Coco Love Alcorn lives in the moment. A gifted performer in folk, pop and jazz, and a wonderful harmonizer and improviser, Coco has had an absolutely fabulous year since the release of her latest album “Wonderland” – which came out of her non-denominational gospel song project, The Spirit Sessions. Since the album’s September 2016 release, Coco has been touring Canada extensively (including a three week Christmas tour with John McDermott) and working with choirs from all across the country. This fall she will be heading off on the Invitation to Sing tour which includes a two night stint in Vancouver where she will be joined by five choirs who will add more than 200 voices to her performance. We caught up with Coco at the Summerfolk Music & Crafts festival. Our 2015 interview with Coco, recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference is also worth checking out. Find it online HERE. For more information, visit cocolovealcorn.com. Photo: Michelle Fortier. Music: Coco Love Alcorn “Wonderland” from “Wonderland” (2016, Self).
Bare Sierra is an alt. folk duo featuring John Muirhead and Jesse Bydevaate. John and Jesse met at school in Halton Hills ON, and since that time have been part of a variety of different musical projects. John was also part of the 2016 Developing Artist Program (formerly Youth Program) at the Folk Music Ontario conference. This summer they were party of the great Youth Discoveries program at the Summerfolk Music & Crafts festival. They will be going into the studio to record their first E.P. this fall. We caught up with John and Jesse at Summerfolk to learn more about their music. Visit Bare Sierra online at baresierra.com. Photo: Michelle Fortier. Music: Bare Sierra “Domino” (Live Demo).
Brighid Fry & Pascal Padilla met while performing in The Nutcracker at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto. Still in their mid-teens, they’re now making music together as indie-pop duo Moscow Apartment. And after just six months together, they’re already making a splash on the summer festival scene. They’ve recently been in the studio with mentor Samantha Martin from Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar and engineer Guillermo Subauste to record their first self-titled E.P. We caught up with them as part of the wonderful Youth Discoveries program at the Summerfolk Music & Crafts festival to chat about their music. For more information, visit moscowapartment.ca. Photo: Michelle Fortier. Music: Moscow Apartment “Annie” from “Moscow Apartment” E.P. (2017, self).
The 4th annual Island Unplugged Music Festival takes place the weekend of Saturday & Sunday August 5-6 in the heart of beautiful Pelee Island on the Canadian side of Lake Erie. A family friendly event, the festival features performers from the local, regional and national scene, alongside the opportunity to enjoy some great local food, craft beer and wine while exploring everything else the island has to offer. To learn more about the festival, we caught up with artistic director Rod Strickland. This year’s line-up features headliners Elliott BROOD and Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar alongside The Ron Leary Sextet, Brock Zeman, Old Man Grant, The Lofi Mind, The Layrite Boys, The Coffee House Combo, The Brandy Alexanders, Mike Galbraith, Twas Now (Mike & Diana Erb), Allison Brown, Deirdre Roberts and the Windsor Youth Fiddlers. For more information about The Island Unplugged and to pick up tickets, visit theislandunplugged.org. Music: Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar “Addicted” from “Send The Nightingale” (2015, Self), Elliot Brood “Little Ones” from “Work and Love” (2014, Paper Bag Records).
The 2017 version of one of our favourite festivals, Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival takes place the weekend of August 18-20 in Kelso Park, on the shores of Georgian Bay, in Owen Sound. One of the things that Summerfolk does very well is to bring a great variety of wonderful music together. This year’s festival features more than 40 musical acts from across Canada and across the world representing genres from folk, country and bluegrass, to blues, to hip-hop and funk. Like any great folk festival they also have lots of children’s activities, community workshops, artisan booths, dozens of food vendors… and two licensed areas. To learn more about this summer’s festival we caught up with artistic director James Keelaghan. Check out the full line-up HERE. GET TICKETS. For more information about Summerfolk, visit summerfolk.org. Music: Ken Yates “Madeline’s Table”, recorded live in L.A. (2015, Youtube).
This year’s Home County Music & Art Festival takes place from July 14 – 16, 2017 in Victoria Park, London ON. Now in its 44th year, the festival is an important part of the Southern Ontario folk calendar. Admission is by donation, which makes it very appealing when compared to other festivals that charge a fee. Because the festival is held in a downtown London park, it is, also, totally accessible. Alongside a great musical line-up, the festival also features some great art and craft vendors. And something new this year is an emerging artist stage within the craft beer area of the site. To learn more about this year’s festival we caught up with artistic director Darin Addison. For more information, visit homecounty.ca. Music: Royal Wood “Long Way Out” from “Ghost Light” (2016, Cadence Music/Universal).
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.
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).
