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Lionel RaultSantana (with Ziggy Marley), “Iron Lion Zion”

Nobody presents his Dad’s music as well as Ziggy Marley…here with the added zing of Carlos and the rest of the Santana band is an inspired re-working of the Bob Marley classic!

David WardPhil Cook featuring Shirlette Ammons, “Skin and Bone”

A cool Sly Stone vibe pulls you in with lyrics that walk the line between summer memories (“wildflowers, soul records, grandmamas”) and politics (“when the loudest in power is shoutin’ build a wall, get up and get involved”). Skin and bone ain’t all we made of!

BabaJohn Fogerty, “A Hundred And Ten In The Shade”

Because it’s hot out here and it’s the Blues sung with depth, and love of the origins of where the blues come from…..Fogerty the ‘come back kid’, respect!

Amy Van KeekenSam Cooke, “You Send Me “

Sam Cooke became a household name with this 1957 release (which he wrote but credited to his brother). It was originally going to be the B- side to his recording of “Summertime” (a stunner in its own right what with all those spooky ethereal super high back up vocals) but it was so popular they made it the A side and the rest is history.

Bob ChelmickDamien Rice, ” Dogs”

A sweet, energetic Rice dish. A savoury ethereal lyric and a delicious melody that can live in the brain palate for days.

Cam HaydenWilliams, Wayne and Isaak, “Messed Up Daddy”

Wonderful combination of Western Canadian talent with Tim Williams, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne and Brandon Isaak. Great recording! On this one Tim Williams takes the lead on one of his original tunes

Monica MillerÌFÉ, “Yumavision”

ÌFÉ is a critically acclaimed electronic ensemble from Puerto Rico headed by San Juan-based African American Otura Mun. Hard pressed to describe what I’m hearing, I’ll quote: “The music is willfully out of genre, yet focused and clear – rare and compelling.” Let me know what you think!

Oskar ZybartSenor Coconut, “Tour de France”

A song cycle of a different sort. From an album of inventive Kraftwerk covers that have become classics in their own right, this is a fun accompaniment to the annual race, currently underway, which lends the piece its name.

Dianne DonovanTrombone Shorty, “Dirty Water”

New Orleans-native, Trombone Shorty (a.k.a Troy Andrews) is a tremendously talented trombonist, trumpeter, vocalist, composer and producer who slips in and out of music’s genres…jazz, blues, pop and hip hop. I just love the message and groove on this song from his newest album, Parking Lot Symphony. He’s amazing to see/hear live!

Mark AntonelliNeil Young, “After The Gold Rush”

I’ve always been a huge Neil young fan even as a teenager. I heard this song around the house many times, but then had a very cool teacher in grade 10 who played rock music during class! He had the class write a short essay on a particular song…and I chose After The Gold Rush. Evocative lyrics and a great solo for French Horn. It’s still one of my favourites.

Grant StovelLisa LeBlanc, “Could You Wait ‘Til I’ve Had My Coffee?”

It’ll always be contoversial. But I think it’s pretty cool that ostensible heavy hitters like Drake and Carly Rae Jepsen didn’t make the Polaris Music Prize shortlist when it came out last week — but this wonderful East Coaster did! Lisa LeBlanc is a spitfire! She’s a brilliant songwriter, an amazing live performer – and she’s got a personality so big, it’s like she’s about to jump right out of the speakers at you.