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Courtesy of CBC Radio 2

CBC Radio 2: Morning

Revamped show expands listeners' musical knowledge while exposing Canadian talent

By Kylie Taggart

Weekdays and Saturdays 6 a.m. to
10 a.m.; Sundays 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Hosted by Tom Allen (weekdays) and Molly Johnson (weekends)

CBC Radio 2 has replaced its classical music morning show, Music and Company, with one featuring contemporary music. Now CBC invites listeners to tune into Morning and “wake up to a music mix of contemporary artists and familiar favourites.”

The key word is “mix.” Variety may be the spice of life, but is it really what you want at 6 in the morning? I know I am quick to reach for the dial when one song too many doesn’t catch my fancy, especially in the morning. It seems however, that done right, variety can work.

Tom Allen hosts the show on weekdays. His rich voice and insight to all things musical is a familiar balm to morning troubles. With Allen at the helm, the mix includes folk, rock, country and a smattering of other styles like blues and reggae. Joni Mitchell and Stompin’ Tom Connors might be featured next to the Tragically Hip and Jean Leloup. Though this list may strike you as being a tad too eclectic, the music is blended together beautifully, so there are no jarring side-by-side combinations to insult your ears. True, the artists trotted out are not always known beyond their own geographic region, but the promise of “familiar favourites” is kept. I recognized about every fifth song. The show does wonders for expanding musical knowledge and exposing the talents of Canadian singers and songwriters.

Molly Johnson hosts on the weekends. The accomplished jazz and blues singer likes to mix the playlist a bit more than her weekday counterpart, and the musical styles stray farther afield. Still, it is all quite easy to digest, even if some of it is unfamiliar.

Like other CBC programs, the hosts talk like they’re sitting comfortably, chilling out to the music, inviting you to do the same. As you go about your day, commuting or working or cleaning the kitchen, you have a soundtrack that maybe you wouldn’t pick on your own, but is pleasant nonetheless.

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