Everyone loves a good story. Winnipeg country roots troubadour, Kevin Roy, shares his songs as if telling a story for the first time over morning coffee. He delivers poignant folk ballads, wry wit toe-tappers, and barnburners with the right balance of aw-shucks honesty and unbridled enthusiasm. Kevin released his very well received first full length long player “Heartworn Highways” in 2016. Kevin Roy sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music and play a few tunes live. It’s a great session, and definitely worth a listen. Check out Kevin Roy’s upcoming tour dates online at kevinroymusic.com. Music: Kevin Roy “The Mighty River” (live), “Taller Than The Trees” (Live) and “Gone With The Wind” (Live).
Two of our favourite Canadian singer-songwriters, Lynn Miles and Lynne Hanson, have a new project, recording and performing as a duo as The LYNNeS. The two Lynn(e)s have written and toured together off and on for over 10 years now and Lynn Miles has produced two Lynne Hanson albums, 2014’s “River of Sand” and the 2015 Halloween release “7 Deadly Spins”. Their first fully collaborative album “Heartbreak Song For The Radio” features 10 new co-writes and a guest appearance from the fabulous Juno Award winning guitarist Kevin Breit. The LYNNeS are just back from a European tour and they are now setting out on some Canadian dates and some summer festival appearances. We caught up with The LYNNeS – Lynn Miles and Lynne Hanson – in Sudbury as they set up for the first night of their Canadian tour. For more information on their upcoming tour dates, including April 18 – Moonshine Cafe (Oakville), April 19 – Silence (Guelph), April 20 – The Burdock (Toronto) and May 26-27 – NAC Presents (Ottawa), visit thelynnes.com. Music: The LYNNeS “Recipe For Disaster”, “Don’t Look Down”, “Blue Tattoo”, and “Heartbreak Song For The Radio” from “Heartbreak Song For The Radio” (2018, Self).
Ottawa’s Gareth Auden-Hole grew up with his head in the city and his heart in the northern wild. Gareth studied music production in Victoria, Ottawa, and London before releasing his self-titled debut album as Jack Pine and The Fire in 2011. A solo E.P., “Lone Wolf”, a delightfully raw, live-off-the-floor recording, followed in 2015. Its four songs featuring Jack’s empathy for the underdog, deep-seated respect for nature, and wry sense of humour, as well as his mandolin… played very furiously, then very softly. The E.P. is intended to be a companion piece to the Jack Pine & The Fire full-length recording “Left To Our Own Devices” which arrived in 2017. Jack Pine sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music. Visit Jack Pine online at jackpinefire.com. Music: Jack Pine & The Fire “Cabin Fever”, “Make Or Break Up” from “Left To Our Own Devices” (2017, Self), Jack Pine “Lone Wolf” from the “Lone Wolf” E.P. and Jack Pine & The Fire “Desert Island’ from “Left To Our Own Devices” (2017, Self).
Blues roots singer-songwriter Kerri Powers is getting ready to release her new album “Starseeds”. Kerri Powers produced one of our favourite recordings of 2014, her stunning self-titled album. According to Kerri, the new album was recorded during a transitional and healing phase in her life. “Songs are starseeds. Lightworkers often appearing from an inexplicable place and time with empathetic intention. Our world needs healing and connection now more than ever.” Produced with Eric Michael Lichter, Starseeds features eight original songs and two great covers – Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home” and Gene Clark‘s “Polly”. It’s clear that this new recording is again going to do very well – and, hopefully, will get Kerri Powers up on to the radar of a lot more people – she really is the real deal. To learn more about the new album, Folk Roots Radio caught up with Kerri Powers at home in Connecticut. You can find an interview with Kerri Powers recorded after the release of her self-titled album on the website HERE. Visit Kerri Powers online at kerripowers.com. Photo: Jean Molodetz. Music: Kerri Powers “Bicycle Man”, “Free Bird Flying”, “Grace and Harmony” and “Can’t Find My Way Home” from “Starseeds” (2018, Self).
