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'It's an earworm': Tanika Charles covers Blue Rodeo's 'Try'

The Juno-nominated soul singer hits those ‘Jim Cuddy high notes’ for her Junos 365 session.

The Juno-nominated soul singer hits those ‘Jim Cuddy high notes’ for her Junos 365 session

2020 Juno nominee Tanika Charles performs a soulful cover of "Try" by Blue Rodeo for CBC Music's Junos 365 Sessions. The song won the 1989 Juno Award for single of the year. 4:17

The 2020 Junos have been cancelled since this article was first published.

As part of our coverage of the 2020 Juno Awards, we're inviting some of today's hottest Canadian acts to cover a past winner in the single of the year category.

Blue Rodeo's hit song "Try" won for both single and video of the year at the 1989 Juno Awards, and Toronto soul singer Tanika Charles was more than ready to cover it for her Junos 365 session.

"On top of it being a beautiful song, it's an earworm," she explained. "And you wanna sing along, and you want to ... you feel it. I just feel really connected to that song. I listened to it growing up, when it was on the radio I always sang along, and it's a remarkable piece of work."

Tanika Charles teamed up with the band re.verse, as well as Cleopatra Williams and D/Shon, to cover the Canadian classic. (A.J. Leitch)

Charles brought the band re.verse in to record with her, along with Cleopatra Williams and D/Shon to back her up. Charles says they didn't stray far from the original, but re.verse made it sound "rich and full." Despite having an intimate relationship with the song, though, she still had some practising to do before she felt ready.

"The challenge for myself was hitting the high notes," Charles said. "The Jim Cuddy high notes. [sings] Try! It was definitely something that I had to work on. I would sing it in the shower, I would sing it walking down the street. And then I had to make it my own. And it still came out but it was definitely something that I had to work on for a long time."

Watch Tanika Charles' performance of "Try" above, and check out our other Junos 365 sessions from Haviah Mighty, the Dead South and Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine:

For all of CBC Music's coverage of the 2020 Juno Awards, go to cbcmusic.ca/junos. Listen to our Junos 365 playlist collection via CBC Listen.