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: Dave Gunning, “Circle of Boots”
Dave’s name should be spoken in the same hushed tones as Stan Rogers, Gordon Lightfoot and Bruce Cockburn. His songs truly touches the heart. “Circle of Boots” is about togetherness in the face of adversity or fellowship.
Orest Soltykevych: Howard Shelley, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, “Piano Concerto #3 Op 87” by Henri Herz
The 19th-century, Viennese-born composer and pianist, Henri Herz, is all but unknown today. But in the 1820s and ’30s, he was considered the finest pianist of his day — even more fashionable and sensational than Liszt or Chopin.
Herz also became a successful manufacturer of pianos, and by 1844 he was producing 400 instruments a year.
Baba: Rodrigo Y Gabriela, “Mettavolution”
Something to be said about a punchy track clocking under the three-minute mark.
Celeigh Cardinal: James Blake, “Don’t Miss It “
For me, the standout track from his new album, Assume Form, is “Don’t Miss It”. First of all, the music is haunting with a melodic theme that repeats throughout the song. The lyrics seem to explore the inner dialogue of an introvert who has resigned to isolation, and is warning you against it. A story that would resonate with many artists. James seems to talk of the heaviness that usually goes hand in hand with living artistically. This album is full of songs that capture the dichotomy of being two different people, on stage and off stage. From the song, “When you stop being a ghost in a shell. And everybody keeps saying you look well. Don’t miss it. Like I did.”
Lark Clark: Elisapie, “Wolves Don’t Live By The Rules”
Elisapie is one of the most interesting songwriters currently creating. “Wolves”, not so much an anthem of rebellion, as a simple statement of fact. So be it.
Lionel Rault: Mark Knopfler, “Back On The Dance Floor”
A cool, unpretentious bit of groove music from Mark Knopfler’s latest LP, Down the Road Wherever.
Kodi Hutchinson: Allison Au Quartet, “Looking Up”
With the JUNOs in London, ON, keep an eye on this magnificent group led by one of Canada’s rising, young jazz stars. Toronto saxophonist, Allison Au, is still in her 20s and already a JUNO winner. I wouldn’t be surprised if her most recent offering, Wander Wonder, wins the Jazz Group category again this year!
Mark Antonelli: Alan Titus, Norman Scribner Choir, Berkshire Boy Choir, “In Nomine Patris” & “De Profundis Part 2” from Bernstein’s Mass
Bernstein’s Mass was commissioned by Jackie Kennedy for the opening of the Kennedy Centre For The Performing Arts in 1971. It’s a wild piece of music — think of a mass combined with a rock musical like Hair or Godspell. The “In Nomine Patris” portion and the related “De Profundis Part 2” section both feature one of the big tunes in the mass. There’s a 1981 recording of the entire mass on YouTube — check it out! You’ll be blown away by the stage show!
Grant Stovel: Buffy Sainte-Marie, “It’s My Way”
During the interview for CKUA’s inaugural Hidden Track podcast, 2018 Polaris Prize winner Jeremy Dutcher summed up his creative journey by invoking one of his biggest heroes: “In the great words of Buffy Sainte-Marie, “If you don’t see what you want to eat on the menu, you have to go into the kitchen, cook it up & show them how good it tastes.”
Buffy exemplifies that attitude superbly on “It’s My Way”. She first recorded the song in her early 20s on her 1964 debut album. Later, she reprised it in her mid-70s for her own Polaris Prize-winning album, 2015’s Power in the Blood.
Amy van Keeken: Judee Sill, “Rugged Road”
She is quoted as saying, “‘My music is really-magnified, four-part choral style. It gets to people’s emotional centres quickly. That’s why all church music is in four-part choral style.” There is some serious and magical spirituality in all of Judee Sill’s music. I like to think of her singing this song while playing the organ and harmonizing with herself. “‘I always wanted to harmonise with somebody, but I couldn’t find anyone.” She said, “I learnt to play the piano so I could harmonise with that.”