British Columbia singer-songwriter Ken Dunn released his seventh album “Wondrous Beauty” earlier this year. Ken joined us in the studio with partner Anna Green for an in-depth discussion about his music and the new album. We’re pleased to bring a portion of that interview to Episode 344 of Folk Roots Radio alongside a look at some of the best of the latest new releases. Check out the full playlist below.
Singer-songwriter Ken Dunn’s 2015 album “The Great Unknown” was one of my favourite albums of the year. An exquisite slice of beautifully played thoughtful folk with Ken Dunn’s lovely languid singing voice, it was an absolute pleasure to listen to it. His wonderful new album “Wondrous Beauty,” (his seventh,) is the start of a whole new relationship with his music. 10 new well-crafted Ken Dunn songs – with some really nice harmonies from partner and keyboard player Anna Green, some great fiddle from Tyler Beckett, and a lovely understated production from Ken himself. Ken joined us in the studio with partner Anna Green to chat about the new album. For information on Ken Dunn visit kendunnmusic.com.
Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 343 of Folk Roots Radio.
Gabrielle Papillon has just released her sixth album, the atmospheric and brooding “Keep The Fire”. Featuring eleven tracks written during a period of personal turmoil, making the album allowed Gabrielle to move out of the darkness back into the light. The title reflecting the need to remain determined in the face of adversity.
“When in doubt or darkness, the answer is to hold my head high, let go of what holds me down, carry on, and keep the fire,” she explains.
The album was produced by her long-time producer Daniel Ledwell (Jenn Grant, Fortunate Ones) at his scenic Echo Lake studio. For more information about Gabrielle Papillon visit gabriellepapillon.com.
Highly rated Yukon folk-roots-oldtime-country singer-songwriter Kim Beggs has just released her fifth solo album, “Said Little Sparrow”. The album was self-produced in collaboration with engineers David Travers-Smith, David Baxter, Andrew Collins, Scott Maynard and Jim Holland (Whitehorse) with contributions from Lotus Wight, Kevin Barr, David Baxter, Jonathan Byrd, Burke Carroll, Lianne Cranfield, Nicole Edwards, Justin Haynes, Michelle Josef, Brian Kobayakawa, John Showman and Oh Susanna.
“I was a late bloomer to begin with and while at times I ponder about what would have happened if I started in the music biz when I was 20, I might not have survived and I don’t think I would have had the same things to say. I needed to grow up first. The songs on Said Little Sparrow were written in a relatively short period of time and then honed over a longer period of time including during the recording process. Producing this album was a challenging but wonderful learning curve for me. Though I do look forward to making future records with other producers I admire, I am also interested in producing records/songs for emerging artists.”
Featuring twelve tracks drawn from her own life experience, purchasers of the physical album will be treated a beautiful 42-page booklet curated by Kim that includes chords, lyrics, family photos, and a story for almost every song. On this episode we play the playful “Heart In A Bucket”.
Kim is about to head out on an extensive cross Canada tour. For more information, visit kimbeggs.com.
One of the most highly-related young Canadian songwriters, Guelph ON based Annie Sumi is getting ready to release her second album “In The Unknown” (2017, Self). On this episode we play the wonderful thought-provoking song “Evaporating Life”. Annie is on tour across Ontario this fall, with a CD release show at Silence in Guelph on Wednesday October 11. For more information, visit anniesumi.com.
La Glace Alberta’s Matt Patershuk has just released a new country roots album, “Same As I Ever Have Been” (2017, Black Hen Music). The album was again produced by Steve Dawson who also produced Matt’s last effort, 2016’s “I Was So Fond Of You”. Like all of Steve Dawson’s productions, the album was recorded live off the floor with all the musicians in the same space. This created an intimate vibe that allowed the musicians to play off of one another to create some truly magical moments.
“It was a much bigger band than I had ever recorded with. Some of the songs were louder and rougher than anything I’d done on my past albums, but I jumped right in without fear, hit the ground running and played with all the energy I could muster.”
Joining Matt on the album are legendary drummer Jay Bellerose (a frequent collaborator of T-Bone Burnett and Joe Henry), alongside regular Dawson collaborators such as John Reischman (mandolin), Ana Egge (vocals), Chris Gestrin (keyboards), and Jeremy Holmes (bass).
For more information about the music of Matt Patershuk, visit mattpatershuk.com.
Madison Violet have been playing musical genre parlour games for years. Starting off as a youthful celtic folk-pop duo as Mad Violet, they settled into more of a country roots Americana style groove for their third and fourth albums ‘No Fool for Trying” and “The Good In Goodbye”, both recorded in Ontario with producer Les Cooper at the helm. Their fifth studio recording, “Year of the Horse”, also recorded in Toronto, this time with acclaimed producer, Tino Zolfo (Carly Rae Jepson, Soul Decision, Hawksley Workman) saw them flirting with the pop world again. Their latest, “The Knight Sessions”, again recorded with Tino Zolfo, is more of a stripped back, acoustic take on their music though retaining a bit of a pop sheen. Madison Violet are online at madisonviolet.com.
Chris Ronald‘s song craft has won him many accolades including a nomination for Canadian Folk Music Awards “Songwriter of the Year.” Emigrating from England to Canada in 2002, his music has been described as Canadian folk with British roots. His fourth album, Fragments (2017, Borealis Records) features a highly skilled singer and storyteller in fine form. Check out Chris Ronald online at chrisronald.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)
When The Heart Attacks
Keep The Fire (2017, The state51 Conspiracy) CDN
Heart In A Bucket
Said Little Sparrow (2017, Self) CDN
In The Unknown (2017, Self) CDN
The East Pointers
What We Leave Behind (2017, Self) CDN
Wondrous Beauty (2017, Self) CDN
Interview: Ken Dunn with Anna Green.
Wondrous Beauty (2017, Self) CDN
Wild & Free
Wondrous Beauty (2017, Self) CDN
Sometimes You’ve Got to Do Bad Things To Do Good
Same As I Ever Have Been (2017, Black Hen Music) CDN
The Knight Sessions (2017, Passenger Sounds) CDN
Fragments (2017, Borealis Records) CDN