Durand Jones and the Indications – Morning in America
Dominique Fils-Aime – We Are Light
Stone Foundation – The Light in Us
Alejandra Ribera – Courage
Blow Monkeys – Time Storm
Horsey – Lagoon
Gabriels – Love and Hate in a Different Time
The OBGMs – All My Friends
Paul Weller – In Another Room
All of Bob’s selections are from the sampler cd which accompanies the June 2021 issue of Mojo magazine. Paul Weller is the guest editor who picked all the tracks.
Durand Jones and the Indications – Morning in America
Durand Jones and the Indications are a multi-racial neo-soul band from Bloomington Indiana. Blake Rhein and Aaron Frazer, two students at Indiana University got together with singer Durand Jones
This is a 2019 song but sounds like a early 70’s soul classic reminscent of The Isley Brothers or Curtis Mayfield. It’s called, “Morning in America” Neo soul at it’s finest.
Dominique Fils-Aime – Three Little Words
Fils-Aime’s “Three Little Words UPDATED MAR 8, 2021 9:39PM EST – With touring off the table, Canadian musicians with anticipated new records are finding new ways to approach the traditional release cycle – PUBLISHED MAR 6, 2021 9:30AM EST” completes a trilogy of albums celebrating the history of Black-American music, while Tobi’s “Elements Vol. 1” fuses hip-hop, jazz, pop and R&B.
Stone Foundation (featuring Laville) – The Light in Us. From Warwickshire, and Inspired by Stax Records, the Spencer Davis Group, and the Style Council, this Warwickshire, England-based modern soul band released material at a steady rate for over a decade before Paul Weller offered to produce their 2017 album, Street Rituals. That record, and its 2018 follow-up, Everybody, Anyone, were their first albums to grace the U.K. Top 30, and paved the way for the late 2020 LP Is Love Enough?
Alejandra RiberaCourage (Single)
COURAGE – Collective Lockdown Music VideoAlejandra makes her most audacious move yet – bringing us an electronic pop creation to spread courage and strength in uncertain times. COURAGE May 22, 2020
Alejandra Ribera is a Canadian pop and jazz singer-songwriter, who performs material in English, French and Spanish.
Of mixed Argentine and Scottish descent, Ribera was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, and has been professionally based in Montreal, Quebec. She released her debut album, Navigator/Navigateher, in 2009, and followed up with La Boca in 2014. NPR’s Alt.Latino referred to La Boca and her voice as Alt.Latino’s favorite of 2014.
Some of the proceeds from Courage will go to support Doctors Without Borders
Alejandra Ribera has written a song called ‘Courage’ to lift our spirits during these uncertain times. With the help of friends from Singapore to Switzerland – a collectively crafted “home lockdown music video” accompanies its release.
Co-produced by Rob Wilks and Brett Shaw (Florence + the Machine, Foals), this is Alejandra’s first foray into the world of electronic pop. “I normally write quite introspective mellow stuff. When I realised I’d written a whole song about the catharsis of facing what most frightens you I thought it should sound fairly epic. I knew it would take a lot more than me and an acoustic guitar.”
Blow Monkeys – Time Storm
The Blow Monkeys were an eighties band primarily know on this side of the pond for 1984’s “Digging Your Scene”
The band has been close to Paul Weller since then as both groups performed in the 80’s on the anti- Margaret Thatcher Red Wedge Tour
Londoners Horsey – centred around the core duo of Jacob Read (aka DIY fave Jerkcurb) and Theo McCabe – are almost certainly one of the most baffling yet brilliant new bands we’ve come across in a while.
Despite keeping a fairly low profile in terms of press and releasing only a handful of tracks online, the group have built up a firm live following, recently touring with King Krule and selling out none-too-small venues in their hometown.
Why? Because, from the glitzy gold sequinned jackets they sport onstage to the funny, noodling, dark-hearted jazz they tout, Horsey are intoxicatingly odd. Their tracks meander through chintzy piano, to shouty call and response heckles to – on occasion – something resembling a rock opera. They are basically uncategorisable and on new offering ‘Bread & Butter’ they’re doing nothing to make themselves more palatable.
