Martin Kerr is our lucky acquisition from Britain. He was semi-finalist in Season 6 of Canadian Idol and is now based in Edmonton. Martin presents singer-songwriter album Better Than Brand New with great vocals, expert instrumentation, and nicely written tunes.
Folk music of the most magnificent calibre wafts from Prince Edward Island thanks to Catherine MacLellan. She honours her father Gene on album If It’s Alright with You – The Songs of Gene MacLellan. Arrangements on some of the songs ring of a more traditional folk while others a modern singer-songwriter vibe. Gene was the great Canadian composer who wrote classics like gospel track “Put Your Hand in the Hand” and Anne Murray’s “Snowbird”. Elvis Presley, Joan Baez and Bing Crosby were among the many artists who performed his songs. Who better to present them in review than his daughter?
A hope was that MAGIC!’s breakout success would help pull some reggae tunes from their artists into the mainstream. We cannot say that that has happened, though a number of artists are incorporating reggae threads into modern pop music. Ammoye is a Torontonian acquisition from Jamaica … mon. She has crafted a tightly produced set of northernized (i.e. pop) reggae tunes on album The Light. Some lean more towards reggae and some pop. She is as talented as they come, and this very intelligent work deserves an award. (She has three JUNO nominations so far). Very, very good album.
Mike from Canmore may no longer be with us (R.I.P. John Morgan), but we do have a duo from Canmore, Alberta making peaceful and soothing folk music. Self-titled album The Raven and Fox is described by its authors as “mountain music”.
There are not a large number of artists making funk music these days, but those who dabble are doing a good job at it. One example is Franky Selector with new album Shabby Chic. Described as “organic sounds and vintage instrumentation”, seventies enthusiasts will rightfully dig it.
For those looking for music with more of a kick to it, Manitoba’s Mise en Scene pumps out the energy in indie rock album Still Life on Fire, a combination of razor slashing guitars and delectable vocals.
Versatile artist Lily Frost gifts the world with new EP Rebound. It’s a 60s jazz-pop tour de force that includes spy, surfboard, and bluesman cometh themes. This one is a total blast.