Edmonton musician and AMA member Martin Kerr

Martin Kerr’s Stay-at-Home Playlist

By Sandra Sperounes

Music is the ultimate family member, it’s there whenever we need it.

To celebrate. To chill. To comfort.

Now more than ever, we could use a little music in our lives. We asked Edmonton singer-songwriter and AMA member Martin Kerr to make a playlist to soundtrack our stay-at-home adventures. “Our lives are being turned upside down and in times like these, you need music to laugh and sing and dance,” he says.

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But who says we can’t still go exploring? Music is also the ultimate vehicle—it transports us wherever we want to go. California. Outer space. The past.

Kerr’s playlist, inspired by memories of childhood road trips, features classic tracks such as Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day,” and The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” as well as tunes by ‘90s British acts such as The Levellers, James, and Kula Shaker.

“I brainstormed favourite songs, mostly ones from road trips I had taken when I was a kid with my family,” says Kerr. “For me, road trips are very nostalgic as you’re watching the scenery go by, you think about the past and the future.”

His latest single, “Isolation Groove,” is also on his playlist. He co-wrote and recorded the snappy, clappy number with Edmonton musician Ann Vriend soon after public health officials announced physical-distancing measures in Alberta. Like millions of people around the world, Kerr and Vriend have lost gigs due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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“We thought, ‘Let’s just write something really fun and happy’ because we needed a laugh,” he says.

Kerr and his family—wife Tara and three children—are currently hunkering down in their Edmonton home. He’s also occasionally performing songs from his living room, livestreaming through Facebook Live. “We’re slowly getting into the groove,” he says. “We’re going to have a lot of living-room dance parties.”