This “Time Storm”from forthcoming album
Gabriels – Love and Hate in a Different Time
Gabriels – Love and Hate in a Different Time
Gabriels is a LA based group made up of singer Jacob Lusk and producers Ari Balouzian and Ryan Hope. ‘Love and Hate in a Different Time’ is their new single. This is anohter example fo how vintage soul music can be done in the 21st century. Gabriels explains, “Love and Hate in a Different Time is about how we appear to be losing the ability to peacefully be together in a space and express ourselves. Together. We have always endured agendas of hate, hardship and war but we have in someway always found a way to be together and put aside our differences. However in recent times with the development of the technology/disinformation it appears this is tested.” Here is an amazing video or as they call it, “a short film”
The OBGMs – All My Friends Album – The Ends
From Exclaim Magazine!
After returning with new single “Not Again” last month, the OBGMs have lifted the curtain on a new full-length record. The Toronto punk trio will release The Ends on October 30 through Black Box Music.
“This album is about death, wanting to die, and fighting for something to live for — it’s the end of all things. I feel this is the one of the most important cross-genre albums this century,” explained vocalist/guitarist Densil McFarlane in a statement. “We are Nirvana, we are the Beatles, and the Stones. We are really changing the dimensions of which the game is played like the Steph Curry of this rock shit. We all have feelings of doubt, uncertainty, and I used to live there. I’m trying not to die there. If I’m going out, I’m going out shooting.”
Produced by Dave Schiffman and recorded at Toronto’s Dreamhouse Studios, The Ends follows the OBGMs 2017 self-titled debut. McFarlane recalled that after touring that record, “I thought me and music was over… My life wasn’t very good at the time, people around me were dying, and everything I was making sucked. I thought it was a sign that I needed to do something else.”
Paul Weller – In Another Room was is a 2019 rarity released as a 7 inch on the experimental label Ghost Box. “Ghost Box is a record label for a group of artists exploring the misremembered musical history of a parallel world.”
Paul Weller, a British institution has been releasing music for almost 45 years. Whether as the leader of The Jam, Style Council or solo, Weller has had dozens of hits single and lps. In North America though, he is mainly remembered for 1982’s “A Town Called Malice”
Here is the Style Council Performing at Live Aid 1985.
The Daily Telegraph said of Weller: “Apart from David Bowie, it’s hard to think of any British solo artist who’s had as varied, long-lasting and determinedly forward-looking a career. The BBC described Weller in 2007 as “one of the most revered music writers and performers of the past 30 years”
I Used to be a Better Man – Small Sins – Album Volume II
This is the first album by Thomas D’Arcy in ten years. He is now mainly a producer (D’Arcy and Drew eventually founded the original Taurus near Cabbagetown. “We had this big huge control room, but I was still just using it for a writer space,” recalls D’Arcy. He quickly began working with friends like July Talk and Sheepdogs side project BROS.)in Toronto, but I think this is a great album, all tracks are pretty strong. One of a few musicians going strong again after a long career.
A few notes on Thomas D’Arcy
Yet, Volume II feels like the most personal work D’Arcy’s produced since, well, Small Sins’ debut. It inevitably fails to live up to it’s counterpart, but that hardly seems to have been the point. D’arcy clearly had some things he wanted to get off his chest that that record’s sound were uniquely suited to conveying.
Here is an interesting video that he self-produced in 2020 in Hyde Park on Christmas Day, featuring all the lyrics from his most recent album Volume II
Lee Perry – Run Evil Spirit
Lee Perry is an international Reggae legend as a performer and producer for such artists as Bob Marley, The Clash, The Beastie Boys and dozens and dozens of Jamaican artists. In 2019 in his 83rd year , he produced the lp Rainford from which “Run Evil Spirit” hails. Vinyl Factory offers an excellent primer in Perry’s work.
Also worth watching is this excellent documentary
How Not to Drown – Chvrches
This is a great track by the Scottish Indy band Chvrches. I love the vocalist Lauren Mayberry and the video is made all that more interesting by the menacing presence of Robert Smith of the Cure. Here are a few notes about the song, I think from Pitchfork.
