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.
Bob Chelmick: Rhiannon Giddens, “We Could Fly”
This story about a family’s mystical ‘old ways’ tradition makes a good case for human levitation. I’m a sucker for a good story song – and well-grounded mysticism.
Mark Antonelli: Dead Can Dance, “Anywhere Out Of The World”
This is the first song I ever heard by Dead Can Dance. It blew me away. Who knew something so dark could be so good? I heard the music at a house party hosted by a CKUA producer back in the late 1980s. Brendan Perry’s voice is moody and dark while Lisa Gerrard’s, not heard on this particular track, is simply out of this world. I can’t even imagine her vocal range! They also perform medieval music on occasion! What’s not to love?
Terry David Mulligan: Ron Sexsmith, “Secret Heart”
It plays with your heart and your head. It seems everyone has a secret heart where all the untold stories live. Ron Sexsmith seems to have the key. Brilliant writing and a memorable performance — a handful of great singer-songwriters have said, “I wish I’d written that song.
Dianne Donovan: Jimmy LaFave, “The Beauty of You”
A little backstory: Jimmy LaFave is one of the most beloved roots-folk artists in Austin, where I currently reside. Recently, news broke about his having been diagnosed with sarcoma, a very rare and serious form of cancer. He has decided to spend his last “living” days, LIVING in Austin, near friends. In fact, on Thursday, May 18th, his many friends, all, well-known artists, put on a concert in his honor. The proceeds of which will go to several of his favourite charities.
Why this song? The Beauty of You, seems to capture the beauty of the man and the world and life he so cherishes. It is soulful, deeply emotional and kind of like a prayer.
Monica Miller: Overcoats, “The Fog”
Their voices blend as though they were sisters, but they are simply musical sisters: New York’s Hana Elion & JJ Mitchell are Overcoats. Their debut album, YOUNG, is a remarkable start to what I hope is a long career. It was picked up by Arts & Crafts, the mighty Canadian independent record label.
Grant Stovel: Ani DiFranco, “Binary”
The title track to Ani’s upcoming 20th album is funky and joyful, but characteristically enough, her lyrics offer some pointed political and philosophical insights. The chorus asserts that “consciousness is binary.” She explains that “whether it’s a community with an opinion or an individual with a perspective, if it’s not happening in relationship to other communities or to other people, it’s not whole…It’s all about relationship. That’s what makes us alive. And in order to make change in the world, you can’t stay at home and shout your outrage to the universe. You need to go to where the problem is, address it and form a dialogue. You have to engage it. That’s the way everything changes.”
Amy Van Keeken: Somi, “Black Enough”
I’ve been entranced with this album since it came into the station recently. Petite Afrique is the name of the latest from jazz artist, singer-songwriter, Somi. Gorgeous vocals, perfect arrangements and lyrics that make you think.
Hayley Muir: Lydia Loveless, “Sorry”
Lydia Loveless does an absolutely stunning job covering and reworking this Justin Bieber pop jam. Loveless’ take is stark and deep and brings a whole new perspective and vibe to the track.
Tony King: doubleVee, “What You Deserve”
The Moonlit Fables of Jack the Rider is the name of this album. If that alone isn’t enticement enough to have one plunder into the sonic treats contained herein, the cover art featuring a ‘Gauginesque’ character poised alongside a bicycle is sure to pique your interest. “What You Deserve” is just a small slice of the wry, barb-infused pie that is doubleVee, a husband and wife team based in Oklahoma City.
Baba: 10 CC, “Dreadlock Holiday”
This is a great little cheeky track that is said to be a true story. Summer is almost here. Reggae flavour should be a good fit for whatever weather we have.
David Ward: Old Crow Medicine Show, “Visions of Johanna”
Once again, Old Crow breathes new life into the Bob Dylan songbook with this uptempo version of a Blonde on Blonde highlight.
Kodi Hutchinson: Clark Terry, “Flutin’ And Flugin”
It’s fun and it swings!