By: Staff –
To celebrate the release of Jérémie & The Delicious Hounds’ debut full-length album, Cruel, the emerging soul music-influenced group curated an exclusive Spotify playlist called “Fun in the Sun”, which features the best songs for any summer adventure. Stream it below.
Jérémie & The Delicious Hounds are new-age fosterers of soul music with a uniquely Canadian twist. Hailing from St. Boniface, the old French quarter of Winnipeg, they have crafted their identity as bilingual artists with their first full-length album, Cruel. Infusing nine fun-loving songs about amour and heartbreak in a mixture of both English and French, the LP serves as an authentic representation of the languages they speak at home. With the support of seasoned producer Murray Pulver, Cruel was recorded “live off the floor” to capture their vintage soul aesthetic and vibrant live performance energy.
The record’s focus track, “We Haven’t Met Yet,” came about when lead singer/guitarist Jérémie came up with some lyrics for a chorus and shared them with lead guitarist Ryan Toupin, who found them inspiring and wrote several verses. The lyrics reminded Ryan of his single days when he would feel too shy to approach any of the beautiful girls he encountered, whether on the bus, at a bar, or in this case, at the library. He had always fantasized about meeting an intelligent girl who shared his love of books.
The Delicious Hounds name is a play on words about their “delicious sound” of smooth melodies, juicy guitar riffs and tasty horn licks. Jérémie’s smooth yet smoky voice is accented with a brilliant brass section to deliver round after round of phenomenal hits on golden platters. His staple friendliness, positive vibes and charismatic nature culminate into a profound presence that leaves listeners swooning for another bite of the eight-piece band’s modern twist on old-school rhythm and beats.
JJ Grey & Mofro – “Orange Blossoms”
Orange Blossoms is my go-to album for fun in the sun. It’s got that hot southern feel to it, where I imagine sweating in the bayou in +40C with 99% humidity. Before I got into soul-funk, I was a bass player obsessed with blues rock. The summer after I graduated from university (about 10 years ago now), I got to experience a couple great music festivals in the deep southern states and this song reminds me of that great time of my life. I love this song for keeping it simple and old school while still sounding unique and modern. JJ Grey might be my favorite blues rock singer of all time, he has the perfect amount of growl and vocal mastery that I just can’t get enough of.
Busty and the Bass – “The Real”
Busty and the Bass are a fantastic band from Montreal with great style and amazing musicians. I was introduced to them about 4 years ago and they became my new favorite band that summer. As an avid concert-goer, I was so excited to find out they were touring through Winnipeg on my 30th birthday weekend, so I organized my birthday party to be at their show and had a blast with a big group of friends. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much from that night… But as luck would have it, we had the opportunity to open up for Busty and the Bass at Festival du Voyageur the following year. I was completely blown away by how good their front man, Nick Ferraro, was on the sax. It was even cooler when I got to play bass with him at an afterparty jam for the festival artists at the Times Changed (legendary Winnipeg blues club) later that night. We were playing a completely improvised song with Son Little on vocals, Jérémie on the drums, myself on bass and Nick Ferraro absolutely shredding on sax. It was one of those moments where we were all just trying to hold it together with our jaws on the floor watching Nick play. Nick has since moved on to other projects and Busty released a fantastic new album this year. This track is my favorite one from the Nick Ferarro era.
The Brooks – “Pain & Bliss”
The Brooks are another Montreal-based brass band that we opened up for at Festival du Voyageur (I’m starting to notice a pattern…) When we played our set before them, we saved our most fun song for last, which was a cover of “Move on Up” by Curtis Mayfield. Ironically, when we were chatting with The Brooks after their set, they told us that “Move on Up” was also supposed to be their closer and when they heard us play it, they had to make a last second audible and swapped it out for another tune! I felt sad that I never got to hear their version, because these guys are monster players. We’ve since adopted a couple songs by The Brooks into our repertoire of covers, and “Pain & Bliss” is one of those songs that always turns the crowd. It’s incredibly funky, with a slow and steady tension build-up, and delivers the big euphoric release when the horns take off after singing “I’m choosing not to be with you!”. It always gives me the shivers playing it live when we hit that climax and the crowd goes crazy!