“We’ve been working with Scott on all the visual aspects of Screen Violence and this video is the second installment in a connected trilogy,” Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry explains. The video builds off of the surreal, film noir-inspired imagery from “He Said She Said,” now with the addition of the Cure frontman appearing on a television screen.
Screen Violence, which derives its title from one of Chvrches’ original proposed band names, will be released August 27th via Glassnote Records, and was largely recorded remotely between Glasgow and Los Angeles during the pandemic. The album follows the band’s 2018 LP Love Is Dead.
And because Robert Smith is such an iconic figure, Bob suggested we add this video
Edwyn Collins – I Guess We Were Still Young
Edwyn Collins is a Scottish Musician. Born in in 1959 , he became known in the early 80’s as the leader of post punk band Orange Juice. Here is the “Sound of Young Scotland’ performing on TV in the early 80’s.
In 2005, Collins was hospitalised after 2 cerebral haemorrhages as detailed here.
I Guess We Were Young
Squirrel Flower – Flames and Flat Tires Album Planet (i) 2021
I just had to add this pithy quote from the Guardian music page
We’re going to blame the trials of 2020 for Ella Williams – AKA Squirrel Flower – not being ranked up alongside the celestial likes of Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten. The songwriter released her debut album, I Was Born Swimming, at the exact moment everything changed for ever. Talk about timing. Flames and Flat Tires is a grunge-folk intoxicant that comes in at under three minutes but will stick with you for hours.
Pitchfork likes Squirrel Flower (Ella Williams) too. They write about her tendency to write about roads and cars. All to say, it is a pretty fine track for a 24-year old.
On Planet (i), the road is a nexus of nostalgia and intimacy: “Iowa 146” uses a whisper-sing delivery and gorgeous, fingerpicked guitar melody to capture the sweetness of a night spent on top of a car with a love interest. But it’s also a site of disasters that haunt Williams’s imagination: the careening firestorms of “Flames and Flat Tires,” or the Missouri floods that inspired “Deluge in the South,” which has the openhearted, country-speckled quality of a Waxahatchee deep cut. Williams’ vivid songwriting and versatile voice bring both sides to life.
Born 1946, Arnold sang backing vocals for Ike & Tina Turner Revue in the fall of 1966 after their tour with the Rolling Stones in the UK. She remained in London to establish a solo career, with the encouragement of Mick Jagger. This interview with PP Arnold gives her amazing story
She released her first album in 1967 on Immediate records. This is a promo video with the Small Faces for the single “If You Are Feeling Groovy”
It took 51 years to see the release of her second album. From “The New Adventures of…”, is the song “Baby Blue”
Yola – Stand for Myself
Yolanda Quartey (born 31 July 1983), known professionally as Yola or Yola Carter, is an English musician, singer and songwriter from Bristol, England. Yola received four nominations at the 62nd Grammy Awards, including the all-genre Best New Artist category.
Again, am going with the Guardian quote, but I don’t get the Banksy reference:
The best thing to come out of Bristol since the rumour that Banksy is actually the scrawny one out of Massive Attack, Yola’s powerhouse vocals will pin you against the wall and make you rethink everything you thought you knew about the modern diva. Stand for Myself is builder’s tea for the soul: strong, warm and a bit of a wake-up call.
When you read about Yola, it is obvious that this is an artist who has hit here stride. In a recent recording done for a benefit MusiCares and the National Bail Out Collective, she played with Sheryl Crow (piano), Jason Isbell (guitar) and Brandi Carlile (back-up vocals). Pretty good.
The statement she wrote about this song – Hold On is worth repeating here:
“Hold On” is a conversation between me and the next generation of young Black girls. My mother’s advice would always stress caution, that all that glitters isn’t gold, and that my Black female role models on TV are probably having a hard time. She warned me that I should rethink my calling to be a writer and a singer… but to me that was all the more reason I should take up this space. “Hold On” is asking the next gen to take up space, to be visible and to show what it looks to be young, gifted and Black.
