On this episode we take a look at more of our favourite albums of 2016. One of the best things about doing a radio show is getting loads of fabulous music to audition each week. Narrowing all that great music down to our favourite twenty-five albums of the year was quite the challenge. It’s never an easy thing to do, but we managed it. You can check out our “Top Ten” albums of 2016 on Episode 291 HERE. This time around we tackle ‘The Next Fifteen’, bringing you some of our favourite tracks from those albums. It’s a great privilege to bring lots of great music and interviews to you each week on Folk Roots Radio, something we’re looking forward to continuing to do throughout 2017.
U.S. folk singer and activist Bryan McPherson released a great album of protest songs, “Wedgwood” in 2015. Originally from Boston, Bryan has chosen a life on the open road as the archetypal troubadour, singing songs about the oppressed for the oppressed – like a latter day Woody Guthrie, or more recently, the U.K.’s Billy Bragg. A passionate protest singer, he’s not afraid to use his gift to tackle issues like inequality, homelessness and police brutality. Demo recordings for “Wedgewood” were originally created in a rustic shack in California; the album has a lovely enveloping feel (referencing the Wedgewood stove Bryan used to keep him warm), even if it bristles with barely controlled anger as he sings songs of conscience about a country that he believes has lost its way. Brian McPherson joined us on Folk Roots Radio to talk about his music and some tour dates in Eastern Canada in early 2017. For more information about Bryan’s music, visit bryanmcpherson.com. Photo: EA Zimmermann. Music: Bryan McPherson “Born On A Highway”, “Days of Rage”, “Here We Go” and “Hearts In Boxcars” from Wedgewood (2015, OFD Records).
Well. It’s just about time to wish goodbye to 2016… a challenging year in so many respects. At least we had lots of great music to enjoy!
We’re taking a break for the holiday season, but we’ll be back with a lot more music and interviews in 2017.
You can check out our Best of the Year HERE. There are also loads of interviews and full episodes to enjoy via the website.
Thanks to all the artists who share their music with us during the year, and thank you for listening.
Have a safe, and enjoyable holiday season. We’ll see you next time!
Time to run down our favourite albums of 2016. One of the best things about doing a radio show is getting loads of great music to audition each week. Like every year, I’ve enjoyed some wonderful recordings – much of it by independent artists with little backing to support their music, and careers. One of the hardest things to do though, is to narrow down all the fabulous music that we received to our ten favourite recordings of the year. It’s never an easy thing to do, but do it I must, if I’m to bring you Folk Roots Radio’s The Best Albums of 2016.
Peter Stone from 100 Mile House joins us on this episode to chat about “Hiraeth”, their fabulous new album of deeply personal and introspective songs about life, love, loss and the meaning of home. Recorded in Edmonton AB, with partner Denise MacKay, and Peter in the producer’s chair, the album features some fine musical arrangements – including some gorgeous use of both violin and cello, alongside some fabulous harmonies. We also take a look at some of the best of the latest new releases.
The Bombadils, featuring Sarah Frank (fiddle, banjo, vocals) and Luke Fraser (guitar, mandolin, vocals), will be bringing their kitchen party folk to Wheatley ON for a Kingsville Folk Music Festival fundraising concert at the the Car Barn Restaurant on Thursday January 12 2017 at 7:30 p.m. (Doors at 7:00 p.m.). Tickets are $20, and can be reserved at 519-825-7436. The Bombadils released their first album as a duo, “New Shoes” on Borealis Records earlier this year. Check out our interview recorded with Sarah and Luke at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference in Ottawa. For more information on the Bombadils visit thebombadils.com. Music: The Bombadils, Train In The Night from New Shoes (2016, Borealis Records).
Expat Brit Peter Stone and his partner Albertan Denise MacKay have just released their fourth album as 100 Mile House, “Hiraeth’, which is a Welsh word with no direct English translation but is defined as a sort of homesickness, but with a sense of nostalgia and longing for a place or person that may never have actually existed. Recorded in Edmonton AB, with Peter Stone in the producer’s chair, “Hiraeth” is a fabulous album of deeply personal and introspective songs that focus on subjects like love, loss and grief, accompanied by fine musical arrangements – including some gorgeous use of both violin and cello alongside some beautiful harmonies. We caught up with Peter Stone at home in Edmonton to chat about the new album. Photo: Jessica Fern Facette. For more information about 100 mile House, visit 100milehouse.co.uk. Music: 100 Mile House “Hidden Springs”, “All We Have”, “Last Branch” and “You Feel Like Home” from “Hiraeth” (2016, Self).
It’s another all music hour on Folk Roots Radio as we play catch up on the best of the latest new releases.
We’re all about the music on this edition of Folk Roots Radio. We have lots of interviews to bring you, but we’re going to hold off on those this time round, so we can bring you some of the best new releases.
Scottish singer-songwriter Fraser Anderson joins us on this episode to chat about his latest album “Under The Cover Of Lightness”. He also plays a couple of songs live, and recites an original poem – a pleasant surprise for this show. It’s a great interview, lots of fun and definitely well worth checking out. We also take a look at at a new compilation of English folk music, The Ultimate Guide to English Folk.
