Rowdy folksters Union Duke made a big splash at the Mariposa Folk Festival in 2013, this despite having to go through the audition showcase process. That they were invited back in 2014 speaks volumes to the quality of the music and their outstanding live performances. Anyone who saw them lift the roof off the Mariposa Pub Tent in 2014 would know that this band is heading for bigger things – Catch them while you can. Thoughtful lyrics, soaring harmonies, and a foot stomping beat; you might just be checking out Canada’s version of Mumford and Sons! They’ve just released their second album, “Cash and Carry”, the follow-up to 2013’s “Bandits and Bridges”. We caught up with Ethan Smith and Matt Warry-Smith after the pub tent performance. For more information, visit unionduke.com. Music: Union Duke, “That Old Feeling” and “A Little More” from Cash & Carry (2014, Self)
Colorado’s Elephant Revival were one of the highlights of this year’s Mariposa Folk Festival. Their music has been described as transcendental folk because of the way they take elements of celtic folk, traditional folk, bluegrass / country, and occasionally reggae, hip-hop and jazz to create something entirely unique. Good words to describe their performances would be hypnotic and mesmerizing. Accomplished performers all, they should be a must see at the upcoming Hillside Festival. You do not want to miss this band! Their latest album is “These Changing Skies”. We caught up with Daniel Rodriguez and Bridget Law after a workshop at Mariposa. For more information, visit elephantrevival.com. Music: Elephant Revival, “Remembering A Beginning” and “Birds And Stars” from “These Changing Skies” (2013, Itz Evolving Records)
Toronto based band Graydon James and the Young Novelists will be bringing their folk-rock stylings to Guelph on July 18 2014 for a noon hour concert in St George’s Square. Formed in 2011 their first E.P., “A Small Town Eulogy” was released to critical acclaim. They followed that with a live album recorded at Dublin St United Church in Guelph and their first full length long player “In The Year You Were Born”. They are about to head into the studio to start work on their latest release. We caught up with Graydon James in Toronto. For more information, visit www.theyoungnovelists.com. Music: Graydon James and the Young Novelists, “Small Town Hymns” from “In The Year You Were Born” (2012, Self); Graydon James and the Young Novelists, “Hear Your Voice” (Single) (2013, Self)
Jane Carmichael and Kevin Kennedy are The Marrieds. They’ll be bringing their beautiful melodies and sweet harmonies to Guelph in July for a Thursday night residency at Magnolia Café. Sharing the stage with them will be Shannon Kingsbury (July 10), Vanessa Tignanelli (July 17), Ian Reid (July 24) and Peter Light (July 31). All the shows are Pay What You Can events and they start at 8:00 p.m. We caught up with Jane Carmichael and Kevin Kennedy at home in London ON. For more information visit www.themarrieds.ca. Music: “Come To Bed” and “The Rest Of My Days” from The Marrieds’ 2013 album “Saving Hope”.
Philadelphia based acoustic instrumentalist Trevor Gordon Hall is heading to this year’s Mariposa Folk Festival. With two successful acoustic albums under his belt, Trevor’s musical creative aspirations were upsized by the birth of the Kalimbatar, an innovative acoustic guitar that features the Kalimba, a sub-Saharan thumb piano. Trevor’s most recent album is Entelechy (2011). We caught up with him this week at home. For more information on Trevor Gordon Hall, visit trevorgordonhall.com. Music: Trevor Gordon Hall, Missing You and Kalimbatar from Entelechy (2011, Candy Rat Records).
Durham County Poets are five guys from the Chateauguay Valley in Quebec who have played in blues bands, gospel groups, Cajun, vaudeville, folk, rock and country bands. Since coming together as the Durham County Poets they have developed a sound that is uniquely their own. A collective blend of styles from Dan Hicks to James Taylor, the Band to Leon Redbone, they are a melting pot of inspired tunes to enjoy. They released their first album “When The River Flows” in 2012, and have just released their follow-up, the intriguingly titled “Chikkaboodah Stew”. We caught up with lead singer Kevin Harvey this past week to talk about the new album. For more information visit durhamcountypoets.com. Music: Intro: Chikkaboodah Stew, Outro: Lipstick Sky from Chikkaboodah Stew (2014, Self).
The Birds of Chicago should be very familiar to regular listeners to Folk Roots Radio. We’re big fans of the band that features JT Nero from JT and the Clouds and Ally Russell from Po’ Girl. How much do we love them? Well we’ve already had them join us for a live studio appearance on the show and now we’re getting excited because they will be back in Canada in early July for appearances at the Mariposa Folk Festival (July 4-6) and the Vancouver Island MusicFest (July 11-13). Birds of Chicago are one of the hardest working bands on the folk scene today, they tour almost constantly. Fortunately they do take a break now and again. And we caught up with JT Nero this week at home in Chicago. For more information, visit birdsofchicago.com.
Music: Birds Of Chicago, Barley from Live From Space (2009, Self); Birds Of Chicago, I Have Heard Words from Live From Space (2009, Self)
The Wailin’ Jennys play the Enwave Theatre at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto on Saturday June 21 2014. Tickets are $35 and are available online here. Since their humble beginnings in Winnipeg, the Jennys have grown to become one to the most beloved folk acts on the international scene. Founding members Ruth Moody (vocals, guitar, accordion, banjo, bodhrán) and Nicky Mehta (vocals, guitar, harmonica, drums, ukulele) along with New York-based Heather Masse (vocals, upright bass) continue to create some of the most beautiful music you are ever likely to hear. We caught up with Nicki Mehta earlier this week. For more information check out thewailinjennys.com.
