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Serena Ryder: Celebrating Canada's Finest

Serena Ryder.
Serena Ryder.

Singer/songwriters with acoustic guitars aren't exactly a rare breed, but Serena Ryder's powerful voice and incisive songwriting should help keep the Ontario native ahead of the pack. In 2002, when Ryder was 18, Canadian musician Hawksley Workman heard one of her songs broadcast on CBC radio; he immediately contacted her and offered to record and release her first album on his label.

Released in the U.S. in 2005, Ryder's debut (Unlikely Emergency) blends alternative rock and pop with folk and occasional jazz flourishes, bolstered by her three-octave vocal range. For her new album, If Your Memory Serves You Well, Ryder chose to cover a dozen of the most memorable Canadian-penned songs of the 20th century, while also throwing in a few new songs of her own.

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