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.
Amy Van Keeken: Jolie Holland and Samantha Parton, “Wildflower Blues”
Sweet groove and warm, dreamy vocals on this title track from the Be Good Tanyas co-founders: Jolie Holland and Samantha Parton.
Kathryn Calder: Duke Ellington and Count Basie, “Battle Royale”
The Duke Ellington and Count Basie collaboration, First Time! The Count Meets The Duke, has been playing on repeat at our house recently. We love the playfulness between the two bands, each trying to outdo the other. A very fun listen, with lots of incredible musicianship to get us all inspired!
Baba: Five Man Electrical Band, “I’m a Stranger Here”
History of Canadian Rock ‘N’ Roll, Ottawa, 1972, and of course, “Signs”, from 1971 — also a great track!
Grant Stovel: Levon Helm with Amy Helm, “Feelin’ Good”
With Amy Helm touring Alberta this week, I got to thinking about this terrific collaboration between Amy and her legendary late father, Levon. They recorded many a fine duet together over the years, but I have a particular fondness for this one: a slinky, acoustic-oriented updating of an old song by classic, Chicago bluesman, J.B. Lenoir. The groove is underpinned by the easy swagger of Levon’s shuffling drums, and the father-daughter tandem sing joyfully together – with the kind of effortless vocal blend that can you only get with a family band.
Monica Miller: The National, “Day I Die”
“I’ve Been Loving You Too Long To Stop Now.” Who am I to argue with Otis Redding?! Can’t stop loving The National. I’m already obsessing about their new album, Sleep Well Beast.
Bob Chelmick: Neil Young, “Hawaii”
A new, first release of a song recorded in the 1970s harkening back to a simpler Neil. Acoustic guitar and endearing wobbly falsetto. The kind of tune that allowed him to buy a $20-million beachfront in Hawaiiiiiiiiiiii!
Tony King: Clutchy Hopkins, “Running Deers”
The Banksy of popular downtempo strikes again! The “official” bio for Clutchy Hopkins suggests the following. He is the son of a Motown recording engineer who traveled to Japan to study with Rinzai monks, then to India to indulge in Raja yoga and from there journeyed to Nigeria where he mastered percussion. This is in addition to becoming a gun-runner and revolutionary. Believe what you will, Clutchy Hopkins is a 21st-century revolutionary in his musical concoctions and his post-modern elusiveness.
Lionel Rault: Chuck Prophet, “Bad Year for Rock and Roll”
Inspired in part by David Bowie’s death, Chuck Prophet sings of the randomness of time and mortality. And yet, as in all of his self-described ‘California Noir ‘ stylings, there is the underpinning of a strong,singable chorus and classic rock ‘n’ roll.
David Ward: Scenic Route to Alaska, “Slow Down”
Some perennial advice, “take a breath and slow down”, wrapped in an insistent and hard-rocking package.