Winnipeg based singer-songwriter Madeleine Roger joins us on Episode 400 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her debut solo album “Cottonwood”. Madeline produced a fabulous album “Fairweather” in 2016 with her twin brother Lucas – as duo Roger Roger. Lucas Roger has now decided to step away from writing and performing to focus on his work as a luthier, allowing Madeleine to forge ahead with her own solo career. Madeleine Roger is a great interview, and this new conversation is no exception. During our chat, Madeleine chats about the making of the new album, the importance of achieving gender balance and equality in the studio, the live experience, and why Winnipeg has such a great music scene. It’s a great interview – definitely well-worth sticking around for. We also check out more of the new music we’ve received including new releases from Georgian Bay, Sam Loaker, Lennie Gallant, Mike T. Kerr, Braden Gates, Ken Tizzard and Tragedy Ann. Check out the full playlist below.
Ottawa based musician Jack Pine joins us on Episode 399 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his music and 2017 album ”Left To My Own Devices”, nominated for a 2018 Canadian Folk Music Award in the New/Emerging Artist Category. We also check out music from some of the other nominees at this year’s awards taking place in Calgary the weekend of November 30 – December 1, 2018. For more information about the Canadian Folk Music Awards, visit folkawards.ca. Check out the full playlist below.
Toronto singer-songwriter and guitarist Noah Zacharin joins us on Episode 398 of Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about “A Startle Of Wings”, his stripped down and intimate follow up to the genre-defying electric album “Strange Rider”, one of our favourite albums of 2016. We also check out new music from Sugar Brown, Judy Brown, Sue Foley, Cousin Harley and Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards. Check out the full playlist below.
The hard to categorize British roots duo with the wide appeal, Red Dirt Skinners join us on Episode 397 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their wonderful new album “Under Utopian Skies”. It’s a great interview and well worth sticking around for. We also check out more of the new music we’ve received including new releases from Rob McHale, Oliver The Crow, Laurie MacAllister, Kris Lager Band, Brooks Williams and Cris Cuddy. Check out the full playlist below.
Fiddler Emilyn Stam from Balfolk Toronto joins us on Episode 396 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about Balfolk, that’s the modern revival of traditional, predominately Western European, social folk dances and the upcoming Big Branch Festival a three day “Balfolk” festival/camp taking place the weekend of September 7-9. We also check out new music from Alan Barnosky, David Davis & The Warrior River Boys, The Furious Seasons, Steve Dawson, Laüsa, Duo Rivaud Lacouchie, Steve Howell & The Mighty Men, Bobby Sweet and Chuck Brodsky. Check out the full playlist below.
Toronto-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Noah Zacharin released one of our favourite albums of 2016, the genre defying electric album “Strange Rider”, a widescreen production that moved effortlessly between blues, jazz, folk, pop and r n’ b, and even threw some doo-wop into the mix. Noah’s just released the follow-up, “A Startle Of Wings”, which sees Noah playing almost strictly solo acoustic guitar on 14 songs that show the depth and quality of his songwriting – a stripped down recording he describes as best enjoyed in a quiet space with headphones. This is an album that deserves to be explored and savoured. We caught up with Noah Zacharin at home in Toronto to learn more about the new album. For more information about the music of Noah Zacharin, visit noahsong.com. Music: Noah Zacharin “Morning Comes On”, “Starlings” and “Wood And Wire” from “A Startle Of Wings” (2018, Self).
The Big Branch Festival is a three day “Balfolk” festival/camp hosted by Balfolk Toronto taking place September 7-9, at Unicamp Ontario, in Honeywood near Shelburne ON (along the Bruce Trail). “Balfolk” is a modern revival of traditional, predominately Western European, social folk dances. Dances range from simple partner dances like the waltz, mazurka and schottische, to hypnotic chain dances like the andro, gavotte, and ride from Bretagne as well as energetic mixer dances. Balfolk dances are simple and easy to learn, and leave lots of room for improvisation. The intent of a Balfolk session is simple – relax and lean into the music and see where it takes you! The Big Branch Festival will feature dance and music workshops, with performers from France (Laüsa, Duo Rivaud Lacouchie, Duo Le Bour Bodros), Italy/Canada (Filippo Gambetta & Emilyn Stam) and dance instructor Louise Marius from the Netherlands. We caught up with one of the organizers, fiddler Emilyn Stam, to learn more about Balfolk Toronto and The Big Branch Festival. For more information, visit thebigbranchfestival.com. Music: Laüsa “Nau Gojatas” from Laüsa (2018, Tradethik) and Duo Rivaud Lacouchie “Ordich Janeta / Scottish d’Eugene Tarrade” from “Ordich!” (2016, AEPEM).
Hard to categorize British roots duo Red Dirt Skinners will be releasing their new album “Under Utopian Skies” this September. Featuring multi-instrumentalists Sarah Skinner and Rob Skinner, the band have become big favourites on both the British blues and country scene, but with influences that range from Pink Floyd and Supertramp to Crosby Stills & Nash and John Prine, they really do have an across the board appeal. Renowned for their soaring choruses, fabulous soprano sax solos and clever thought provoking lyrics, the title of the new project reflects on their love for their new home in Canada, after emigration in 2017. We caught up with Sarah and Rob Skinner at home in Ontario to chat about the new album. For more information about the music of the Red Dirt Skinners and upcoming tour dates, visit reddirtskinners.com. Photo: John Milford. Music: Red Dirt Skinners “Hey Crawford”, “Blossom & Rain”, “Lay Me Down” and “This House” from “Under Utopian Skies” (2018, Self).
