Feature

Festive Canadian roots music

In the spirit of the impending holiday season, we’ve gathered an array of musical Yuletide treats from around the web and across the country to share with you.

Toronto’s rootsy rockers The Skydiggers are playing their annual Christmas shows at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto this Friday and Saturday night. Buy tickets here. Need a preview? Enjoy their beautiful take on Good King Wenceslas.
Skydiggers – Good King Wenceslas by killbeat music

The holidays are a time for gathering together – as James Hill and David Myles have done. These two Nova Scotia residents have created not one, but two versions of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” with James on the uke and violin and David on (extra smooth) vocals. The collaboration is a fundraiser for the New Brunswick Food Banks, so if you like what you hear, throw a few buck towards buying the songs and supporting the food banks. Here’s the uptempo version:

Canada’s original indie band, Sloan, have released their take on the “Twelve Days of Christmas” in support of the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto. The song costs just 99 cents, and proceeds go to a worthy cause.

How could we resist this sweet and lonely sound coming from the Old Ugly record label’s annual Christmas collection? It’s a Northern yuletide night, as silent and snowy as it gets in Edmonton, Alberta, and Tyler Butler is alone with his guitar, reflecting on the

And finally, what just may be this season’s most addictive Christmas song: London, Ontario (via Halifax) native Meaghan Smith, winner of the 2011 Best Pop Recording at the East Coast Music Awards and the Juno for Best New Artist. Here she channels a bouncy, retro feel for the title track from her just-released Christmas album, “It Snowed,” an original tune that sounds like a classic.
It Snowed

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3 comments

  1. avatar
    Meghan Sheffield 14 December, 2011 at 09:49

    Thanks so much for your comment, Jeff. This is indeed merely scratching the surface of all the great music out there. Watch this space for part two of our festive music series — and thanks for the links!

  2. avatar
    Richard Flohil 14 December, 2011 at 14:35

    For about six months now, I’ve been sending out links to various videos (usually YouTube links) to a growing list of people (send me an e-mail to get on the list).

    Here are just a few of the roots music Christmas links I have sent out (or will in the next few days). Enjoy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1Zjex8VaeU
    (The Vanishers and Ginger St. James)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12qBoy2rhVw
    (Tom Waits)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQWAHD45hwU&feature=share
    (Matt Andersen)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDgSQiUcVnM
    (Aretha Franklin, Billy Preston)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P37xPiRz1sg
    (Robert Earl Keen)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYPIgR-r8cI
    (Solomon Burke)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwHyuraau4Q
    (The Pogues & Kirsty McColl)

    That should keep everyone busy for a while… please add other suggestions!

    Richard

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