Although still a teenager, Rebecca Lappa is already a prolific songwriter, having written over 200 songs in her career so far. All four of the albums she has released to date have been nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award for “Young Performer of the Year”. Her most recent album, 2014’s “Ode to Tennyson” uses as its source material, the collected works of English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Rebecca joined us for an interview and impromptu session at the Folk Music Ontario Conference this past October. Rebecca shows amazing drive for someone so young. It’s a great interview and definitely worth checking out. For more information visit rebeccalappa.com. Music: Rebecca Lappa,”Field of Dishonour” from “Ode to Tennyson” (2104, self), “Anchor Tattoo” (Live), “Queen Of The May” (Live), “The Lotus Eaters” (Live), “Kraken” from “Ode to Tennyson” (2104, self).
Alberta-based vocalist and songwriter Lizzy Hoyt is an accomplished performer on guitar, mandolin, fiddle and harp and at home in both the celtic and folk traditions. She came into our mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario Conference this past October to chat about her music and latest album, the wonderful “New Lady On The Prairie”. Lizzy will be appearing at this year’s Kingsville Folk Festival which takes place from August 7-9 2015. Music: Lizzy Hoyt “New Lady On The Prairie”, “V’La L’Bon Vent” and “Movement Never Lies” from New Lady On The Prairie (2014, Self).
Toronto’s Big Tobacco & The Pickers have been sharing their authentic old school country sound with Ontario audiences since 2008. Jamie Oliver, Blaine MacKenzie, Jason Blanchard and Anne Werbitsky from the band joined us in the studio at CFRU 93.3fm on June 20 for an in-depth conversation and a few songs from their great new album of (almost all) original songs, “The King Is Gone” – its title a tribute to the recently departed George Jones but an album that also feels the love for country greats Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard, among others. For more information about the band visit bigtobaccoandthepickers.com. Music: Big Tobacco & The Pickers “Freightliner Full of Sins” from “The King Is Gone” (2015, Self), “Put Your Hands Up” (Live), “In Willie We Trust” (Live), “The King Is Gone” (Live), “Last Look Back” (Live) and “Train Again” from “The King Is Gone” (2015, Self).
After spending time as a sideman for artists such as Olenka and the Autumn Lovers and Timber Timbre, Shawn William Clarke stepped into the limelight as a solo artist a few years ago. His sophomore album, “William” released in late 2014 has been praised by many, including Folk Roots Radio, for its playfulness, fine storytelling and understated warmth. Shawn will be in Guelph for a double CD release show with The Young Novelists at Silence on June 26. We reached Shawn at home in Toronto. Buy tickets for the Guelph show HERE. Music: Shawn William Clarke, “Tranzac Club” and “Ballad Of A Boorish Man” from “William” (2014, Self).
Toronto-based The Young Novelists have just released their sophomore album “Made Us Strangers”, a fine slice of mostly mellow roots rock featuring catchy tunes, thoughtful lyrics and gorgeous harmonies. Whether Graydon James & Laura Spink are performing as a duo or with a full band they put on a show that is definitely worth checking out. And guess what, they’re in Guelph for a double CD release show with Shawn William Clarke at Silence on June 26. We caught up with Graydon and Laura at home in Toronto. For more information, visit theyoungnovelists.com. Buy tickets for the Guelph show HERE. Music: The Young Novelists “Hear Your Voice”, “Always Make The Mistake” and “Brothers In The Garage” from “Made Us Strangers”.
Murder Murder are a six piece band from Sudbury Ontario that play bloodgrass – that’s ‘outlaw country bluegrass murder ballads’ exclusively. They’re been described as the heaviest bluegrass band you’re ever likely to hear which from their debut “Murder Murder Murder” and new album “From The Stillhouse” sounds pretty accurate. Featuring banjo, mandolin, fiddle, dobro and guitar, and driven along by a suitcase kick drum, they’re bringing their wonderful live roots music to Guelph for a Folk Roots Radio presents… show at Silence on June 20. Buy tickets HERE. We caught up with the band at home in Sudbury. Music: Murder Murder, “Jon & Mary”, “When The Lord Calls Your Name” and “Movin’ On” from “From The Stillhouse” (2015, Self).
