Episode 316 of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Toronto singer-songwriter Shawn William Clarke recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference. Shawn also plays three songs live for us, including two songs that are yet to be recorded. As always, we take a look at some of the latest new releases. Check out the full playlist below.
Shawn William Clarke released his most recent album “William” in 2015. A lovely recording, it features some great songs with engaging lyrics and quirky titles, with Shawn’s gentle voice and harmonies resting over an understated musical accompaniment, including some fine finger picked guitar, pedal steel, accordion and some very nice use of brass. A sonic delight, it became one of our favourite albums of 2015. Since then, Shawn has been working on an ambient project Will Moor with fellow Toronto singer-songwriter David F Gluck (2016), and is now working on the follow-up to William at the Currie Brothers studio, Currie Music & Antiques, in Gravenhurst. For more information about the music of Shawn William Clarke, visit shawnwilliamclarke.com
Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 315 of Folk Roots Radio.
Australian roots band The Waifs have just released their latest album, “Ironbark”, out now on Nashville label, Compass Records. A two disc set, the new album was recorded live off the floor to celebrate their 25th anniversary and features The Waifs (Donna Simpson, Vikki Thorn and Josh Cunningham) with Ben Franz on bass and David Ross MacDonald (yes, that David Ross MacDonald) on drums.
Quiles & Cloud are Maria Quiles and Rory Cloud from San Francisco and have been together as a duo since Rory checked out Maria’s performance at an open mic in 2011. Several years of touring have helped Quiles and Clouds refine their soulful, melodic, roots sound they bring to their new stripped down album “Shake Me Now” (2017, Compass Records). The album was produced in Nashville by Grammy winning banjo player Alison Brown. For more information, visit quilesandcloud.com.
Teannaich are a five piece ‘ceilidh rock’ band from Edinburgh in Scotland. They have been playing together for over 20 years and have gained a great reputation for their unique twist on Scottish ceilidh dancing by blending traditional Scottish music with rock and funk played on fiddle, cittern, drums, bass and electric guitar, and all backed up with expert dance calling. Their self titled sophomore release came out in 2016. On this episode, they play homage to Lou Reed on the wonderful freestyle “Walk On The Speyside”. I’m sure they put on a heck of a good night out! Check them out at teannaich.com.
Toronto roots rocker Chris Gostling released “Breath, Blood & Tempo” (2016, Self), his debut album with band The Tempo, late in 2016. Recorded with John Dinsmore (NQ Arbuckle) at his Toronto studio, Lincoln County Social Club, the album showcases the folk rock sound they’ve polished over many years gigging around Southern Ontario.
According to Chris Gostling, “These 13 songs represent the best of everything we put into this project over the last seven years. I had wanted to make this album several years ago, but wasn’t ready to stop playing live to do it properly. I came to terms before going into the studio that the record needed to be different from how we sound live.”
For more information about Chris Gostling & the Tempo, visit chrisgostlingandthetempo.com .
Welsh born lap steel wizard Martin Harley has been creating quite a stir for his live shows, witnessed on his great album with stand-up bassist Daniel Kimbro, “Live From Southern Ground” (2015, Del Mundo Records). A fabulous new studio album “Static In The Wires” has just been released that also features 14 time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas (Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Dolly Parton), Derek Mixon (Chris Stapleton, Sam Lewis) and Micah Hulsher (Alabama Shakes). Martin Harley will be on tour in Western Canada this May. For more information visit, martinharley.com.
Carolina Chocolate Drop Rhiannon Giddens continues to build a reputation as a great solo performer. She’s just released her second solo album “Freedom Highway”, an album inspired by collection of slave narratives, recorded with multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell in his Breaux Bridge, Louisiana studio, with the bulk of recording done in wooden rooms built prior to the Civil War, over an intense eight-day period.
“It’s so personal. But it’s not just personal in the way that these are my stories. It’s personal in that … it’s a huge chunk of my soul.”
Fierce Mercy, recorded in both Los Angeles and Nashville, is actually Colin Hay’s thirteenth solo release. The album explores themes of love and loss, mortality, and even the odd UFO sighting, but always with the singular perspective and insightful wit that define Hay’s work.
Ten of the songs on the album are collaborations with Michael Georgiades, who also contributed to Hay’s previous albums “Next Year People” (2015) “Gathering Mercury” (2011) and “American Sunshine” (2009). On this episode we feature the peppy and polished Americana pop song “Come Tumblin’ Down”. For more information visit colinhay.com.
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)
Hey Auld Friend
Elfin Bow (2016, Self)
Ironbark (2017, Compass Records)
Quiles & Cloud
Shake Me Now
Shake Me Now (2017, Compass Records)
Back Door Key
Small Brown Birds (2017, Azalea City Recordings)
Walk On The Speyside
Energized (2016, Eh Records)
Shawn William Clarke
I Blame The Loyalist Ghost (Live)
Shawn William Clarke
Untitled (new song about stage anxiety) (Live)
Shawn William Clarke
Autumn in New Brunswick (Live)
Come Love Come
Freedom Highway (2017, Nonesuch)
Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro
Feet Don’t Fail Me
Static In The Wires (2017, Del Mundo Records)
Chris Gostling and The Tempo
A Little More
Breath, Blood & Tempo (2016, Self) CDN
Come Tumblin’ Down
Fierce Mercy (2017, Compass Records)