Bob’s Boots marks the first release of Bob Jensen’s music since his LP, First Time Since August, in 1984.
“I think this is what’s known as a slow build,” jokes Jensen, who no longer performs music and now writes poetry and also collaborates with songwriters from around the world. “I’ve had all this material kicking around for many years—studio outtakes, demos and live recordings from the 1980s—so I decided to put it out there as a kind of semi-official bootleg, hence the title.”
Of the 16 tracks on the release, half were recorded by CBC Radio in 1987. “I performed a show with a couple of sidemen at Rasputin’s, quite a famous little venue in Ottawa, and CBC Radio came out and recorded the whole thing. It’s a mix of original songs and some trad stuff and the production values are quite good,” says Jensen. There are also several original songs that were recorded in Ottawa for a second LP that was never released. Two of the cuts are from a live recording from a gig in northern New Brunswick in 1984. Several of the songs on Bob’s Boots have been covered by other artists. Valdy used to perform The Ritz Café and William Casey and Jackie the Liar and Christmas Song have been covered by Ray Bonneville and Black Umfolosi respectively.
“One of the tracks is a kids’ song,” says Jensen, “A little ditty I made up when my first child was born, and that I used to sing while rocking him as an infant. It’s a bit out of place, but I think it’s probably one of the better songs I have written, so I threw it in the mix as a bonus track.”
Bob’s Boots is available as a free download and live streaming on Soundcloud. Says Jensen, “I just wanted to give new life to the material. Last year I signed a worldwide deal with SGO, a really great music publisher out of the UK, and the more ways I get the music out there, the better. For me though, this is just a hobby. I have no plans to give up my day job.” Jensen’s SoundCloud account is called Bob Jensen’s Music.