Stephen Fearing hits the road in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario this spring. Hot on the heels of a great response to his ninth solo album, 2017’s “Every Soul’s A Sailor”, which took home the Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Singer of the Year, his solo career is still going strong – alongside his very busy ‘other job’ as one of the leaders of Canadian supergroup Blackie & The Rodeo Kings. We caught up with Stephen on the road in Saskatchewan to chat about this tour, his long career (his first recording, a cassette entitled “The Yellow Tape” came out in 1986) and latest solo album. Check out Stephen Fearing’s tour dates at stephenfearing.com. Music: Stephen Fearing “Red Lights In The Rain”, “Blowhard Nation” and “Every Soul’s A Sailor” from “Every Soul’s A Sailor” (2017, Lowdenproud).
Laura Cortese gave up a life in California to attend the famed Berklee College of Music, before deciding to stay in Boston and immerse herself in the city’s vibrant roots scene as a side player. Returning to front her own band, Laura came together with the Dance Cards as an all girl band, featuring four string players – two fiddles (Laura Cortese and Jenna Moynihan), with Valerie Thompson on cello and Natalie Bohrn from Manitoba on standup bass. All of the band members share vocals. Their debut album as a four piece, “California Calling”, features 11 songs, most written by Laura Cortese but with arrangements that reflect the full band’s influences and exploring rhythms and sonic textures that take their music way beyond what you’d typically expect from a folk roots stringband. An inspirational songwriter, and engaging interview, Laura Cortese sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the Folk Music Canada export showcase Folk North to chat about her music and high energy live show. For more information about Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards, visit thisislauracortese.com. Photo: Natalie Champa-Jennings. Music: Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards “The Low Hum”, “Stockholm” and “California Calling” from “California Calling” (2017, Compass Records).
Toronto based singer-songwriter Oh Susanna is one of the artists heading to Orillia for this year’s Roots North Music Festival. This year’s festival takes place across Downtown Orillia on Friday April 20th and Saturday April 21st. Joining Oh Susanna for the Friday evening show at the St Paul’s Centre, 62 Peter Street South in Orillia are Danny Webster and Toronto based indie folk rock band The Wooden Sky while country blues phenom Jeremie Albino, and highly rated solo singer-songwriters Joey Landreth and Irish Mythen will be appearing on the Saturday evening. There will also be late night performances on Friday and Saturday with some free shows at a variety of downtown venues throughout Saturday. To learn more about this year’s festival we caught up with Amy Mangan, one of the festival organizers. Check out the full schedule on the Roots North Music Festival website. Pick up tickets At Alleycats Music in Orillia or online at rootsnorthmusic.ca. Early bird weekend passes are currently just $35 (increases to $45 on April 2nd!) Music: Oh Susanna “Puget Sound” from “A Girl In Teen City” (2017, Stella Records) and The Wooden Sky “Riding On The Wind” from “Swimming In Strange Waters” (2017, Nevado Records).
Global troubadour singer-songwriter Irish Mythen has had a great twelve months on the road with extensive touring across Canada, Europe, Australia and for the first time into Thailand and Cambodia. Once you’ve seen Irish in concert, you’ll be working out how to catch her again. A festival favourite, among many other performances this coming year, Irish will be appearing at this summer’s Cambridge Folk Festival in the UK, and heading back into continental Europe alongside some extensive Canadian dates that include the Vancouver Folk Festival and April’s Roots North Music Festival in Orillia. We caught up with Irish to chat about her live show, and a new album that hopefully should arrive before her summer dates. Music: Irish Mythen “Gypsy Dancer” from “Irish Mythen” (2014, Self), “The Auld Triangle” (Live at the Philadelphia Folk Festival 2015) and “Did You Ever” (2018, Live for Southern Souls at The Painted Lady in Toronto).