Graydon James and Laura Spink are the heart of Toronto’s The Young Novelists, a six piece folk-roots band when playing close to home, but pretty much everywhere else they’re stripped down to their essence, a finely tuned harmonizing duo. They’ve had a fabulous couple of years musically – their sophomore release, 2015’s “made us strangers” was very well received, taking home the prize for New/Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards and they’re now touring in the United States regularly. Graydon and Laura sat down with us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about their music, travels, and future plans. Photo: Ana Muira Music: The Young Novelists, Always Make The Mistake and Hear Your Voice from Made Us Strangers (2015, Self)
The amazing Scottish singer-songwriter with the delicate and dexterous vocal delivery, Fraser Anderson, who now makes his home in the wonderful musical city of Bristol in the UK, joined us in our mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music and latest album “Under The Cover Of Lightness” (released in April 2016). During our chat, Fraser played a couple of live songs and gave us a wonderful poem recitation. Our fun conversation included one of his first musical experiences – singing in his father’s butcher’s shop with an animal bone for a microphone, and one of his most meaningful, playing with Dougie MacLean for four years. The gorgeous Bex Baxter also joined us in the studio on harmony vocals. Fraser’s new digital EP recorded in Toronto, “Beautiful Eyes Ontario Skies” was released on November 4. For more information visit fraseranderson.com. Photo credit: Charles Gravely. Music: Fraser Anderson “Rising Sons” from “Under The Cover Of Lightness” (2016, Membran), “What Kind Of Man” (Live), “Beautiful Eyes” (Live), “With You All” (Live), “Crying From My Heart” from “Under The Cover Of Lightness” (2016, Membran).
On the back of rave reviews at this summer’s Kingsville Folk Music Festival, Toronto’s folk quintet Union Duke are heading back down into Ontario’s banana belt for a show at Leamington’s Bank Theatre on Saturday November 26 at 8 p.m. (Doors 7 p.m.) The band released their third album “Golden Days”, the follow-up to the very well received “Cash & Carry” earlier this year. With a lively alt.folk bluegrass pop sound, the band inhabit the same territory as Mumford & Sons and The Strumbellas. They have a fabulous live show, and are definitely worth checking out if you haven’t yet done so. Get your tickets online HERE. Check out Union Duke online at unionduke.com.
Brian Blain, self-described semi-retired blues guy, “Blainsletter” blogger and managing editor of the Toronto Blues Society‘s Maple Blues newsletter joins us on this episode to chat about his music. Brian stopped by our mobile studio at the 2016 Folk Music Ontario conference for an immensely enjoyable conversation about his 40 plus years in the music business. We also take a look at the nominees for Vocal Group Of The Year at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
This edition of Folk Roots Radio is all about the 2016 Folk Music Ontario conference that recently took place in Ottawa. We play music from some of the great artists we saw play official showcases at the conference and chat with two of our favourite bands, The Young Novelists and The Bombadils.
Brian Blain, self-proclaimed semi-retired blues guy, “Blainsletter” blogger and managing editor of the Toronto Blues Society‘s Maple Blues newsletter, stopped by our mobile studio at the 2016 Folk Music Ontario conference for an immensely enjoyable conversation about his 40 plus years in the music business, the upcoming official release of his remix album “New Folk Blues 2.0” and to play a couple of tunes live. As always it was great fun. Brian will be celebrating “New Folk Blues 2.0” with a show at Toronto’s legendary Old Mill on Saturday, October 29 where he will be joined by George Koller, Michelle Josef and Alison Young, who all contributed to the remixed recording. For more information visit brianblain.com. Photo credit: Russ Kelley. Music: Brian Blain “Forgotten”, “The Ghost of Clinton’s Tavern” from “New Folk Blues 2.0” (2013, Self), “Cape Cod Blues” (Live) and “Last Time I Saw Lenny” (Live).
The Bombadils produced some big news in 2016, announcing that they’re now a two piece featuring Sarah Frank (fiddle, banjo, vocals) and Luke Fraser (guitar, mandolin, vocals) after bassist Alan Mackie and flautist Anh Phung moved on to new projects. The newly slimmed down Bombadils released their first album as a duo, “New Shoes” on Borealis Records earlier this year. The Bombadils now perform live as a duo, or in larger settings, with cello or bass. Sarah and Luke sat down with us at FMO to chat about the changes in the band and the release of the new album. Photo: Ana Muira Music: The Bombadils, Train In The Night from New Shoes (2016, Borealis Records).
Brian “Colorblind” Blain has been writing and performing his unique brand of slow-cooked, solid-groove folk blues for more than 40 years. Brian released a “live” solo album called “New Folk Blues” in 2011 that took a light-hearted look at his life in music, while giving him free rein to indulge his passion for folk, blues and jazz. Brian has elected to revisit the tracks on the New Folk Blues album by inviting musical friends Harry Manx, Clayton Doley, Drew Jurecka, Colleen Allen and others into the studio, leading to a sweetened, stacked and mastered version of the album appropriately titled “New Folk Blues 2.0”. Brian will be celebrating the reboot of the “New Folk Blues 2.0” album on Saturday, October 29 at Toronto’s legendary Old Mill where he will be joined by George Koller, Michelle Josef and Alison Young, all of whom contributed to the new recording. For more information visit brianblain.com.
Mandolin master and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Collins joins us on this episode to chat about his fabulous new album “And It Was Good”. And it is… very good, and nominated for both Instrumental Group of the Year and Producer of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. We also take a look at some of other nominees for the 2016 awards – this time we focus on the category of Young Performer Of The Year.