Mike Tod relights the torch of old time tradition on self-titled LP

Mike Tod’s new self titled LP is out now. Courtesy photo, used with permission.

Canadian ethnomusicologist and musician Mike Tod might just be the most identifiable bridge carrying our musical past into current day and beyond. With conviction and candor, he sings well-worn traditional songs, researches their roots, and shares them in a fashion that feels authentically of another time, while still firmly planted in the present. He forges old-time songs into historical epics, conjuring visions of western portraits and weathered landscapes, immersing listeners in traditional songs recorded with modern clarity and true grit. As an ethnomusicologist, Tod’s The Folk podcast series on the lesser-known histories of folk and old-time music in Canada was called “an unlikely hit” by the Calgary Herald. Mike Tod reminds us that the past, present, and future are inexorably linked in song. (IV-PR, 2023)

On April 13, Tod released his debut full-length studio album; a self-titled affair that finds its instrumentation honoring the history of old-time music while its expansive, cinematic arrangements focus Tod’s grand vision through a modern lens. 

Tod recently shared the second track from his Mike Tod LP, “The Coo Coo.” “It’s one hell of an eerie, haunting song when you really pay attention to the lyrics,” says Tod of the song that has been recorded by everyone from Clarence Ashley—on the Anthology of American Folk Music—to (Tod’s personal favorite) Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. “There’s themes of addiction, potential homelessness, and obsession over an individual. Almost creepy, but for sure scary.” The driving and moody string band instrumentation aids in painting Tod’s version of “The Coo Coo” in a dark light. “I’d say our version shows that this song is more like a horror movie than anything else,” says Tod. 

Accompanying the release of “The Coo Coo” is a beautifully animated music video from Molly Little. The sepia-tinged, high contrast animation follows the lyrics of this classic song closely, matching the mood and dynamics scene by scene. Folk Radio UK premiered the video, saying, “There’s a gorgeously dark underlying drone that’s accentuated by Tod’s well-worn tenor vocals while his talented band pull out all the stops on one of the best arrangements I’ve heard for this folk song…the whole arrangement works on every level, lending it a dark southern gothic feel. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Mike Tod.”

Fans can watch “The Coo Coo” video, stream or purchase the audio, or purchase the Mike Tod album. 

Mike Tod track list:

  1. The Coo Coo
  2. The Blackest Crow
  3. Flowers of Edinburgh
  4. Cigarettes and Whiskey
  5. Undone In Sorrow
  6. Back To My Home
  7. Little Wheel Spin and Spin
  8. Cold Frosty Morn
  9. Wait For Me
  10. My Alberta Rose

How to master the art of a home cooked meal

Cooking your meals at home is good for your health and your wallet. Photo: Alyson McPhee, used with permission.

There are so many reasons why cooking your meals at home is a good idea. While ordering takeout is easier, convenient, and often tastes great, it is not good for your health or your wallet. Because of this, more and more people are trying to get into cooking as a hobby and a way to feed themselves.

Unfortunately, cooking is not always easy, especially if you do not know where to start. This is where this article comes into the picture. With this advice, you can save money, improve your health, and learn how to make some delicious meals. 

Saving Money

With the recent rise in the cost of living, everything is expensive. You might reason that takeout is not much more expensive than buying groceries, but this is just a sign that you are buying groceries wrong. 

The first mistake people make is to neglect to write a list. This makes you more likely to forget something you need, so you end up having to go back to the grocery store, where you might pick up a bunch of other groceries. Write a list and plan what you will buy, ideally based on specific recipes. 

Writing a list also prevents you from buying food you do not need. Shopping when you are hungry leads to buying junk food and other unneeded items, which can lead to waste. Pay attention to prices as you buy, specifically the price per weight, which will tell you what provides better value for money.

The Right Recipes

If you are not familiar with cooking, then recipes are your friend. Ideally, you want to start with simple, delicious, and quick recipes so that you can get started on your cooking journey. Consider the nutritional value of the meals you cook as well.

For example, try some delicious brown sugar pork chops. You’ll love how simple yet tasty they are. Because they are packed with flavor, you can pair them with some steamed or sauteed vegetables for a quick, healthy, and easy meal.

Once you build a collection of recipes that you have learned, you naturally get a grasp of the basics of cooking. You learn how to hold and use a knife properly, as well as the best way to brown meat and create a sauce. You also grow more confident in your skills, which allows you to experiment or try more complicated dishes.

Cooking Classes

One way that you can improve your skills and grow in confidence is to find some local cooking classes. These will teach you specific techniques and tips that will boost your cooking ability, and give you some great ideas for meals. 

Cooking classes are also an excellent way to make new friends and connections. You can find classes geared towards your age group and your peers, or go for a mixed group. You never know who you might meet and what ideas you might pick up.

Learning how to cook is a good way to help yourself grow as a person and pick up some practical skills.

Collaborative Post