Richard Laviolette is a songwriter who really puts his life and personal passions into his music. His new country roots album, “Taking The Long Way Home” (2017, You’ve Changed Records) is all about remaining resilient in the face of life’s challenges whether they relate to personal issues, family, health – whatever – basically everything we all deal with on a daily basis. It’s also an album that emphasizes how much it helps to take the daily ups and downs with as much of a sense of humour as you can manage. With some lovely warm production from Andy Magoffin from the House of Miracles studio in Cambridge Ontario, and some really talented roots players who know how to play with a light touch – it’s a joy to listen to. Joining Richard on the album are Lisa Bozikovic on piano, Matt Reeves on lead guitar, Jessy Bell Smith (Skydiggers) on vocal harmonies, Julia Narveson (Ever Lovin’ Jug Band) on fiddle and double bass, Aaron Goldstein on pedal steel, Heather Kirby (Ohbijou) on electric bass, and Aaron Curtis on drums. We caught up with Richard Laviolette at home in Guelph to chat about the new album. Music: Richard Laviolette, “Grey Rain”, “Someone Tell My Story When I’m Gone”, “You’ve Really Got Me On The Run” and “Taking The Long Way Home” from “Taking The Long Way Home” (2017, You’ve Changed Records)
Country blues powerhouse Gina Horswood swopped her native Australia for North America in 2011 – just in time to head to Nashville to work on her 2013 album, the “Nashville Sessions EP”. After relocating to Canada, she 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. It’s the perfect introduction to an artist who at times can sound like a young Mavis Staples, Bessie Smith or Billie Holiday. With support from Tom & Sly Juhas (Banners, Jadea Kelly), Rich Levesque (Blue Rodeo, Jason McCoy/The Road Hammers, Melissa McClelland) and Robbie Grunwald (Jill Barber, Coco Love Alcorn), Porcelain is 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. Music: Gina Horswood “Come Hell Or High Water”, “Caged” and “Why Should I Wait?” from “Porcelain” (2016, Self).
Banjoist Jayme Stone has just released “Jayme Stone’s Folklife”, the follow up to The Lomax Project album. Inspired by further exploration of songs catalogued by noted folklorist Alan Lomax and other folklorists, Jayme Stone’s Folklife is a beautiful collection of Sea Island spirituals, Creole calypsos and Appalachian dance tunes dusted off and re-imagined for modern ears. Joining Jayme this time around are American folk singer extraordinaire Moira Smiley, Sumaia Jackson (fiddle, voice), and Joe Phillips (bass, voice) alongside special guests singer Felicity Williams (Bahamas), Dom Flemons (Carolina Chocolate Drops) and cornetist Ron Miles from Bill Frisell’s band. Jayme Stone’s Folklife is another great Jayme Stone album. I’ve already gone on record to say that I’m sure it will feature somewhere in my best of the year at the end of 2017. It’s that good! Jayme Stone joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about the album. Music: Jayme Stone “There Is More Love Somewhere”. “Buttermilk”, “Drunken Hiccups” and “Candy Gal” from “Jayme Stone’s Folklife” (2017, Borealis Records)
Playful Americana-folk duo The Rough & Tumble, join us on Episode 314 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their music and first tour of Southern Ontario. Originally from Nashville – that’s now just where they collect their mail, since they gave up the home base in favour of the open road, and life in a sixteen foot camper van, with only their dogs for company. As always, we also take a look at more of the best of the latest new releases. Check out the full playlist below.
Playful Americana-folk duo The Rough & Tumble feature the close harmonies, versatile instrumentation and engaging songwriting of Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler. They’re new on our radar, and peaked our interest when they sent us a link to a very adorable video for their song “Teeny Tiny Folk Band”. You can check it out HERE. The Rough & Tumble used to tell people they were from Nashville TN, before deciding they preferred to be permanently on the road, in their sixteen foot camper van, with their two dogs for company. They’ll be in Southern Ontario on tour this April, including two shows in Toronto and a visit to The Cornerstone in Guelph on April 13 2017. We caught up with Mallory and Scott, live from the road, to learn more about their music. Visit The Rough & Tumble online at theroughandtumble.com. Music: The Rough & Tumble “Teeny Tiny Folk Band” and “Take Me With You” from “Cardboard & Christmas Lights” (2017, Rock Candy Recordings), “Pieces by Pieces” from “Pieces by Pieces” (2016, Rock Candy Recordings).
