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.
Cam Hayden: David Vest, “We’re All Sharecroppers Now”
David’s song captures the essence of a feeling many have had. An incisive songwriter, David’s recent Devastatin’ Rhythm CD is chock full of gems like this.
Lionel Rault: Jason Isbell, “24 Frames”
Beautiful melody, great lyrics!
Tom Coxworth: Joni Mitchell, “Big Yellow Taxi”
Part of 150 Years of Canadian Folk Music on March 4: Fish Creek Concerts
Baba: Peter, Paul and Mary, “Too Much Of Nothing”
Bob Dylan writing the lyrics performed by the group supposedly brought together to make Dylan songs pretty. There we have it. Released in 1968, we didn’t hear the Dylan and The Band version ’til the release of The Basement Tapes in 1975.
Monica Miller: Rhiannon Giddens, “Freedom Highway”
Written by Pops “Roebuck” Staples in the mid-60s, the song is as relevant as ever. As the 2017 edition of Black History Month fades in the distance, the Rhiannon Giddens releases her second solo album, Freedom Highway, and continues to shine a light into the corners of the African-American experience, both past and present. Grief, defiance, joy and hope are all expressed in this new collection of mostly original songs. On this nod to the great Pops, she’s joined by fellow roots music adventurer, Bhi Bhiman.
David Ward: Amelia Curran, “No More Quiet”
In this new song, Amelia expresses her frustration about how inequality keeps “rolling along” and enlists the voice of Shakura S’aida to help deliver the message: “No More Quiet”.
Lisa Wilton: Begonia, “I Don’t Wanna (Love U)”
Big-voiced, Winnipeg songstress, Alexa Dirks, has an excellent pedigree, having been a member of the Juno Award-winning group Chic Gamine. As Begonia, she ups the soul power on this retro-sounding, upbeat number. “I Don’t Wanna (Love U)” has layers of instrumentation, but the production is never too slick.
Terry David Mulligan: Frazey Ford, “Sept Fields”
Why this song? Name me a better one. On a par with Al Green, Solomon Burke or anyone else who recorded in that studio with those musicians. Pure Bliss
Kathryn Calder: Joni Mitchell, “Both Sides Now”
It’s a thoughtful, poetic, gorgeous song about life. One of the all-time greats!
Kodi Hutchinson: Original Dixieland Jazz Band, “Livery Stable Blues”
The very-first-ever jazz recording was almost exactly 100 years ago! Enjoy this unique piece of history!
Allison Brock: Raul Malo, “You’re Only Lonely”
The title track from an amazing 12-track album of covers by Mavericks front-man, Raul Malo. I literally had this album on repeat for a few months when it first came out in 2006. A great song is a great song, but Raul has a voice that could add a whole new dimension to “The Hokey Pokey” — and that is indeed what it’s all about!
Amy Van Keeken: Kadhja Bonet, “Honeycomb”
Kadhja Bonet released The Visitor on October 21 of last year, and somehow I missed it. But now, now I know it exists — and it’s on repeat. Vocal mastery, interesting melodies, harmonies, production and intricate arrangements by Bonet make for a lush listen. The string parts remind me a bit of Marlena Shaw’s version of “California Soul”.
Tony King: Chicano Batman, “Freedom is Free”
This contemporary incarnation of Frank Zappa and the Mothers pull no punches lyrically. They toss witty, social-political barbs at the current state of the world — all the while stirring their words into a retro-funk, infused haze. Delicious by any measure!
Dianne Donovan: Stevie Wonder, “You Haven’t Done Nothin'”
The man can write a protest song that you can groove to — plus, the Jackson 5!
Oskar Zybart: The New Haunts, “Trigger”
The New Haunts are a promising group out of Edmonton. I got to see them live last night for the first time. “Trigger”, one of four songs currently available to the public, is a good introduction to their sound. For those who are interested, their next live appearance is on St. Patrick’s Day at CKUA’s old home, now known as The Needle. (Song link) https://thenewhaunts.bandcamp.com/track/trigger
Hayley Muir: Valerie June, “Two Hearts”
Blessed! Another single from Ms. June’s upcoming album, The Order of Time. Slower jam here, but still as beautiful as ever. This record is shaping up to be powerful and diverse — and I can’t wait!
Grant Stovel: Ron Sexsmith, “Radio”
Oddly enough, Ron’s upcoming LP, The Last Rider, represents the first time he’s made a record with his regular touring band backing him up. He says, “having my band totally involved on this album maybe brought out more in the songs than on other recent albums. It felt special .” This advance single is a little nostalgic lament decrying the shape the world’s in today.