Broken Bow

Band members               Related acts

- Steve Barr - vocals, bass

- Chip Duncan -- vocals, guitar

- Helt Oncale -- vocals, guitar, banjo

- Dan Showalter -- pedal steel

- Rick Tacey -- vocals, drums




- Helt Oncale (solo efforts)





Genre: pop

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Arrival

Company: Couderay

Catalog: CR 123178

Year: 1980

Country/State: Madison, Wisconsin

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: back cover signed by all of the band members

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5334

Price: $75.00


Yeah, this one's extremely obscure   I've only seen two copies in twenty years of collecting.  Anyhow, try finding any kind of online review.  The one short blurb I located was so far off that I had to wonder if the reviewer had listened to the same album.  As far as bibliographical information - zip, zilch, nada, nothing ...


Based on the LP liner notes I can add a couple of bibliographical tidbits.  The line up consisted of bassist Steve Barr, guitarist Chip Duncan, singer/guitarist Helt Oncale, pedal steel guitarist Dan Showalter, and drummer Rick Tacey.  They seem to have been based in Madison Wisconsin and their sole LP 1980's "Arrival" was recorded in Madison's Full Compass Studio.  Not to take anything away from the album, but anyone expecting to hear something in the garage/progressive/psych vein was going to be in for a major disappointment. With most of the band members contributing material about half of the collection featured straight ahead country numbers.  Tracks like 'Fae Do Do', 'Nothin Like Abilene' and 'No Better Feelin'' weren't bad, but if you weren't into pedal steel and country this wouldn't do a thing for you.  Exemplified by songs like the title track, 'Runnin'' and 'Thought of Leavin' You'  the other half of the LP showcased acoustic pop stylings that recalled America, or maybe latter stage Poco.  Actually, listening to the LP again, the America comparison is pretty tight.  Not something I'd play all the time, but the America-styled songs were all pretty good.  And yes there was a single off the LP 'Arrival' b/w 'Fae Do Do' (Couderay catalog number CR 123180).


"Arrival" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Arrival   (Chip Duncan) - 3:40

2.) Fae Do Do   (Helt Oncale) - 3:38

3.) Nothin Like Abilene   (Steve Barr - Chip Duncan) - 4:19

4.) Song To You In the Morning   (Chip Duncan) - 4:27

5.) Runnin'   (Helt Oncale) - 6:19


(side 2)
1.) No Better Feelin'   (Ron Sowell - Sandy Sowell) - 

2.) Thought of Leavin' You   (Chip Duncan) - 

3.) Ooo the feeling   (Rick Tacey) - 

4.) Nooksac River   (Helt Oncale) - 

5.) Broken Bow  (Chip Duncan) - 


I'm not 100% sure about this, but I believe Duncan went on to become a well known independent documentary filmmaker and head of The Duncan Group:


Oncale continued his musical career and somehow ended up in Germany where his unique mixture of country and Cajun-flavored material made him a local star, including winning several 'musician of the year' awards from the German American Country Music Federation.  He's apparently released a string of LPs credited to the Helt Oncale Band and has a small but interesting website at:



Another tidbit on the group via the internet:


Hi: I was going through some of my records and found the Broken Bow Album. My wife and I were in Wisconsin Dells for a week and when we went to the local eatery and bar where everybody sings, drinks beer and eats peanuts, there was a group that was going to perform for the first time and they were singing the songs in their new album, "Arrival". We thought they were very good and I was quite impressed at their delivery. When the performance was over, they asked if anyone would like a copy of their album. If I remember correctly, only a couple of people bought the album, and I was one of them. I still have it and played it tonight and still like them. I just thought it would be interesting to know what happened to them. Evidently not good enough to proceed with their group. It was nice to see that a few of them went on to bigger and better things. Now you know where a third record is after your 30 years.  Thanks for your information that I don't have, and maybe I have supplied a little insight for you of when and how they started out.    

Sincerely Chuck Teal April 2009



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