Every week, CKUA’s hosts submit their songs for our weekly House Blend playlist: an exciting new release, a beloved classic or just an old personal favourite. We mix it all together to create a sonic concoction that’ll help kick off your week. Check out what’s on this week’s playlist.
Tom Coxworth: Van Morrison, “Purple Heather”
The ‘original’ version, “Wild Mountain Thyme”, is credited to The McPeake Family, an Irish trad family group from the 1950s and 1960s. The song aka “Purple Heather” has been covered over the years by hundreds including Rod Stewart. The song is an Irish/Scottish traditional melody with a deep history. It feels like a seasonal song.
Baba: Eric Bibb, “We Don’t Care”
This song brings awareness to our responsibility to the environment. The presence of Habib Koite from Senegal musically enhances the song.
Lisa Wilton: Dan Mangan, “Troubled Mind”
Dan released this single in June, but I still can’t get enough of it! He really hits the bullseye with this driving, danceable track. The sense of urgency in the chorus reflects the anxiety caused by this current political climate and general state of the world. The song bodes well for Dan Mangan’s new album, More or Less, which comes out November 2.
Orest Soltykevych: Michael Bridge, “Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture”
Calgary native Michel Bridge plays his arrangement of this famous work on his digital accordion, which gives him the ability to play all the sounds you will hear in a single take. This music comes from his solo debut CD, Overture, which came out earlier this year.
Kodi Hutchinson: Al Muirhead, “A Tune For Cal”
At 82 years young, Alberta trumpeter, Al Muirhead, has released his most recent album, Undertones, featuring an all-star lineup of Canadian jazz luminaries. Easily his best work to date — playing the rare ‘bass trumpet’, the song is a tribute to Al’s older brother Cal who was one of his musical mentors.
Meg Wilcox: BADBADNOTGOOD, Little Dragon, “Tried”
Need to chill out? Pour a drink, pop on your headphones, and listen to this Toronto group’s mellow collaboration with Swedish electro-experimenters Little Dragon.
Darcy Whiteside: Mile Twelve, “Rocket Man”
Elton John recently added Edmonton as one of the cities for his farewell tour. In honour of Elton, and in honour of a new release by bluegrass band out of Boston, here is a bluegrass cover of “Rocketman”.
Hayley Muir: Cat Power, “Stay”
It’s maybe kind of gauche to pick a cover song from a new release, but Cat Power manages to take Rihanna’s “Stay” and make it all her own. Although, Cat, aka Chan Marshall, herself says that cover songs are “one of the great traditions in American music, and one of the true pleasures of music history.” Here, here!! Cat Power’s latest album, The Wanderer, is out now.
Grant Stovel: Pharis & Jason Romero, “Salt & Powder”
I’ve heard of musicians who can be described as “do it yourself” before, but bluegrass duo Pharis & Jason Romero take it to the next level — they actually make their own instruments! However, they had to take a year off, after their home instrument shop in Horsefly, B.C., burnt down, to re-build their shop and their home, to welcome their second child into the world and to write a raft of great new songs. Their brand-new record is just brimming with a sense of new beginnings. Catch them if you can this Thursday at Calgary’s Festival Hall.
Roy Forbes: Bill Frisell, “Pipeline”
The extraordinary jazz guitar picker goes back to his early ’60s teenage roots on the fine LP, Guitar In The Space Age from a few years ago. The Chantays never sounded quite this spacy though. I highly recommend the entire album.
Dianne Donovan: Kate Bush, “Running Up The Hill (A Deal With God)”
Don’t even look at the release date. This is timeless: the mood, the groove, the whole “Deal With God” — not sure what it means, but what’s not to love?
Amy van Keeken: Doug Paisley, “Drinking With a Friend”
The first single from his forthcoming album, Starter Home, “Drinking With a Friend” is understated and gentle and you hardly know its hit you, except that you find yourself playing it on repeat and yearning for November 2 when the full album comes out.
Lark Clark: Alexia Avina, “Be Thankful For What You’ve Got”
Whether as a 1974 soul hit or a modern atmospheric ballad, it’s timely advice.