The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #170257   Message #4117385
Posted By: Helen
21-Aug-21 - 03:01 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Mystery Song Recording, Sixties or 70s
Subject: RE: Origins: Mystery Song Recording, Sixties or 70s
On the reddit page which Guest linked to on 21 Aug 21 - 01:15 AM, one of the people mentioned was Tommy Shaw who was in the band Styx. I listened to Boat on the River (BOTR) which was released in 1979 and TS wrote the song and also was the vocalist.

The singer's voice and the musical style and arrangement seem to have similarities to the mystery song, although the most prominent instrument in BOTR is the mandolin and not guitar and piano. The lyrics are simple and uncomplicated, very much like the lyrics of the mystery song. I would say the same of the base melodies of each song. It's the arrangements and style which makes both songs more interesting, IMHO.

Styx were from Chicago. Tommy Shaw joined the band in 1976.

The song BOTR was a bit more laid-back than some of their other songs. I never bought any of their albums, but that song always stops me in my tracks whenever I hear it.

My theory is, that *if* the mystery song was written and performed by Tommy Shaw then it has a high probability that it was a demo tape created by him in the early to mid '70's before he joined Styx which would explain why it is not showing up on searches for tracks on albums.

According to Wiki he is still alive and kicking. Can anyone contact him and ask him?

Also, thanks LM-Harbor for the list of other songs on the cassette.

And I think that the cover version doesn't help, IMHO, in trying to identify the original version because I am sticking to my earlier assertion that the vocal and musical qualities and style of the track is more useful for pinning down the identity of the performer/s.