We’re giving Episode 260 of Folk Roots Radio over to the Youth Program at the 2015 Folk Music Ontario (FMO) Conference. The program is open to residents of Ontario and the National Capital Region, between ages 15 and 21, who are chosen for their interest, ability and experience. The selected youth members are paired with experienced mentors from the Ontario folk music community for the duration of the weekend conference, while developing a showcase performance and participating in professional development activities. This documentary features commentary and musical contributions from programme coordinator Treasa Levasseur; Mentors: Quique Escamilla, Rosina Kazi, Amélie Lefebvre, James Keelaghan and Julian Taylor and Youth: Sydney Delong, Jillian Kerr, Mira Meikle, Braden Phelan and Joelle Villeneuve. For more information about the Folk Music Ontario Youth Program visit folkmusicontario.ca. Photo credit: Mike Bourgeault. Music: Treasa Levasseur “Feel Good Time” from “Broad” (2011, Self), Amélie & Les Singes Bleus “La Rua Madureira” from “À l’étage des funambules” (Self, 2012), Joelle Villeneuve “En vert” (Demo), Quique Escamilla “Nuevo Dia, Hombre Libre” from “500 Years of Night” (2014, Lulaworld Records), Braden Phelan “With You” (with Vale Abbott) from “379 Evert Street” (2015, Self), Lal “Stand In My Way” from “Find Safety” (2016, Coax Records), Mira Meikle “Coming Home” from “Mira” (2015, Self), Julian Taylor Band “Just A Little Bit” from “Desert Star EP” (2015, Aporia Records), Sydney Delong “Cruel, Adore” from “My Vow To You EP” (2014, Self), James Keelaghan “Glory Bound” from “History: The First 25 Years” (2013, Borealis Records) and Jillian Kerr “Cold Winter” from “Dreams” (2015, Self).
St Catherine’s born Darren Eedens plays both flat-picking banjo and guitar at such a frenetic pace that you can’t help but sit up and pay attention whenever he starts to play. His nasal percussive vocal delivery makes you think that you’ve stepped into some honky tonk saloon from a bygone era. Known as the Canadian Dirty Little Picker in Europe, Darren now calls Cardiff Wales, home. He joined us in the studio straight after a rousing and rambunctious performance at the 2015 Hillside Festival to chat about his latest album “Of My Word” (2014, Self) and play a few tunes live. For more information, visit darreneedens.bandcamp.com. Music: Darren Eedens “Oh Darlin” from “Of My Word” (2014, Self), “Mountain Dew” (Live), “On The Line (The Laundry Song)” (Live), “Rye Whiskey” (Live) and Darren Eedens “Movin’ On” from “Of My Word” (2014, Self).
Bob MacLean is a celtic guitarist and folk singer with roots in Cape Breton and Quebec. He’s been playing guitar for as long as he can remember, and his passion for the instrument has only grown over the years. Bob plays solo guitar and also performs as part of a duo McCairley and MacLean with fiddler Fiona McCairley. Bob joined us in the studio at the farm in Hillsburgh last fall for a fabulous conversation about his music and a few live tunes. For more information about Bob’s music visit bobmaclean.ca. Music: Bob MacLean “Songbird” (Live), “Sweetness of Mary” (Live), “Permission to Dream” (Live), “Red-haired Boy” (Live), “Pipe on the Hob/Out on the Ocean” (Live), “Jack the Sailor” (Live), “Rose of Allendale” from “Permission to Dream” (2002, Self).
Guitar-picking, classically-trained folkie Shawna Caspi released a great album of coffee house folk in 2014, “Apartments For Lovers” – an album that not only contains Shawna’s songs, but is also adorned by her own art work. Shawna joined us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music, and play a couple of songs live. For more information visit shawnacaspi.com. Photo: Roni Hoffman. Music: Shawna Caspi “Devil’s Rolling Pin” from “Apartments For Lovers” (2014, Self), “Take This Mountain” (Live), “Never Enough” (Live) and “Not So Silent” from “Apartments For Lovers” (2014, Self).
James Gordon is just about to release “Sunny Jim”, his forty-something album over all, and seventh on Borealis Records. The title (and title track) alluding to the fact that we all have our down days, even someone as relentlessly upbeat and optimistic as James Gordon – singer-songwriter, community activist, and now city councillor in Guelph, Ontario. The album features James Gordon, accompanied by his musical sons Geordie and Evan, on 12 songs that, as expected, ooze social commentary on everything from politics and protest, to war and conflict and the environment, but, more personally, also reflect on love and loss. There’s also a very special a cappella version of what maybe his best known song “Frobisher Bay” – originally written for his former band Tamarack, it has been covered more than 100 times. Album release shows take place in Hamilton at The Pearl Company (June 11), Toronto, at Hugh’s Room (June 16), Guelph at Heritage Hall (June 17) and Collingwood (June 18) at Simcoe Street Theatre. We caught up with James at home in Guelph to chat about the new album. For more information and to BUY Tickets visit jamesgordon.ca.
We’re giving the whole of this episode of Folk Roots Radio over to an interview with banjo player and rising star Kaia Kater who has just released her sophomore recording “Nine Pin”. Nine Pin is a concept album that takes as its inspiration the Black Lives Matter movement and Kaia’s own experience growing up as a person of colour in North America. And it’s an album that gives Kaia free reign to push her own boundaries using her old-time Appalachian banjo as the leaping off point for powerful lyrical songs that show maturity way beyond her years. It really is a terrific album, and it’s a great interview. I hope you enjoy it.
This episode of Folk Roots Radio features two interviews. Banjo and fiddle playing singer-songwriter Hannah Shira Naiman joined us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music, her new project involving shadow puppetry, and play a couple of songs live. We also check in with Gordie Tentrees who will be appearing at this year’s Kingsville Folk Music Festival which takes place in the beautiful confines of Lakeside Park in Kingsville from August 12-14. And as always, we include some of the best of the new releases we’ve received.
Kaia Kater has just released her sophomore recording “Nine Pin”. Recorded in just one day in Toronto, with Chris Bartos, the producer of Kaia’s debut album “Sorrow Bound”, Nine Pin is a concept album that takes as its inspiration the Black Lives Matter movement and Kaia’s own experience growing up as a person of colour in North America – but also touches on more personal source material such as love and loss. And it’s an album that gives Kaia free reign to push her own boundaries using her old-time Appalachian banjo as the leaping off point for powerful lyrical songs that show maturity way beyond her years. We caught up with Kaia at home in Toronto to chat about the new album. Kaia has a CD release concert in Toronto at the Burdock on June 12. She’ll also be appearing at the Kingsville Folk Music Festival, August 12-14. For more information, visit kaiakater.com. Music: Kaia Kater “Rising Down”, “Harlem’s Little Blackbird”, “Paradise Fell” and “Nine Pin” from “Nine Pin” (2016, Self).