Newfoundland Singer-songwriter Ian Foster joined us on Folk Roots Radio on June 14 2014. He’s just released his latest album “The Great Wave”. His Guelph CD release show takes place on Thursday June 19 at the ANAF Club, 32 Gordon Street, Guelph. Joining Ian on the bill will be Graydon James & Laura Spink from Toronto based folksters Graydon James and the Young Novelists. Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are just $10. For more information about Ian’s music, visit ianfoster.ca.
Sweet Alibi are Jess Rae Ayre, Michelle Anderson and Amber Quesnel. They are in Guelph this week for two shows at Magnolia Café on Friday June 13 and Saturday June 14 2014 at 8 p.m. Tickets for both Guelph shows are just $10. Due to the intimate size of the venue, reservations are recommended. Call 519-766-4663 to book your place. We caught up with Amber Quesnel in Toronto. For more information about Sweet Alibi, visit sweetalibi.com.
Guelph-based blues musician Dennis Gaumond (Gomo) joined us on Folk Roots Radio on May 24 2014 to chat about Jennis, his new project with Toronto based multi-instrumentalist Jen Gillmor. Jennis release their first album, “The Current”, in Toronto on May 30 and in Guelph (Eden Mills) on June 6. For more information visit jennis.ca.
Craig Cardiff joined us on Folk Roots Radio on May 17 2014 to chat about his latest album, Love Is Louder (Than All This Noise). Craig will be in Cambridge on Friday May 23 2014 for a show at the Galt Club (2nd floor above Cafe 13), 13 Main St, Galt, Cambridge. Tickets are $15 online from www.craigcardiff.com or $20 at the door. The support act will be The Vaudevillian. Show starts at 8 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.).
Sarah Jane Scouten will be in Guelph for a show at Magnolia Café on Thursday May 22 2014 at 7:30 p.m. Sarah has just released her second album “The Cape”. Joining Sarah for this show will be her Brilliant String Band featuring Sarah Frank on fiddle, Luke Fraser on mandolin and Mathieu Lacombe on bass. Tickets are $10. Due to the intimate size of the venue, reservations are recommended. Call 519-766-4663 to reserve your place.
For more information, visit sarahjanescouten.com.
The Brian Pickell Band will be visiting Guelph on Monday April 28 2014 for a show at St David and St Patrick’s Church, 520 Speedvale Ave. E at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance ($20 at the door) and are available from Rick Avery/Judy Greenhill (from local trad folk combo Relative Harmony), 519-763-2494. Rick Avery joined us by phone to chat about the Brian Pickell Band and why you should come out to Monday’s show. For more information on the Brian Pickell Band check out this Folk Roots Radio post and Brian’s website at www.brianpickell.com.
Jack Cooper joined us on Folk Roots Radio on April 5 2014 to chat about a fundraiser for singer-songwriter Mary Anne Epp, at the ANAF in Guelph on April 12 at 8:00 p.m. Even if you can’t make the show, you can donate online here. Funds raised will help Mary-Anne get back on her feet and allow her to complete the album “Precious Girl”. To learn more about Mary-Anne’s story, read this article in Chateleine.
Sue Smith and Shannon Kingsbury joined us in the studio on March 22 2014 to chat about “Towards A Little Light”, the new E.P. from Ondine Chorus. The E.P. features two original compositions and three stunning arrangements of traditional tunes. E.P. launch takes place on Saturday March 29 at 2 p.m. at Guelph’s MacDonald Stewart Art Centre. Tickets are $20 in advance (from The Bookshelf) and $25 at the door. Please note that seating is limited. The CD release will feature Ondine Chorus with special guests Jeff Bird, Gary Diggins, Robert Kingsbury, and Alden Hadwen. For more information on the release party, visit the Facebook event page. (Photo credit: Aidan Ware)
Joni Nehrita joined us in the studio for a chat about her new jazz-styled E.P. “Beginnings” on March 22 2014. Joni will be celebrating the launch of the E.P. with a show at the Guelph Black Heritage Society, 88 Essex St., Guelph on Saturday March 29 at 8:00 p.m. Joni’s band for the evening will feature Thomas Hammerton (Keys), Tyler Wagler (Bass), Jane Ellenton (Woodwind) and Mark Kelso (Drums). Tickets: $20. Expect a show that runs the gamut from soul, funk, pop to reggae. For more information visit www.joninehrita.com.
Fred Eaglesmith is heading back out on the road with his travelling show this spring to celebrate the launch of his latest album (number twenty, for those counting), the AM (and FM) radio friendly “Tambourine”. The Fred Eaglesmith Show, featuring a full night of original music, jokes and a pie auction will be playing small town venues throughout Ontario. Find your tickets online at www.fredeaglesmith.com or at the door. We caught up with him for a chat while taking a very short break between shows.
Guelph-based singer-songwriter Gregory Hoskins joined us in the studio in <strong>November 2013</strong> to chat about his latest project, a collaboration with drummer/percussionist Gary Craig, The Map of Above – The Map of Below (2013), an album with a wonderful sensual feel and stripped down rootsy groove.
Fore more information about Gregory Hoskins, visit www.gregoryhoskins.com.
Ariana Gillis is in Guelph on March 1 2014 at 8:00 p.m. for a show at Silence, 46 Essex St in Guelph. If you’ve not seen her in concert you really need to check her out. She writes really strong songs and is an amazing live performer. Her latest album is Forget Me Not. We had a chance to talk to Ariana at Folk Music Ontario in October. We’re happy to share this interview again.
For more information on Ariana Gillis, visit www.arianagillis.com.