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5 songs you need to hear: Emmylou Harris duets, Black Crowes covers and more

British blues guitarist Alvin Lee of Ten Years After performs during a music festival in Bethel in this August 14, 1998 file photo. Lee, who was best known for his performance with rock band Ten Years After at Woodstock in 1969, died on March 6, 2013 at age 68, his family said.



Ten Years After; streaming on

Jimi Hendrix may have closed the festival at Woodstock, but Alvin Lee took home the watermelon. The British guitarist, who died last week, shall always be remembered for the heavy-duty hippie-blues of I'm Going Home , an 11-minute split-screen centrepiece of Michael Wadleigh's 1970 concert documentary. The performance by Lee and Ten Years After showcases the musician's flamboyant speedster way with a Gibson ES-335 (peace sticker optional) and the band's sense of tempo dynamics as well. After the show-stopping ramble – Lee, as singer, quotes Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Baby Please Don't Go and Blue Suede Shoes – scooped up a watermelon offered to him by an appreciative fan. Some have speculated that the thing's pink flesh was soaked with LSD. Others see the thick-rinded fruit as a socially stereotypical symbol of Lee's mastery of a black American music. Most, however, see it as a juicy prize for a job well done.

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Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You, by the Black Crowes, from the forthcoming Wiser For the Time (Silver Arrow); streaming here .

A reunited Black Crowes will hit the road this spring, but, for tonight, the jam-rocking Southerners are staying home with a cover of the 1969 Dylan country ballad. The track is one of the 26 found on a live album (recorded in New York in 2010) due March 19, on vinyl and digital-download formats.


Do You Know What It Is, by Maylee Todd, from the forthcoming Escapology (Do Right); streaming here.

She's a dynamite attraction: The free spirited Torontonian dials up the Dancing Machine and goes all Jackson 5-alive on a rambunctious, disco-happy bonus track from her highly anticipated new disc.


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Chase the Feeling (Live), by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell; streaming here.

"On the scale of cosmic thunder, it's a wonder you're alive." The silver-haired songbird and her former rhythm guitarist and backing singer (way back in the 1970s) dropped by the Wall Street Journal's New York studio for a spry duet of a Kris Kristofferson song about addiction and chemically induced euphoria. The pair are currently on tour, supporting their long-time-in-coming first album together, Old Yellow Moon .

Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and Richard Thompson play Toronto's Massey Hall, March 22.


From the Fourth, by Leif Vollebekk; video by Mitch Fillion (; streaming here.

The Montreal songster visually resembles a Harry Connick Jr.-Jay Baruchel cross and stylistically draws on the soulful, image-laden music of Joe Henry. He's his own piano man though, as an intimately shot, unplugged video at Toronto's Tranzac club reveals.

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Leif Vollebekk supports his new album North Americana with shows at Toronto's Rivoli, March 20; Toronto's Holy Oak, March 21; Quebec City's Le Cercle, March 22; Montreal's Cabaret Du Mile End, March 23; and Vieux Clocher, Magog, Que., March 30 (with Patrick Watson).

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


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