This week’s show (December 20 2014) featured interviews and impromptu sessions recorded with Prince Edward Island based singer-songwriters Irish Mythen and Dennis Ellsworth recorded at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference. We also included some thought-provoking holiday songs alongside a new mystery theme and a guilty pleasure set celebrating Bill Withers election to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.
Dennis Ellsworth lives to write songs. The P.E.I based singer-songwriter released “Hazey Sunshine” in 2013, and (the limited release) “Love Knows Love” in 2014 and yet he’s already hard at work on a follow-up. Dennis joined us for a chat and a couple of live songs at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference. For more information visit dennisellsworth.com. Photo credit: Leigh Elliott. Music: Dennis Ellworth “Valentine” from “Love Knows Love” (2014, Busted Flat Records), “Beauty Is Sad” (Live), “Silver Tears” (Live) and “Perfect Storm” from “Dusk Dreams” (2012, Busted Flat Records).
Irish Mythen travelled the world as a singer-songwriter before settling in Canada and making Prince Edward Island her home. Irish, who is just about to release her new album – the self-titled “Irish Mythen”, joined us for an interview and impromptu session at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference. For more information visit irishmythen.com. Photo credit: Phil Weymouth. Music: Irish Mythen “Gypsy Dancer” from “Irish Mythen” (2014, Self), “These Walls” (Live), “Their Waltz” (Live) and “Take Me To The River” from “Irish Mythen” (2014, Self).
This week’s Folk Roots Radio (Episode 179) featured our favourite albums of 2014. As you can imagine, it wasn’t easy to narrow down all the great albums we’ve played over the past year to just ten, but that’s what we’ve done. If you check out the post about The Best Albums of 2014 we’ve also included the next five as honourable mentions. As usual, there was lots of new music on offer including some original holiday tunes, as well as a new mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
Acapella vocal group Ondine Chorus are gearing up for their traditional Winter Solstice concert tour. If you’ve not yet seen Ondine Chorus in concert, you really should check them out. Their performances are fantastic – featuring stunning original works, gorgeous reinterpretations of traditional songs and mesmerizing sonic thematic improvisations, it’s a magical journey of subtle and rich harmonies that will live long in the memory. Ondine released their debut E.P., “Towards A Little Light” earlier this year. The E.P. featuring two original compositions and three arrangements of traditional songs has been called “stunningly beautiful with an ancient and wise feel”, and “a beautiful and wondrous thing”. This time around Jeff Bird, Gary Diggins and Robert Kingsbury will be the featured special guests. Check out the event and ticket information below.
So here they are… my ten favourite albums of 2014. As you can imagine, it wasn’t easy to narrow this list down to the Top 10 which is why I’ve included the next five as honourable mentions. And to be honest, any of the albums in that group could easily have made it into my Best of 2014 on a different day. Indeed, I could easily have included another five after that… and another five after that, but I needed to draw a line somewhere which I duly did.
This week’s episode of Folk Roots Radio featured an interview and impromptu session with Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Jill Zmud recorded at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference alongside a new mystery theme and an extended guilty pleasure segment as a tribute to a couple of great musicians who sadly passed away this week, keyboard player Ian McLagan and saxophonist Bobby Keys.
Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Jill Zmud has just released her second album, the Canadian Folk Music Award nominated “Small Matters of Life & Death”. Jill joined us for an interview and impromptu session at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference. Photo credit: Marc Labreque. Music: Jill Zmud “Victoria Tucker” from “Small Matters Of Life & Death” (2014, Self), “Wishing Well” (Live), “Carry Me Home” (Live) and “Water In The Wine” (Live).
This week’s Folk Roots Radio featured an interview about keeping music live and local with Al Robitaille from Georgetown Musictown and Mike Willis from Uncorked on Main, a new tapas & wine bar and music venue in Georgetown Ontario. Later in the show, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Shawn William Clarke joined us to chat about his latest album “William”. As usual we included lots of new music, as well as our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
Phil Elsworthy and Ed Koenig are releasing The Crooked Path, an album of mostly Celtic and Appalachian tunes using guitar, fiddle, mandolin and tambourine at The Albion 2nd Floor in Guelph on Sunday November 30 at 7:30 p.m. There is no cover for this event. Phil Ellsworthy and Ed Koenig joined us in the studio for Folk Roots Radio Overtime on Saturday November 29.
