Our neighbors to the north provided us with some fine releases in 2008, none more impressive than the latest from Kathleen Edwards, whose Asking for Flowers combines plaintive country, ass-kicking rock and roll, and just the right quotient of dirty words.
Kathleen Edwards, "The Cheapest Key"
Ron Sexsmith, uber-troubadour, went to Cuba to record Exit Strategy of the Soul. I'm not sure it quite measures up to the epic three album run of Blue Boy, Cobblestone Runway, and Retriever from a few years back, but few artists today can match his warm introspective soul.
Ron Sexsmith, "This is How I Know"
Jason Collett picked up where he left off on his solo debut with Here's to Being Here, another example of first-rate alt.country with a sharp eye and a caustic wit.
Jason Collett, "Through the Night These Days"
Sloan's 2008 release Parallel Play doesn't match last year's sterling Never Hear the End of It (not by a long shot), but it still features some quality power pop.
Sloan, "Believe in Me"