The moose is back! With picks from the Roots Music Canada virtual mailbox.
Jeffery Straker – “Brand New Light” (Release date: Nov. 17, 2023)
It’s almost like Jeffery Straker is in love or something, writing catchy little numbers like this that are so upbeat you can practictically hear him skipping down the street as he sings ’em. Oh wait, He is in love! Well that explains it! “Brand New Light” was produced by Steve Dawson and drips with those vintage country sounds he’s known for, notably some delicious fiddle work from Fats Kaplin. Anyway, if you need something to take your mind off, you know, the many problems of the world these days, this should do the trick! By the way, Jeffery has a whole new album coming out next year!
Alex Richard – “A Cowboy’s Hard Times” (release date: Nov. 17, 2023)
Heretofore known as the vocalist from Bodh’aktan, the Quebec band that merged traditional music from Celtic, Quebecois, Maritime and Breton traditions with hard rock, country and other genres that ought not to go so well together, Alex has recorded his own version of this Bill Staines classic and released it as a single and video. To be fair, it’s hard to mess up a standard like “A Cowboy’s Hard Times,” but Alex’s rendition is stirring and his vocals absolutely gorgeous. Besides, can you really hear this song too many times?
Bran Sanders – “Docks” (release date: Nov. 9, 2023)
This isn’t the first time the Moose has featured a Bran Sanders song in his column, so Bran must be doing something right. This semi-nomadic singer-songwriter is a devotee of the old school folk music of Dave Van Ronk and Doc Watson, and he covers a lot of classics between his original compositions. Speaking of his originals though, this charming and fun little song was written mid-move from Vancouver Island to Toronto after Bran realized all the ferries from the Victoria area were booked for the day. As responses to sold-out ferries go, this is pretty awesome.