Oh heyyyy... are we going to pretend like it hasn't been 2 years, a job change, a move, and a pandemic since my last post? Yes... yes, we are. Shhh... just go with it.For the CMTR Spring Scavenger Hunt Listen Local Musical Interlude challenge, I decided to construct a playlist featuring musicians from all the places I’ve lived. Whoo... hello, Small Town, BC!
We begin this epic musical journey in the booming metropolis of Prince Rupert (pop'n 12,220). If there’s a musician who has achieved any hint of success who is from Prince Rupert, my google skills couldn’t find them. Undeterred, I did find an article that referenced one iconic Canadian bar band and their time gigging in PR. The article even referenced one of their songs saying that one famous line “epitomize Prince Rupert in what some might call the heyday of the northwest’s rock-and-roll music scene”. With that foreshadowing of what's to come, we begin this journey with Trooper... We're Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time).
Off and running… but to where? Smithers (pop'n 5351)! OK, so I couldn’t find a famous musician who was from Smithers either (go figure). BUT I did find a Juno & Grammy nominated musician who now calls Smithers his home so… I figured that was good enough to put the Latin music of Alex Cuba up next on my playlist.
Moving on to ever smaller towns, we arrive in Lillooet (pop'n 2321). You might think I'd be about to hit a brick wall with this plan. Wrong! In fact, this is the first place I land where I can actually introduce to my playlist an artist who is actually from this community. (Born while I was living there in fact.) George Leach is up next on my play list with his song “Carry Me” from his Juno award winning album Surrender. If you're looking to add some diversity to your playlist, I highly recommend giving George a lesson. I hadn't heard any of his music until today and now I'm a fan. In addition to his Juno, he's also won several Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards. Check him out.
Can I go smaller than Lillooet? Yes, yes I can. Welcome to Britannia Beach with a population of about 300, including Juno award winning musician Jesse Zubot. Originally from Saskatchewan, known for his violin skills, and a member of multiple groups over the years. I put two of Jesse’s songs on my playlist. One from ‘Zubot & Dawson’ and one from ‘Fond of Tigers’. I will be honest... these were not the best songs to run to. I chose Upheaval by Fond of Tigers and it was decidedly... mellow.
For those of you who have driven through Britannia Beach a hundred times and are still thinking ‘wait, people LIVE there?’, it’s time to move on - and finally, we aren't going to a smaller town! At 18, I moved to North Vancouver, birthplace of Tobias Jesso Jr.... Many (many) years later, Tobias was included in Rolling Stone's list of the 20 Biggest Breakouts of 2015... Today I listened to his song Without You ...serious John Lennon vibe... and then moved on to…
Coquitlam… where the Matthew Good Band was formed. Yes, another Juno award winner. This is really shaping up to be a quality playlist! Things are about to take a turn though…
Welcome to Pitt Meadows. I got a bit stuck with this one. Eventually getting unstuck with Aaron Pritchett. He was born in Vancouver but his Wikipedia bio tells me that he “got his start as a DJ at Rooster's Country Cabaret bar in Pitt Meadows, BC, and played in a house band performing cover tunes.” Close enough… He scored his first #1 hit on the Billboard Canada Country chart with "Better When I Do"… which I listened to on my run, even though I run better when I don’t. Country music isn’t really my jam.
For the last stop on this journey, we go back to North Van. Saving the best for last… while not born here, he moved here as a teen (OMG just like ME!). A favourite in my teens and definitely someone I have always considered a local artist, Juno & Grammy award winner… the one and only: Bryan Adams. (Fun fact: I met him in a bar once the first time I called North Van home.)
So If you’re looking for an eclectic mix of award winning Canadian music… you can find the playlist on Spotify: CMTR Musical Interlude.