Album Reviews, Blues, Canadian, Folk, Listen, Music

[Album Review/Stream] Leonard Cohen- Old Ideas

No Comments 09 February 2012

by Nash Bussieres

It’s really difficult to come into an album like Old Ideas without preconceived notions. We all know who Leonard Cohen is and the weight the name carries in this country. As a songwriter, it’s very hard to not trace a trail of influence back to him regardless of the style of music you write. For me, there is no trail: Leo is the be-all-end-all of Canadian songwriting as far as overall package is concerned – in my not-so-humble opinion – so there wasn’t much of a chance for me to be able to listen to the album with a clean ear-slate. I made the mistake of doing this with Tom Waits new album and found that after a while it wasn’t nearly as good as I was giving it credit for. I had ridden a wave of past elation over the choppy seas of Bad as Me’s sub-par (by Waits’ standards) songwriting and arrangement. Continue Reading

Blues, Canadian, Classic Rock, Concert Reviews, Covers, Jazz

Pretzel Logic: giving Toronto its Steely Dan fix

No Comments 31 December 2011

By Sweet Sound of Sunrise

Thursday nights are a good time to be at the Orbit Room – specifically, the last Thursday of every month. Live music regularly draws a crowd to this upstairs bar, which would almost be hidden from passersby if it weren’t for the sign out on the sidewalk. In fact, I almost walked past it two nights ago when I went to see what has easily been my favourite musical discovery of the year.

Meet Pretzel Logic, a collection of career musicians – all of them impressive in their own right – who come together every few weeks to play some Steely Dan songs in what their website calls their “labour of love.” And the audience, mostly (and inevitably) comprised of the middle-aged, loves every minute of it. Continue Reading

Blues, Canadian, Classic Rock, Jazz, Listen, Music

[Listen/Download] No Island- Sign of the Times

1 Comment 09 December 2011

by Tiana Feng

From Vancouver BC, No Island is a something little different for your Friday. Their music is a smooth jazz rock that is ornamented with saxophones. Check out the track Sign of Times off their latest EP of the same name.
No Island- Sign of the Times

Alternative, Blues, Canadian, Garage, Listen, Music, Under 2000

[Listen/Download] The Speaking Tongues- Karma Blues

No Comments 28 November 2011

by Tiana Feng

Sometimes I get so many submissions and good finds that I download them all and put them in a playlist on shuffle. Today this track just kept me rocking. It is by Toronto garage rock band The Speaking Tongues from their self-titled release earlier this October. Been posting a ton of electro-pop recently, but here’s finally something to rock to!
The Speaking Tongues- Karma Blues

Alternative, Blues, Canadian, Listen, Music, Under 2000

[Listen/Download] Amanita Bloom- Often in the Springtime

1 Comment 04 September 2011

by Tiana Feng

Amanita Bloom hails from Quebec with a bluesy retro rock sound. They’ll be making an appearance at Pop Montreal at the end of the month so check them out! Here’s a track off their debut full length which was out last October:
Amanita Bloom- Often in the Springtime

Alternative, Blues, Canadian, Listen, Music

[Listen/Download] The Sheepdogs- Who

1 Comment 15 April 2011

by Tiana Feng

Remember the good ol’ days of 70s rock n roll? Well Saskatoon’s The Sheepdogs are here to bring back a similar style of blues rock with old school guitar riffs and classic rhythm section. If you close your eyes and listen to Who you’d probably get lost thinking it was an old classic standard of some sort.
The Sheep Dogs- Who


Blues, Canadian, Listen, Music, Psychedelic

[Listen/Download] Clara Engel- Lick My Fins

No Comments 28 February 2011

by Tiana Feng

Now that I got all this hosting stuff figured out, back to my regular posting. I feel like I haven’t posted anything Canadian in a little bit. I don’t remember how I first came across Clara Engel. At first, I thought she was friggin weird. Her avante-garde blues and psychadelic fusion isn’t for you if you are close-minded. In midst of strangeness like in Lick My Fins you still have elements of a great song, a hook, and a simple but hypnotic rhythmic groove.
Clara Engel- Lick My Fins

