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The Picks:

BabaSeasick Steve, “Started Out With Nothin”

” This song is about nothing” says the man himself, Seasick Steve is a late bloomer but has a lifetime of experiences to bring forward in his songs. Unusual and meaningful!

Hayley MuirDaniel Romano, “Roya”

Daniel Romano is one of Canada’s most interesting, innovative and hard working musicians. He’s constantly putting out new music, and he’ll be releasing an album later this year. Roya is the lead single from that record and it’s got a bit more energy and pop sensibilities than his previous stuff. Beautiful, catchy and in true Romano-form has an unexpected, heavy sitar diversion in the last 30 seconds. Dude’s always full of surprises!

Lionel RaultMike Farris, “Jonah & The Whale”

Deep southern-fried gospel/ blue-eyed soul at it’s very best!

Oskar ZybartNeko Case, “Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth”

Short and sweet and powerful. This is the sound of magic.

Allison BrockDave & Phil Alvin, “Feeling Happy”

Because I am “FEELING HAPPY” …that Dave & Phil Alvin will be playing The Calgary Folk Music Festival this July! The relatively recent musical reunion of the two brothers sounds like they’re having a blast… & I guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise for these former Blasters

Dianne DonovanThe Dramatics, “WhatCha See Is Whatcha Get”

Amazing vocals- the background vocals are as important as the lead…the instrumental parts are just as vital. I dare you not to groove to it. Over the years, I’v.e been assembling a very short list of “Perfect Songs”-*remember when you wer a kid and you drew/coloured your perfect little work of art and then you decided to add “one more colour” and you ruined it? Well, a truly perfect song/recording, is one that is perfect as it is and any amount of tampering would ruin it- this is one such song.

Grant StovelJoel Plaskett, “Bittersweet Melodies”

This is part of the latest round of Polaris Cover Sessions — great Canadian musicians re-interpreting great Canadian songs.

*This song is not available on Spotify. Listen to it here.

Joel chose a track by one of his favourite artists, Feist.

He says he “tried to make this sound like Joel Plaskett covering Feist, covering the Bee Gees covering Feist”.

Tony KingAudrey Ochoa, “Low Interest Rate”

Audrey Ochoa is proving herself to be one of the most interesting, progressive jazz artists anywhere. For this recording she enlisted an electronic dj and producer based in Vancouver named Battery Poacher to aid in fleshing out some of her ideas. The result is a playful mix of textures that comes off like a Fellini film bursting with colours and light!

Mark AntonelliDave Heath / English Chamber Orchestra, “Home From The Storm”

It’s an evocative nature study blending classical music for flute and chamber orchestra with the sounds of a thunderstorm. It really caught my ear when I first played it back in 2003 and I’ve enjoyed it ever since!

Monica MillerSan Fermin, “August”

An eight-piece “pop orchestra” featuring two vocalists, the new album “Belong” is their most accomplished and personal so far. Leader Ellis Ludwig-Leone’s anxieties and fears joyously blossom to life with bold sounds and ideas.

Amy Van KeekenChris Cohen, “In a Fable” 

From his 2016 album As if Apart. Sounds like Georgie Fame a bit and is a smooth bit of loveliness. Spring is on its way!

Terry David MulliganPaul Butterfield, “In My Own Dream”

A step away from the blues we knew him for. He didn’t growl or honk/shout. A superb track. Beautifully played. One-of-a-kind.

Haunting and memorable, which all you can really ask of great music.

I have it on Golden Butter vinyl but it’s also the title track from one of his last albums. 1968. Great David Sanborn solo.