With Jeff Mertick

Jeff is a Regina singer/songwriter whose love of soul and blues has inspired him to write, record, produce and release three albums in 2018. He also hosts the retro-funk/fusion/soul show Sounds of the Inner City on 91.3FM CJTR. On April 30, he’ll play a show at Bushwakker.  Here are six Canadian blues/funk artists songs he considers favourites. /Gregory Beatty

“Mr. Clean”
Al Muirhead
It’s About Time (2014)

Mr. Clean is a funky jazz standard played with precision and perfection by this well-seasoned group. Al is an inspiration in the Canadian scene, and is known as Alberta’s elder statesman of jazz trumpet.

Wide Mouth Mason
Live! Montreux, Switzerland (2009)

I had this track years ago and found it again recently online. It’s from WMM’s early days and was captured live at The Montreux Jazz Festival. It shows the band’s great talent, but it’s also hilarious to hear the announcer attempt to say “Saskatchewan” several times, then give up and say, “I’m sure the band will pronounce it properly”.

“Use Me”
Kellylee Evans
I Remember When (2013)

Kellylee Evans is a Canadian jazz and soul vocalist. She has a couple of Junos under her belt and just keeps going. She does a solid version of Bill Withers “Use Me” on this album.

“Hey There”
Ndidi Onukwulu
No, I Never (2006)

Ndidi Onukwulu is a Canadian singer-songwriter born in British Columbia. “Hey There” is a funky number that hints of blues and jazz. It’s a great little growler.

“Steppin’ Stone”
The Jeff Mertick Band
Steppin Stone (2011)

I gotta give a shout out to some of the funkiest musicians I’ve played with. The title track off our 2011 album goes out to Carter Powley, Andy Silljer, Patrick Andrews and Joel Tiefenbach. All of them are still making music successfully. Rock on guys!

“Anywhere is Home”
Colin James
Traveler (2003)

Colin establishes himself as one of my favorite Canadian singers and guitar players with this funky number where he tells us all (ironically, considering that he’s from Regina) that anywhere can be our home.