Up Close: The CBC Radio 2 Sessions
Summary: Up-close and intimate performances by some of Canada’s best musicians, recorded live off the CBC studio floor.
Colleen Brown's Dirt, that is the name of the new album by Edmonton's Colleen Brown and it has been getting rave reviews. Colleen has been getting compared to people like Joni Mitchell and Carole King but I would say Colleen has a voice all of her own. Colleen and her band dropped by the Drive Studio mid tour and the band was tight and confident in their performances.
On this Up Close session David Myles brings us back to the feel of the 80's with his free spirited "Simple Pleasures" and covers a Gene MacLellan song that Ann Murray made famous. And no, its not Snow Bird.
I know that artists sometimes hate comparisons but when I first heard Joshua Hyslop I thought of Damien Rice. They both write beautiful, heartfelt songs that seemed to be based in deep introspection. Then when Joshua showed up at the studio with a cellist and violinist I thought, yeah that is something Damien Rice would do for sure. Check out Joshua Hyslop live in the Up Close Studio on this week's Up Close podcast.
Royal Wood's new CD is titled We Were Born To Glory and it just hit shelves and e-retailers everywhere this week. We had the pleasure of having Royal Wood, his band, a string section and special guest Sarah Slean in the Up Close studio for a special live-off-the-floor session that includes music from this new CD as well as one of Royal Wood's old favourites.
Today on the Up Close podcast we get to spend some time with Canadian Music Royalty. Anna McGarrigle, Lilly Lanken and Rufas and Martha Wainwright were at Massey Hall a few weeks back celebrating the legacy of Kate McGarrigle with a concert called “Love Over and Over - The songs of Kate McGarrigle”. Just before that concert they dropped by the Up Close studio for this special performance.
Today we've got The Skydiggers in session. Now, if you love Canadian music you have to love The Skydiggers. The band has been around for over twenty years and are still releasing some of the best music this country has to offer. Their latest CD Northern Shore was just released and that was our excuse for having them in the studio.
Sarah recently released a double album called Land and Sea. The Land part of the album is a straight up pop rock while Sea delves in to more of a classical mode. Comparisons to Gustav Mahler and Kurt Weill come to mind when listening to Sea. And it is music from Sea that Sarah brought for her Up Close session. Sarah performs three songs from Sea on solo piano and voice accompanied by a string Octet.
Whitehorse is made up of husband and wife duo Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet. Both are strong artists in their own right but together they really are better than the individual parts. Check them out as they perform two songs from their debut CD and a cover of Bruce Springsteen's I'm on Fire.
Bahamas is the brainchild of Afie Jurvanen, not exactly a band and not exactly a solo project. Bahamas latest CD is called Barchords, the record is an intimate affair where the song and the singer are at the core. For this session Bahamas is made up of drummer Jason Tait of The Weakerthans fame with vocals by Carleigh Aikins and Felicity Williams and Afie on guitar and vocals.
Ron Hawkins was first introduced to Canadian music fans in 1991 when his band Lowest Of The Low released their first record Shakespeare My Butt. That record went on to be one of the biggest selling independent albums in Canada and is still seen as a milestone in the history of Canadian rock and roll. Since then Ron Hawkins, The Lowest of The Low frontman, has kept busy. Ron's latest band is called the Do Good Assassins and they rocked the Drive studio for this session.
Johnny Reid's new album “Fire it Up” just came out this week and we couldn't help but have him in for an Up Close session. This new record marks a big change for Johnny Reid. His music has moved to new places. While still deeply rooted in the themes and instrumentation that made Johnny Reid's past albums such great country albums this new album is closer to John Mellencamp or 1980's Bruce Springsteen than it is to Waylon Jennings.
Many music fans point to the 60's and 70's as the golden age of rock music. The band's were better they say. Well, that may be true in many cases but every once and a while a band comes around that proves that theory wrong. Zeus is one of those band's. For proof check out this week's live-off-the-floor Up Close session.
The Great Lake Swimmers drop by CBC Music for an Up Close session. The band’s new CD, New Wild Everywhere, will be released on April 3. This session is a sneak preview of some of the songs from that CD.
For this Up Close podcast we have Cowboy Junkies in session. Over the past 18 months Cowboy Junkies have been busy releasing a series of albums called the Nomad Series. Each album based on a theme. The fourth album from that series has just been released and is called The Wilderness. As a recap on the series we asked the band to come in and perform one song from each of the four albums.
Madison Violet's latest album, The Good In Goodbye, dropped back in September and we've been wanting to have them in for an Up Close session ever since. Due to their hectic schedule setting up a date to record Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac wasn't easy but it was worth the wait.