Chicago based singer-songwriter Joe Jencks has built his music career around a fabulous baritone voice and a reputation for well-crafted songs that speak to a human experience fraught with challenge, and injustice, yet, also offering hope for a brighter future. His latest solo album, “Poets, Philosophers, Workers & Wanderers” includes 11 original songs about such topics as prison ships, veterans and PTSD, solstice renewal and the testimony of Pete Seeger before the Un-American Activities Committee in 1955, alongside some well-chosen covers that include a lesser known Phil Ochs song and a Jon Brooks classic, “Mercy”. We caught up with Joe Jencks on tour to chat about the new album. To learn more about Joe Jencks, visit joejencks.com. Joe Jencks is also a member of harmony trio Brother Sun, (with fellow singer-songwriters Pat Wictor and Greg Greenway). Brother Sun will be going on hiatus at the end of 2017. If you want to catch the group performance one last time, you can check out their dates at brothersun.com. Music: Joe Jencks “Let Me Sing You A Song”, “One Piece At A Time”, “Everybody Sings The Blues” and “Going Home” from “Poets, Philosophers, Workers & Wanderers” (2017, Turtle Bear Music).
The 34th Hillside Festival takes place the weekend of July 14-16 2017, at beautiful Guelph Lake just outside Guelph in Southern Ontario. With more than 60 different acts in this year’s lineup, Hillside brings together a list of performers that promises something for every taste and this year an acknowledgement of how the artistic and activist communities intersect. “In keeping with the strong spirit Hillside has cultivated, we have programmed a line up of artists who are gifted and ambitious. Our 2017 line-up is packed with enablers and disrupters, enabling new ideas to come into consciousness and culture and disrupting the worn channels of thought and feeling upon which we rely. In one-way or another, so many of these artists challenge the status quo, whether through their musical or literary experimentation or their activism, be it political, environmental, race- or gender-based.” To learn more about this year’s festival and the musical line-up, we caught up with artistic director Sam Baijal. Check out the full line-up HERE. Learn more about Hillside and buy tickets HERE. For more information visit hillsidefestival.ca. Music: Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, “Gentle On My Mind” from “Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad” (2016, Cooking Vinyl).
We’re all about the 2017 Mariposa Folk Festival on Episode 327 of Folk Roots Radio. The Grande Dame of Canadian Folk Festivals 57th edition takes place the weekend of July 7, 8 and 9 in beautiful Tudhope Park in Orillia, on the shores of scenic Lake Couchiching. Mariposa artistic director, Mike Hill, joins us on this episode to chat about this year’s lineup and his new book “The Mariposa Folk Festival – A History”, out now on Dundurn Press. We also feature an excerpt from a great interview & live studio appearance by Coco Love Alcorn, recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference, alongside music from other artists who’ll be heading to Mariposa this year. Listen to the episode and check out the playlist below.
Summer festival season is just about with us, and the Mariposa Folk Festival, the Grande Dame of Canadian Folk Festivals, is getting ready for its 57th edition which takes place the weekend of July 7, 8 and 9, in beautiful Tudhope Park in Orillia, on the shores of Lake Couchiching. As always, they’ve put together a very strong line-up that is designed to appeal to all tastes, and all ages and includes headliners The Barenaked Ladies (Friday night), Ruth B (Friday), Whitehorse (Saturday), Matt Andersen (Saturday), The New Pornographers (Saturday) and Bruce Cockburn (Sunday) and The Last Waltz – A Musical Celebration of The Band LIVE (Sunday) alongside many others. You can check out the full line-up, learn about all of the performers and buy tickets HERE. We caught up with Mike Hill, artistic director at the Mariposa Folk Festival to chat about the festival and his new book “The Mariposa Folk Festival – A History”, out now on Dundurn Press. Music: Ruth B “Lost Boy” from “Safe Haven” (2017, Columbia).
We’re all about the Montreal Folk Fest sur le Canal on Episode 326 of Folk Roots Radio. The 10th edition of the festival takes place on the banks of the Lachine Canal in Montreal from June 14-18 2017. Starting out as a day long festival attracting just 500 festival goers, it’s since evolved into a five-day event of free outdoor programming and ticketed indoor concerts that brings some of the best folk, roots and bluegrass music into the heart of Montreal. Festival co-founder Matt Large joins us to chat about the history of the event and this year’s lineup. We also hear from Guillaume Jabbour, leader of Quebec band Jabbour. We’re also including something very special… an excerpt from a great live studio appearance by the wonderful Birds of Chicago featuring JT Nero and Allison Russell. We round out the hour with music from some of the other performers heading to Montreal this time around. This episode is a great introduction to a festival that continues to grow – and still manages to make all its outdoor programming free to enjoy. You may not be able to get to the festival this summer, but hopefully our review may encourage you to try and make it there another year. For more information about the Montreal Folk Festival sur le Canal, visit montrealfolkfest.com. Listen to the episode and check out the playlist below.