So, I had to add a clip from one of here performances of Hold On
One final note about Yola, on February 21, 2020, Variety announced that she has been cast to play the role of singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe — dubbed the Godmother of rock and roll — in Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s still untitled drama on the life of Elvis Presley.
I didn’t know who Sister Rosetta Tharpe was, but Bob mentioned a session where she played a great guitar session live. I found one here from 1964. I think might be a great movie!
Tinariwen – Amalouna
Tinariwen Is a group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali. which in the Tamashek language translates as The People of the Deserts or “The Desert Boys. This rotating roster of musicians have been performing and recording since the eighties. In 1980, Libyan ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi put out a decree inviting all young Tuareg men who were living illegally in Libya to receive full military training. Gaddafi dreamed of forming a Saharan regiment, made up of young Tuareg fighters, to further his territorial ambitions. Ag Alhabib and his bandmates answered the call and received nine months of training. Here, the band met additional Tuareg musicians and formed a loosely-organized collective, now known as Tinariwen, to create songs about the issues facing the Tuareg people. This NPR article explains Tinarwen in a nutshell.
Mali’s ‘Guitar Gods’ Tinariwen Receive Racist Threats Ahead Of U.S. Tour
A guitar band from Mali called Tinariwen is famous worldwide. The group’s fans and collaborators have included Robert Plant, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Bono of U2 and Nels Cline of Wilco. The band has fought extremism in their home country of Mali, and been victims themselves. But ahead of a September show in Winston-Salem, N.C., social media commenters are leveling violent, racist attacks against the musicians.
A refresher on Tinariwen: This a group of Tuareg musicians from the north of Mali. The members have been hailed as guitar gods, playing rolling melodic lines and loping rhythms that evoke the desert sands of the Sahara — the band’s native home. The band’s name literally means “deserts” in their language, Tamasheq.
An interesting part of this article talks about The Festival in the Desert. When we broadcast yesterday we talked about the famous concernt and we wondered what had happened to it,.
Again from the NPR article:
The hope for a larger Festival in the Desert was that it could serve as an economic engine and encourage cultural tourism to northern Mali, a region that has often struggled, and to show cultural unity among Mali’s richly diverse peoples, in the years after the country suffered terrible and bloody conflict in the 1990s. To that end, the organizers invited some incredible Malian musicians who weren’t Tuareg to perform — artists like Ali Farka Touré and Oumou Sangare — along with Robert Plant. The 2003 Festival in the Desert became legendary — and it spurred Tinariwen to worldwide success. But the Festival in the Desert didn’t last. The political situation in Mali grew more precarious, and by 2012, Islamist extremists — many of them foreigners — fanned out across northern Mali, in hopes of gaining control. Musicians became a prime target. The Festival in the Desert went into exile, and transformed by necessity into an international touring collective.
Yet another musician Bob and I didn’t know about, Alex Little comes from a pretty interesting famil;y line of musicians. This profile is from the local Vancouver Weekly:
Music has always been a big part of Alex Little’s life. Growing up she watched her father drum for bands around Vancouver, playing for bands like The Payola$ and the Bughouse Five. She was raised to be comfortable in a rock’n roll crowd. Looking up to her father, she would eventually become a drummer herself, playing in punk bands around Vancouver for many years. During that time she was writing her own material on the side, but was a bit shy about it.
It wasn’t until she met fellow Vancouver rocker Andy Bishop that she started down the path of becoming a front woman. Bishop has been a mainstay of the Vancouver music scene for some time, having played in bands like Twin Rivers, Red Cedar, and White Ash Falls. He and Little happened to work together at the Wallflower when they met.
“It was just a fun thing that we never necessarily saw a future in,” Little recalls. “He was very helpful in getting me going. We went to Long and McQuade and he helped me pick out a guitar because, as a drummer, I knew nothing about guitars. Then we just jammed for awhile and wrote together.”
