the CDs

(available from CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes and from the band at gigs)

Riff City
Contratopia: Riff City

Riff City, released in 2014, is our latest CD. Most of these Riff City tunes have been played regularly at dances during the last ten years and the band (which still includes the original four members) has been active during our "season" (roughly November-March, with exceptions) throughout this period.

Contratopia has always played lots of original tunes from members John Goodin and Erik Sessions but this CD marks the first contributions from Pat O'Loughlin (Cement Donkey & Two Bits) and Patrice Pakiz (Night in Slovenia). In addition we recorded three great, modern tunes; Paul Gitlitz's popular Flying Home to Shelley, Larry Siegel's Liberation and Maison de Glace by Rejean Brunet. We think that waltz lovers will also enjoy two of our recent favorites, Last Call at Hawley-Cooke and Aubrey & Andrew's Wedding.


Smitten Cover

Smitten is the title of our third CD. It features an assortment of reels, jigs and waltzes with a couple of airs and a swing tune for variety. Twenty of the 24 tunes on the disc were written by either John or Erik, one tune was written by Larry Unger and two tunes come from the deep well of tradition. For this third CD we returned to Minneapolis' Wild Sound studio and had a great time playing and seeing the project come to life. We're especially pleased that we finally succeeded in capturing the tune "Smitten" after nearly featuring it on each of our first two CDs.

The Smitten Tunes
(sound clips available from CDbaby)
(iTunes fans can click here to go directly to the page for Smitten)

1) Loaves and Fishes (Goodin) / Too Many Goats (Goodin) / 4th and Walnut (Goodin)
2) Puddle Jumper (Goodin) / Snow Day (Sessions) / Offshoot (Sessions)
3) Bighorn River Sunset (Goodin)
4) Aly on the Plains (Sessions) / Hay to Market (Goodin) / Just 4 Guys (Goodin)
5) Ladybug Lightning (Sessions)
6) Mason's Apron (trad.) / Maggie in the Snow (Goodin) / Julia Delaney (trad.)
7) Lucy's Stroll (Goodin) / Box Elder Stomp (Goodin)
8) Smitten (Goodin)
9) Fenstermann's Surprise (Goodin) / Stumpy (Larry Unger) / Bunch of Stuff (Goodin)
10) Manistique (Goodin) / What You Got There? (Goodin) / Scandy Twist (Sessions)
11) Lost Summer (Goodin)

Ballroom Echoes

Ballroom Echoes Cover

Ballroom Echoes is a collection of eleven waltzes, eight written by either John or Erik and was released in late 2002. Along with the title cut the disc features an instrumental version of Erik and Greg Huang-Dale's "Highlandville Waltz" and a rendition of Larry Unger's "Two Rivers." We think it's a great collection of tunes and might be an excellent gift for that friend or relative who isn't a contra dancer but who enjoys lovely instrumental acoustic music.

The Ballroom Echoes Tunes
(sound clips available from CDbaby)
(iTunes fans can click here to go directly to the page for Ballroom Echoes.)

1) Mother's Day (Goodin)
2) Shaoxing Waltz (Jenny & Greg Huang-Dale)
3) Two Rivers (Larry Unger)
4) The Highlandville Waltz (Greg Huang-Dale and Erik Sessions)
5) Ballroom Echoes (Goodin)
6) St. Louis Christmas (Sessions)
7) Evenings and Weekends (Goodin)
8) January Waltz (Goodin)
9) Rose Island (Goodin)
10) La Bergerette Saint-Roch (trad., arr. Contratopia)
11) Favors Her Father (Goodin)

Hands Four

Hands Four Cover

(sound clips available from CDbaby)

Hands Four is Contratopia's first recording project and includes a wide selection of jigs, reels and waltzes. The majority of the tunes are written by either John or Erik and the performances were mostly recorded live in the studio at Minneapolis' Wild Sound. The beautiful cover art was created for us by Twin Cities' artist Tom Gau and is reproduced above with his generous permission. We have found that the disc is very listenable and appeals not only to dancers but to many kinds of music lovers. Dirty Linen magazine (June/July 2002) says the CD is "Rollicking good fun."

The Hands Four Tunes
(iTunes fans can click here to go directly to the page for Hands Four.)

1) Booth Shot Lincoln (trad.) / It Ain't the Heat, It's the Humidity (Sessions)
2) Reel St. Joseph (trad.) / Star of Munster (trad.) / Two Legged Stool (Goodin)
3) Ms. P's Waltz (Sessions)
4) Sweet Music (Sessions) / Why Ted Flies (Goodin) / 3-Legged Dawg (Erik Peterson, Greg Dale) /
Ron Wallace's Fancy (Sherry Wohlers Ladig) / Books and Ladders (Goodin)
5) South of France (Goodin)
6) Sandy River Belles (trad.) / Little Liza Jane (trad.)
7) Revelry Reel (Sessions) / French Sneakers (Goodin) / Maggie in the Rain (Goodin)
8) The National Road (Goodin)
9) Hogwart's Express (Goodin) / O'Keefe's Slide (trad.) / Steady On (Goodin)
10) Oak Woods Song (Sessions)
11) Palisades (Goodin) / Christmas Past (Goodin) / Fairbanks (Goodin)

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