Brian “Colorblind” Blain has been writing and performing his unique brand of slow-cooked, solid-groove folk blues for more than 40 years. Brian released a “live” solo album called “New Folk Blues” in 2011 that took a light-hearted look at his life in music, while giving him free rein to indulge his passion for folk, blues and jazz. Brian has elected to revisit the tracks on the New Folk Blues album by inviting musical friends Harry Manx, Clayton Doley, Drew Jurecka, Colleen Allen and others into the studio, leading to a sweetened, stacked and mastered version of the album appropriately titled “New Folk Blues 2.0”. Brian will be celebrating the reboot of the “New Folk Blues 2.0” album on Saturday, October 29 at Toronto’s legendary Old Mill where he will be joined by George Koller, Michelle Josef and Alison Young, all of whom contributed to the new recording. For more information visit brianblain.com.
Mandolin master and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Collins joins us on this episode to chat about his fabulous new album “And It Was Good”. And it is… very good, and nominated for both Instrumental Group of the Year and Producer of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. We also take a look at some of other nominees for the 2016 awards – this time we focus on the category of Young Performer Of The Year.
Zachary Lucky joins us on this episode to chat about his new album “Everywhere A Man Can Be”. We also continue our review of the nominees for the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards. This time around we take a look at the nominees for The Oliver Schroer Pushing The Boundaries Award, and, as every year, some great artists and albums have been nominated.
Mandolin master and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Collins had already achieved greatness as an in-demand session player and part of Toronto’s famed Foggy Hogtown Boys and Creaking Tree String Quartet before setting out with his own Andrew Collins Trio, to create something very special indeed for their second effort “And It Was Good”… a concept album that uses as its theme, the biblical seven days of creation story, referenced by the eight individual tracks, that merrily criss-cross musical borders. The Andrew Collins Trio – Andrew Collins on mandolin, mandocello, mandolin and little fiddle, accompanied by Mike Mezzatesta (mandolin, guitar, fiddle) and James McEleney (bass, mandocello) with support from the Phantasmagoria String Quartet (John Showman and Trent Freeman on violins, Ben Plotnick on viola and Eric Wright on cello) serve up music that takes in classical baroque, jazz, bluegrass, folk and celtic influences with a nod to the crossover work of the late great Oliver Schroer, in a format that, because of the prominent strings, has been described as chambergrass. And It Was Good is a fantastic album – sublime, even – and an album that deserves to be listened through from beginning to end. The Andrew Collins Trio have received a well-deserved nomination for Instrumental Group of the Year at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards and Andrew Collins along with David Travers-Smith is also in the running for Producer of the Year. The Andrew Collins Trio will be bringing the new album to Hugh’s Room in Toronto on Friday October 21 at 8:30 p.m. For more information and to get tickets, visit hughsroom.com or call (416) 531-6604. Music: Andrew Collins Trio “Light From The Darkness”, “Firmaments” and “And It Was Good” from “And It Was Good” (2016, Self)
Martha Renaud has just released her second album, the J.P. Cormier produced, “Tide & Tide”. A strong songwriter with a warm and welcoming folk singer-songwriter style, we recently enjoyed a fabulous performance from Martha to close out the Sunday summer concert season at the Two Creeks Conservation Area in Wheatley Ontario. Featuring support from David Light on guitar and John Takle on stand-up bass, it was a great show, and, one that will live long in the memory. Martha Renaud joined us in the studio to chat about her music. Among the songs we played were a couple recorded live for a new initiative we’re involved in, the Sun Parlour Coffee Sessions. Stay tuned for more details about that. For more information about Martha Renaud, visit martharenaud.com. Music: Martha Renaud “Sea of Oblivion” from “Tide & Tide” (2016, Self), “Withered Hands & Weathered Wood” (Live), “Last Child” (Live) and “Fly” from “Time & Tide” (2016, Self).
Zachary Lucky is just about to release “Everywhere A Man Can Be”, the follow-up to 2013’s “The Ballad Of Losing You”. And where The Ballad of Losing you was introspective and reflective – focusing on some very personal themes, the new album is outward looking, expansive and optimistic featuring nine new songs written on the road, that name check people and places he visited while touring his last effort. The album features stellar support from pedal steel virtuoso Aaron Goldstein, who also produced, and a band that includes Taylor Knox on drums, Dan Edmonds (Harlan Pepper) on piano, Darcy Yates (Flash Lightnin’, Bahamas) on bass, Rosalyn Dennett on fiddle, and Slocan Ramblers‘ Frank Evans on banjo. Nichol Robertson also guests on guitar, alongside vocalist Julie Fader, and pianist Jay Swinnerton. With a laid-back style that’s all his own, “Everywhere A Man Can Be” is clearly a step towards solidifying Zachary’s place in the vanguard of Canadian country music. We caught up with Zachary at home in Orillia to chat about the new album. The album release takes place at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto on October 7. For more information visit zacharylucky.com. Music: Zachary Lucky “Can’t Say Why”, “Everywhere A Man Can Be” and “Lost My Way (Now & Then)” from “Everywhere A Man Can Be” (2016, Self).
Singer/songwriter Sharon Goldman from New Jersey joins us on this episode to chat about her latest album, “Kol Isha (A Woman’s Voice)”, an album that it takes as its theme, Sharon’s own life experience – growing up in an orthodox Jewish family on Long Island, New York. We also take our first look at the nominees for the Canadian Folk Music Awards starting off with the category of Contemporary Album of the Year.
