Various Hair of the Dog Vol. One

On Saturday afternoons at the Black Dog pub in Edmonton, hung-over rock and rollers are treated to matinee performances by - if this compilation is any indication - a bevy of countrified Western Canadian talent. Most of the bands here hail from Edmonton, testifying to the strength of that city's reputation for songwriter-based alt-country/folk: the Maybellines, Luann Kowalek, Chris Smith, Old Reliable, Corb Lund Band, Lester Quitzau, the transplanted Richard Buckner, and curator (ex-Jr. Gone Wild) Mike McDonald, who shows up with a synth-tinged pop tribute to James Bond. Foreigners such as Carolyn Mark, Neko Case, the klezmaniacal Plaid Tongued Devils and Circus In Flames help flesh out the line-up, ensuring that Hair of the Dog deserves the rarest compliment for a regional compilation: there isn't a bad track on here. (Loki)