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.
Lionel Rault: Gregg Allman, “Love Like Kerosene”
The final album by Gregg Allman, who died in May, is a moving farewell statement. “I know I’m not a young man, and it’s time to settle down,” Allman sings on the roadhouse blues, “Love Like Kerosene”. Guided by Don Was’ masterful production, this is the last hurrah of the last Allman brother. Gregg Allman, accompanied by his touring band, leaves us with one more memorable southern-fried classic.
Kodi Hutchinson: Bob Stroup, “All the things you are”
An Albertan jazz great on not only trombone, but saxophone and vibraphone. A classic recording from the Yardbird Suite in the 1980s.
Baba: Massive Attack, “Be Thankful For What You’ve Got”
This song is always in season for me, to be thankful, always. It keeps getting rediscovered over and over, after first being released in 1974 as a William DeVaughn original at over seven minutes long. Various truncated versions appear on many soundtracks and there are many cover versions. Presented here is Massive Attack covering it for their 1991 album, Blue Lines. I’m thankful!
Orest Soltykevych: Charles Hamann and Frederic Lacroix, “Canzona”, Canadian Works for Oboe & Piano
John Estacio is a Canadian composer, who was born in Ontario and studied at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo and the University of British Columbia. He arrived in Edmonton in 1992 as composer in residence with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and spent 7 years in that position. In addition to his many orchestral works, Estacio has written three operas, a major choral work, and a handful of chamber works, including this one.
Amy Van Keeken: Northern Cree, “Swerve and Sway”
Based in Maskwacis, Alberta (Treaty 6) Northern Cree, also known as the Northern Cree Singers, is a powwow and round dance drum and singing group. They have been nominated for six Grammy Awards and two Juno Awards. In 2017, the Singers, along with founder Steve Wood and Tanya Tagaq, won a Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year – Large Ensemble for the album, Going Home Star. Formed around 1980, they are regarded as one of the best and most respected acts in pow wow music.
Monica Miller: Jerry Granelli, “Ain’t That A Shame”
This drummer joined pianist, Vince Guaraldi, at the height of his popularity. Simultaneously, he explored free jazz, as well as pioneering `60s psychedelic sounds. Jerry Granelli is “a forward thinking master in the art of music”. Long-time resident of Halifax, Granelli is back with a new album that returns to his love of the “double guitar sound”. Bill Frisell and Robben Ford join him on Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That A Shame” from the new album, Dance Hall.
Jerry Granelli was scheduled to return to Alberta with “Jerry Granelli Trio: Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas” in Calgary on December 2nd and Banff on December 3rd). Unfortunately, due to health issues, both shows have been cancelled.
Grant Stovel: Cousin Harley, “Blue Smoke”
November 2017 marks the centennial of the birth of great guitar picker and songwriter, Merle Travis. On this new record, Blue Smoke – The Music of Merle Travis, wondrous guitar man Paul Pigat and his band, Cousin Harley, pay loving tribute to Merle by taking a romp through some of their favourites from his songbook. How big is this record in the guitar world? The album is actually sponsored by the Gretsch Guitar Comany! Take a listen to the smokin’ title track, “Blue Smoke”.
Tony King: Sun Riah, “The Bridge”
A deeply-affecting piece of music from an artist who creates a sense of place in her music. In this case, evoking the spectral images of her ancestors, who can only be awakened by the silence that comes from listening to the silence and holding one’s breath long enough to see technicolour images unfold. Sun Riah is the performance moniker of Oklahoma native, M. Bailey Stephenson, an artist who pulses into the minimalistic void armed with just a harp and a ukulele.
David Ward: Nick Diamonds, “UFO Marzipan”
Local, playful and clever always gets my attention. While previewing a smart new compilation album, Taking It To Heart, Volume 2, from an Alberta record company, Treeline Recordings, the opening laughter along with electronic circus-sounding music drew me in. Then I fell in further with lyrics like, “I know you like a lecture, it’s in the architecture, it settles like a sedative”. Turns out Nick Diamonds is a pseudonym for Nicholas Thornburn, from Vancouver Island. He is the same guy who wrote the original score for the hit podcast, Serial.
FYI, Treeline Recordings is raising money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.