Carleton Place, Ontario singer-songwriter Brock Zeman treats us with a unique concept album about the travelling carnival phenomenon that brought excitement to the peoples of the 1930s. The Carnival Is Back in Town is his 13th career album filled with stories and colourful character depictions. Karen Young and Coral Egan team up on Montreal production Dreamers that defies description, combining say baroque style music with adult contemporary. It is light and pleasant, another unique work this week. After a few singles, Shaunavon, Saskatchewan’s Hunter Brothers present full-length album Getaway, jam-packed with good, solid country tunes.
The ever popular and talented Jenn Grant returns with new album Paradise, giving us quality singer-songwriter songs. The native of Lake Echo, Nova Scotia has a hat trick of JUNO nominations to her credit. No surprise there. Toronto’s Mad Ones give alternative rock a whirl on Regretless, and we do not regret in any way the trio making a contribution to the pool of great Canadian music. The clan of Lemieux has more to offer than highly skilled puck handling, as JUNO winner Marie-Nicole Lemieux proves on classical work Rossini: Opera Arias & Duets (Live) with wonderful interpretations, arrangements, and performance of Rossini the great one.
Speaking of greats, Toronto’s The Great Novel cranks up folkified indie rock that will make you shed your … Skins? Absolutely! Gifted Vancouver eight-piece JUNO-nominated band Five Alarm Funk reminds us that skins are often drenched with Sweat. With a sound the group can call its own, a fusion of world music and jazz, all played on acoustic instruments, the album is a joy ride through all things superb. Also from Vancouver cometh The Real McKenzies, experts on Celtic punk/rock; Two Devils Will Talk is the album. Find straight-up rock on Wild Cat, the latest from Toronto JUNO nominated group Danko Jones.
There are a couple of EPs to talk about this week. Kendall Patrick of Ladysmith, BC explores the Peaks and Valleys of life on her exquisite new singer-songwriter disc. Synthpop that rivals Tegan and Sara’s Heartthrob album, it’s so good, appears on self-titled EP by Toronto’s Ralph. If nothing else, track “Tease” is a must-grab.