Gathering Sparks are the graceful collision of Jane Lewis and Eve Goldberg – musical friends who bonded over finely tuned harmonies and the craft of songwriting. Their inclusive approach embraces folk, pop, blues and gospel influences tastefully played on acoustic guitar, piano, accordion, and ukulele. Eve and Jane join us on Episode 407 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their music. They also play three live songs for us. It’s a great interview, and definitely worth checking out. We also check out new music from Belle Plaine, Zoe Speaks, Rachel Baiman, Kate Campbell, Childsplay and Lucy Wainwright Roche. Check out the full playlist below.
Guelph based singer-songwriter Annie Sumi joins us on Episode 406 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her music, and latest album, 2017’s “In The Unknown”, which earned her a 2018 Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for New/Emerging Artist of the Year. We also take a look at more of the new releases we’ve received including new music from Jesse Matas, Vivian Leva, Andrea Ramolo, Jay Aymar, Innes Wilson, Craig Bickhardt, John Gorka and Jennifer Holub. Check out the full playlist below.
Guelph alt-folk singer-songwriter Innes Wilson landed on our radar earlier this year with his very well-received long player “Northumberland Slums”. A stripped down affair featuring just Innes Wilson’s voice, tenor guitar, tenor banjo and harmonica – that was actually his second new album after a six year break, the indie-pop “Bedford Hills EP” arriving in 2017. Innes Wilson has just released a further album, the four song EP “Seaview”. We caught up with Innes Wilson at home in Guelph to chat about his music. For more information about Innes Wilson, visit inneswilson.bandcamp.com. Music: Innes Wilson “Rough Falls” from “Seaview” (2018, Out Of Sound), “As Ink Dries” from “Northumberland Slums” (2018, Out Of Sound) and “The Ballad Of Earl Rowe” from “Seaview” (2018, Out Of Sound).
Jory Nash joins us on Episode 405 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest album “Wilderness Years”, and the challenges of making a living as a singer-songwriter in a world where online streaming is rapidly becoming the primary way people listen to music. He also plays two songs from the new album live for us. It’s a great interview and definitely worth sticking around for. We also hear from Guelph based singer-songwriter Doris Folkens who has just released a new single for Remembrance Day, “All Our Roses”, and check out more of the new music we’ve received including new releases from Kaia Kater, Missy Raines, Kathy Kallick Band, Kittel & Co. and Jenie Thai. Check you the full playlist below.
Guelph singer-songwriter Doris Folkens has released a new song for Remembrance Day. The new song, “All Our Roses”, is about her mother’s experience as a young child living in Hamburg, Germany during World War 2. Doris Folkens family history has provided rich material for a young singer-songwriter who is already developing a reputation as a storyteller. The song “Across The Sea” on her debut album is a song about a woman leaving home for love and a life across the sea. It’s also partly her mother’s story, as an immigrant from Germany, who found better opportunities in Canada. All Our Roses was produced by Andrew Collins who also plays mandolin on the new recording. We caught up the Doris Folkens in Guelph to chat about the new song. For more information about Doris Folkens, visit dorisfolkens.com. Music: Doris Folkens “Across The Sea” from “Doris Folkens” (2018, Self) and “All Our Roses” (2018, Self).
Jody Raffoul is just about to release his latest album “9 Wigle St Leamington Ontario”. Ten years in the making, it’s the story of his life so far, and a collection of true stories of love, loss, trials and triumphs with an emphasis on family. Often thought of as Canada’s answer to Bruce Springsteen, Jody Raffoul has built a very successful career as a working class pop-rock singer/songwriter who is as much at home in a small club as on the big stage. The Jody Raffoul Band will be performing CD Release shows at The Bank Theatre in Leamington on Friday, November 30 or Saturday, December 1 at 7:30 p.m (doors at 6:30 p.m.) and Sunday, December 2 at 7 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.) with an opening performance from Jody’s son Billy Raffoul, who is now out in L.A. developing his own musical career. Jody Raffoul joined Jan Hall in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about this very special album and his hometown release shows. For more information about Jody Raffoul, visit jodyraffoul.com. To get tickets for the CD release shows (and they’re selling out quickly), visit banktheatre.com. Jody Raffoul will also be performing as part of the supergroup The S’Aints at Caesar’s Windsor for Sleighing Hunger, an annual holiday music show that raises funds for food banks in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent. That event takes place on Friday December 21 this year. For more information, visit sleighinghunger.com. Music: Jody Raffoul “Feel Your Own Love”, “I’m So In Love With You” and “A Long Way Back” from “9 Wigle St Leamington Ontario” (2018, Self).