Local groups supporting live music in their own community are springing up everywhere. Georgetown Musictown is another example of a trend that may change the way we all think about live music. Why head to the big city to see a major act in an airport hanger-sized sports arena with poor sound and terrible sightlines when you can get up close and personal with great music close to home at a fraction of the cost? Georgetown Musictown are a volunteer group founded in 2013 to promote and expand the amount of live music available within Georgetown, a rapidly growing community within southern Ontario. They maintain an online calendar and use a mailing list to inform people about opportunities to hear great live music locally. They also provide support to both venues and musicians to increase the number of opportunities for musicians to play within the community.
The latest restaurant to join the music scene in Georgetown is Uncorked on Main, a new tapas bar & restaurant in Georgetown that has made a commitment to present live music on a regular basis, and planned accordingly with a dedicated stage area and premium sound system. Uncorked on Main is a joint venture of local Georgetown restauranteurs Brady Davies (of The Cellar) and Mike Willis (of Bistro at Silvercreek). They describe the Uncorked on Main experience as mouth-watering tapas fare and romantic wines accompanied by amazingly-talented local musicians. Uncorked on Main’s celebratory opening takes place on Friday December 5, and Saturday December 6 from 6 p.m. Tickets for the opening are $75 and can be picked up at Bistro at Silvercreek, and the Cellar Steak and Seafood in Georgetown. Ticket price includes canapés all night long, a cheese buffet, a champagne toast, three drink tickets and dancing until 2 a.m. to Canadian crooner Monty Greig and his Jazz band.
We sat down with Al Robitaille from Georgetown Musictown and Mike Willis from Uncorked on Main earlier this week. For more information about Georgetown Musictown visit georgetownmusictown.com. For more information about Uncorked on Main, visit uncorkedonmain.ca. Music: Ablett & Cooper, “Angie” from “Changing Landscapes” (2008, Self); Second Wind, “Second Wind” from “Second Wind” (2010, Self).
Phil Elsworthy and Ed Koenig are releasing The Crooked Path, an album of mostly Celtic and Appalachian tunes using guitar, fiddle, mandolin and tambourine at The Albion 2nd Floor in Guelph on Sunday November 30 at 7:30 p.m. There is no cover for this event. Phil Ellsworthy and Ed Koenig joined us in the studio for Folk Roots Radio Overtime from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday November 29.
Shawn William Clarke may be one of Toronto’s best kept secrets. After spending time as a sideman for Timber Timbre and Olenka & The Autumn Lovers, he is now forging his own solo career. As much a storyteller as a singer-songwriter, Shawn strives to make the subject matter for his songs as important as the beautiful melodies that accompany his well-crafted lyrics. His first solo album, 2010’s “Like Birds Too Tired To Fly” was very well-received. He is just about to release his latest album “William”, produced by James Bunton. We reached him at home in Toronto this week. For more information visit shawnclarkemusic.com. Music: Shawn William Clarke “Ten Years Ago”, “In Conversation” & “I Blame The Loyalist Ghost” from “William” (2014, Self).
This week’s episode of Folk Roots Radio featured an in-studio appearance by singer-songwriters Tannis Slimmon, Jude Vadala and Katherine Wheatley who come together each holiday season for a fabulous series of holiday concerts, “Songs For The Snowy Season”. This year, they are also releasing their first album under their new group name Boreal, “Winter’s Welcome”. As usual, we featured lots of new music, plus a new mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
Hillside Inside takes place on the weekend of February 6-8 2015 across Downtown Guelph. The musical portion of the Hillside Festival’s younger sibling kicks off on Friday February 6 with a cabaret style show featuring Oliver Mtukudzi with special guest Alex Cuba at the River Run Centre at 7:30 p.m. Later that night at 10 p.m., Kid Koala will take to the stage at St. George’s Church (Mitchell Hall) with bizZarh. Saturday February 7 features two shows, Owen Pallett with special guest Jennifer Castle in the Sanctuary at St. George’s Church at 3 p.m. and The New Pornographers with special guests Operators in St. George’s Church (Mitchell Hall) at 9:15 p.m. The festival concludes on Sunday February 8 with Stars and special guests Hey Rosetta! at the River Run Centre at 7:30 p.m. Details of community events taking place during the festival are yet to be announced.