Amber Mark, Franc Moody – “Lose My Cool (Franc Moody Remix)”
This is one of those songs that immediately got stuck in my head the first time I heard it. As a bass player, I got hooked on the funky bass line and had to learn it for myself. Once I figured out the bass line, I gained a deeper appreciation for Amber Mark’s writing; she has such interesting phrasing and lyrics. She’s really the full package and I fully expect her to become as big as Beyonce one day. This song is a staple on my summer playlist and people always comment how much they like it.
Toots & The Maytals – “Funky Kingston”
You can’t talk about good music to enjoy in the sun without getting into reggae. Of course, Bob Marley is great and all, but Toots & The Maytals is truly where it’s at. The god father of reggae music, Toots Hibbert, has got that bluesy grit in his voice that I really love. My favorite thing to do in the middle of a hot summer day is float on a calm lake in a canoe, smoking a joint, drinking a beer, and pretending to fish while blasting Funky Kingston. I suspect that the reason I never catch any fish is because my music is too loud and it scares them away. Doesn’t matter to me! I was very lucky that I got to see Toots at the Winnipeg Folk Festival a few years back, as he unfortunately passed away in 2020 (RIP). His spirit will live on with us as we listen to “Funky Kingston”, sweat in our canoes and don’t catch any fish!
Charles Bradley – “You Put the Flame on It”
To simply state that Charles Bradley is an influence of Jérémie & The Delicious Hounds would be an understatement. In 2015, Charles Bradley and the Extraordinaires performed at the Burton Cummings Theatre as an event for the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival. This presented itself as an opportunity for a band outing to witness an artist that we had all come to greatly admire. I entered that show expecting deep grooves, blasting horn harmonies and the presence of the “Screaming Eagle” himself but it delivered much more than just a live music performance. That man brought me to church with a powerful, soul-awakening experience that at times evoked such strong waves of emotions that I was brought to tears. Dozens of rows away from the stage, I could sense the genuine love exuding from Charles as he descended to floor level to greet his followers with hugs and the handing out of roses. Just like rays of sun, the memory of that night warms me to the core.
Karim Ouellet – “L’amour”
This catchy little tune not only pairs well with a hot summer day but is also of specific significance to the Delicious Hounds. If my memory serves me well, it was the very first french cover that we learnt as a band and was one of several Karim Ouellet songs that we would come to perform over the following years. Our fond appreciation for Karim’s clever lyrics and toe-tapping songs came full circle when we had the honor of opening for him in 2017 as part of the Canada 150 celebration festivities. Unfortunately, Karim tragically passed away in 2021 but not without leaving behind some wonderful music. “L’amour” remains my favorite of his compositions.
The Cat Empire – “Sly”
It should come as no surprise that we love horns! That being said, no band blows a meaner horn than The Cat Empire. I’ve seen these guys in concert on multiple occasions and they DO NOT disappoint. High energy and supremely talented, the pinnacle of a Cat Empire show takes place in a circle of 3-4 horn players, each in turn stepping up to a mic at the forefront of the stage to solo in repeated cycles of sheer entertainment. This Australian ensemble knows exactly how to get the party started and is, without a doubt, a summer staple.
Jack Johnson – “The Horizon Has Been Defeated”
If you’re in the mood for a nice calm vibe while lounging on the deck or at the cabin, look no further than the works of Jack Johnson. Leave it to a Hawaiin, ex-pro surfer to know how to write a laid back tune. I’ve always found peace and tranquility when Jack Johnson is playing through the headphones and as soon as the weather turns for the better, it’s JJ season.
The Band – “Up On Cripple Creek”
From the 2 opening snare shots of this tune alone, I know I’m in for a good time. And what’s the purpose of nice climate if not to have fun? The Band has been and will always be one of my absolute favorites. As a teen, I felt sophisticated graduating from groups like Led Zeppelin and The Jimi Hendrix Experience (don’t get me wrong, I still love both those bands dearly) to The Band. They’re a little rag-time and a little messy on occasion but always maintain a strong pocket to groove to. As a musician, they have also taught me a great deal about song arrangement and the importance of picking your parts at precisely the right time, especially when playing in a larger ensemble. After all these years, I still go through a perennial phase of obsessing in admiration over The Band’s material and I can assure you, this year is no exception.
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