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The Picks

Lionel RaultRodney Crowell, “Storm Warning”

Rodney Crowell returns to form…powerful lyric, great delivery from a major legacy artist…a song with (possibly) personal and geopolitical implications…did I mention it rocks?

Hayley MuirLe Plaisir, “Never Gonna Cry Again”

Exciting new stuff! New band featuring Doug Organ (formerly Wet Secrets) and his wife Amelia (formerly Lad Mags). This is a track from their first EP under this project and it’s garagey, it’s synthy, it’s spooky – it’s all the best things from Wet Secrets and Lad Mags rolled up into the most delicious little 3 minute 11 second package. Fire!

*This song is not available on Spotify. Le Plaisir by Le Plaisir“>Listen to it here.

Kathryn CalderFeist, “The Wind”

I love the drum machine, the neat sound effects, the tone of the guitar, and I think the melody is great! And of course, I love her voice!! This is a top-notch song.

Bob ChelmickMy Brightest Diamond, “Reaching Through to the Other Side”

The creative force within My Brightest Diamond is Shara Nova (her new legal name). She is about to release a new album (September). I”m hoping it realizes the promise of 2012’s ‘All Things Will Unwind’, where this song is found.

Amy Van KeekenGlen Campbell, “Wishing Now”

Reunion: The Songs of Jimmy Webb was released in 1974 and showcased beautifully one of the best musical partnerships in popular music. Glen Campbell had sung a lot of Jimmy Webb songs for years, and had hits with them (Galveston, Witchita Lineman) and this album showcases some of the lesser known, but just as stunning songs and performances of this magical duo. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Ocean in His Eyes are stellar tunes and this one, my favourite, Wishing Now. Showcasing Campbell’s buttery voice and guitar chops not to mention the perfect songwriting of Jimmy Webb. I always add another harmony when I’m singing along and it makes me feel so happy. RIP Glen Campbell, genius of the strings and voice, masterful musical interpreter.

Monica MillerThe Souljazz Orchestra, “Lufunki”

I’ve had a long-standing passion for this Ottawa band in part, I think, because they’re also willing try out new sounds. With “Under Burning Skies” (out Sept 22) they pull out dusty 1980s synthesizers and drum machines for the first time. They describe this first single as spacey electro-funk. Gottaloveit!

Dianne DonovanHall + Oates, “August Day”

Originally on the album, “Along The Red Ledge”-(now on the greatest hits album-Do What You Want Be What You Are)-I’ve loved this song since it came out almost forty years ago. It really captures the suspended-animation-thickness of a truly hot summer day…the overall sultry feel of the music…the moody lyrics…is it melancholy, ennui…or the electric calm before the storm? Oh, and I believe it’s Les Thompson, doing the great harmonica on the track. Also on the album (though not on the tune) George Harrison, Todd Rundgren, Robert Fripp and many other fine musicians.

BabaMurray McLauchlan, “Farmer’s Song”

I eat, I live, I am thankful to ‘the salt of the earth’!

Mark AntonelliEnglish Symphony Orchestra / William Boughton, “Sunday Morning”

The first piece of Benjamin Britten’s music I ever heard and still one of my favourites. It catches your ear right off the bat with the orchestra mimicking the sound of tolling church bells. I don’t know what it is about me and bells or even the impersonation of bells…maybe something to do with a past life! I hope to find out eventually…

Grant StovelSanto & Johnny, “Summertime”

This track sounds to me just the way a hot, sultry summer night feels.
Of course, plenty of folks have recorded gorgeous renditions of the Gershwin classic “Summertime” over the years — but it’s hard to think of one that’s as eerily beautiful as this recording by Santo & Johnny.
These two guitar-playing brothers from Brooklyn put it out in 1960 as the follow-up to their huge hit, the equally haunting “Sleepwalk”.

David WardWhitney Rose, “Can’t Stop Shakin'”

Because this one’s got a ’60s southern soul groove with lyrics about where things are at … “someone please turn off the news, I’ve got the 6 o’clock blues, I can’t stop shakin’, I ain’t gonna let him win, no I ain’t givin’ in, I can’t stop shakin'”.