Today, Feb. 4, 2013, we begin Tom Allen's Shift interviews with this year's Canada Reads authors. Canada Reads is staging a turf war for 2013, with the five competing books each representing a different region of the country.
Those five books will be defended by five celebrity champions, and battled down to one winner — the book all Canadians should read.
Each author has provided us with a playlist of songs that accompanies their book. This week, Tom will sit down with each author, play their chosen songs on Shift and delve into their books.
The Richard Wagamese playlist
Let's begin with Richard Wagamese, whose book, Indian Horse, is representing British Columbia and Yukon. He'll be defended by Olympic wrestler Carol Huynh.
Listen to Tom's interview and song picks with Richard Wagamese Press play to listen to the full interview and musical picks of Richard Wagamese with Shift host Tom Allen.
Here are the details of Wagamese's five-song playlist:
1. Dvorak, Serenade for Strings in E major.
“It takes me back to ice rinks in the early '60s and hearing godawful-sounding music blasting from bad speakers. But it created a remarkable ambience as you learned to whirl and twirl and skate gracefully like the hockey player Béliveau. It also takes me back to winter itself; the sound of footsteps crunching through the snow, branches snapping and the croak of ravens. It’s the sound of the backdrop to Indian Horse.”
2. Merle Haggard, "Wishing All These Old Things Were New” from the album If I Could Only Fly.
“It’s a song about a man looking back at his life and how he’s finally learned to settle down, quit drinking, smoking, all the bad habits of his youth. It’s Saul Indian Horse at the window of the treatment centre about to go on his voyage of self-rediscovery. It’s me at 57, looking back at the trail of years that led me to here; the world of the immensely possible, happy, contented.”
3. Etta James, “The Rock” from the album Life’s Been Rough on Me.
“Her most country song about how she’s stood up for and behind her man until she just plumb can’t handle it no more. It’s soulful, uplifting and a reminder of how much strength it takes sometimes to stay and then to leave when the jig’s up. It always reminds me of choices and their import, how they affect us long after we make them and in that it’s about Saul looking back at his choice to leave the Kellys."
4. Richard Thompson, “I Misunderstood” from the album Rumour & Sigh.
“The heartbreak tune at its most sublime. When you get caught looking sideways and suddenly they’re gone and you’re left to grapple with the ubiquitous 'Why?' It always reminds me of the vagaries of life and love and the common ache we all come to understand and hopefully leave behind. It’s Saul again wishing for his traditional life, family and sense of himself.”
5. Miles Davis, “Bye Bye Blackbird” from the album Round About Midnight.
“Vibrato-less and pure, all blue and sore and aching at the same time that it’s jubilation and praise-worthy. A knockout song that reminds me when I’m writing that it’s all those things that I’m shooting for in my work. It’s about the notion that art doesn’t need to be filled with clamour to touch us deeply.”
You can contact us at Shift with your ideas, questions or anything else by sending us a message on our Facebook page. Through email, you can reach show producers Alison Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org), Alex Redekop (email@example.com) or Pete Morey (firstname.lastname@example.org ).
The Jane Urquhart Playlist
The David Bergen Playlist
The Canada Reads website
on Feb 04, 2013