Jory Nash released his ninth album “Wilderness Years” earlier this year. It maybe his best yet, which is saying a lot for an artist who consistently produces great albums. It may also be his last – or at least for a while. As Jory explains during an in depth interview with Jan Hall at the Folk Music Ontario, its getting harder and harder to make a living as a singer-songwriter in a music world that is becoming so totally dominated by streaming companies that, at the present time, do not fairly compensate artists for access to their music. It’s a great interview, and well-worth checking out – and Jory also plays a couple of songs from the new album live for us. Wilderness Years was co-produced with Chris Stringer, and recorded at Union Sound with support from Jason Fowler, (guitars, mandolin), Devon Henderson (bass), Robbie Grunwald (piano, organ, accordion), Gary Craig (percussion), Dean Drouillard (6 & 12 string electric guitars), Burke Carroll (pedal steel), Kevin Fox (cello), Drew Jurecka (strings), Gene Hardy (sax), Jerome Godboo (harmonica) with Lori Cullen, Oh Susanna, Lydia Persuad & Chloe Watkinson (backing vocals). The new album has a lush and warm feel, and features 11 songs that are some of the most personal Jory has written, reflecting on the joys and responsibilities of new fatherhood, and crossing borders from folk and pop to soul, jazz and blues, with a nod to some of the great singer-songwriter albums of the 70s. Jory Nash plays Silence in Guelph on Saturday November 17 at 8 p.m. Visit Jory Nash online at jorynash.com. Music: Jory Nash “Sister Station” (Live), “Wilderness” (Live) and “The Astral Plane” from “Wilderness Years” (Thin Man Records, 2018).
Guelph based singer-songwriter Annie Sumi‘s 2017 album “In The Unknown” has been nominated for New/Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards. The follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2015 debut “Reflections”, In The Unknown is a fabulous release, filled with gorgeous songs that have a real connection to the world around us, and speak to the divine in everything. The bed tracks for the album were recorded off-the-floor at a remote Northern Ontario cabin while further instrumentation and vocal tracks were added at Revolution Recording and Union Sound in Toronto with producer Neil Whitford. With some wonderfully ethereal vocals from Annie, and a musical landscape created by guitar, piano, strings and more, it truly feels like you are wrapped in sound. We caught up with Annie at home in Guelph to chat about her music. You can find Annie Sumi online at anniesumi.com. Music: Annie Sumi “Nightingale”, “In Everything” and “Evaporating Life” from “In The Unknown” (2017, Self).
Gathering Sparks are the graceful collision of Jane Lewis and Eve Goldberg – musical friends who bonded over finely tuned harmonies and the craft of songwriting, their inclusive approach embracing folk, pop, blues and gospel influences tastefully played on acoustic guitar, piano, accordion, and ukulele. Gathering Sparks are currently working on the second album, the first as a duo – original member Sam Turton leaving the band after the release of their self-titled debut album. Jane Lewis and Eve Goldberg joined Jan Hall in the Folk Roots Radio studio at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about their music, and sing three songs live. For more information, visit gatheringsparks.com. Music: Gathering Sparks “We Are Bringing In The Light” (Live), “You’re My Sister” (Live) and “Many Sparks Make A Fire” (Live).
Sara Gougeon is a twenty year old singer-songwriter from Sudbury, Ontario and a student at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. Sara was part of the Developing Artist Program that took place at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference, where she was mentored by Kaia Kater. You can check out our audio documentary from the 2017 Developing Artist Program HERE. Sara released her first EP “Home Again” this past August. Her song ”Home Again” was a finalist in the folk music category of the 2018 John Lennon Songwriting Contest. We caught up with Sara in Boston to chat about the new E.P. For more information about the music of Sara Gougeon, visit saragougeon.com. Music: Sara Gougeon “Michigan & Friends” and “Home Again” from “Home Again E.P.” (2018, Self).