Kaia Kater is one of the most promising young performers on the North American folk roots and old-time music scene. A banjo player and singer, she’s already carving out her own niche in Appalachian and Canadian traditional music. Originally from Québec, and now based in Toronto, Kaia self-released her first full-length album “Sorrow Bound”, produced by Chris Bartos in 2014. She’s since signed to Kingswood Records in the US. We caught up with Kaia at home in Toronto. Music: Kaia Kater, “When Sorrows Encompass Me Round”, “Moonshiner” and “Come and Rest” from “Sorrowbound” (2014, Self)
There is nothing better than getting a pleasant musical surprise in the mail. That happened when North-East of England based singer-songwriter Pete Davies sent me his 2014 release, “Long Way Home”, eleven songs with thoughtful and uplifting lyrics, and great hooks – sung with warmth and passion in a fine troubadour voice. That it came out of the blue made it all that more special – one of my favourite albums of the year so far. We tracked Pete down for a feature-length conversation while on vacation in Florida. For more information about Pete Davies visit petedaviesmusic.co.uk. Music: Pete Davies, “A Soldier’s Lullaby”, Rusted and “It’s A Long Way Home” from “Long Way Home” (2014, Home Routes Music)
Toronto singer-songwriter Jon Brooks makes his first visit to Guelph for a Folk Roots Radio presents… show at Silence on Friday June 5 at 8 p.m. For Jon Brooks, Kerrville New Folk Winner and a three-time “Songwriter of the Year” nominee at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, social commentary is as much a part of his being as is being a songwriter. His critically acclaimed 2012 album ”Delicate Cages” focused on themes of love and fear; and freedom and imprisonment. For his latest, “The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside”, Jon buried his trademark social commentary in an album of rural Canadian murder ballads that holds a mirror up to contemporary society and encourages the listener to reflect on what it all means. We caught up with Jon at home in Toronto. Music: Jon Brooks, “Gun Dealer”, “Highway 16” and “People Don’t Think Of Others” from “The Smiling & Beautiful Countryside” (2014, Borealis Records).
Jennis are a fabulous bluesy roots duo featuring Guelph-based bluesman Dennis Gaumond alongside veteran Toronto indie-scene multi-instrumentalist Jen Gillmor. Their unique blend of dobro and cello is augmented by didgeridoo, custom-tuned harmonicas, flute, wah-guitar, jaw harp and wazinator. Jennis released their debut album “The Current” in June 2014. Jennis will be appearing at Silence in Guelph with Hamilton singer-songwriter Sarah Beatty on Friday May 29. Buy tickets HERE. Dennis and Jen joined us for a very special session on Folk Roots Radio Overtime on May 23. For more information visit jennis.ca. Music: Jennis “Closer To Me” from “The Current” (2014, Self); Jennis “Eyes Wide Open” (Live); Jennis “Take Me Some Time (Live); Jennis “Weray Weray” (Live); Jennis “Get Up Stand Up” (Live) and Jennis “I’m Not Here” from “The Current” (2014, Self).
Hamilton-based singer-songwiter Sarah Beatty describes herself as being both a musician and a scientist. While completing a Ph D in environmental science, she found time to release an off the floor debut album, the stripped down girl and a guitar “Black Gramophone” in 2012. Black Gramophone blurs the lines between rootsy blues and the singer-songwriter genre, while Sarah’s playful and imaginative lyrics and soulful and passionate vocal delivery draws comparisons with Regina Spektor, Ani DiFranco and Billie Holiday. Sarah is now hard at work on the follow-up to Black Gramophone. Sarah Beatty plays Silence, 46 Essex St, Guelph with Jennis on Friday May 29. Buy tickets HERE. Photo: Lauren Garbutt Photography. Music: Sarah Beatty “To Be”, “Finer Things” and “The Right Shoes” from Black Gramophone (2014, Self).