“My best songs are written when I’m having the worst time,” says Alex Little with a wry laugh. “There’s no songs about feeling good. It’s about connecting to that deep dark part of myself, which is the reason why I make music.” This blunt emotional honesty is the driving force behind Vancouver’s Alex Little & the Suspicious Minds, whose scorching garage-pop songs unflinchingly tackle drug addiction, mental health and heartbreak. And yet, despite the heavy subject matter, the group’s soaring choruses and loud guitars mean that the mood is cathartic rather than heavy.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson – I Pity the Country (Paul)
Our updated Playlist
Classified – Powerless
selection by Bob
According to Classified, whose real name is Luke Boyd, the song, titled “Powerless,” is drawn from the experiences of multiple people who’ve reached out to the Nova Scotia musician.
Premiere: Classified’s ‘Powerless’ music video is an incredible ode to missing and murdered Indigenous women
Justin Chandler · CBC Music · Posted: Apr 04, 2018 12:00 AM ET | Last Updated: April 9, 2019
When rapper Classified released his new single “Powerless” two weeks ago, he wrote an impassioned post on his Facebook that concluded: “We need to speak up for these kids … don’t let them feel powerless.”
The track was inspired by responses Classified received when he posted about the news of a Newfoundland man who was sentenced to five years in prison for the rape of an 11-year-old girl. “I thought it was unbelievable,” he said, explaining his outrage towards the case, which led to his post on social media. As a result, he began writing “Powerless” to give a voice to children and women who have experienced abuse.
Buffy Ste Marie – You’ve Got to Run (Spirit of the Wind)
Selection by Bob
You Got to Run (Spirit of the Wind)” was inspired by champion dogsled racer George Attla, who competed in the inaugural Iditarod dog sled race in 1973 and whose story was the subject of 1979 film Spirit of the Wind.
For further exploration, try premier reissue label Light in the Attic’s compilation “Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985.” The following review from Pitchfork appears to hit the nail right on the head.
Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985 features artists from all over Canada combining Native American culture and popular music. The tracklist has been carefully curated to not only to emphasize the diversity of the artists and their ideas, but to reveal the vibrancy and energy of this large and largely undocumented scene.
Also worth viewing is Rumble:The Indians Who Rocked the World.
iskwe & Tom Wilson – Blue Moon Drive
selection and notes by Karen
Tom Wilson and Iskwe- Blue Moon Drive
Tom Wilson- I saw and heard him sing with Iskwe on an online music show during covid and I was so impressed by his stories and their beautiful voices which sound so great together.
He is a 62 year old Canadian rock musician from Hamilton Ont. whose career has included work in Blues, rock, psychedlic folk and folk you may have heard him as he has also been a major part of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Junkhouse and Lee Harvey Osmond along with members of the Cowboy Junkies and Skydiggers
He had a rough and tumble life, battled demons and addictions -with music and visual arts being a real life saver for him
He was raised by his great aunt and uncle but only recently found out that the woman he thought of as his cousin was actually his mother who is part Mohawk. His father was also Mohawk but Wilson didn’t learn of his Mohawk heritage until quite recently.
Tom was commissioned by the city of Hamilton to paint a mural depicting the history of music in that city and he has published a memoir in 2017 titled Beautiful Scars which discusses his discovery of his Mohawk heritage
His son Thompson Wilson is also a musician (formerly part of Harlan Pepper ) and they have toured together
Tom Wilson is very interested in learning more about and sharing his Mohawk culture. He partnered up with Ojibway trumpeter Chuck Copenace who sprinkles his notes, fluttering in the air, in space, and contributing a different breath to song and with
Iskwe( who has been featured on your podcast previously) whose name means blue sky woman- is an artist and creator and communicator of music and movements, pictures, poetry and prose. She’s a teller of stories that impacted our past and will inform our future. She has 3 albums and has performed 100s of shows in Canada and internationally and has been nominated for a Juno. She has a Cree- Metis background from Treaty One Territory who was born and raised in Winnipeg. She refers to herself as an urban indigenous 2-spirited woman from Red River Valley.
The single Blue Moon Drive is an incredible collaboration of 3 amazing artists, a celebration of 4 Indegenous nations uniting together to celebrate their art.
Greg Keelor – Black Feather
selection and notes by Karen
Most of you know him from Blue Rodeo fame but he also has 6 solo albums with the most recent one- Share the Love- coming out during the pandemic.
