Born in 1940, Sylvia Tyson (Fricker) is an important part of Canadian music history. Best known as part of the folk due Ian and Sylvia, she continues to perform with the folk group Quartette and has since 1993.
During the Canadian Content days of radio, she and her ex-husband Ian Tyson, were staples on Canadian radio. They likely would have been even without the content rules. The were a very good folk duo from 1959 to 1974, when they split up.
In addition to the duo, they also fronted another Canadian institution, the band Great Speckled Bird. Sylvia is a true Canadian icon. She was inducted into the Order Of Canada in 1994, has 7 Juno nominations (Canada’s Grammys) as a solo artist and was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2003. Additionally, she was included in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame as part of the Ian and Sylvia duo in 1992.
I have included 2 videos, Four Strong Winds, (you may think of this as a Neil Young song, it’s not) recorded during a reunion concert in 1986. This has been noted as one of the most influential Canadian songs of all time. The second is a solo by Sylvia, “You Were On My Mind”.
Today’s tune is one I heard on another of my favourite in-car stations on the drive to work, CKUA. The song, “Better Than” is from a 2007 album by the John Butler Trio. The album is called “Grand National”. The band, oddly enough, was formed in Australia in 1999 by, wait for it, John Butler. The play a roots style, heavy on the jamming. This tune had me tapping the steering wheel, so I had to share it. They have released 5 studio albums and 3 live albums and are perennial nominees for the ARIA and APRA awards in Australia. Hit the links for more info.
Could be an interesting covers post, but it is newly released and a good version of the Bruce Springstein classic “Dancing In The Dark”. Ruth is an Australian born, current Canadian from Winnipeg (Go Jets Go) and a member of popular group, “The Wailin’ Jennys“. The song is lifted from her 2103 solo effort “These Wilder Things”. The folk/country rendition of this great song creates a completely different feel to the tune. I really enjoyed the vocals. Don’t forget to like my page on Facebook.
Bahamas, which is the stage name for Alfie Jurvanen, is a Toronto based musician who has played with people like Feist, Zeus and Jason Collett. He has a couple of records to his credit as well as three Juno nominations. The song I have posted is a nice folk ballad, performed live and acoustic. A great song to just sit back and listen to with your eyes closed. That’s a hint.
On a personal note, I now have a Facebook page for the blog. Feel free to follow. Have a great one.
Alberta native Corb Lund is featured today (a few days late) as my Halloween choice for Song Of The Day. Corb has been an Alberta favourite for many years. Originally a punk rocker in the 1990’s, he moved to country/folk and has ridden success since. I love the name of his band, The Hurtin’ Albertans. He has 5 Juno nominations with 1 win and 25 Canadian Country Music association nominations with 11 victories. This tune, “Dig Gravedigger Dig”is from his 2012 album “Cabin Fever”. The song shows off his skill as a country singer and generates a pretty good official video. As a commenter says, Canada’s version of Thriller.
A bit of a switch from our regular programming. Today we go heavy Folk (Bluegrass??) with California indie-folk duo, The Milk Carton Kids. A very interesting group on today’s media stage. They have released 3 albums since forming in 2011. Heaven is off their most recent release, “The Ash and Clay”. Good song, a bit different, and i hope you enjoy it.
Break is over, and boy, do I have a lot of tunes to share. Shazam has been really busy with me lately, and there is one h e double hockey sticks worth of good stuff out now.
Today’s tune is by a band (whose name is almost impossible to figure out if it is the song name or the band name) called The Wilderness of Manitoba. Strangely enough, they are not from Manitoba, but are actually from Toronto. They are described as a chamber-folk group, which is apt as you listen to the song. They have some very rich harmonies, accented by pretty much every string instrument known to man. All in, very complex and quite pleasing to the ear. Some will like this, some will not.
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings are a Canadian alt-country group. I enjoy them as the country is more of a country blues sound. The group has been going strong since the early 1990’s and, in addition to the groups many record, has spawned many solo albums by its members, Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson. A great group to follow as there is some exceptional talent here. The song I have for you is a live version of “Got You Covered”, which was released as a single in 2011 and was featured on their album, “Kings and Queens”, also released in 2011.
I loved this album. “Eye To The Telescope” continues to be a regular on my rotation after, what 9 years. This is one of the great tunes on the disc, “Under The Weather”. The album, released in 2004, and was her first studio album. The album gained her multiple Grammy and Brit nominations, winning the 2005 Brit for best female solo artist. KT Tunstall is Scottish born and plays a mean guitar as well as being a fine singer and songwriter. Her genre is hard to pin down as she moves effortlessly between rock, pop and folk. the cut I have selected is a live version, done on Jools Holland in April 2005. Enjoy, I have many times.