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CBC Radio 2: Drive

Juno-winning artist peppers his program with new and exciting Canadian music

By Wanda Stride

Weekdays 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Hosted by Rich Terfry

Christmas dinner was a heated affair at our house this year. A conversation among classically trained church musicians bemoaned the “disastrous” programming changes at CBC Radio 2: Where can you hear classical music now? What’s with the grossly affected hip-speak? Who wants to hear all that guitar music in the afternoon?

Well, I have a confession to make. As much as I miss the afternoon peace of DiscDrive with Jurgen Gothe, the commute home has become much more interesting since Rich Terfry began hosting Drive.

For those of us who have not yet entered the satellite radio world, there are few places within the confines of the family minivan where one can hear Bruce Cockburn’s voice of protest, Jeff Healey’s gritty blues and Serena Ryder’s Joplinesque vocal angst all on one station. And there are no other places where you’ll hear Canadian country singer-songwriter Fred Eaglesmith.

Terfry’s show is billed as a mix of current singer-songwriters, roots and urban music, and it’s supposed to be 70 percent Canadian. In other words, a haven from Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.

Terfry knows music. Some know him better as Buck 65, a multi-Juno winning alternative hip-hop artist since 1993. His show is peppered with stories about music and life. But for all his contacts and knowledge, he is still humble enough to be awed by a phone conversation with Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo.

There is a whole world of original Canadian music that doesn’t conform to the popular musical classifications, and Terfry’s show provides a badly needed venue. Christmas dinner confessions aside, it is true that there is now a classical void on the drive home: I hope Terfry and his programmers keep Drive roots and urban, and keep it non-commercial and Canadian.

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