Singer/songwriter Danny Michel recorded his latest album “Khlebnikov” on board a Russian icebreaker in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. Danny joins us on this episode to chat about the new album, his webcast Dan’s Space Van and his live performances. And, as usual we also take a look at some of the latest new releases. Check out the full playlist below.
Singer-Songwriter Danny Michel went further than he’d ever done before when he recorded his latest album “Khlebnikov” far above the arctic circle, while aboard the Russian icebreaker Capitan Khlebnikov, in the middle of the arctic ocean. Danny was part of Generator Arctic, an expedition put together by Canada’s musical astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield and featuring scientists, photographers, writers and videographers whose role was to capture the arctic wilderness using their chosen medium, sharing those results in real time, and, later, as a lasting record of their 18 day journey. Danny for his part, recorded a whole album, inspired by his life onboard, in a makeshift studio in his cabin. The album features some Danny Michel songs alongside incidental music composed by Rob Carli, and “Fall”, a song about autumn, written by and featuring Chris Hadfield (with words by Russian romantic poet Alexander Pushkin). Danny Michel will be appearing at the Roots North Music Festival taking place in Downtown Orillia on April 21, , Stan Rogers Festival, June 30 – July 2 and Summerfolk, August 18-20. We caught up with Danny at home to chat about the new album. For more information on Danny’s music visit dannymichel.com. Music: Danny Michel “Khlebnikov”, “The Dishwasher’s Dream” and “24,000 Horses” from “Khlebnikov” (2017, Self).
Windsor singer-songwriter Karen Morand is getting ready to release her latest album with her band Bosco, “Junkyard Heart”. Junkyard Heart features eight new Karen Morand songs with more of a confessional revival meeting style than her previous work, while still retaining the warm acoustic feel we associate with her band. The CD release takes place at The Bank Theatre in Leamington with special guest, the fabulous Aussie-Canadian bluesy country roots singer-songwriter Gina Horswood on April 22 2017. GET TICKETS. Following the album release, Karen and Gina head off across Southern Ontario together on their Saints & Sinners tour. Bosco features Aaron Verhulst on guitars and mandolin and Benny Santoro on cajon, with Karen Morand on lead vocals, guitar, ukulele, accordion and banjo. We caught up with Karen Morand at home in Windsor to chat about the new album. For more information about Karen Morand and the rest of the tour dates, visit karenmorand.com. Music: Karen Morand “Sucker Creek”, “Junkyard Heart” and “Big Muddy” from “Junkyard Heart” (2017, Self).
Multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter and composer Benjamin Dakota Rogers joins us on Episode 311 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest album “Whisky & Pine”. He also plays three songs live for us – including a new song that’s yet to be recorded. And, as always, we take a look at some of the latest new releases. Check out the full playlist below.
On this episode of Folk Roots Radio we take a look at the Roots North Music Festival. Now in it’s third year, this year’s festival takes place on Friday and Saturday April 21-22 in a variety of venues in Downtown Orillia, Ontario. Amy Mangan, one of the festival organizers, joins us on this episode to chat about the line-up and how you can get tickets. We also talk to Raven from festival headliners Digging Roots, about their music and fabulous live show. We fill up the rest of the hour with music from some of the other performers heading to Roots North this time around. For more information about the festival and to buy tickets, visit rootsnorthmusic.ca. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re all about the music on Episode 309 of Folk Roots Radio as we take a look at more of the latest new releases including a first listen to “Watershed” – the new album from Amelia Curran, a new demo from Kerrville New Folk winning singer-songwriter Ernest Troost and a great new instrumental album from Belgian mandolin band MANdolinMAN. Check out the full playlist below.
