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.
Lark Clark: Mokoomba, “Kumukanda”
This band is now the strongest voice out of Zimbabwe. They do so many things, and do them well. Great lead singer, terrific harmonies and the guitarists translate traditional mbira music into their rockin’ styles.
Baba: Cornershop, “What Did The Hippie Have In His Bag?”
Maybe I am that person with the bag, maybe you are. So, what do you have in your bag? Time to take inventory! Cornershop bring, occasionally, Punjabi folk music into the contemporary idiom, and they are good!
Allison Brock: Garland Jeffreys, “Help”
A timeless song that has been given a great new treatment by Garland Jeffreys. In my books, he’s a timeless artist. He puts more emotion into the song, almost pleading for help. He essentially gives the song a whole new meaning more than five decades after it was written.
Tony King: Lido Pimienta, “Quiero Jardines”
“I’ve been in Canada for 10 years, and when I think about Canada then and now, it’s the same. I’m still the one brown girl among all these white men.” – Lido Pimienta. Clearly not one to pull her punches, Lido Pimienta’s latest album, La Papessa, is shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize this year. Despite her stark, if not realistic, approach to talking about her life and music, when you listen to the songs from this South American ex-pat, they sparkle with ebullience. The thrill of tucking into a cut like “Quiero Jardines” is savouring the fearlessness of youth locked into deep grooves.
Lionel Rault: Sean Rowe, “Desiree”
Great performance, catchy hook and the perfect bouncy beat for a summer’s day!
Dianne Donovan: Curtis Mayfield, “Freddie’s Dead”
The words are socially relevant and the groove is ever-present, along with Mayfield’s amazing, cool vocals. Written for the film, Superfly. In the film version, it was presented as an instrumental.
Lisa Wilton: Bruce Cockburn, “Call It Democracy”
This song has popped up in my mind a few times in recent months. I recently saw Barney Bentall and his son Dustin Bentall do a great version of it at the Calgary Folk Music Festival. The lyrics are still as relevant today as when he first wrote them back in the ’80s. Perhaps even more so, considering what’s going on in world politics. It’s not exactly a carefree summer song, but it’s worth giving another listen to this Cockburn classic.
Mark Antonelli: Dan Dean, “Sheep may Safely Graze” by Bach
My ears were surprised this week by vocalist Dan Dean. His multi-track vocalizations of classical music are amazing. He’s the son of vocalists and began improvising with his parents as a very young child. He even tackles Mussorgsky’s “Night On Bald Mountain” on the disc! These sheep are grazing in a slightly jazzy way. I’ll be playing the Mussorgsky on air soon!
Terry David Mulligan: Little Richard, “Lucille”
Yes you could look closer to today’s music, but none of them can do what this record does. It’s secret is Richard of course: a great singer and stellar piano artist. The label says Little Richard and his band. But it wasn’t his, it was mostly Fats Domino’s New Orleans band. Richard said he got this, and other songs and rhythms from trains passing his home. All Aboard!!!
Grant Stovel: Albert King, “Born Under a Bad Sign”
This 1967 classic was kind of like Albert King’s signature song, but it was penned by two employees over at Stax Records in Memphis. They were Booker T. Jones, whose Booker T. & the MG’s back up Albert King on this record, and legendary songwriter, William Bell. And hey, William Bell plays at the Edmonton Folk Festival this weekend!
His songs have been recorded by everybody from Otis Redding to Cream to Billy Idol. But, he’s a wonderful singer and performer in his own right. I can’t wait to check him out.
Monica Miller: Melody Gardot, “The King of 52nd Street”
Just as we all immerse ourselves in the world of folk, I choose jazz. Go figure! I had been thinking about Melody Gardot and then she popped up on this new Larry Klein project, The Passion of Charlie Parker. The tune is Bird’s “Scrapple From The Apple”. The lyrics are by David Baerwald, written from the p-o-v of Parker’s wife, Chan. Donny McCaslin plays tenor sax and Ben Monder plays guitar — both alumnus of Bowie’s Blackstar Band.