Folk Roots Radio Overtime on May 16 focused on the Starlight Series at this year’s Elora Festival which runs from July 10-26 2015. The Starlight Series of late night jazz, blues and roots shows takes place in the Heritage Barn at the Wellington Museum & Archives and features jazz with the Mike Janzen Trio on July 11, jug band roots, blues and jazz from Frog & Henry on July 18 and roots, blues and jazz from Glenn Buhr & The Button Factory Band on July 25. Festival marketing coordinator Jared Davison joined us in the studio to chat about the festival alongside music from the performers and interviews with Mike Janzen and Glenn Buhr. For more information about this year’s festival, visit elorafestival.ca. Music: Frog & Henry “You Rascal You” from “Frog & Henry” (2014, Self), Mike Janzen Trio “Metronome” from “Metronome” (2014, Self), Mike Janzen Trio “The Summer That Winter Was” from “Metronome” (2014, Self), Frog & Henry “Sitting In The Chimney Jamb” from “Frog & Henry” (2014, Self), Glenn Buhr & The Button Factory Band “The Circus Lie” (2014, Demo), Glenn Buhr & The Button Factory Band “While Babies Sleep” (2014, Demo) and Mike Janzen Trio “Long Journey Home” from “Metronome” (2014, Self).
Blues-roots songstress Suzie Vinnick is one of those performers who sounds as good live as on disc. In 2011, Suzie recorded her first solo acoustic blues album, “Me ‘n’ Mabel” accompanied by her parlour guitar “Mabel”. Sending a copy of that album to Bill Wax, lead Suzie to recording a session live off the floor in Nashville that became her most recent release, the stellar “Live at Bluesville” (2012). Over her career, Suzie has won 10 Maple Blues Awards and been nominated for three Junos. Suzie joined us in the studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference for a feature length conversation and a few live songs. For more information about Suzie Vinnick visit suzievinnick.com. Music: Suzie Vinnick “Calling Out Your Name” from “Live At Bluesville” (Self, 2012); Suzie Vinnick “Beautiful Little Fool” (Live); Suzie Vinnick “Drift Away” (Live) and Suzie Vinnick “Oreo Cookie Blues” from “Me ‘n’ Mabel” (2011, self).
Singer-Songwriter Peter Boyer joined us on Folk Roots Radio on May 9 for an an in-depth conversation about the new Same Latitude As Rome album, “Early Days”, a collection of songs that pays homage to Canada’s earliest history. A CD release for the album takes place at the Acoustic Cafe at the Elora Centre for the Arts on June 12. We’re also giving away a copy of the new CD to the person who can tell us the name of the Father of Confederation mentioned in song on the album. Send us an e-mail or contact us via the website and we’ll be mailing that CD right off to you! Music: Same Latitude As Rome “Early Days”, “Song for David Thompson”, “Song for Louis Riel”, “The Wild McLean Boys”, “The Assassination of Thomas D’Arcy McGee”, “The Great Rendezvous Polka” and “Robbin’ Trains” from “Early Days” (2015, Self).
Sarah Jane Scouten brings her unique blend of roots music back to Guelph on Saturday May 23 for a Folk Roots Radio presents… show at Silence, Guelph’s premier listening venue. For this show Sarah will be joined by Alan Mackie (from The Bombadils and Jaron Freeman Fox and the Opposite of Everything) on stand-up bass. The opening act for the evening will be Guelph’s own bluegrass band The Chesterfield Trio, the abbreviated version of Chester Field and The Sofa Kings. It promises to be a great night so get your tickets early! We caught up with Sarah at home in Toronto to chat about the Guelph show, and her most recent album, “The Cape” which was nominated for two Canadian Folk Music Awards. Music: Sarah Jane Scouten, “The Cape” from “The Cape” (2014, Self).
