The title of Oh Susanna's sixth album, Namedropper, is a joking reference to the fact that she has some real talented and famous friends. She called on this elite group of Canadian singer/songwriters to each contribute a new song for her to sing, with those rallying to the cause including Ron Sexsmith, Royal Wood, Joel Plaskett, Jim Cuddy, Amelia Curran, and Whitehorse. The daring concept works astonishingly well, pushing the acclaimed songstress in some new directions, though there are still plenty of those slow country-folk ballads at which she excels. Kudos to chief collaborator Jim Bryson, who produced, played multiple instruments, and also contributed a song ("Oregon"). Each spin of this enchanting record will reveal new favourite songs, so it's almost unfair to single out specific songs. That being said, Cuddy's "Dying Light" (a big soul ballad), Plaskett's "Into My Arms" and Sexsmith's "Wait Until the Sun Comes Up" are sparkling gems in this treasure trove of material.
Oh Susanna plays Toronto's Great Hall on Oct. 25 and Ottawa's Knox Presbyterian Church on Oct. 30, then heads west for dates. Check here for details.