London based singer-songwriter John Muirhead first landed on our radar as a member of the Developing Artist Program (formerly the Youth Program) at the 2016 Folk Music Ontario conference. John released his second solo EP “Foundational” (the follow up to “Yesterday’s Smile”) earlier this year. John will be releasing a series of singles throughout the winter, with the first, “I Can Sleep Anywhere” due November 8. John Muirhead sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music. For more information, visit johnpmuirhead.com. Music: John Muirhead “Ambition”, “Foundational” and “Passenger’s Side” from “Foundational” (2018, Self).
Toronto’s Melanie Brulée joins us on Episode 404 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her great new Americana album “Fires, Floods & Things We Leave Behind”, a fabulous slice of pedal steel driven country music that comes equipped with its own widescreen spaghetti western like vibe to kick things off. It’s a great conversation. I hope you’ll stick around for that. We also take a look at more of the new music we’ve received including new releases from Sarah MacDougall, Oliver The Crow, Melanie Dekker, Vishtèn, Ivan Rosenberg, Ken Tizzard and Lennie Gallant alongside a tribute to the sadly departed ‘Swamp King’ Tony Joe White. Check out the full playlist below.
Winnipeg roots/pop vocal group Sweet Alibi, who feature the beautiful harmonies of Amber Rose, Jessica Rae Ayre and Michelle Anderson, have just released a new single – and a great new video. It’s their version of Tom Petty’s “Crawling Back To You” – and a fabulous job they do, too. The song is part of a new playlist “Canada Covers Tom Petty”, curated by Jadea Kelly, who supplies her own cover of “Wildflowers”, alongside covers by Matt Mays and Terra Lightfoot (“Learning to Fly”), Royal Wood (“Don’t Come Around Here No More”), Matt Epp and Christina Martin (“Stop Dragging My Heart Around”) and many more. Sweet Alibi are playing some dates in Ontario this fall and will be bringing their great live show to the Mary Webb Centre in Highgate on Saturday November 3 at 8 p.m. Visit Sweet alibi online at sweetalibi.com.
Bilingual folk duo Moonfruits join us on Episode 403 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their music and latest album “Ste-Quequepart”. Kaitlin Milroy and Alex Millaire are a tremendous live act, captivating audiences with their beautiful harmonies while using their ideals and imagination to tell stories in song, often accompanied by just a banjo or parlour guitar. It’s a great interview, and well worth checking out. We also take a look at more of the new releases we’ve received, including new music from Mike T. Kerr, Jonathan Byrd, Twas Now, Ivan Rosenberg, Shauit, Carolyn Fe and the Red Dirt Skinners. Check out the playlist below.
Windsor ON based singer-songwriter Karen Morand has been pretty busy lately. After announcing the arrival of Even The Bird Was Free, her new rootsy, bluesy, gospel, Americana duo with Ukulele Bluesman Manitoba Hal (check out our great interview with Karen and Hal recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference HERE), the Canada South Songwriting Competition winner is about to release her fourth album since 2012. The new recording, a solo E.P., “Every Flash Of Light” was recorded in St.Thomas, ON with Deni Gauthier and features five new Karen Morand songs (including co-writes with Linda McRae, Steve Hindalong, and others) and a cover of Corin Raymond‘s “That’s Life”. While retaining that warm gospel infused style we associate with Karen Morand’s music, the new songs come with powerhouse vocals, and a musical accompaniment from Deni Gauthier (acoustic/electric guitars, bass, keys, programming and percussion) and Broomsticks & Hammers‘ Paul Aitken on lead guitar and slide guitar that really makes you feel that this is Karen Morand unleashed. Karen Morand joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about the new album. Visit Karen Morand online at karenmorand.com. Music: Karen Morand “When The Smoke Clears”, “That’s Life” and “Homeward Bound” from “Every Flash Of Light” (2018, Self).
