Australian country blues powerhouse Gina Horswood joins us on Episode 315 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her music and upcoming “Saints & Sinners” tour of Southern Ontario with fellow singer-songwriter Karen Morand. We also check out more of the latest new releases on the folk – roots scene. Check out the full playlist below.
Gina Horswood moved from her native Australia to North America in 2011, before heading to Nashville to record her second album, the “Nashville Sessions EP” (2013, self). After relocating to Canada, Gina Horswood released “Porcelain”, the album that put her firmly on the North American musical map, in 2016. Produced with Andre Wahl (Luke Doucet, Hawksley Workman, Amy Sky, Shania Twain) and placing Gina’s soulful vocals front and centre, Porcelain is a warm, bluesy experience with more than a hint of gospel and jazz. A tour de force from an artist who really deserves to be checked out on disc – and live.
This spring, Gina Horswood is heading out on the “Saints & Sinners” tour of Southern Ontario with fellow singer-songwriter Karen Morand – starting off with a show at The Bank Theatre in Leamington on Saturday April 22 2017. GET TICKETS. We caught up with Gina at home to chat about her music. For more information, visit ginahorswood.com.
Notes about the some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 315 of Folk Roots Radio.
Donovan Woods continues to build his reputation as one of Canada’s foremost songwriters. His fourth album “Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled” received both a 2016 Polaris Music Prize nomination and a JUNO Awards nomination for Songwriter of the Year. Four songs that were originally intended for that project have been released on the excellent digital E.P. “They Are Going Away”. The songs were held back because Donovan didn’t feel that they were quite right and wanted more time to polish them up. Like many Donovan Woods songs, they reflect on the reality of the lived experience.
“The songs are about coping with loss, and wholesale changes, that sort of thing,” he says. “The title I suppose is trying to get at the temporariness of everything. Time speeds up when you get older, that’s an observable fact. It starts to feel like you’re always chasing some ineffable thing. It’s why your dad often had a slightly bewildered look in his eyes.”
Donovan Woods is on tour in Ontario in April and May. For more information, visit donovanwoods.net.
Talking of great songwriters, Indiana’s Tim Grimm has a great new album out, “A Stranger In This Time”. This time we listened to the track “Thirteen Years”, which is all about a walnut tree that fell on his grandfather’s farm – thirteen years before Tim was born. Wood from that tree went on to form the basis for one of his favourite guitars. A great song. For more information about Tim Grimm’s music, visit timgrimm.com
Corrie Shelley from Atherton, Lancashire, in North West England returned to songwriting after a 30-year break, with her new album “Painted Memories” (2017, Self). On this episode we listen to the song “Mother’s Kiss”. Originally intended to be a song for her son, it turned into a song about loss in the First World War.
Lydia Sylvia Martin from Maryland has just released her debut album “Chasing The Ghost”, a collection of traditional old time banjo music and song, with blues and Irish influences. On this episode we play two tunes, “Fisher’s Hornpipe” and “Barlow Knife” that reflect the relationship between Irish and Appalachian music.
Austin TX singer-songwriter Darden Smith has just released his latest album, “Everything”, out now on Compass Records. Thirty songs were under consideration for the project before settling on the twelve that made the cut.
Recorded in Austin with a stellar band featuring Roscoe Beck (bass), Michael Ramos (keyboards), J.J. Johnson (drums), Charlie Sexton (guitar), and David Mansfield (mandolin, pedal steel and strings), the album is the fifteenth album that Darden Smith has produced, and in some ways feels like a bit of a milestone.
“I crossed the mid-century mark several years ago. I don’t see things the way I did before. More than ever I believe in love, hope, faith and gratitude. It’s a view that only comes with time. The stakes are different now, more urgent. I created this album because I still feel I have something to say, and somebody out there might need to hear it.”
Darden Smith is also the founder and creative director of SongwritingWith:Soldiers, a nonprofit program that pairs award-winning songwriters with veterans and service members to craft their stories about combat and the return home into songs.
“SongwritingWith:Soldiers has shown me the world from a different angle. To recognize all that I have to be grateful for and to know that others hurt in ways we can’t imagine. I’ve witnessed how songs can change a life, even save a life. Over the years, they’ve certainly saved mine.”
And that’s all we have time for, this time around. Thanks to all the artists who share their music with us, and thank you for listening. We have a lot of great music and interviews to bring you on future shows. I hope you’ll join us!
You can listen to this episode again on Mixcloud by following the link below. You can also listen to episodes of Folk Roots Radio, on demand, via iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher and Tune-in Radio. (Click on the highlighted link to reach your chosen platform.)
Nicolas & The Iceni (Theme)
Lucy She Rises (Demo)
Roll Right (Pre-release, self)
What They Mean
They Are Going Away EP (2016, Meant Well) CDN
A Stranger In This Time (2017, Vault Records)
Painted Memories (2017, Self)
She Speaks Spanish
Brother (2016, Victories)
Lydia Sylvia Martin
Fisher’s Hornpipe / Barlow Knife
Chasing The Ghost (2016, Dryad Records)
Come Hell Or High Water
Porcelain (2016, Self)
Interview: Gina Horswood discussing her music and upcoming “Saints & Sinners” tour of Southern Ontario with fellow singer-songwriter Karen Morand.
Porcelain (2016, Self)
Why Should I Wait?
Porcelain (2016, Self)
Act Of Human Kindness
Watershed (2017, Six Shooter Records) CDN
Flower In The Desert
Life On The Water (2017, Self) CDN
Everything (2017, Compass Records)