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.
Dianne Donovan: Stevie Wonder, “If It’s Magic”
A gorgeous song from the brilliant double album, Songs In the Key Of Life. This beautiful duo features jazz harpist, Dorothy Ashby. It’s bittersweet but always brings me quiet joy.
Orest Soltykevych: Francisco Cabn and Kevin Class, “Banjo and Fiddle” by William Kroll
William Kroll was an American composer who also played solo violin and in various chamber ensembles. Kroll is best known for this lively work written in 1945.
Matt Masters: Ammoye, “Soul Rebel”
I learned about this song and this artist when she was nominated for a 2018 Juno. “Soul Rebel” is an uplifting tune about seeing the light that burns inside all of us. Ammoye is pure Canadian reggae!
Matt Masters: Nick Waterhouse, “Katchi (Ofenbach vs. Nick Waterhouse)”
This is a remix of a song that appeared on Nick Waterhouse’s 2016 album, Never Twice. The original was funky, with Leon Bridges appearing on the vocal, but this version takes the shoobie-doobie-do-wah into the 21st century and beyond. Dance hit of the summer!
Baba: Red Baraat, “Punjaub March feat. John Hodgman”
I can’t think of any other place where Punjaabi folk music meets humourist John Hodgman. End of the story!
Bob Chelmick: Kate and Anna McGarrigle, “Talk to Me of Mendocino”
The tragic Mendocino Complex wildfire must have reminded me about this lovely, plaintive song from 1975. The McGarrigles were ‘breaking out’ — and no wonder, with lyrics and melody lines like this. Still stands tall today with Norah Jones recently covering this ballad of longing for a place by the sea in California.
David Ward: Jorja Smith, “Lifeboats (Freestyle)”
A chill new song about the haves and the have-nots from a 21-year-old British singer who released her debut album earlier this year. Jorja is a voice to keep your ears on — she’s going places!
Lionel Rault: Elvis Costello, “Unwanted Number”
Elvis Costello and The Imposters have re-recorded “Unwanted Number” for the band’s new studio album, Look Now, the first recording with his band The Imposters in 10 years. The album is scheduled for release on October 12th. Costello originally wrote the track for the Grace of My Heart soundtrack in 1996, but he wasn’t featured on the recording. The new album features co-writes with Burt Bacharach and Carole King.
Amy van Keeken: Aretha Franklin, “Daydreaming”
Her power, her mastery and her agility as a singer and interpreter of song is something I will never cease to marvel at and be inspired by. As a songwriter, Aretha Franklin wrote some of my favourite tunes: “Who’s Zoomin Who”, “Rock Steady” and this one, “Daydreaming” from her 1972 album, Young, Gifted and Black. Rest in peace, Queen of Soul.
Grant Stovel: Tony Bennett & Diana Krall, “Fascinating Rhythm “
The perennially-youthful Tony Bennett just turned 92 and is collaborating here with relative whippersnapper Diana Krall for this feisty take on a Gershwin classic. It’s a delightful first taste of the tandem’s album of duets, which is due out next month.
Roy Forbes: Aretha Franklin, “Won’t Be Long”
Aretha’s gospel and soul roots are in full flower on this November 1960 recording for Columbia, cut when she was just eighteen years old. Produced by the legendary record man, John Hammond with Ray Bryant on piano and Aretha is wailing, just like she would do a few years later on her big Atlantic singles. RIP, Queen of Soul.