Saturday, March 15, 2008

Original Sloth Band

In an RR post, debbym asked where she could get an OSB recording. Pretty difficult to do. The records are rare and apparently are now collector's items. The album I have, Whoopee After Midnight, was produced by an independent label - Sloth Records, in Toronto in the 60s. (It actually belongs to a former roommate who I have lost contact with.) The group is a trio consisting of brothers Ken and Chris Whiteley and Tom Evans.

The album features 14 songs, all "recorded as we would play them live - without overdubbing" according to the liner notes. My favorite cuts are The Sheik of Araby, I'm a Vulture for Horticulture (which I suggested in the "I am" category a while ago) and The Johnson Rag, adapted from the Jimmy Dorsey Version. It includes a wild kazoo solo. Really. (The Sheik of Araby features a slide whistle solo) The song swings and I've put it online for you at but will take it down after a week or so. The most well known song on the album is a cover of The Silhouettes Get a Job. One of the songs, a spiritual called He's Coming in Glory, is done a capella.

Regarding "I Just Want to Be Horizontal", the cover notes say the only other version of the song at the time was by Pat Flower and his Rythym.

Ken Whiteley went on to a highly successful career as a record producer and he still performs with the trio of Scarlett, Washington and Whiteley as well as doing solo work. The latter trio has three albums on the Borealis label and Ken has a couple of solo albums on the label as well as a duo with brother Chris. All, I believe, still available. You can see Borealis collection of records for sale at and a biography of Ken Whiteley at

Some of the the more recent music is available on iTunes including the SWW trio's version of Horizontal.


Blimpy said...

Excellent first post M7, thanks for joining!

I really liked the mp3 you posted, cheers for that!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I have 1978 in mp3 format. Will trade for any other album of theirs in mp3 format.


Anonymous said...

I have a Sloth Band dbl CD complete with pro graphics established (for love - not profit) out of my 3 OSB vinyl releases. This is stuff for the desert island... and for Ken, Chris or Tom one of these days I hope.

Anonymous said...

Anon, any chance of getting a copy??? I love these guys and can remember seeing them at the Ottawa Folk Festival in 1976 and/or 1977 and again in 2005. It is not possible to buy their stuff any more from what I can tell. Your help would be greatly appreciated.



Dylan said...

I have the original LP 'Hustlin' and Bustlin''.It is definitely among my 'desert island' selections! BTW it was recorded in 1975, not in the 60's.I lived in the Village, on Scollard, and used to see the boys at The Riverboat on Yorkville all the time.

I'd be happy to relay any info from the sleeve to any interested party.


The Sketchy Collective said...

im one of the band members son, and trust me the records aren't as rare as you would expect, but im fairly sure i saw one sell for 110$ on ebay about two years ago. WILD!

love the post, im always trying to find pictures people might have of my father and his band playing the horseshoe, or a mariposa festival. is anyone has super8 footage or photos let me know!