Canadian Americana/folk singer-songwriter Tia McGraff joins us on Episode 395 of Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about her wonderful seventh album, “Stubborn In My Blood”. Recorded with partner Tommy Parham and some top class support, the new recording has already garnered some great reviews. We also check out new music from Oliver The Crow, Alan Barnosky, Jon Brooks, Sam Bush & Bela Fleck, and the Kris Lager Band. It’s a great episode. We hope you’ll check it out. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re getting set for the 2018 Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival which takes place the weekend of August 17-19 in Kelso Park, on the shores of Georgian Bay, just outside Owen Sound. One of the friendliest festivals out there, and now in its 43rd year, it’s always a fabulous weekend. Each year, Summerfolk prides itself in putting together a wonderful musical line-up, and the 2018 edition is no exception. This year’s festival features more than 40 different musical acts from Canada and across the world in genres that range from folk, roots, country and bluegrass, to blues, and even hip-hop and funk. As always, there are also lots of children’s activities, community workshops, artisan booths, dozens of food vendors… and two licensed areas. Artistic Director James Keelaghan joins us on Episode 394 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about the role of the AD and some of the artists he’s excited to see at the festival. We also check out music from Summerfolk 2018 performers Rose Cousins, Bahamas, Suzie Vinnick, Susan Aglukark, Goitse, Calan, Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer and Vishtèn. Check out the full playlist below.
There’s nothing better than having a new album come in, you play it once, and then want to play it again… and again… and again. Canadian Americana/folk singer-songwriter Tia McGraff has just released a fabulous seventh album, “Stubborn In My Blood”. The new album is her most personal album to date, and features 11 thoughtful and reflective songs – most written with her partner Tommy Parham alongside co-writes with Wood Newton, Pete Riley, Henry Priestman and Devon O’Day and a cover of the classic “One Tin Soldier”. It’s an album that’s clearly intended to move and inspire her growing worldwide audience. With some great musicianship and support from some of the industry’s top players, powerful lyrics and strong vocals, and an album cover that features Tia in boxing gloves, its clear that this time around, she’s not holding anything back! As well as the new album, Tia is now also a published author having released a children’s book, Jake The Road Dawg, based on her dog Jake’s adventures on the road with a couple of crazy touring musicians. Tia will be appearing at the Fred Eaglesmith Charity Picnic in Aylmer on August 18 and at MacKenzie Hall Cultural Centre in Windsor ON on Friday August 24 before heading to the UK for a September tour. We caught up with Tia at home in Port Rowan ON to chat about the new project. For more information about the album and upcoming tour dates, visit tiamcgraff.com. Music: Tia McGraff “Pilot Of Change”, “Let ’em See Your Strong”, “Travelin’ By Guitar” and “Stubborn In The Blood” from “Stubborn In The Blood” (2018, Bandana Records).
The 2018 Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival takes place the weekend of August 17-19 in Kelso Park, on the shores of Georgian Bay, just outside Owen Sound. A beautiful site – it’s the perfect situation for a summer festival. Each year, Summerfolk prides itself in putting together a wonderful musical line-up, and the 2018 edition is no exception. This year’s festival, the 43rd edition, features more than 40 different musical acts from Canada and across the world in genres that range from folk, roots, country and bluegrass, to blues, and even hip-hop and funk. As always, there are also lots of children’s activities, community workshops, artisan booths, dozens of food vendors… and two licensed areas. To learn more about this summer’s festival we caught up with artistic director James Keelaghan. Check out the full Summerfolk line-up HERE. GET TICKETS. For more information about Summerfolk, visit summerfolk.org. Music: Calan, “Senwir Solomon” from “Solomon” (2017, Sain Recordiau Cyf.), Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer “Get Ready” from “Apocalipstick” (2017, self) and Vishtèn “Figeac” from “Vishtèn Live” (2009, Sandbar Music).
Toronto singer-songwriter and activist Duane Forrest joins us in the studio on Episode 393 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his music. He also plays three songs live. Its a very inspiring interview, and definitely worth checking out. We also have new music from Lucy Ward, Sarah McQuaid, Laurie MacAllister, Andrew Collins Trio, Ali McCormick, Rory Block, Cris Cuddy, The Barra MacNeils and Laura Mulcahy. Check out the full playlist below.
