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It’s time for another round of House Blend – a whole bundle of fantastic songs, lovingly picked and curated by out CKUA music experts. So turn up the volume and enjoy  this week’s picks.

The Playlist

The Picks:

Lionel RaultRobert Randolph, “Amped Up”

Pure adrenalized rock ‘n’ rhythm…bound to jump your day!

Tony KingNilufer Yanya, “The Florist”

The best artists, harkening back to Mile Davis, suggest that even more than the notes, the silence that lies between them is of paramount importance in music. Given that we live in an increasingly cluttered world, this young Londoner’s approach comes as a breath of fresh air.

Grant StovelBeth Ditto, “Fire”

When I first heard Beth Ditto’s Southern-fried voice voice, it was when she was fronting dance-punk faves The Gossip.

These days, the Arkansas native is bringing her big, bluesy sound to a solo project that blends Americana and Southern rock with electro beats.

On this advance cut, her voice sounds dark and mellow. Kinda reminds me of burnished brass.

Allison BrockPaul Kelly & Charlie Owen (from The Divinyls), “Bird On A Wire”

Leonard Cohen’s classic “Bird On A Wire” is in good, loving & capable hands here.

Released in October 2016, “Death’s Dateless Night” is a collaboration between two great Australians. Paul Kelly is basically the Aussie equivalent to Bob Dylan, but at this point in time Paul is more prolific as a songwriter than Bob is. On this album though, he also takes the opportunity to cover some great timeless songs. Paul Kelly & Charlie Owen have Alberta dates coming up next month!

May 26 (Friday) – Calgary – Commonwealth Bar

May 27 (Saturday) – Edmonton – Mercury Room

Mark AntonelliRenaissance, “At The Harbour (from Ashes Are Burning)”

a combination of progressive rock and impressionistic piano music. My first exposure to the piano music of Claude Debussy. Renaissance included music from Debussy’s prelude known as The Sunken Cathedral at both the beginning and ending of the song…the ending also features the amazing voice of Annie Haslam heard over Debussy’s music…very evocative! I don’t know why they cut all the Debussy music from the song when it was re-issued…maybe to make it shorter and therefore more suitable for radio? This is the original 6:50 version from Ashes Are Burning from 1973.

Monica MillerRodney Crowell, “Reckless”

On repeat this week. When Rodney Crowell nails it – he nails it. If only we could all understand our impulses as completely and honestly as the character in this song. This comes from his new album “Close Ties”.

BabaThe Beatles, “The Inner Light”

The only Beatles record to be recorded outside Europe (India-1968), also introducing exotic (Indian) instruments like- Sarod, Shehnai and Pakhavaj. The song is a sort of follow up to 1967’s ‘Within You Without You’….

Dianne DonovanBig Miller + Tommy Banks, “All Of Me”

“old, new, borrowed and blue”-really, it’s the whole new album, “Legacy” (“new”, as in “just released”, decades after it was recorded) It’s incredible to hear these two masters together again-Big’s rich voice and remarkable phrasing and Tommy’s “full arrangements on the fly”. Wonderful!

Amy Van KeekenJosephine Foster, “Child of God “

Warbly, wacky, freaky golden folk from Josephine Foster’s 2012 album “Blood Rushing”. I love the raw immediacy of the recording and how the gang vocals pop up here and there in such a subtle way.

Oskar ZybartBelle & Sebastian, “I Fought in a War”

I’m not a huge fan of B&S, but I enjoy some of their tunes and this one’s always been near the top of that list. Uptempo for them, and featuring a nice horn solo, the tone nicely straddles the line between loss and triumph.

Lisa WiltonJom Comyn, “Why Do You Love Me?”

Edmonton’s Jom Comyn really hits it out of the park with this Motown-inspired number. Add this song to your next soul music dance party.

Kathryn CalderThe Mighty Wah!, “Come Back (The Story of the Reds) / The Devil in Miss Jones”

BBC Radio 1 John peel approved, this is a wonderful song from 1984! The music video is worth a watch too..

Orest SoltykevychNoteworthy, “You Can’t Stop the Beat”

Noteworthy is a 9-voice all-female a cappella group from Brigham Young University in Utah. This an excellent rendition of a well-known song from the musical “Hairspray.”

Cam HaydenBoogie Patrol, “Whole Lot of Gravy”

New disc from Edmonton based blues and R&b band Boogie Patrol…great stuff!

Kodi HutchinsonEmilie-Claire Barlow, “Mineiro De Coracao”

Canadian vocal jazz superstar singing in Portugese, her third language….because she can. Multiple JUNO winner who joined me on ‘A Time For Jazz’ April 8th and is in Edmonton performing for EIJF Society on April 11th and Camrose on April 12th!