Tannis Slimmon, Jude Vadala and Katherine Wheatley come together each Christmas to put on a series of concerts “Songs For The Snowy Season” in collaboration with Folkway Music. This year’s Guelph show (the 8th edition of this holiday tradition) takes place at Guelph Little Theatre, 176 Morris St, Guelph on Saturday, December 6 at 8:30 p.m. (Doors, 8:00 p.m.). This year, the performance will be that little bit more special as they are also releasing their first album under their new group name Boreal, “Winter’s Welcome”. Tickets $22.60 (includes HST) / $25 at the door and available from Folkway Music by phone at 1-855-772-0424, email or in person (22 Dupont Street East, Waterloo); The Bookshelf (41 Quebec Street, Guelph) and online through Event Brite HERE. Tannis, Jude and Katherine joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about the new album and upcoming Christmas shows. For more information about Boreal, visit borealsongs.ca.
Jazz-roots vocalist Brenda Lewis & blues roots singer-songwriter Gayle Ackroyd will be back at Magnolia Café, Guelph on Saturday, November 29 at 8 p.m. for their 2nd annual concert of lesser-known Christmas songs. Expect to be regaled with holiday favourites from 1960s Pop, Rock and R&B – to more recent country, folk and bluegrass, as well as one or two Gayle Ackroyd originals. Tickets are $15 advance purchase, $20 at the door. Ticket & dinner reservations are highly recommended, as this is a small, intimate venue. For reservations, please call: (519)766-4663.
We don’t normally focus on the activities of the Guelph Chamber Choir on Folk Roots Radio but they do have an interesting seasonal concert coming up on Sunday November 30 at 3 p.m. at St. George’s Church, Downtown Guelph. “Carols for Christmas” features special guests “Winter’s Eve Trio” with Sharlene Wallace on Harp, Joe Macerollo on Accordion and George Koller on Bass. This is your opportunity to sing a variety of seasonal songs and carols with the choir in one of Guelph’s finest acoustic spaces. Between choral works and numbers by the trio, choir members will present seasonal readings and poetry.
Three fabulous Guelph-based singer-songwriters Tannis Slimmon, Jude Vadala and Katherine Wheatley come together each Christmas to put on some fabulous concerts “Songs For The Snowy Season” in collaboration with Folkway Music. This year’s Guelph show (the 8th edition of this holiday tradition) takes place at Guelph Little Theatre, 176 Morris St, Guelph on Saturday, December 6 at 8:30 p.m. (Doors, 8:00 p.m.) This year, the performance will be that little bit more special as they’ll also be releasing their first album under their new group name Boreal, “Winter’s Welcome”. Tickets $22.60 (includes HST) / $25 at the door and available from Folkway Music by phone (855-772-0424), email, or in person (22 Dupont Street East, Waterloo), The Bookshelf (41 Quebec Street) and online through Event Brite HERE.
Toronto-based blues, roots and gospel singer Samantha Martin will be playing the Toronto Blues Society‘s 28th Annual Women’s Blues Revue taking place at Massey Hall in Toronto on Saturday November 22. She is currently applying the finishing touches to her as yet untitled new long player with her band Delta Sugar; a release that’s expected early next year. Because of her strong stage presence and powerhouse vocals, Samantha Martin is very much a once seen, never forgotten live experience. That she writes fabulous songs and sings like she grew up along the Mississippi Delta just adds to the mystique. We caught up with her at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference for a feature-length conversation and impromptu session. Music: Samantha Martin, “Mississippi Sun” from “Mississippi Sun” EP (2014, Dollartone Records), “When You Walk Away” (Live), “Give Me Your Mercy” (Live)”, “Addicted” (Live) and “One More Day” from “Mississippi Sun” (2014, Dollartone Records).