St John’s NL singer-songwriter Peter Willie Youngtree specializes in gritty thought-provoking country songs that he delivers with a wonderful world weary old time country voice that feels like it comes from another place and time. Peter Willie joins us on Episode 392 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his forthcoming album “Musical Chairs” with his band The Blooms, the follow up to his critically acclaimed 2015 album “Country Hymns”. Peter Willie also plays three new songs live for us. It’s a great interview – definitely worth sticking around for. We also have new music from Jon Brooks, Jory Nash, Kellie Loder, The Jeremiahs, Tim O’Brien, Andrew Collins Trio, Annie Lou, Ian Reid, David Stone and David Davis & the Warrior River Boys. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re giving over the whole of Episode 391 of Folk Roots Radio to some great artist interviews we recorded at the 2018 Hillside Festival. We had an absolutely fabulous time at the festival again this year – it’s hard to put into words how wonderful it is. Set in the beautiful setting of Guelph Lake, just outside Guelph, in Southern Ontario, If you’ve not experienced it yet, you definitely should try and make it there at least once. Hillside has an incredible vibe and musically there really is something for everyone. With all the craziness going on in the world just now, it feels like a respite from all the insanity. Authentic, inclusive, respectful and environmentally sustainable… Hillside you’re just the best! Stay tuned as we chat with Frank Evans from The Slocan Ramblers, Martin Harley, the Fortunate Ones and Cécile Doo-Kingué. We also squeeze in music from Hillside 2018 favourites, Rev. Sekou and female Latino vocal group LADAMA.
Episode 390 of Folk Roots Radio features one of our favourite singer-songwriters Dana Sipos who joined us at the 2018 Hillside Festival for a surprise chat about her great fourth album “Trick Of the Light”. It’s a great interview, and well worth checking out. We also check out new music from Lucy Ward, Jupiter Owls, Jory Nash, The Ennis Sisters, Steve Dawson, Fink Marxer Gleaves, David Davis & The Warrior River Boys, Ronnie Bowman & Lou Reid, The Jeremiahs, Laurie MacAllister, Emerald Rae and Saor Patrol. Check out the full playlist below.
A fabulous live performer, Cameroonian Canadian guitarist and singer-songwriter Cécile Doo-Kingué blends together blues, afro-roots and soul with some jazzy overtones, to create a sound that is very much her own. Cécile Doo-Kingué is two thirds of the way through a trilogy “Anybody Listening”. “Part 1: Monologues” (2015), was a solo acoustic recording exploring the blues and roots of everyday life while “Part 2: Dialogues” (2016) featured a full band and special guests on a similar set of songs. Cécile will compete the project with “Part 3: Communion” (expected 2019-20), a live recording showcasing her exceptional guitar playing, soulful vocals, and powerful songwriting. Cécile Doo-Kingué sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio to chat about her music after an exhilarating show at the 2018 Hillside Festival. Check out Cécile Doo-Kingué online at cdkmusik.com. Music: Cécile Doo-Kingué “Thankful” from “Anybody Listening: The Dialogues” (2016, Self).
Newfoundland’s Fortunate Ones feature the fine musicianship and close harmonies of Catherine Allan and Andrew James O’Brien. Known for their fabulous live performances, their critically acclaimed 2015 album “The Bliss” earned them a Juno nomination, and took home the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year. They describe their new album “Hold Fast” (2018) as a study in resilience and partnership in the face of adversity, and features songwriting collaborations with Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea), Tim Baker (Hey Rosetta!), and Meg Warren (Repartee) alongside in studio support from Jim Bryson, Good Lovelies, Alexa Dirks (Begonia) and Kinley Dowling (Hey Rosetta!). The new album was recorded in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia with Daniel Ledwell. Catherine and Andrew joined Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Hillside Festival to chat about their music, and the new album. Check out the Fortunate Ones online at fortunateones.ca. Music: Fortunate Ones, “Hold Fast” from “Hold Fast” (2018, Old Farm Pony Records).
Not everyone we interviewed at the 2018 Hillside Festival was actually playing there this year. Highly regarded Canadian singer-songwriter Dana Sipos was enjoying the festival as a patron when we bumped into her, and decided we had the perfect opportunity for an interview. Dana recently released her fourth album “Trick Of the Light” on Miranda Mulholland’s boutique record label Roaring Girl Records. Dana Sipos grew up in Hamilton ON, and spent her formative years in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, before heading out for a life on the open road in pursuit of her art. Trick of the Light features ten songs that were developed during extensive travels across North America and Europe in support of her very well-received 2015 album “Roll Up The Night Sky”, which received a nomination for the Canadian Folk Music Awards in the Pushing the Boundaries category. In making Trick of the Light, Sipos worked with experimental Toronto producer Sandro Perri. The album also features Mary Margaret O’Hara, Jesse Zubot and Doug Tielli. Check out Dana Sipos online at danasipos.com. Music: Dana Sipos “When The Body Breaks” and “Blue Ridge” from “Trick Of The Light” (2018, Roaring Girl Records).
British acoustic roots and blues guitarist Martin Harley, who plays a 100 year old Weissenborn Hawaiian acoustic lap guitar, released one of our favourite albums of 2017, “Static In The Wires”. Static in the Wires was his second album recorded with Nashville based stand-up bassist Daniel Kimbro who also joined Martin on the fabulous “Live From Southern Ground” (from 2015). Martin Harley sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Hillside Festival to chat about his music. Check out Martin Harley online at martinharley.com. Music: Martin Harley “Gold” from “Static In The Wires” (2017, Del Mundo Records).