This episode of Folk Roots Radio features two interviews. Tia McGraff joins us to chat about what she’s been up to lately including the release of a new single and video, and a couple of upcoming shows in South Western Ontario. And Allison Brown checks in to chat about two specials shows with her band, “The Assembly Line”. We also take a look at the nominees in the New/Emerging Artist of the Year category at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
The nominations for the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards have been announced. PEI bilingual trio Ten Strings And A Goat Skin lead the nominations this year with 4 nominations for their album “Auprès du Poêle”, Double nominees include: The Strumbellas, Whitehorse, Donovan Woods, Royal Wood, Danny Michel, David Francey, Big Little Lions, The Small Glories, William Prince, Nadia Gaudet & Jason Burnstick, Corin Raymond, Megan Bonnell, The Andrew Collins Trio, Beppe Gambetta & Tony McManus, Fásta, The Yves Lambert Trio, Hillsburn and Shannon Quinn.
Check out the full list of nominees here. We’ll be previewing the nominee categories on upcoming editions of Folk Roots Radio.
New Jersey based Sharon Goldman started out playing open mics in New York City before finding her inner voice, and developing a strong reputation as a songwriter on a series of fine albums that married catchy melodies to thoughtful lyrics on songs about love, life and the little things that make the world go round. Her latest album, “Kol Isha (A Woman’s Voice)” is somewhat of a departure in that it takes as its theme, her own life experience – growing up in an orthodox Jewish family on Long Island. For more information visit sharongoldmanmusic.com. Music: Sharon Goldman “The Tribe”, “Song of Songs”, “Kol Isha (A Woman’s Voice)” and “Land of Milk & Honey ” from “Kol Isha (A Woman’s Voice)” (2016, Self).
Roots Songstress Allison Brown has a couple of special band shows coming up in October in South Western Ontario. Allison will be bringing her band The Assembly Line to The Bank Theatre in Leamington Ontario on Friday October 14, and the following night, Saturday October 15, she’s at the Kordazone Theatre in Windsor. Tickets for both shows are $12 in Advance, and $15 at the door. Joining Allison as part of The Assembly Line will be Jedd House on Upright Bass, ‘Uncle’ Dan Henshall on Mandolin, and Vera Colley from Whoa Nellie! Vera & Johnny on accordion & harmony vocals. You can get tickets for The Bank Theatre show online at allisonbrown.bandcamp.com or reserve by calling the box office at 519-326-8805. Tickets for the Kordazone Theatre show are available at Levigator Press, Dr. Disc Records, and Nancy John’s Gallery. We caught up with Allison Brown at home in Paquette Corners to chat about her upcoming shows. Music: Allison Brown “Your Enemy” and “Scavengers” from “Stitches & Incisions” (2015, self).
Tia McGraff has just released “Wing Walker”, the latest single from her very well-received 2015 album “Crazy Beautiful” (2015, Bandana Records) with an accompanying video filmed at the No. 6 RCAF Dunnville Museum in Dunnville Ontario. You can check out the video HERE. Tia is heading down to Tampa FL shortly to sing the The Star-Spangled Banner before a Devil Rays game, before heading on to Nashville and Austin with partner Tommy Parham for some songwriting and folk conference opportunities. Tia returns to Canada in October for two South Western Ontario; she’ll be in Port Stanley at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre on October 15, and at MacKenzie Hall in Windsor on October 22. For more information, and to get tickets, visit tiamcgraff.com. Photo: Jonathan Edwards. Music: Tia McGraff, “Mesa Gold” and “Wing Walker” from “Crazy Beautiful” (2015, Bandana Records).
The Red Dirt Skinners, the fantastic roots duo from Sussex in England with the big sound, who have been taking the British roots scene by storm, are back on tour in Ontario and Quebec this fall. Sarah and Rob Skinner joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio earlier this year for an in-depth conversation about their music and latest album “Behind the Wheel”. We’re pleased to bring an excerpt from that interview to you on this episode. And, as usual, we also find time to take a look at some of the latest new releases.
Long-standing member of the Philadelphia music scene and partner in Grammy Award winning MorningStar Studios, Lizanne Knott released a great new album earlier this year – the bluesy and jazzy “Excellent Day”. A smoky and sultry delight, it features eight original songs and four well-chosen covers… The Gershwins’ “Ain’t Necessarily So”, Springsteen’s “Stolen Car”, Janis Ian’s “Sometimes” and Jef Lee Johnson’s “Excellent Day”. Lizanne Knott joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about her music, the new album and, the fact that, despite critical acclaim, she’s still generally better known in the UK than North America. It’s time we change that! For more information, visit lizanneknott.com. Photo: Lisa Schaffer. Music: Lizanne Knott “Come For The Kill”, “Not This Time”, “Lay My Burden Down” and “Excellent Day” from “Excellent Day” (2016, Proper).
Windsor singer-songwriter Karen Morand joins us in the studio on this episode to chat about her music and play a few new songs live. Since recording this interview and session, Karen has gone on to win the 1st Canada South Songwriting Competition at the Kingsville Folk Music Festival with the song “Big Muddy”, one of the new songs she played for us. We also check out some more new music from Windsor & Essex County in Ontario.