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.
Darcy Whiteside: Ned Landry, “Ontario Swing”
Ned Landry was a Canadian fiddle legend who passed away last Saturday. His career started in the 1930s with the help of Don Messer. Throughout his career, he released more than 20 albums. He was an incredible composer. In 1991, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada — a Canadian music legend.
Kodi Hutchinson: Tommy Banks, “Red Top”
Tommy Banks is one of Canada’s and Alberta’s iconic jazz musicians and a former CKUA host from 1960 to 1968. This album was recorded live in a series of ‘One Takes’ at the Rosza Theatre in Calgary. This means that Tommy only recorded one take of each song. Unbeknownst to the recording engineers, Tommy let a young trumpeter named Johnny Summers sneak into the theatre and listen from the front row for his own private concert. This is the intro song for A Time For Jazz.
Tom Coxworth: Richard Thompson, “The Storm Won’t Come”
Here is another song from the most influential songwriter in folk, rock or popular music. He is admired and compared to Dylan, Costello, and MacColl.
Matt Masters: Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, “Old Friends”
In one of Merle’s final recordings, he teamed up with Willie and Kris in tribute to their old friend, the wild child, Roger Miller.
Orest Soltykevych: Jonathan Darlington and Duisburg Philharmonic, “Turkey Trot” by Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein was probably the most prominent individual in classical music in the 20th century in the United States. Saturday, August 25 marked the centenary of his birth. Bernstein composed his eight-movement “Divertimento” for the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s centenary. This movement alternates three and four-beat patterns, which may recall the song “America” from West Side Story.
Bob Chelmick: Greg Brown, “Hanging Man”
A gorgeous end-of-summer ballad. Poetic with edgy metaphors. “Great souls (Neruda, Billy Holiday) are the only riches in this world of shifting sands.”
Meg Wilcox: Apostle of Hustle & Zeus, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the original needs any improvement — but dang, this version is oh-so-danceable and adds just the right amount of indie rock.
Lisa Wilton: May Cheung, “Back To Me”
Raised in Calgary, May Cheung has been based in Brooklyn for the past seven years. Blending together roots, pop and jazz, “Back To Me” is one of the strongest tracks on Cheung’s latest album, The Departure. She’s a fantastic singer backed by a group of talented musicians who have played with the likes of Sly5thAve., Dolores O’Riordan and Norah Jones. It was produced by acclaimed jazz guitarist, Nir Felder, and mixed by Yuuki Matthews of The Shins.
Lionel Rault: Young Gun Silver Fox, “Kingston Boogie”
Shawn Lee has been widely acclaimed for his production, composition, and multi-instrumental work on TV soundtracks like Desperate Housewives and Malcolm in the Middle. But, here, he and singer-songwriter Andy Platts follow a mutual ’80’s muse into Young Gun Silver Fox’s latest. AM Waves has all the earmarks of that classic west coast ’80’s sound: Fender Rhodes and clavinets, poppin’ bass and smooth vocal harmonies — a labour of love from Young Gun Silver Fox.
Dianne Donovan: Igor Stravinsky, “Scherzo la russe”
After catching the fine production of Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat, at the Fringe, I’ve been humming Stravinsky’s praises ever since. This little piece is a particular favourite of mine. It’s filled with beautiful textures and wonderful surprises. See if you can listen to it without smiling. The performance is by The Columbia Symphony Orchestra, led by the composer.
Mark Antonelli: Mischa and Lily Maisky, “Oboe Concerto in D minor arranged by Bach”
A new recording by Mischa Maisky is always welcome. This adagio from Marcello’s Oboe Concerto caught the ear of Bach who arranged it for solo keyboard. Maisky has arranged it again for cello and piano. There’s a certain sad beauty to the piece. It’s one of my favourites.
Amy van Keeken: Neil Young, “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown”
From the scrappy and impossibly perfect 1975 album, Tonight’s the Night, Neil’s guitar tone is crunch perfection and the song fairly rips along with its excellent sing-a-long chorus.
Tony King: Kate NV, ” YOU”
Contemporary Moscow is a cosmopolitan city, but through its history, spanning over 800 years, it has been a remote outpost, a living reflection of proletarian ideals, and a nuevo capitalist playground. Capturing the rare qualities of her home, electronic artist Kate Shilonosova, aka Kate NV, seemingly bottles the air of Moscow and pours the colourful mix into our ears.
Hayley Muir: Conner Youngblood, “The Birds Of Finland”
“The Birds of Finland” is one of those understated songs that really sticks with you long after it’s finished. It’s soaring, delicate and incredibly beautiful. Conner Youngblood pulls ambient electronic, folk, and R&B elements together. He plays 30 instruments himself across his debut record, Cheyenne. “The Birds of Finland” is wonderfully lush and an album highlight.