We’re all about the music on Episode 325 of Folk Roots Radio as we check out more of the latest new releases. And this time around we’re a bit more bluesy than on recent episodes and we also include more music from albums we’ve really been enjoying lately plus new music on our radar from Terry Gillespie and a political single from England’s Oysterband. Listen to the episode and check out the playlist below.
The 10th Annual Montreal Folk Fest sur le Canal takes place June 14-18 2017 on the banks of the Lachine canal in Montreal. Starting out as a day long festival attracting just 500 festival goers, it’s since evolved into a five-day event of free outdoor programming and ticketed indoor concerts that brings some of the best folk, roots and bluegrass music into the heart of Montreal. We caught up with festival co-founder Matt Large, to chat about the festival and this year’s lineup. Check out the line-up HERE. For more information, visit montrealfolkfest.com. Photo: Stephen Wilson. Music: William Prince, “Breathless” from “Earthly Days” (2015, Self).
Winnipeg singer-songwriter Kevin Roy, joins Jan Hall on Episode 324 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his great 2016 album “Heartworn Highways” and his upcoming Canadian tour dates. And, as usual, we also take a look at some of the latest new releases. Listen to the episode and check out the playlist below.
Winnipeg troubadour singer-songwriter Kevin Roy released a great country roots album “Heartworn Highways” in 2016, the follow-up to his well-received 2014 debut “Taller Than The Trees”. With a lovely twanged up, and a live off the floor feel, the album was co-produced with Lloyd Peterson at Winnipeg’s Paintbox Recording. Joining Kevin on the album are William J. Western (co-producer of Del Barber‘s JUNO-nominated Prairieography) on pedal steel, Crooked Brothers honorary percussionist Daniel Bertnick, and Red Moon Road‘s Daniel Peloquin-Hopfner on banjo, with harmony vocals from Madeleine Roger (Roger Roger), Amelia Peterson and Logan McKillop. Kevin Roy is out on the road this Spring including some dates in Ontario. We caught up with Kevin at home in Winnipeg to chat about his music. For more information visit kevinroymusic.com. Music: Kevin Roy “Heartworn Highways”, The Mighty River” and “Same Old Sky” from “Heartworn Highways” (2016, Self)
Singer-songwriter Ian Foster from St John’s NF joins us on Episode 323 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest album, “Sleeper Years”, the follow up to the very well received “The Great Wave” from 2014. We also check out more of the latest releases on the folk and roots scene. Listen to the episode and check out the playlist below.
We’re all about this music on Folk Roots Radio Episode 322 as we check out a great selection of new releases on the folk and roots scene, including new music from Alice Howe, Joe Jencks and Rachel Baiman and the Tunes from David Holt’s State of Music Volume 2 compilation. Listen to the episode and check out the playlist below.
St John’s NF singer-songwriter Ian Foster has just released his latest album “Sleeper Years”, the follow-up to his very well-received album from 2014, “The Great Wave”. Sleeper Years is quintessential Ian Foster featuring song stories like the excellent “The Stinging Nettle” and “Postcards” alongside issue related appeals “Feels Like It Wants To Rain” or “New Rush For An Old Town”. Ian Foster’s growing interest in film is clearly evident with many of the songs having more of a indie cinematic feel than some of his earlier efforts. The album also contains a beautiful tribute to the late great Ron Hynes who passed away in 2015. We caught up with Ian at home in Newfoundland to chat about the new album. For more information about Ian Foster and upcoming tour dates, visit ianfoster.ca. Photo: Chris LeDrew. Music: Ian Foster “Our Love Was”, “The Stinging Nettle” and “You Left A Song (for Ron Hynes)” from “Sleeper Years” (2017, Self).
We’re back at the Folk Music Ontario conference on Episode 321 of Folk Roots Radio for another in our interview series Folk Roots Radio at FMO. This time around, we talk to art folk songstress Emily Millard about her new album “By Heron & By Season”. Emily also plays two songs live for us. And, as always we check out more of the latest new releases. Listen to the episode and check out the playlist below.