Greg had a studio version of the songs ready to go when the pandemic hit and decided to record them live in a community centre near Rice Lake with the same musicians. He actually liked the live version but both albums are available for purchase.
Greg says that writing songs is how he deals with “stuff”. He had recently lost a dear mother-like figure and his girlfriend of 5 years left and he was feeling rudderless. His good friend, Frank, who is Cree and from Saskatchewan invited Greg to go to a sweat lodge to pray and he realized Frank’s prayers were all about gratitude- thanking everyone and everything, sun, moon, everything. Frank had brought his pipe, sage and eagle feather and did a smoke ceremony and Greg felt relief for the first time in months.
During that same period, he visited Waskaganish Reserve in James Bay for a gig with Blue Rodeo and he felt a kindred connection to the place. The album grew out of a desire to get away somewhere and be isolated and think. He spent more time there and his friend Charlie Hester ( the director of culture, sports, leisure and tourism for the Cree nation of Waskaganish) took him on a tour of the community which Greg found to be healing in its own way- big beautiful landscape and generous and kind people. Greg had a lot of questions about the pipeline and other Indigenous issues across Canada and he found it a great place to gather his thoughts.
While there he saw a piece of art on the side of a local radio station and it said “Share the Love” on the front of a teepee with a heart in the centre. He found out it was there to honour the life of deceased resident- Claudia Stephen – who had shown many acts of love and kindness in the community and had passed away too soon. Greg obtained permission from Claudia’s family to use the design on his album covers as he was so touched by the 15 ft by 15 ft wall art in her memory.
A combination of his loss along with the generosity of spirit he found in Waskaganish and the example set by Claudia and the love the people had for her energized Keelor from his melancholy. Behind melancholy and sorrow and hardship, there is a river of love or energy that unites everybody and he felt that connection in James Bay very strongly.
Share the Love is a paradox of an album both reflective and uplifting and perfect for the times. Even though we are all isolated, we are all connected. There are many references to feathers on this album and their association with freedom, transcendence and communication with spiritual realms.
The Jerry Cans – Northern lights
selection and notes by Andrea
Shortly after Gord Downie passed away, I heard The Jerry Cans perform “Ahead by a Century” in Inuktitut. Having taught in an Inuit community, I loved hearing a familiar song performed in this beautiful language. The Jerry Cans are a band from Iqaluit, Nunavut. They combine traditional Inuit throat singing with folk music and rock. Their music is largely written in Inuktitut. “Northern Lights” incorporates throat singing and captures the power of the breath-taking land of the Arctic.
Snotty Nose Rez Kids – The Warriors
Selection and notes by Andrea
I first heard Snotty Nose Rez Kids during an interview with Eden Robinson, the Haisla and Heiltsuk author of Monkey Beach. They are a Haisla hip hop duo composed of rappers Darren “Young D” Metz and Quinton “Yung Trybez” Nyce. “Warriors” is a protest song as part of a benefit album for The Tiny House Warriors, a group that is fighting the Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline expansion into Secwepemc Territory in British Columbia, Canada.
Eqpahak by Jeremy Dutcher
Selection by Steve Ferracuti- family friend who is hunkering down in Nova Scotia having finally been able to pierce the Atlantic Bubble and see his new grandson, Fred, and 2-year old, Flo.
Aik pa HUK – where the tide stops Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Language
It is hard to know whether and what to celebrate and how to combine this with mourning. I don’t know how we approach all this apart from bringing a sense of humility and respect for our indigenous people and also a sense that these are present issues, not only historical ones, and I hope that we can also bring a sense of real responsibility to all of this. One little tiny part of the “answer” is the theme to this song, that is the songs. I thought it appropriate to celebrate that.
Lido Pimienta – Nada
selection by Mairi
Piqsiq – Artic Hallows – from their 2020 Album TAAQTUQ UBLURIAQ
selections by Claire
2 songs I chose:
1 – I have always been captivated by throat singing. Throat singing, katajjaq, ka TA jjaq was banned in the 20thcentury among many other Inuit traditions when Christian Missionaries went North. They believed throat singing was ‘Satanic’. The ban was only lifted in the 1980s. Watching a duet live has always given me goosebumps and is a beautiful tradition to be celebrated, not oppressed. Listening to throat singing is a reminder of the strength of the Inuit culture and their resilience. I am happy to share a song by this group named Piqsiq. The group consists of 2 sisters, Tiffany Kuliktana Ayalik and Kayley Inuksuk Mackay, with roots in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot and Kivalliq Regions, the sisters grew up in Yellowknife, NWT. They perform ancient traditional songs and eerie new compositions.