John & Joe Kelly are The Kelly Song Collective. They write songs. Canadian songs. Acoustic songs. And sing and play the way only siblings can. The Kelly Song Collective released a wonderful debut album “Unless & Until” in 2017. Featuring strong songwriting, a lovely warm vocal delivery and support from some of the best musicians on the Toronto folk scene, it’s a recording you must check out. Sit down with this album, and you’ll need to listen right through to the end! John & Joe Kelly joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio in Leamington ON to chat about their music and play three songs live. Check out The Kelly Song Collective online at thekellysongcollective.com. Music: The Kelly Song Collective “Scatter My Ashes” (Live), “Circus” (Live) and “Louis Riel” (Live).
Named after the World War 2 feminist labour icon, Rosie the Riveter, Saskatoon SK’s Rosie and the Riveters are a study in contrasts – the bright red lipstick, the curls, post war dress dress, vintage harmonies and sassy choreographed stage show coupled with songs that whether playful or serious are deliberately intended to provoke, empower and inspire. A four piece at the time of their very well-received debut “Good Clean Fun”, they’re now a three piece featuring Farideh Olsen, Alexis Normand and Allyson Reigh. Their sophomore release “Ms Behave” produced by Joshua Van Tassel (Sarah Slean, Rose Cousins, Great Lake Swimmers) is released April 6 2018 and sees the band taking more of a political bent this time around, reflecting the tumultuous times we’re living in, as the voices raised for true gender equality get louder every day. Their song “I Believe You” was written as a response to the great many stories about sexual assault and harassment they heard from friends and family as well as through the media. Check out the song’s wonderful video HERE. Proceeds from “I Believe You” will be donated to organizations that provide support for survivors of sexual abuse. We caught up with Alexis Normand from Rosie & the Riveters at home in Saskatoon to chat about the new album. Learn more about the band and check out their upcoming tour dates online at rosieandtheriveters.com. Music: Rosie & the Riveters “I Believe You”, “Ask A Man”, “I Wanna Be King” and “Ms. Behave” from “Ms. Behave” (2018, Self).
St John’s NF singer-songwriter Peter Willie Youngtree specializes in gritty thought-provoking country songs that he delivers with a wonderful world weary old time country voice that feels like it comes from another place and time. His upcoming album “Ten Million Ways to Decay”, the follow up to his critically acclaimed 2015 album “Country Hymns”, is a collection of songs that are all somehow associated with death, whether directly or indirectly. The album was produced by award-winning producer and songwriter Chris Kirby. Peter Willie Youngtree joined us in the mobile studio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music, and play three new songs live. Check him out online at pwyoungtree.com. Music: Peter Willie Youngtree “Musical Chairs” (Live) , “Ten Million Ways to Decay” (Live) and “Dirt Party” (Live).
Leela Gilday is a singer-songwriter based in Yellowknife renowned for her passionate songwriting and soulful performance. A member of the Dene Nation, Leela actually trained as an opera singer, before creating her own stories in song as a way to share her heritage and northern Canadian life experience. Her latest album is 2014’s “Heart Of The People”. A new album is expected in the fall of 2018. Leela Gilday sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at Folk Music Canada’s boutique export event Folk North to chat about her music. Check out Leela Gilday online at leelagilday.com. Photo: Shawna McLeod. Music: Leela Gilday “Cold Wind” & “Bella” from “Heart Of The People” (2014, Self) and “One Drum” from “Sedze” (2007, Self).
Kristine Schmitt grew up singing musical harmony, and explored many different styles from country to rock to even punk before settling on a love of old time country, and country blues and jazz from the early part of the 20th Century. Her first solo recording “Good Dirt” from 2016 features a collection of Kristine’s playful original songs and a wonderful rootsy sound. The album was produced by Chris Coole, with support from members of the Lonesome Ace Stringband, and Simone Schmidt (Fiver) on harmony vocals. Kristine Schmitt is currently performing as part of a duo with Jesse Corrigan, although she is also much in demand as a supporting vocalist with a big voice and great stage presence. Kristine Schmitt sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music. Check out Kristine Schmitt online at kristineschmitt.com. Music: Kristine Schmitt “Hop On Awhile With Me”, “He Held Up His Hat (And He Kissed Her Behind It)” and “Deep In The Darkest Evening” from “Good Dirt” (2016, Self).
