Aengus Finnan North Wind

Aengus Finnan is a man who takes his chosen vocation as a folk songwriter very seriously. If you asked him why he writes songs, he'd probably tell you that Ontario is bursting with untold stories and it is his lot to refine them into sonic documents. And that is exactly what Finnan's second album, North Wind, amounts to: a collection of tales, some rugged, some romantic, capturing the dreams, successes, fears and failures of characters found on Ontario farms, railways, truck stops and docks. A contemporary touch in the form of a jazzy soprano sax ("Apple Blossom Time”) and a djembe ("Lost Jimmy Whelan”) may keep North Wind from being called "traditional,” but it's hard to deny that this unusually gifted songwriter's roots are still imbibing musical marrow from the narrative Irish ballads of his ancestry. File next to the maple syrup, the Tom Thompson print and your favourite Stan Rogers album. (Borealis)