by Roman Mitz for Open Spaces
Fresh from her recent 2017 Juno nomination for ‘Kiss Me Quiet’ in the category of Album of the Year, Jess Moskaluke is back with a brand new single ‘Drive Me Away’ from her forthcoming album. It’s a driving little number, literally, as Jess urges her beau to pack up his pick-up and take her away from her small town surroundings. “What has happened from the first album has been a natural progression,” she says. “This song, in particular, is just something that’s really, really fun that I haven’t done quite this way before.”
Luke, J.J., Ty, Brock and Dusty — a.k.a. The Hunter Brothers — are the epitome of Canadiana country. The five brothers from Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, grew up singing gospel with their family across Canada, working on the family farm and playing hockey for the likes of the Kelowna Rockets. Having each played instruments, including piano and guitar, since pre-kindergarten, the boys brought their exceptional talents together and turned toward country music. They’ve just released a brand new single and video ‘Getaway’ which will also be the title of their upcoming album. The video shows the boys frolicking on the sand and in the surf, which seems apt as the song, which has a little bit of a reggae lilt, has the makings of a great spring break number.
Also hot off the digital press comes a new single ‘Missing You’ from another of Canada’s leading country ladies, Kira Isabella. It’s a countrified cover of the great John Waite song, which hasn’t lost any of its lustre from the 80’s. The tune is a perfect choice for Kira and should be finding its way to the top of the pile in short order.
Another new single and video comes our way courtesy of Runaway Angel and their newest offering ‘Easy’. Three years after joining forces, this contemporary female power-trio is making their mark on stages and airwaves across the country. Their first album ‘No End in Sight’, has yielded four charting singles with ‘Easy’ being the latest to scale the Canadian Country Top 40. This year should be a big one for the band as it sees the release of their sophomore album followed by a European tour.
A much anticipated new single, ‘When I Do’, comes our way from Edmonton singer/songwriter Alexandra Adamoski who is better known by her singular name Alee. Alee, who scored a CCMA nomination for the prestigious Rising Star Award in 2016, is currently writing a new record and will be releasing her much anticipated debut full length release later this year. In the meantime we’ll have to make do with the mesmerizing first single.
On the independent side, Barrie’s Dani Strong is a singer/songwriter with a compelling stage presence. Her brand new album, ‘Time To Breathe’ has already hit #1 on the Canadian country charts and the first single ‘Wild One’ has just cracked the Top 40. Dani is blazing her trail as an independent artist in both Canada and south of the border, and fans in B.C. and Ontario will be able to catch her this summer at the Kootenay Country Music and Boots & Hearts Festivals.
A return to country music? We can only hope that k.d. lang will favour us with a couple of her old-time covers like ‘Three Days’ or ‘Down To My last Cigarette” as she promises to perform classics from her entire 30+ year repertoire on her just-announced coast to coast Canadian tour commencing in August. This marks the 25th anniversary of her platinum selling Ingénue album and the huge hit ‘Constant Craving’, which launched k.d. into stardom around the world. A good chunk of the show is slated to be drawn from that album as well as from 2004’s Hymns of the 49th Parallel, which featured lang singing songs by fellow Canadians including Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Neil Young. Still, we can hold out hope that she’ll whip out a version of the Mel Tillis-Webb Pierce classic “Bopalina’, from the days when she fronted her first band The Reclines, sporting a Patsy Cline skirt, horn-rimmed glasses and Doc Martens.