Jeremy Albino is a young musician with an old soul, and the classic sound of old time country blues surging through his veins. Musically he’s the real deal – when he plays live, it’s like he’s channeling music from another place and time. Jeremie grew up in Scarborough Toronto before deciding to pass up city life for the slower pace and rooted appeal of rural Prince Edward County. Though still developing as an artist, and yet to put anything down on record, he’s already building quite a name for himself. Jeremie Albino sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music and play three of his original songs live. Jeremie Albino will be playing the Roots North Music Festival in Orillia ON on Saturday April 21 2018. For more information about the music of Jeremie Albino visit jeremiealbinomusic.com. Music: Jeremie Albino “Shipwreck” (Live), “Klondike Man” (Live) and “Trouble” (Live).
Playful Americana-folk duo The Rough & Tumble first arrived on our radar with their very cute video for their song “Teeny Tiny Folk Band” from their 2017 E.P. “Cardboard and Christmas Lights”. After a string of E.P.s, they’ve just released their first full length album “We Made Ourselves A Home When We Didn’t Know” (2018, Rock Candy Recordings). Featuring the close harmonies, versatile instrumentation and engaging songwriting of Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler, the album celebrates their chosen nomadic lifestyle, out on the open road, travelling from gig to gig in their sixteen foot camper van, with their dogs for company. A beautiful Americana duo recording, We Made Ourselves A Home When We Didn’t Know features some lovely harmonies from Mallory and Scott with an accompaniment of accordion, melodica, bells, home-based found sounds, and a bowed glockenspiel that gives it that homespun feel. The album was recorded by Dave Coleman at Howard’s Apartment Studio in East Nashville, with rhythm section support from Mike Shannon & Chris Leonard. We caught up with Mallory and Scott live from the road, to talk about the new album. You can visit The Rough & Tumble online at theroughandtumble.com. Music: The Rough & Tumble “Wildfire”, “Baggage” and “Let’s Get The Band Together” and “Take Me With You” from “We Made Ourselves A Home When We Didn’t Know” (2018, Rock Candy Recordings).
The music of five times JUNO nominee and seven times Canadian Folk Music Award winning mando-maestro Andrew Collins (Foggy Hogtown Boys, Creaking Tree String Quartet) can broadly be described as folk, bluegrass and jazz though as a composer, it’s all about creating new original acoustic music and trying not to sound like other things. His most recent recording, the critically acclaimed instrumental concept album “And It Was Good” (2016) was based on the biblical seven days of creation – one track for each day of creation plus the title track to wrap it all up. Andrew Collins is now back in the studio working on a new project, two separate but connected albums – one a vocal selection of mostly reworked and reimagined cover songs, the other an album of new instrumental music. In live performance, the Andrew Collins Trio, featuring fellow string-meisters Mike Mezzatesta (mandolin, guitar, fiddle) and James McEleney (bass, mandocello), love to take the audience on a fun ride that effortlessly moves from folk to new acoustic roots, to bluegrass, and jazz, with some fine interplay on a variety of stringed instruments, punctuated by lead vocals from Andrew Collins and fine harmonies from his bandmates. Andrew Collins sat down with Jan Hall at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his current projects and future plans, and played an instrumental and a couple of songs live for us. For more information about Andrew’s music, visit andrewcollinstrio.com. You can find an interview recorded at the time of the release of And It Was Good HERE. Music: Andrew Collins “Banish Misfortune” (live), “Coming Into Hard Times Blues” (live) and “Nothing About Us” (live).
