Mike Ford Canada Needs You (Volume One)

At first listen, Canada Needs You is a mishmash of styles (some well done, some only valiantly attempted), a collection of semi-historic songs about the great dominion pre-1905 that indulges in bias and at times, hagiography. But dig deeper and you’ll find that Moxy Früvous’ Mike Ford has accomplished something few other Canadians have (most notably Stompin’ Tom): he’s managed to make Canadian history interesting, worth further investigation and, amazingly, singable. This album is the result of Ford’s in-school Canada in Song project and comes off a little like CBC’s A People’s History, only a lot more fun to spend time with and not as historically accurate (Ford himself admits that the songs are a jumping off point to further explore our nation’s history). With help from other Früvous members, some Arrogant Worms and drummer Mark Mariash (Kurt Swinghammer, Sarah Slean), Ford tackles Nova Scotian myths in a seductive tango ("Oak Island Mystery”), former prime ministers in raunchy garage rock ("Sir John A. (You’re OK)), and finishes off the album with the only song he didn’t pen, a furiously rapid-tempo-ed "I’ve Been Everywhere” complete with over 100 extra Canadian place names. (MapleMusic)