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Essential tracks: A chill tune from Jenn Grant, and more new songs worth a listen

Halifax singer Jenn Grant.


In The Belly of a Dragon

Jenn Grant, from the forthcoming The Beautiful Wild (Six Shooter); streaming at

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Does this remind anyone else of the chilled and mellow part of the Red Hot Chili Peppers's By The Way? But then, no one can sing quite like the sublime Grant, the Halifax songbird who coos "ooh hoo" as gorgeously as a dove in heaven.

Jenn Grant plays Spatz Theatre, Halifax, Sept. 21.


You Were Here in Michigan

Christa Couture, from forthcoming The Living Record; free download at

Shout out to Saginaw! A nimbly shuffling roots-rock number finds the B.C.-based songstress freely spirited and alive and well in the Michael Moore state.

Christa Couture plays St. James Hall, Vancouver, Sept. 6.

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Martha Wainwright, from the forthcoming Come Home to Mama (Maple); streaming at

A poignant, gently cathartic waltz honours Kate McGarrigle, the late, great folk artist.

Proserpinais the last song McGarrigle wrote, Martha Wainwright is her daughter, and if you can hear "come home to mother" unemotionally you are a sad, bloodless stone.


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The Last Thing on My Mind

Samantha Martin & The Haggard, from the self-titled album; streaming at

Recalling Bonnie Raitt's island-grooved version of an old Gerry Rafferty hit, the equally soul-throated Martin lilts sandy-like on a Tom Paxton folk-classic – a love song, right down the line.

Samantha Martin & The Haggard play the Who the Hell is Billy Hillbilly Music Festival, Napanee, Ont., Sept.8.


Duquesne Whistle

Bob Dylan, from the forthcoming Tempest (Columbia/Sony); streaming at

What begins as a sweet and smiley Pennsylvania train-song ditty set to a modern-day Chaplinesque clip turns dark quickly , with a love-at-first-sight fellow losing his kneecaps and never gaining his targeted gal's heart.

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About the Author

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


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