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Mike Stevens & Matt Andersen

One of the biggest success stories of this year has been blues singer/guitarist Matt Andersen. The husky New Brunswick native has quickly built a devoted audience via his powerful live shows, and this collaboration with renowned harmonica player Mike Stevens is a natural match. Stevens' career is one of the most compelling untold stories in Canadian music. Born and raised in southern Ontario, he developed a unique playing style suited to bluegrass, which eventually brought him to the Grand Ole Opry, where he performed with the likes of the Carter Family and Bill Monroe. Although Piggyback is a 12-song collection of songs the pair co-wrote, the album feels more like an intimate jam session between two masters of their respective crafts. It's safe to say that there are few harmonica players around like Stevens, so hearing him is worth the price of this album alone. There's a lot more to it than instrumental fireworks though, and some of its quieter moments are actually the most affecting. Piggyback is a jewel waiting to be discovered by fans of Canadiana.