Blues, Canadian, Country, Folk, Listen, Music

[Listen/Download] Harlan Pepper- Great Lakes

1 Comment 17 February 2011

by Tiana Feng

When I listen to Harlan Pepper all I can think to myself is how Canadian the sound is. They’re four dudes straight out of high school, but they sound like they are veterans of this land. Their sound is a mixture of folk, country and blues with a youthlike playfulness and hook choruses. Their first album, Young and Old was released February 11th on Bandcamp and Maple Music.
Harlan Pepper- Great Lakes

Stream Harlan Pepper’s Great Lakes at

Blues, Canadian, Listen, Music

[Listen/Download] Northern Primitive- Soul Machines

No Comments 10 February 2011

by Tiana Feng

I live near Toronto, Ontario so I have no idea where Welland is. It’s definitely South of me though. Northern Primitive come from this region. They’re sort of a blues indie-rock full of fuzz and punk mentality. It’s rockin’ and yet smooth at the same time. Their self-titled debut album is now available on BANDCAMP.
Northern Primitive- Soul Machines

Blues, Classic Rock, Music

[Listen/Download] Gary Clark Jr.- Bright Lights

1 Comment 04 February 2011

by Tiana Feng

From Texas Gary Clark Jr. graces us with his classic rock sound wrapped with blues guitar riffs and soulful warm vocals. Bright Lights comes off his self-titled EP of last year. Since then he has performed with Eric Clapton, was featured and on Sheryl Crow’s 100 Miles from Memphis and just signed with Warner Brothers.
Gary Clark Jr.- Brights Lights
The Bright Lights - EP - Gary Clark Jr.

Ambient music, Blues, Folk, Listen, Music, Uncategorized, World Music

World Music Wednesday! The Unseen Guest: An Unlikely Pairing

No Comments 15 December 2010

By Sweet Sound of Sunrise

Irish musician Declan Murray met Amith Narayan while traveling in India in 2002, and soon afterward they began playing together and busking in cities all over the country. A year later, they met in Calicut and began recording what would become their first album, 2005’s Out There, with the help of local musicians. Two years later, they followed up with the equally entrancing Checkpoint.Their sound is a unique blend of Western blues and rock with unmistakable undertones of traditional Indian music. The two musicians, both guitarists, are accompanied by such a range of instruments as the tabla, harmonica, carnatic violin, harmonium, and mandolin. So kick back, relax, and listen to some blues with an Indian twist.

The Unseen Guest- Sandalista


Alternative, Blues, Classic Rock, Hardcore, Industrial, Jazz, Metal, Playlists, Pop


No Comments 27 August 2010

by Tiana Feng

Metal meets country, pop meets industrial. Whatever the clash there’s nothing quite like a bizarre cover version that leaves you slack-jawed with amazement. Continue Reading

Blues, Folk, Music, Watch, World Music

World Music Wednesday! Ali Farka Toure: Bringing the Blues back Home

No Comments 11 August 2010

By Sweet Sound of Sunrise

Born on the banks of the Niger River in Kanau, Mali in 1939, Ali Farka Toure was the only one of ten sons born to his mother who survived infancy. His parents disapproved of his intentions to play music because it was traditionally an inherited profession, but he persisted. He did not achieve fame quickly – he broke out onto the African and world music scene with his self-titled debut album in 1988. However, his hypnotic guitar and a singing style comparable to that of American blues legend John Lee Hooker was very successful, and he began touring extensively in Europe and North America.

His second album, 1994’s Talking Timbuktu won him a Grammy Award, but once again he did not release an album for several years, retreating to his rice farm. In 1999 he released Niafunke, named after the village in which he was raised and where the album was recorded. In 2004, Ali Farka Toure became mayor of the village, but his musical career was not yet over. He collaborated with Malian musician Toumani Diabate on the 2005 album In the Heart of the Moon, which won him another Grammy award. A few weeks later, on March 7, 2006, he died from bone cancer. Despite having always considered himself primarily a farmer and not a musician, he is perhaps one of the most widely known African musicians in the West, and was named #76 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

This is a clip from the 1998 documentary River of Sand, which was hosted by Bruce Cockburn and features many musicians from Mali, including Ali Farka Toure:
Here is a live performance from 2003’s Festival in the Desert:

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