Readers’ Choice 2022
Part Two of Reader’s Choice 2022 features two talented Newfoundlanders.
• A LEARNED student and keen observer of things historical and comical, (and a former provincial MHA, among other things), Gene Long has long taken things musical quite seriously. Today he introduces his default dial on CBC Radio and shares a strong seven-song set from artists old and new he’s found – and found again– this year.
• IT’S ALWAYS FUN to discover a new band that’s been around for almost 40 years. You can binge listen and take in a whole career at warp speed. Retired filmmaker Debbie McGee revels in the joy of a new-to-her discovery and presents her top find of the year – Blue Rodeo – and offers six of her favourite songs.
The 5th Annual Readers’ Choice
Kurated readers share their favourite music of the last year in the annual Readers’ Choice series. Anything musical is welcomed whether its new, an old favourite, something self-composed and more. Thanks to all the contributors!
31 December 2022
St. John’s, NL
I’m sending along a list of seven songs. The first four are from CDs I purchased in the last year each one of which I heard on Ici Musique, Radio Canada’s music station, which is my default dial. My go-to program is the Saturday night show Un nomad dans l’oreille, hosted by the extremely resonant and worldly-wise Catherine Pepin who unfailingly has me dancing in my kitchen every week. Each of the videos is its own act of storytelling designed to amplify the song visually. The stories are all more or less self-explanatory.
The other three songs are:
• A live, shortened version of the title cut from my favourite album of the pandemic period – Ani Difranco’s Revolutionary Love
• One of my favourite songs from the debut album of my daughter’s band Bodywash (the follow-up release is set for a February launch with a Vancouver label, Light Organ Records)
• The last is a wonderful performance, set up by an interview with the artist who should be on every music list – Nina Simone singing To Be Young, Gifted and Black.
1. West Indies by Koffee
2. It’s a Dog Eat Dog World by Souljazz Orchestra
3. Wolves Don’t Live By the Rules by Elisapie
4. Mother Nature by Angelique Kidjo
5. Revolutionary Love by Ani Difranco
6. Follow by Bodywash
7. To Be Young, Gifted and Black by Nina Simone
About Gene: I’m a semi-retired peripatetic who enjoys a fair share of curating.
Heart’s Content, NL
I did find some music new to me this year, but since they are so well-known in Canada I am embarrassed to admit it.
Obviously I had heard of Blue Rodeo, but I’d never been to a show or really listened to any of their music. There was a time in my life when Canadian bands were everywhere, but I was so busy with two kids and my own career that I couldn’t keep track of them all: The Tragically Hip, Spirit of the West, Cowboy Junkies, Crash Test Dummies, Blue Rodeo.
So when I attended my first Blue Rodeo concert this year I was amazed that the entire stadium apparently knew all the lyrics to all their songs. But most of all I was amazed by how much I enjoyed myself, and what good musicians they are. I went home and made myself a playlist on Spotify. Here are six songs starting with my favourite, Til I Am Myself Again.
ON THE PLAYLIST
Til I Am Myself Again
Rain Down On Me
5 Days in May
Hasn’t Hit Me Yet
About Debbie: Debbie McGee is a retired filmmaker living in St. John’s, NL. Her work can be seen at http://debbiemcgee.ca/