Ms.PANIK – Open Hearts from her 2018 Album Open Hearts
Another artist who is new to me is from the West Coast, Ms.PANIK. I was drawn to her beautiful voice, her mesmerizing musical loops and powerful lyrics. She lives in Tofino and the ancestral lands of the klaw-OH-kwee-awt Nation and is originally from the unceded Territory of the (Haida) Nation and member of the southern Kaayahl Laanaas Clan. Tla-o-qui-aht
An additional note from Claire
I wanted to share two artists that didn’t make the list because of the year cut-off. I thought you could hold onto them and add them to another show. Thank you again for organizing this episode. I truly enjoyed the process of consciously looking for Indigenous artists and love discovering new music.
Cris Derksen – Hindsight 20/20 – from the 2010 Album ‘the cusp’. Cris Derksen is from Alberta and is an Indigenous cellist and composer.
Digging Roots – Hwy 17 – from the 2014 Album ‘For The Light’. This song was written to raise awareness about the MMIWG and is a call to action.
Debbie – Claire’s mom who works actively in reconciliation in the Ottawa community and across Canada.
I would love to hear almost anything from Jeremy Dutcher
Maybe ‘Mehcinut’ – first song on his album (pronounced MEH-jin-nud)
I first heard Jeremy Dutcher about 4-5 years ago on CBC when I was driving somewhere. I had to pull over. My eyes filled with tears at his powerful voice, the haunting sounds and the voices from the past captured on wax cylinders. I told everyone about him. His music still stirs something deep within me. So thanks for playing one of his pieces today.
Blackbird sing by high school student, Emma Stevens, in Mi’qmaw, 2019
selections by Heather
Adapted from Paul McCartney’s song, re-written in Mi’kmaq to bring awareness to indigenous languages in 2019, International Year of Indigenous Languages.
Sung by Emma Stevens, performed by students at Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni, Cape Breton.
“The Stranger” from Secret Path, Gord Downey, 2016
I chose “The Stranger” by Gord Downie as my second piece. It tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year old boy who escaped from the Kenora residential school to make the 600 km journey home back to his family and never made it. He was found by the railroad tracks. This happened on 1966 and was actually reported on in 1967 by Macleans. Here is Downie’s introduction, better said:
Mike Downie introduced me to Chanie Wenjack; he gave me the story from Ian Adam’s Maclean’s magazine story dating back to February 6, 1967, “The Lonely Death of Charlie Wenjack.”
Chanie was a young boy who died on October 22, 1966, walking the railroad tracks, trying to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School to walk home. Chanie’s home was 400 miles away. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know where it was, nor know how to find it, but, like so many kids – more than anyone will be able to imagine – he tried. I never knew Chanie, the child his teachers misnamed Charlie, but I will always love him.
I have always wondered why, even as a kid, I never thought of Canada as a country – It’s not a popular thought; you keep it to yourself – I never wrote of it as so. The next hundred years are going to be painful as we come to know Chanie Wenjack and thousands like him – as we find out about ourselves, about all of us – but only when we do can we truly call ourselves, “Canada.”
Downie’s music and Lemire’s illustrations inspired The Secret Path, an animated film broadcast by CBC in an hour-long commercial-free television special in Sunday, October 23.
I used the book – illustrated by Jeff Lamire and the video in my grade 7 and 8 classes. In 2017, I had the opportunity to hear Gord Downie and Chaney’s sisters, Pearl and Daisy, sing an Ojibwe – Anishinaabe blessing.
Rose Cousins – The Benefits of Being Alone, 2020
selection by Colleen
a video about Rose Cousins. She mentioned that hers was the last concert we saw before the pandemic changed everything.