After winning the Juno for Indigenous Music Album of the Year with “We Are…” in 2010, aboriginal roots rockers Digging Roots, featuring Shoshona Kish and Raven Kanatakta, further enhanced their reputation with 2014’s critically acclaimed “For The Light” and their Maple Blues Cobalt Prize winning song about Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women, “Hwy 17”. Digging Roots are a fabulous live band, with a wonderful bluesy sound that connects with the audience on many levels. And this year, they’re appearing at the Roots North Music Festival in Downtown Orillia on April 22. We caught up with Raven from the band for a wide ranging conversation about their music. Visit Digging Roots online at diggingrootsmusic.com. To learn more about the Roots North Music Festival and to get tickets visit rootsnorthmusic.ca. Music: Digging Roots, “Hwy 17” from “For The Light” (2014, Sugar Bush Music), “Ak-47” (single) (2016, Sugar Bush Music), “The Time Has Come For Going” from “For The Light” (2014, Sugar Bush Music).
Award-winning songwriter and full-time road dog, Winona Wilde has been slinging her boisterous brand of country-folk Canadiana all over Canada, the U.S & Europe for several years without rest. Wielding lyrical wit and fearless emotion, this born-again-Ontarian promises to be two parts funny and one part sad. A 2016 Folk Music Ontario Official Showcase Artist and 2015 BC Musician Magazine Songwriter of the Year, Winona Wilde joined us in the mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music, and play a couple of new songs live. For more information, visit winonawilde.com. Music: Winona Wilde, “Dating Song” from “You Lose Some, You Lose Some” (2015, Self), Chick Singer (live), Wasted Time (live) and “Paper Clips For The Apocalypse” from “You Lose Some, You Lose Some” (2015, Self).
The Red Dirt Skinners joined us in the studio last fall for the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions. The duo, featuring Sarah Skinner on soprano sax, and multi-instrumentalist Rob Skinner on guitar and vocals, have been taking the UK roots scene by storm. An intoxicating mix of high energy and divine harmonies, the music they produce is original, unique and genre-defying as they effortlessly cross boundaries from blues, to country, to folk and all places in between. They’re back in Canada this spring for a tour of Alberta and Ontario including a stop in Leamington ON for a show at The Bank Theatre on May 5. Alongside a five song set, Sarah and Rob sat down with us to chat about their music and latest album “Behind the Wheel” (2016, Sidegoat Records). Definitely, check out the fabulous live version of their 7 minute soprano sax workout “Daybreak” after the interview. For more information about the Red Dirt Skinners, visit reddirtskinners.com. You can check out the full Red Dirt Skinners session and more videos from the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions at sunparloursessions.com.
Folklorist and fellow folk dj Amanda Lynn Stubley joins us on Episode 306 of Folk Roots Radio to talk about “Gem”, a six track album of old time music recorded live off-the-floor with producer Deni Gauthier. We also check out more of the new music we’ve received including new albums from Andrea Ramolo, Lee Palmer and Brock Zeman. You can check out the full playlist to Episode 306 below.
We’re all about the music on Episode 305 of Folk Roots Radio as we take a look at more of the latest new releases, including a first look at the new Blackie & The Rodeo Kings duet album “Kings & Kings”, a political single from Ernest Troost, a new gritty Lynne Hanson release and a great compilation from the Battlefield Band. You can check out the full playlist to Episode 305 below.
Multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and composer, the prolific, Benjamin Dakota Rogers is pushing the boundaries of traditional folk with each album release. Combining fiddle, guitar and mandolin with his unique voice and strong lyrics, he creates music that demands your attention. Benjamin has picked up Canadian Folk Music Awards nominations for each of his three releases; the “Wayfarer” E.P. from 2014, 2015’s “The Strong Man’s Address to the Circus Crowd” and his latest, “Whiskey & Pine”. Whiskey & Pine features 11 songs that showcase Benjamin’s strong vocals, powerful guitar and fiddle, with support from Chris Rait on stand-up bass, guitar and djembe. Benjamin joined us in the mobile studio at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music, and play three songs live. For more information about Benjamin’s music visit benjaminrogersmusic.com. Music: Benjamin Dakota Rogers “Soldier Song” from “Whiskey & Pine” (2016, Self), “Whiskey For Blood” (Live), “Mr. Robot” (Live), “Come Home” (Live) and “Whiskey & Pine” from “Whiskey & Pine” (2016, Self).