The 41st annual Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival takes place August 19-21, in Kelso Park, on the shores of Georgian Bay, in Owen Sound. The festival features more than 40 musical acts from across Canada and across the world representing genres from folk, country and bluegrass, to blues, to hip-hop and funk. Like any great folk festival they also have lots of children’s activities, community workshops, artisan booths, dozens of food vendors… and two licensed areas. This year’s line-up features Anne Beverly Foster * Ben Spencer * Ben Turcotte and Carter Rolland * Beppe Gambetta/Tony McManus * Big Little Lions * Blackburn * Bobby Dean Blackburn * Bruce Cockburn * Cassie and Maggie MacDonald * Coco Love Alcorn * David Newland * Durham County Poets * Frank Francalanza * Good for Grapes * Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra * Ian Tamblyn * Irish Mythen * Ken Whiteley & The Beulah Band * Leonard Sumner * Les Poules a Colin * Lindi Ortega * The Lifers * LookUp Theatre * Magoo * Maneli Jamal * Matt Gordon and Leonard Podolak * Mel Parsons * Michael Jerome Browne * My Son the Hurricane * Natalie MacMaster * Notre Dame de Grass * Old Man Luedecke * Olivia and The Creepy Crawlies * Richard Garvey and Celidh Barker * Roger Roger * Sarah Beatty * Scarlett Jane * Scatter The Cats * The Small Glories * The East Pointers * The Krueger Band * The Mae Trio * The O’Pears * Todd Crowley’s Musical Petting Zoo * Treasa Levasseur …alongside Youth Discoveries Jimmy Pearson * Cassie DaSilva * Jake Feeney * Brontae Hunter * Marshall Veroni. We caught up with James Keelaghan, Artistic Director at Summerfolk to chat about this year’s line-up. For more information and to buy tickets visit summerfolk.org. Music: The Small Glories with “Had I Paid” from “Wondrous Traveller” (2016, Self) and Big Little Lions “Fill Me Up” from “Just Keep Moving” (2016, Riptide Music Group).
The 33rd Hillside Festival takes place on the island in beautiful Guelph Lake Conservation Area, just north of Guelph, on the weekend of July 22 to 24. Consistently voted one of the best summer festivals in Canada, Hillside has developed a strong reputation for not just serving up a wonderful variety of music, but also producing festival highlights that are often not the artists you came to the festival to see. To learn more about this year’s festival we caught up with Artistic Director Sam Baijal. For more information about Hillside and to pick up tickets visit hillsidefestival.ca. Music: Buffy Sainte-Marie “It’s My Way” from “Power In The Blood” (2015, True North Records), Rose Cousins “Let The Light Come In” (single) (2015, Old Farm Pony Records/Makeout Music).
The Mill Race Festival of Traditional Folk Music takes place from July 29-31 in the historic downtown core of Galt in Cambridge, Ontario. Traditional forms of folk music and dance are the festival’s theme, with an emphasis on the various cultures present in Cambridge and the surrounding area. The festival itself is patterned after European festivals that feature events on outdoor stages in the town core. The festival runs Friday 7 – 11 p.m., Saturday 1 – 11 p.m., and Sunday 1 – 10 p.m. Admission is free. Brad McEwen, Artistic Director at the Mill Race Festival joined us to chat about this year’s programme. This year’s festival features Alex Cumming and Nicola Beazley, Alfie Smith and Nicole Christian, Bob MacLean, The Bilge Rats, The Boxcar Boys, Cihat Ozturk, Cupola:Ward, Discovery (Jeff & Elaine), Frog and Henry, Juneyt, Lederman/Bell, Martin and Shan Graebe, NUA, Relative Harmony, The Schotts, Shane Cook and The Woodchippers, Sweet Felons All, Tamar Ilana and Ventanas, Tellier, Somers and Nunn, Tethera Quintet, Tony Gouveia and Elizabete. For more information visit millracefolksociety.com. Music: The Boxcar Boys “Baby Don’t You Tear My Clothes” from “Cicada Ball” (2015, Self), Cupola Ward “Damped In His Groove” (Live).
The grande dame of Canadian Folk Festivals, the Mariposa Folk Festival is getting set for it’s 56th edition which takes place the weekend of July 8-10 2016, in beautiful Tudhope Park in Orillia, on the shores of Lake Couchiching. Performers announced so far include Ahmed Knowmadic Ali, Benjamin Dakota Rogers, Beth McKean, Big Little Lions, Brother Sun, Campfire Crew, Cat Clyde, Catherine MacLellan, Colin Linden, Dave Gunning, David Amram, Dirty Dishes, Fortunate Ones, Gathering Sparks, Georgian Bay, Hunter’s Corners, Ivan Coyote, James Hill, Jeffrey Foucault, Jen Schaffer and the Shiners, Jon Brooks, Josh White Jr., Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham, Ken Whiteley and the Beulah Band, Leonard Sumner, Lori Yates, Lorraine Sutton, Meredith Moon and the Oldest Man I Know, Melanie Brûlée and Anique Grianger, Moulettes, Murder Murder, Next Generation Leahy, Notre Dame de Grass, Quique Escamilla, Rita Coolidge, Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar, Sheesham and Lotus & ‘Son, Shred Kelly, Slow Leaves, Sussex featuring Rob Lutes, Ten Strings & a Goat Skin , Terry Savage and the Wonky Honkees, The Fitzgerald Family Band, The Good Family, The Imbayakunas, The Laws, The Milk Carton Kids, Rita Cox, Three Women and the Truth (Eliza Gilkyson, Gretchen Peters and Mary Gauthier) and Vance Gilbert. To learn more about this year’s festival, we caught up with artistic director, Mike Hill at work in Orillia. Mariposa Folk Festival 2016 Passes are now on sale. Children 12 & under are admitted FREE if accompanied by a ticket-bearing adult. You can buy your tickets online HERE. Music: Brother Sun “So Far To Come” from “Weights & Wings” (2016, Self) and Milk Carton Kids “Wish You Were Here” (2016, Anti).
