With Dara Schindelka

Northern Saskatchewan singer/songwriter Dara released her debut EP, Thou Art Loosed, in March. The album, she says, spins memorable stories inside hippy folk anthems celebrating freedom and courage. Dara has been showcased on the Women of Substance podcast and in March she won the American Tracks Music Awards’ folk/acoustic prize. You can find her music on Bandcamp and other streaming platforms. Here are six songs she considers favourites. /Gregory Beatty

Coco Love Alcorn | Rebirth (2019)

Rebirth has been on my repeat since it was released late last year. Coco’s gospel feel in this song moves beyond the regular instrumentation to include organ, synth, horns and funky bass lines as well as her unmistakable smoky soul-filled voice.

“Talkin’ Bout A Revolution”
Tracy Chapman | Self-Titled (1988)

Tracy became one of my favourite singer/songwriters when I was still a young girl learning how to chord on the piano. She takes a simple four-chord structure, adds challenging yet memorable lyrics, and turns it into a powerful song that has stayed with me through the decades.

“Pack It Up”
Freddie King | Burglar (1974)

I love funk music and groovy tunes like this jam. Freddie King trades melody lines with the lead guitar that are so sweet they bring everything up a level all on their own. Add the drums, bass, and horns, and you can tell why it’s one of my favourites.

“Pacing The Cage”
Bruce Cockburn | Single (1995)

The opening lines of this song contain the most poetic image of the setting sun I have ever heard. Bruce is a musical hero to me. He is one of the few artists who can mix profound lyrics with intense musical genius.

“Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18”
Sergei Rachmaninoff | (1901)

If you want to have a great instrumental catharsis then go to this heart-wrenching piano concerto. I discovered the Romantic composers as a teen and always find my way back to them when I need to purge deep emotions. Rachmaninoff is one of my favourites from this era.

“Hard Way Home”
Brandi Carlile | Bear Creek (2012)

Brandi’s music is like comfort food for the soul to me. I wore the Bear Creek album out driving the Saskatchewan highways when it first came out. This song is one of my favourites because it shows Brandi at her finest… pouring her heart out in song.