Listening to Canadians – Library Voices

Wascana Lake Regina Saskatchewan
Wascana Lake - Regina, SK - Image via Wikipedia

My focus tonight is on a band from Regina, Saskatchewan, Library Voices.  I discovered this band (and song) via my normal channel for new Canadian bands, iTunes free single of the week, although CBC 2 was playing it a bit as well.  The song in the video is “Drinking Games”, also a well known Saskatchewan pastime, along with just plain drinking.

The band itself is a 10 piece unit whose work has been reviewed positively in Spin magazine and The New Yorker.  Their EP, Hunting Ghosts (& Other Collected Shorts), was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award and their follow up album, Denim on Denim was nominated in 2010.  You might also want to check out “Step Off the Map & Float” which Now magazine noted as the stand out song on the EP.

A catchy tune, utilizing a wide variety of instruments and voices, please enjoy “Drinking Games”.

Remembering Dan Peek – America

History: America's Greatest Hits

A tough week for music lovers.  Dan Peek, member of America during the glory years in the 70’s passed away on July 24th.  He wrote, sang lead and backup vocals and guitar with the band.  America was one of those bands that you either liked or disliked passionately.  Having said that, one cannot deny that they are part of any 70’s soundtrack.  Their hits are iconic and will still be played for a very long time.  Songs such as “Ventura Highway“, “Horse With No Name“, “Tin Man” and “Sister Golden Hair” are unforgettable.

Dan Peek left the band in 1977 and went on to a productive career as a Christian singer/songwriter.  He chose this route as a foil to his years of recreational drug use.  In contrast to Amy Winehouse, he was one of the lucky ones, escaping the rocker lifestyle as he did.

Remembering Amy Winehouse

Cover of "Back to Black"
Cover of Back to Black

A life led tragically.  Amy Winehouse joins an elite group of musical superstars who have passed away at 27.  This magical list includes, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Brian Jones and Janis Joplin.  All coincidences aside, Amy was a potential icon.  When we first discovered her she had just released her second album “Back to Black”.  We were stunned and immediately went and got “Frank“, her first disc.  Incredible.  We did some research and discovered she was being backed up by some great players we already knew, The Dap Kings of Sharon Jones fame, which explained the great sound behind her on several songs.  Instant love it was.  Fabulous potential in this one. But, as happens so often, the lifestyle caught up with her, and some cannot handle it.  It took her away from us several years ago and has now taken her permanently.  Say what you want, but I will sorely miss her voice and talent, the rest, not so much.

Other Links

The first is to a blog I follow, the second is to Th Daily Mail which gives some insight on how she died and the third is a link to her last concert where she was booed offstage.  The video is one of my favourites by her “In My Bed”

Listening to Canadians – Jeremy Fisher

Jeremy Fisher - 2009
Jeremy Fisher - -Image via Wikipedia

Jeremy Fisher, from Hamilton, Ontario, is gaining a substantial following in North America.  His Tour in 2002 gained notoriety as he completed it across Canada by bicycle.  It took 6 months, starting in Seattle, USA and ended 7500 KM away in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Amazing.  He has toured with such notables as Xavier Rudd, Sarah Slean and The Proclaimers.  The track I have chosen to share is “Shine a Little Light” off his 2010 album “Flood”  I chose this both for the music and the ingenious use of an iPhone in creating the video.

Remembering Joe Lee Wilson

Sonny RollinsOutdoor portrait of Sonny Rollins, american ja...
Sonny Rollins - Image via Wikipedia

Joe Lee Wilson passed away on July 17.  An accomplished jazz and blues singer, he sang with many fabulous singers in his time.  These included Sonny Rollins, Sarah Vaughn, Miles Davis and Pharaoh Sanders.

He was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2010 which is where the video below was recorded.