Banjo toting roots singer-songwriter Carly Dow has just released her second album “Comet”. More celestial in tone than her earthy debut “Ingrained”, Carly is still deeply connected to nature and the wildness that lives amongst us – and within us, on ten new songs written at her, mostly off the grid, backwoods retreat in the wilds of Manitoba. The new album, co-produced with Matt Filopoulus, features Carly Dow on her signature clawhammer banjo and acoustic guitar with support from some fine Winnipeg based musicians including Matt Filopoulus on electric guitar, pedal steel and dobro; Murray Jewett and Julian Bradford (strings) and Jeremy Rusu (accordion) with harmony vocals from Madeleine Roger and Logan McKillop. Carly Dow sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at Folk Music Ontario to chat about the new album. For more information about the music of Carly Dow, visit carlydowmusic.com. Music: Carly Dow “Sunlight Remembers”, “Tiger’s Eye” and “Cut & Run” from “Comet” (2018, Self)
British Columbia based singer-songwriter David Graff joins us on Episode 402 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his new album “Supposed To Fly”. David has just returned to writing and recording after a twenty year gap. Despite some early success, with songs placed in movies and television, and an EP called “Some Of What I Know”, David dropped out of the music business in the late nineties to pursue a career as a visual artist. However, he’s back with a truly fabulous collection of songs. You really need to hear this interview and check out this new album. We also check out the latest releases from The Maes, Claire Coupland, Melanie Brulée, Ann Vriend, The Jeremiahs, Orit Shimoni and Cheshire Carr. Check out the full playlist below.
Episode 401 of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Halifax NS based keyboard playing singer-songwriter, composer and producer Erin Costelo. Erin Costelo released the critically acclaimed “Down Below The Status Quo” in 2016 — one of our favourite albums of that year. She’s just released the follow-up “Sweet Marie”, and it’s another soulful R&B masterpiece. Erin joins us to chat about the new album before heading out on an extensive touring schedule that takes in Canada, and then the US before heading into Europe. It’s a great interview, and definitely worth sticking around for. We also have more great new releases to share with you, including new music from Moors and McCumber, Noah Derksen, John Wort Hannam, T Buckley, Miller – Macdonald – Cormier, and Kat Danser. Check out the full playlist below.
Winnipeg singer-songwriter Madeleine Roger released a fabulous album “Fairweather” in 2015 with her twin brother Lucas as part of the contemporary folk duo Roger Roger. Since that time, Lucas has decided to take a break from writing and performing to focus on his work as a luthier with Beardsell Guitars, allowing Madeleine to develop her own career as a solo artist. Madeleine Roger’s debut solo album “Cottonwood” features songs, written at home in Winnipeg and while on retreat at the family backwoods cottage, that reflect a female perspective on life and music. The album was produced with Lloyd Peterson (The Wailin’ Jenny’s, The Weakerthans, James Keelaghan) at Paintbox Recording in Winnipeg with true gender parity and equality a focus of the recording process. Madeleine Roger sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about the new album. For more information about Madeleine Roger, visit madeleineroger.com. Music: Madeleine Roger “60 Years More”, “Cottonwood” and “Soldier Song” from “Cottonwood” (2018, Self).
Contra dance is a traditional social dance style with figures similar to square dancing but taking place in longways sets. Dancing occurs with live music from the Scots-Irish, French Canadian, and Appalachian folk traditions – though often given a modern twist. A caller leads the participants through the steps for each dance. It’s an inclusive, grassroots, and lively activity, open to all ages and a lot fun! Contra dance communities can be found in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, and in many other places across Canada and the US. Drumlin Contra Dances take place at St James Church Hall in Fergus every fourth Friday each month, from September thru May. They are looking to entice more people to join them, so that their group can become truly sustainable. Kris Rosar from Drumlin Contra Dances joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about contra dancing and their group. For more information visit drumlincontradances.ca. Check out other links for Contra Dancing at contradancelinks.com, the Country Dance and Song Society at cdss.org and The Dance Gypsy. Music: The Old Sod Band “Julia Delaney, Tam Lin and The Banshee” from “Grass Roots” (2001, Self) and Les Frères Brunet “Queue De Lapin” from “Magie” (1994, Self).