Ryan Cook started out playing punk and heavy metal music before discovering a love for classic country and western music from the 40s and 50s and the likes of (early) George Jones, Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubbs and Jimmy Rodgers. His latest release, album number four, “Having A Great Time” playfully explores the ups and downs of life on the road as a snowbirding itinerant troubadour singer-songwriter, travelling from place to place in a thirty five year old camper van. Whether performing live solo or as part of a duo or trio, expect to be regaled by some of Ryan’s fine original country folk – with a modern sensibility, alongside a few songs from the golden age of country music. Ryan Cook joined Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music, and played a song from the new album live. For more information about Ryan Cook, visit ryancook.ca. Music: Ryan Cook “Cult Of My Own” from “Having A Great Time” (2017, Self), “Uncomplicated” (Live) and “Memory Foam” from “Having A Great Time” (2017, Self).
Multi-instrumentalist (fiddle, mandolin, guitar and piano) singer-songwriter; two time Juno Award winner; and inductee in the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, Shari Ulrich has released 23 albums to date during a storied career that has also included work with Pied Pumkin, The Hometown Band, Ulrich Henderson Forbes (UHF), Bentall Taylor Ulrich (BTU), and the bluegrass band, The High Bar Gang. As a songwriter, Shari is a huge believer in serving the song. “It’s not about the ego or proving you are a great player. When I’m performing I’m celebrating the song and what it does for people.” Her most recent solo release, 2014’s “Everywhere I Go” took home the Canadian Folk Music Award for (English) Songwriter of the year. She’s currently hard at work on a new solo project and will be touring Ontario in May 2018 with her trio featuring her daughter Julia Graff (on violin, mandolin, guitar & vocals) and fellow High Bar Gang member Kirby Barber (on bass, guitar and vocals). Shari Ulrich sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference. To learn more about her music, visit shariulrich.com. Music: Shari Ulrich “Freefall” from “Everywhere I Go” (2014, Borealis Records), The High Bar Gang “Don’t This Road Look Rough & Rocky” from “Someday The Heart Will Trouble The Mind” (2016, Borealis Records) and Bentall Taylor Ulrich “You Got Lost” from “Tightrope Walk” (2016, Borealis Records).
Vancouver based singer-songwriter Chris Ronald moved to Canada from England in 2002 and has built himself a great career as a songwriter renowned for his songcraft producing an Americana and Canadiana sound that has been described as “Canadian folk with British roots”. Chris released a lovely fourth album, “Fragments” in 2017 on the Canadian folk label Borealis Records. In live performance, whether solo or with his trio with multi-instrumentalist guitarist John MacArthur Ellis and fiddle player Mike Sanyshyn, Chris draws on his abilities as a highly skilled singer, storyteller, and musician to deliver a fabulous show. Chris sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music and play three songs live from Fragments. To learn more about Chris Ronald, visit chrisronald.com. Music: Chris Ronald “Everything Goes Green” (Live), “Mosquito” (Live) and “Retirement Plan” (Live). All of the tracks can be found on the 2017 Borealis album “Fragments”.
Prolific Toronto based writer and musician Mark Martyre has just released his latest collection, “Rivers” – his fifth full-length studio album since 2012, and following on from “Down, Record” (2012), “London” (2013), “Red Letters” (2014), “Bluebird” (2016), and several live recordings, and bootlegs. Mark’s also published a collection of his lyrics, spanning his music between 2012-2016. Rivers features ten new reflective Mark Martyre songs, with his characteristic Tom Waits like vocal delivery, some beautifully relaxed piano work and some lovely backing vocals from Stacey Dowswell. Also, joining Mark Martyre (guitar, vocals & harmonica) on the album are Darrin Baldwin (piano), Matt Antaya (electric guitar), Graydon James (drums), Jason Lapidus (bass), Ed Michael Roth (accordion), and Raha Javanfar (violin). Rivers was recorded in Toronto at the Lincoln County Social Club with John Dinsmore. We caught up with Mark Martyre in Toronto to chat about the new album. For more information, visit markmartyre.com. Music: Mark Martyre “Come Lie Beside Me, Dear”, “Carry On”, “(I Think) We Might Be OK” and “Anywhere But Here” from “Rivers” (2017, Self).