Life on the Canadian prairie is vital, challenging, and poetic, and on their debut Big Round Records release, BY THE RED, pianist Laura Loewen and baritone Mel Braun - joined by Fred Redekop and Jay Taylor, otherwise known as the mandolin-bass duo Big and Dinky - present a glimpse of the variety of folk music found in Manitoba's Red River Valley. Drawn from French Canadian, Métis, German Mennonite, Scots, and cowboy culture, and supplemented by the art song-like settings of John Greer, Larry Warkentin, Chester Duncan, Robert Turner, and Heidi Ugrin, these works relate stories that 200 years of life in the Red River Valley have generated. Tales of sod-busting pioneers, exile, sacrifice, summer idyll, and love, all leavened by a sense of humor that allows life to flourish on the prairie, are explored on this dramatic and nostalgic collection.
HOMEWARD BOUND, the new album from The Larksong Trio (Peggo Horstmann Hodes singing soprano, Jennifer Yeaton-Parris playing the flute, and Calvin Herst on the piano), is a heart-warming collection of art songs, love songs, and American and Celtic folk songs.
YOU LOVED ME THEN, David Harris’ first album of originals in over 30 years, reflects his eclectic musical journey. It began when his father played him the works of Romantic composers like Chopin and Schuman, continued to his grade school encounters with the Beatles and The Doors, and was crowned by his teenage discovery of John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and most importantly, Thelonious Monk. Harris estimates that he has written somewhere around 3,000 jazz, pop, and classical compositions. With the help of renowned pianist Paul English and a cadre of exceptional jazz talents, Harris brings some of his favorites to life on this Big Round Records release.