country, jazz and pop.

Mojo Magazine, U.K., January 1996


Originally released in 1994 in their native 
Canada, Puerto Angel is the debut of The 
Henrys, who have a lot going for them (other 
than the great name). Like What? Five excellent 
musicians with molto simpatico and – cover the 
kiddies’ ears if easily offended – mucho taste, 
The Henrys have a few master strokes, the first 
being resident composer-in-chief/steel 
drummer/dobro player and kona virtuoso Don 
Rooke. Kona? Yep, it’s a Hawaiian steel-strung 
slide guitar with a hollow neck, that just rings and 
resonates like you wouldn’t believe. Some of the 
tracks accordingly have a Cooder-Kottke feel to 
them, and good for them – if you’re going to be 
compared to somebody by idiot reviewers 
looking for points of reference, these guys 
aren’t a bad start.

But there’s a fair amount of Other Stuff 
happening on the tracks – the second interesting 
pont is that for an instrumental band, there’s a lot 
of vocals around, all by guest artists. Michael 
Dunston growls effectively through a John Hiatt 
song, and then along comes Mary Margaret 
O’Hara. It transpires that Rooke has worked with 
O’Hara before, and she comes along and does 
her weird vocal thing on three tracks, as well as 
singing The One Rose absolutely straight – 
probably the biggest shock of all. And it all 
works really well.

Third, those comparisons above are only valid 
for some of the album; there are jazzy, bluesy 
grooves, slow, aching solo pieces, and some 
unclassifiable tracks that demand being listened 
to. Good vibes all around. Catch them if they 
tour – if they’re half as good live, they’re still well 
ahead of most.

Folk Roots Magazine, U.K. Ian Kearey


“A band well worth getting to know.”
Rock & Reel, U.K., Spring 1996

Highlighting dobro and Hawaiian slide guitar, the 
Canadian instrumentalists produce a sound 
somewhere between Leo Kottke, Ry Cooder 
and David Lindley, all very quiet night under the 
stars open spaces.

What’s On, London, U.K., 1996


A classic album made for introspective 

Roots & Reggae, U.K.


My number one album of 1994. Under the fluid, 
guiding hands of Don Rooke – who plays kona, 
dobro, lap steel and steel drums – The Henrys 
move effortlessly through stirring country ballads 
with [singer] Mary Margaret O’Hara (“The One 
Rose”, “Dark Dear Heart”), lonesome desert 
laments (“Look So Good,” “Coyote Basin”) and 
jazz (“Bunt”). The dexterous Henrys take it all in 
stride and listeners will revel in their musical 
diversity. This second release covers tons of 
rootsy material and does it so very, very well.”

Ottawa Express, Joe Reilly


Very idiosyncratic and very lovely.

CBC TV Arts National, review by Karen Gordon


Accessible and challenging, The Henrys’ Puerto 
Angel is my favourite Canadian release of the 
year. It is also one that comes out of left field. 
Who would expect an album with a kona (a 
Hawaiian acoustic slide guitar) as one of the 
central instruments to be the creation of Toronto 
musicians? The mainly instrumental, somewhat 
jazzy tunes provide the anchor for these 
alternately playful and moody explorations. 
Notable tracks include the swinging “Nunc Pro 
Tunc” and the twisted funk of “Muscle Beach”, 
which features some atonal steel drums and 
untraditional mouth music from O’Hara. Puerto 
Angel is an intriguing pleasure.”

Exclaim! Bruce Tisdale


Outstanding players and seamless as an 

NOW Magazine, Kim Hughes


A diverting album by this distinctive 
Toronto-based band. Mary Margaret O’Hara 
makes a heartbreaking return.

-Toronto Sun, John Sakomoto


Puerto Angel was charted in Germany’s Rolling 
Stone Magazine as an Editor’s Choice, 1996


Het lijkt alsof de makers van deze CD zich 
hebben ingespannen om vooral niets te 
verklappen over do muziek die ze maken. Hun 
naam zegt niets en de titel van hun debuutalbum 
al evenmin, behalve dan dat het de naam van 
een plaats in Mexico is. Ook de foto op het 
hoesje is tamelijk abstract. Wat doen ze dan, die 
Henrys? Wel, ze maken Hawaiian-muziek. 
Oudere lezers zullen zilch zich misschien nog 
de hoogtijdagen van dat genre herinneren, met 
de Kilima Hawaiians als onbetwiste sterren aan 
het Nederlandse firmament. In tegenstelling tot 
de Hawaiian-muziek uit de jaren viftig, die nogal 
sentimenteel en voorspelbaar was, is de muziek 
van de Henrys avontuurlijk, veelzijdig en 
virtuoos, maar ook verstild en poetisch. De 
leider van het kwartet, Don Rooke, bespeelt de 
kona, een instrument dat in Los Angeles werd 
gebouwd tijdens de eerste Hawaiian-golf die de 
Verenigde Staten eind jaren twintig bereikte. Het 
is een soort slide-gitaar, maar dan eentje met 
een ongewoon fraaie en warme klank. Puerto 
Angel is overwegend instrumentaal, maar op 
enkele nummers is de Canadese 
stemkunstenares Mary Margaret O’Hara te 
horen, telkens weer in een geheel andere 
gedaante. Puristisch kan deze CD niet worden 
genoemd. De Henrys flirten vrijelijk met funk, 
jazz rock en zelfs hillbilly, maar zonder ooit hun 
ware inspiratie to verloochen.

Ode Magazine,Rotterdam, Ton Maas