Ahead By a Century – The Jerry Cans
selection by Liam
The Jerry Cans are a band out of Iqaluit, who combine traditional Inuit throat singing with folk music and country rock. The band’s music is written mostly in Inuktitut, and reflects “the challenges and beauty of life in the far north.” The band had local success, but their popularity began to grow after Tanya Tagac won the Polaris prize in 2014 and gave prominence to Inuit throat singing. The band’s name comes from the band trying to rig up a drum set out of jerry cans.
I chose this cover of Ahead by a Century because it reminded me of a couple of things. First, the Jerry Cans and other artists are bringing Inuit music to the forefront, and reminding us that Canada or Turtle Island has many different languages, each of which should be celebrated. Second, this song feels like a bit of a bridge. Ahead by a Century was the last song played in concert by Gord Downie and the Hip. In that same concert, Gord called on us as Canadians to inform ourselves about the ongoing impact of colonialism on Indigenous peoples, and “figure it out.” To me, this song is an ode to Gord and the Hip, but a bridge towards an expanse of Canadian music beyond our traditional understanding, and a reminder of our collective responsibilities towards the process of truth and reconciliation in our country.
Julian Taylor- “The Ridge”
selection by Beth
Julian Taylor started out with Staggered Crossing, a band he formed while still in high school in the mid 90’s. They were fairly successful playing around clubs in his hometown Toronto. They were classified as rock music. In the early 2000’s he formed the Julian Taylor Band which is hard to classify as it mixed many genres but was still within the realms of rock. With his very different introspective 2020 album, The Ridge (of which I chose the title song), he writes about his Black and Indigenous roots. The song The Ridge speaks about this as he reminisces about his childhood and the family members who formed his sense of identity. “The ridge is like a cut- a divide, in half, of me- not only from an emotional standpoint but also from a social standpoint as a Black and Indigenous person growing up in a predominantly white experience .”
Hailing from Portugal, Marito Marques is a Grammy, Latin Grammy and Juno nominee drummer and producer, he takes the sounds of the world into his soul to produce melodies that bring the audience together in an unparalleled unity. Born July 11, 1987 in Arganil, Portugal, Marito began playing the drums at the age of 2, quickly moving on to live performances, including television appearances at 5 years old. Marques pursued his formal instruction at CETM in Coimbra, Portugal. Afterward, Marques moved to New York City to further his studies at the Drummers’ Collective and later at the Manhattan School of Music where he studied under some of the best instructors the school had to offer, including John Riley, Kendrick Scott, Ignacio Berroa or Greg Hutchinson.
Currently living in Toronto, Marques is considered one of the most requested and versatile drummers and producers in Europe and Canada, having performed World Tours with artists in the most diverse music genres; some of which include two Grammy Winners Ivan Lins and Carlos do Carmo, Camane, the Grammy nominees Helik Hadar, Adonis Puentes, Hilario Duran and Jeff Coffin, Anna Maria Jopek, Mino Cinelu. Larnell Lewis, Gregoire Maret, The Wilderness of Manitoba, Sara Tavares, Jesse Cook etc.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
I Pity the Country – Theory of Ice
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Her work breaks open the intersections between politics, story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity.
A Note on Leanne’s Family – this I had to include, it is amazing how many hurdles Indigenous people have had to go through just to keep their own status!
Leanne’s grandmother, Audrey Williamson (nee Franklin) was born in Alderville First Nation in 1925, and moved to Peterborough, Ontario at the age of three, as her Dad and Leanne’s Great Grandfather, Hartley Franklin, previously a fishing guide on Rice Lake got a job in town building canoes. Leanne’s grandmother regained her Indian Status under Bill C-31 at the same time as her mom, Dianne Simpson (nee Williamson) in the early 1990s.Leanne and her sisters, Shannon, Ansley, and several of their cousins, regained their Indian Status under Bill C-3 after the bill became law in 2011, and their children regained their status after Bill S-3 became law in 2019. They are all off reserve band members of Alderville First Nation. Leanne was born and raised by her mom Dianne and her dad Barry, who is of Scottish ancestry, in Wingham, Ontario.