Home New music in our mailbox! Sussex, Dustbowl Daddies, Rob Murphy, and Kate Weekes

Sussex, Dustbowl Daddies, Rob Murphy, and Kate Weekes


Gordy the Moose presents some of his favourite new music from the submissions that have arrived in the Roots Music Canada virtual mailbox.  In fact, Gordy found so many favourites among the latest submissions that he’s doing a second column on Monday. Submit your music to us by clicking HERE.  

Sussex – “Renous Highway” (Release date: Sept. 6, 2019)

Sussex is a sextet that features Montreal singer-songwriter Rob Lutes and his childhood friend from New Brunswick, Michael Emenau. They play a mixture of folk, jazz, ragtime, dixieland and other styles. The sound quality on this live video isn’t flawless, but if you’re patient with it, you’ll start losing yourself in Rob’s evocative songwriting and world-weary vocal style – and in the subtle, slightly jazzy arrangements that feature Michael on vibraphone. If you’re a Rob Lutes fan, you’ll love this.  If you’re not familiar with Rob, this is a heck of a way to discover him. Also, as an added bonus, Jesse Zubot’s in this band. 

Dustbowl Daddies – More Hurricane than Rainbow (Release date: Nov. 14, 2019)

This is awesome!  This Ottawa-based quintet frequently sounds like a cross between Mumford and Sons and the Pogues on this new EP – a precursor to their sophomore album, Boom and Bust Economies of Love, due next year (great title, by the way). Best of all, most of the money they make from shows gets donated to great charities like Ottawa Inner City Health because, heck, these guys don’t need to make a living as musicians. Two of them are university professors. This is a band made up of super accomplished people who just happen to also make super great music. Do some people have all the talent or what?


Rob Murphy – “Give Me a Sign” (Release date: Nov. 18, 2019)

We featured Rob’s last single, “O La La,” back in September, and I was pretty stoked about Rob’s sound back then. I still am. He made his debut back in 2017, but he sounds like he’s been at this game a lot longer, what with his weathered vocal delivery and heartfelt roots-pop sound.  This is a pretty on-the-nose sad song that might strike some as being on the sentimental side – watch out, it’s a tear-jerker – but it’s still a great track and further proof that Rob is a talent to keep an eye on.

Kate Weekes – Taken by Surprise (Release date: Jan. 11, 2019)

This is the third solo album from Kate Weekes, who built her reputation as part of the same Yukon music scene that produced Kim Beggs, Kim Barlow and Annie Lou.  Now based in the charming village of Wakefield, QC, a quasi-suburb of Ottawa that’s home to the iconic venue the Blacksheep Inn, she has put together a compelling album that showcases both her lovely, slightly girlish voice and her formidable songwriting chops. The musical influences range from folk to jazz, and the lyrics draw from countless travels, both geographic and emotional. The geographical influences include voyages to Norway and China; the emotional ones include “several intense personal relationships,” according to Kate’s bio. A particular highlight of the album is the lovely horn and string arrangements that envelop many of these tracks in warmth.

See Kate live:

  • Jan. 26 – Home Routes house concert, Prince George, BC
  • Jan. 28 – Home Routes house concert, Chetwynd, BC
  • Jan. 29 – Home Routes house concert, Mackenzie, BC
  • Jan. 30 – Home Routes house concert, Miworth, BC
  • Jan. 31 – Home Routes house concert, Fraser, BC
  • Feb. 2 – Home Routes house concert, Prince Rupert, BC
  • Feb. 4 – Home Routes house concert, Terrace, BC
  • Feb. 5 – Bulkley Valley Brewery, Smithers, BC
  • Feb. 6 – Old and Bold Café, Burns Lake, BC
  • Feb. 7 – Home Routes house concert, Vanderhoof, BC
  • Feb. 8 – Home Routes house concert, Prince George, BC
  • Feb. 12 – Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge, Parksville, BC
  • Feb. 13 – Duncan Showroom, Duncan, BC
  • Feb. 14 – Empourium, Brentwood Bay, BC
  • Feb. 15 – Bird Song house concert, Gabriola Island, BC
  • Feb. 20 – Le Hibou, Wakefield, QC
  • Feb. 29 – FolkUs Concert Series, Almonte, ON
  • Mar. 27 – Bowie’s, Smith Falls, ON
  • Mar. 28 – Bar Robo, Ottawa, ON
  • May 3 – Irene’s, Ottawa, ON


Correction: a previous version of this story mis-stated the release date of the Kate Weekes album.


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