We’re all about the music on Episode 320 of Folk Roots Radio as we catch up on some of the great new music we’ve received recently. Among the new and upcoming releases we check out is the third album from highly rated roots singer-songwriter Sarah Jane Scouten, and Rescue Me!, a great new compilation that’s all about cats and dogs, and the people that love them. (Disclaimer: we’re cat people so we play cat songs on this episode, though the dog songs are pretty good too!). Listen to the episode and check out the playlist below.
Montreal based art folk songstress Emily Millard is renowned for a beautiful and ethereal voice, that somehow feels like it comes from another place. Over the past ten years, Emily has released four albums under the name Miss Emily Brown. Her new album, the dreamy “By Heron & By Season” (2016), produced in Toronto with Sandro Perri, is the first to be released under her birth name, as Emily Millard. Emily joined Folk Roots Radio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music and play a couple of songs, from the new album, live for us. For more information about Emily’s music, visit emilymillard.ca. Music: Emily Millard “Toxic Town” from “By Heron & By Season” (2016, Self), “Origami Valentine” (Live), “Where Is God” (Live) and “Hunter” from “By Heron & By Season” (2016, Self).
On Episode 319 of Folk Roots Radio, we’re back at the Folk Music Ontario conference for another in our interview/mini-session series Folk Roots Radio at FMO. Country roots singer-songwriter Bobby Dove joins us to chat about her music and play a couple of songs from her great debut album “Thunderchild” live. As always, we also check out more of the latest new releases. Check out the full playlist below.
Montreal Singer-songwriter Mike McKenna Jr. is our special guest on Episode 318 of Folk Roots Radio. Mike joined us in the mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference for an in depth conversation about his music and also plays three songs live. We also take a look at more of the latest new releases on the folk and roots scene. Check out the full playlist below.
Singer-songwriter Scott Shea started out in music in the 90s, singing songs with his brother in Toronto, before giving it up in favour of a successful career building custom homes. In 2008, Scott found himself re-evaluating his life choices when his father, Red Shea, former lead guitarist for Gordon Lightfoot passed away. Relocating to Vancouver Island with his family, Scott returned to songwriting in 2013. Since then, he has released two albums – “Let It Storm” (2015), recorded in Austin, and his latest, 2016’s “Pendulum” which was recorded in both LA and Toronto with producer Bill Bell, and a band featuring Kenny Aronoff (drums), James “Hutch” Hutchinson (Bass) and Chris Joyner (Keys). Pendulum features some great songs about life and relationships, that while at times introspective and reflective, also have an optimistic feel for the future. It’s also a perfect companion for the long car ride. With a music career that’s now firmly based on giving back, all the proceeds from sales of Pendulum go to support Scott’s favoured charity, SOS Children’s Villages. Scott Shea joined us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music. For more information visit scottsheasongs.com. Music: Scott Shea “Crazy Love” from “Pendulum” (2016, Self), “Shine” (Live), “Vanity” (Live), “Scattering Crows” (Live) and “(Gone) Too Young” from “Pendulum” (2016, Self).
Growing up in Cape Breton, you’d expect Mike McKenna Jr. to have celtic music coursing through his veins. Indeed he has – his first instrument was a fiddle, but he also fell in love with the storytelling aspect of being a troubadour singer-songwriter with east coast grit in his voice. After leaving Cape Breton for a new home base in Montreal, Mike released his first E.P., “Travelin Man” in 2016. He’s currently readying his first full length album, “Pacific Northwest Bound”, for release in May 2017. Mike joined us in the studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music, and play three songs live. For more information about Mike McKenna Jr., visit mikemckennajr.com. Music: Mike McKenna Jr. “Travelin Man” from “Travelin Man” (2016, Self), “The Highway” (Live), “Little Things” (Live), “Die In The West” (Live) and “Take Me Home” from “Travelin Man” (2016, Self).
Montreal based troubadour singer-songwriter Bobby Dove released her debut album “Thunderchild” in October 2016. Recorded in Peterborough, Ontario with producer James McKenty (Blue Rodeo, Gordon Lightfoot), the album harks back to the golden age of country music, and features a mix of broody ballads, honky-tonkin two steps and reflections on the what-ifs of life. Bobby joined us in the studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music and to play a couple of songs live for us. For more information about Bobby’s music, visit bobbydove.com. Music: Bobby Dove, “Thunderchild” from “Thunderchild” (2016, Self), “Gridlock” (Live), “Another Doggone Day” (Live), “Too Late To Go Home” from “Thunderchild” (2016, Self).