The performers for the 3rd Annual Kingsville Folk Music Festival, which takes place from August 12-14, have just been announced. This year, the festival, which takes place in the beautiful confines of Lakeside Park in Kingsville on the shore of Lake Erie, features Buffy Sainte-Marie, fresh from success at the Juno Awards with her Polaris Music Prize winning album “Power in the Blood”. Joining Buffy at this year’s festival are Alex Cuba, Quique Escamilla, Irish Mythen, Garnet Rogers, Alysha Brilla, Qristina & Quinn Bachand, Bill Bourne, The Boxcar Boys, Jason Dennie & Rochelle Clark, Tony Gouveia, Maneli Jamal, Connie Kaldor, Kaia Kater, The Laws, Rob Lutes, Danielle Miraglia, The O’Pears, Amanda Rheaume, Gordie Tentrees & Jaxon Haldane, Union Duke, Luther Wright, Dale Butler, Francine Leclair, Whoa Nellie! Vera & Johnny, Tribute to Willie P. Bennett and children’s performers: Jangles The Magical Clown, Butterfingers and Magoo alongside Todd Crowley’s Musical Petting Zoo. Artistic Directors John & Michele Law joined us to chat about this year’s festival. Weekend passes at Kingsville are still under $100 which sounds like a great deal and Children 16 and under are admitted FREE! Regular priced weekend – senior – student and single day passes are now available online HERE. For more information visit kingsvillefolkfest.org. Music: Buffy Sainte-Marie “Power In The Blood” from “Power In The Blood” (2015, True North Records).
The musical lineup for the 33rd edition of the Hillside Festival has just been announced so it’s clear that summer can’t be too far away. A genre diverse musical delight, as always there is something for everyone. The festival runs from July 22 to 24 at Guelph Lake Conservation Area. Check out the artists scheduled to play below.
The Once are Geraldine Hollett, Phil Churchill and Andrew Dale. They’ve been making quite the name for themselves for their live shows and their recorded work. Their latest album – their third, and first on Nettwerk is “Departures”, and quite a departure it is, featuring much more of their own original songwriting alongside some choice covers. The album has garnered some rave reviews, and they’ve just come off a world tour with Passenger (English folk-rock singer-songwriter Michael David Rosenberg). Its clear that this band are going places. We caught up with Geraldine, Phil and Andrew shortly after they came off the Lake Stage at this summer’s Hillside Festival. The Once will be touring Canada again this fall. Check out all the dates HERE. Photo: Chris Ledrew. Music: The Once “Into The Life” and “We Are All Running” from “Departures” (2014, Nettwerk).
The 26th EagleWood Folk Festival takes place on the weekend of August 29 in Beautiful Pefferlaw ON. After being forced to leave its long-time home, the festival reinvented itself last year at the beautiful Living Landscapes on Homestead Rd in Pefferlaw. The new country garden setting is perfect for one of the more intimate festivals in the summer calendar and remains true to it’s philosophy of providing outstanding entertainment for a reasonable price. “Fresh Air, Good Vibes, Great Music” will always remain at the heart of the EagleWood Folk Festival! For more information and to buy tickets, visit their new website at ewfolk.ca. Check out the line-up below.
The second Kingsville Folk Music Festival takes place from August 7-9 in beautiful Lakeside Park in Kingsville on the shores of Lake Erie. We had an absolute blast at last year’s festival – we’re sure that this year’s festival will be just as much fun! With that in mind, we decided it was time to check in with artistic directors John & Michele Law to find out how plans for this year’s festival are coming along. For more information visit www.kingsvillefolkfest.org. Photo credit: Kim & Michael Dick. Music: Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy “St Nicks” from “One” (2015, DLL/MacMaster Music), Guy Davis, “Love Looks Good On You” from Juba Dance (2013, Red House Records), Linda McRae “I’ll Watch Your Lovelight Shine” from “Fifty Shades Of Red” (2014, Borealis Records) and James Hill “If Wishes Were Horses” from “The Old Silo” (2014, Borealis Records).