Yukon-based singer-songwriter Gordie Tentrees has just released his latest album “Less Is More”, a stellar collection of folk, roots and blues, featuring songs of true Canadiana alongside others that tackle current events and issues head on, and often in a deep and personal way. The album produced by Juno award winner Bob Hamilton features 11 new compositions including a Gordie Tentrees version of Mary Gauthier’s “Camelot Hotel”. Tentrees plays dobro, guitar and harmonica with stellar accompaniment from Aiden Tentrees on upright bass & Fabian Brook on guitar and fiddle. The album also includes guest appearances from Bob Hamilton, Patrick Hamilton, Annie Avery, Lonnie Powell and the harmony vocals from 2015 Juno Award winner Catherine MacLellan. We caught up with Gordie on the road in Alberta. Music: Gordie Tentrees “Less Is More”, “Somebody’s Child” and “Love In Ink” from “Less Is more” (2015, Buckaroo Records).
Winnipeg’s JD Edwards joined us for an impromptu session and interview at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October. During our wide-ranging conversation, we discussed JD’s involvement with both The JD Edwards Band and his exciting new project, The Small Glories, a duo with Cara Luft, formerly of The Wailin’ Jennys and now forging a successful solo career. The Small Glories expect to release their first album this summer. Music: JD Edwards Band “This House Will Stand” from “Roads & Roads” (2011, Self); JD Edwards “The Stranger” (Live); JD Edwards, “Had I Paid” (Live); JD Edwards “Spirit Dog” (Live) and JD Edwards Band “Singing All The Way Home” from “Roads & Roads” (2011, Self).
Toronto-based singer-songwriter Clela Errington joined us in the CFRU 93.3fm studio in Guelph for an in-depth interview and some live songs on Folk Roots Radio . Clela released “More Love & Happiness” in 2014, one of our favourite albums of the year. This is what we said about the album at the time: “The freshness of the songwriting, beautiful harmonies (with daughter Jocelyn Barth), tasteful production from Alec Fraser and the varied musical styles makes it a joy for the ears. That we were unfamiliar with Clela’s work made it all that much more special to share her musical talent on air. Her music deserves to be heard and savoured.” Clela and I had a great conversation, and the live songs we’re just fabulous. Enjoy. Music: Clela Errington, “More Love & Happiness” from “More Love & Happiness” (2014, Self), “Home On High” (Live), “Shoulder To Lean On” (Live), “White Dove” from “More Love & Happiness” (2014, Self), “Country Squall” (Willie P. Bennett) (Live), “Got To Make A Change Blues” (Memphis Minnie) (Live), “Angels on the Radio” (Band Mix) from “More Love & Happiness” (2014, Self).
Episode 17 of Folk Roots Radio Overtime, our extra helping of Folk Roots Radio on CFRU 93.3fm, featured an in-depth conversation and session with singer-songwriter Dana Sipos. Dana spent her formative years in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories before heading out for a life on the open road in pursuit of her art. Her third album, the hauntingly beautiful and ethereal “Roll Up The Night Sky” is released on April 30 on Muddy Roots Records. Music: Dana Sipos, “A Coronary Tale” from “Roll Up The Night Sky” (2015, Muddy Roots Records); Dana Sipos (Yet to be titled demo) (Live); Dana Sipos “Morningside” (Live); Dana Sipos “Shadows” from “Roll Up The Night Sky” (2015, Muddy Roots Records); Dana Sipos “Road To Michigan” (Live); Dana Sipos “Portraits” (Live); Dana Sipos “My Beloved” from “Roll Up The Night Sky” (2015, Muddy Roots Records).
Folk, pop and jazz singer Coco Love Alcorn is renowned for compelling vocal delivery, fantastic improvisation skills and extraordinary ability to engage the audience, and equally comfortable fronting her own music or providing backing vocals for others. She is about to head out on a spring and summer tour of Canada prior to returning to the studio to record her next project the intriguingly titled “Spirit Sessions”. Coco stopped by our mobile studio at this past October’s Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music, and play a couple of songs live on her instrument of choice, the ukulele. Like everything that Coco gets involved in, the interview was a lot of fun, and very in the moment. We hope you enjoy it. Music: Coco Love Alcorn, ‘Best Part Of My Day’ from ‘Play’ (2011, Self); Coco Love Alcorn, ‘The River’ (Live); Coco Love Alcorn, ‘Wonderland’ (Live); Coco Love Alcorn, ‘Joyful’ from ‘Joyful’ (2011, Self).