Colorado’s Elephant Revival were one of the highlights of this year’s Mariposa Folk Festival. Their music has been described as transcendental folk because of the way they take elements of celtic folk, traditional folk, bluegrass / country, and occasionally reggae, hip-hop and jazz to create something entirely unique. Good words to describe their performances would be hypnotic and mesmerizing. Accomplished performers all, they should be a must see at the upcoming Hillside Festival. You do not want to miss this band! Their latest album is “These Changing Skies”. We caught up with Daniel Rodriguez and Bridget Law after a workshop at Mariposa. For more information, visit elephantrevival.com. Music: Elephant Revival, “Remembering A Beginning” and “Birds And Stars” from “These Changing Skies” (2013, Itz Evolving Records)
Toronto based band Graydon James and the Young Novelists will be bringing their folk-rock stylings to Guelph on July 18 2014 for a noon hour concert in St George’s Square. Formed in 2011 their first E.P., “A Small Town Eulogy” was released to critical acclaim. They followed that with a live album recorded at Dublin St United Church in Guelph and their first full length long player “In The Year You Were Born”. They are about to head into the studio to start work on their latest release. We caught up with Graydon James in Toronto. For more information, visit www.theyoungnovelists.com. Music: Graydon James and the Young Novelists, “Small Town Hymns” from “In The Year You Were Born” (2012, Self); Graydon James and the Young Novelists, “Hear Your Voice” (Single) (2013, Self)
Jane Carmichael and Kevin Kennedy are The Marrieds. They’ll be bringing their beautiful melodies and sweet harmonies to Guelph in July for a Thursday night residency at Magnolia Café. Sharing the stage with them will be Shannon Kingsbury (July 10), Vanessa Tignanelli (July 17), Ian Reid (July 24) and Peter Light (July 31). All the shows are Pay What You Can events and they start at 8:00 p.m. We caught up with Jane Carmichael and Kevin Kennedy at home in London ON. For more information visit www.themarrieds.ca. Music: “Come To Bed” and “The Rest Of My Days” from The Marrieds’ 2013 album “Saving Hope”.
I was away at the Mariposa Folk Festival on the weekend of July 5 2014 (Episode 157). Fortunately DJ MacDee kindly agreed to bring his own wealth of radio experience and musical knowledge to Folk Roots Radio. I hope you enjoyed the show. Now enjoy his playlist.
Bry Webb has just released the latest video from his new album, Free Will. The song, “Prove Me Wrong”, is coupled with a very nice video by Colin Medley filmed at The Donkey Sanctuary near Guelph, Ontario. The sanctuary is a refuge for donkeys who have been neglected or abused, or who can no longer be cared for by their owners. The animals are provided a welcome and often life-saving peaceful haven after years of suffering and neglect. Webb describes it as “one of the most serene places I’ve ever been.”
“My friend Gavin was working there, organizing their yearly Donkey Day Festival. I hadn’t been playing much, but Gavin asked if I’d do some songs as part of the day. I had recently started making music with Mike Brooks (pedal steel) and Rich Burnett (lap steel), so we decided to work out arrangements of some old and new songs for the event. It was one of the first shows I had played since the Constantines stopped. When Colin had the idea to make a music video there, it seemed perfect. Music video making can often be an undignified process for musicians – I’m not really inclined to lip sync my own songs – but putting one of the songs to Maya Bankovic and Colin’s wonderful slow motion shots of these incredibly dignified animals has made me very happy.”
On July 1 2009, in our former guise as Royal City Rag we were “live on location” in Riverside Park, Guelph for a Canada Day celebration with storytellers Sya Van Geest and Brad Woods, and singer-songwriter Sam Turton. Despite the poor weather, all turned out sunny on a fun show. One of our favourites, and worthy of a replay. Enjoy!
Philadelphia based acoustic instrumentalist Trevor Gordon Hall is heading to this year’s Mariposa Folk Festival. With two successful acoustic albums under his belt, Trevor’s musical creative aspirations were upsized by the birth of the Kalimbatar, an innovative acoustic guitar that features the Kalimba, a sub-Saharan thumb piano. Trevor’s most recent album is Entelechy (2011). We caught up with him this week at home. For more information on Trevor Gordon Hall, visit trevorgordonhall.com. Music: Trevor Gordon Hall, Missing You and Kalimbatar from Entelechy (2011, Candy Rat Records).
London, ON duo Jane Carmichael and Kevin Kennedy officially became The Marrieds in 2010 when they posted three snow day songs on YouTube during London’s “Snowmageddon”, an act which while garnering tens of thousands views a day, also caught the imagination of Canada’s national broadcaster CBC who named them the ‘Sound of The Day’. Known for their beautiful melodies, sweet harmonies and clever lyrics alongside their charming husband & wife stage banter they will be in Guelph in July for a Thursday night residency at Magnolia Café. Sharing the stage with them will be Shannon Kingsbury (July 10), Vanessa Tiganelli (July 17), Ian Reid (July 24) and Peter Light (July 31). All the shows are Pay What You Can events and they start at 8:00 p.m. Due to the intimate size of the venue, reservations are recommended. Magnolia Café is also a great place to have supper before the show. Call 519-766-4663 to reserve.
Durham County Poets are five guys from the Chateauguay Valley in Quebec who have played in blues bands, gospel groups, Cajun, vaudeville, folk, rock and country bands. Since coming together as the Durham County Poets they have developed a sound that is uniquely their own. A collective blend of styles from Dan Hicks to James Taylor, the Band to Leon Redbone, they are a melting pot of inspired tunes to enjoy. They released their first album “When The River Flows” in 2012, and have just released their follow-up, the intriguingly titled “Chikkaboodah Stew”. We caught up with lead singer Kevin Harvey this past week to talk about the new album. For more information visit durhamcountypoets.com. Music: Intro: Chikkaboodah Stew, Outro: Lipstick Sky from Chikkaboodah Stew (2014, Self).
Trevor Gordon Hall is bringing his Kalimbatar to this summer’s Mariposa Folk Festival. His what, I hear you say? His kalimbatar. It’s his own invention, an acoustic guitar with a kalimba – an African thumb piano (and common in sub-Saharan Africa), attached to the side of it. It’s pretty nifty and produces an incredibly full and beautiful sound, that is almost mesmeric in quality. Check out the attached video of Trevor playing the kalimbatar. You can find other videos on his website at trevorgordonhall.com. We’re impressed – so much so that we’re working on an interview. In case you don’t know, the Mariposa Folk festival runs from July 4-6 2014 in beautiful Tudhope Park up in Orillia. To check out all the details and pick up tickets, visit mariposa folk.com. It promises to be a great weekend!
The Imbayakunas mix the traditional sound of the Andes with a variety of latin and european influences to create worldbeat music that is so intoxicating that you’ll find it hard to enjoy without getting up to dance. Featuring traditional andean instruments such as the rondador (and other pan flutes), charango, ronrocco (similar to a lute) and cajas (drum) as well as fiddle and electric guitar they create quite the party. This summer they’ll be at the Mariposa Folk festival, July 4-6 2014. Mariposa, summer, danceable music… bring it on! For more information about the Mariposa Folk Festival and to buy tickets, visit mariposa folk.com.
This year’s Mariposa Folk 2014 takes place from July 4-6 2014 in the beautiful confines of Tudhope Park, Orillia. Mariposa is known for presenting the best singer-songwriters on the music scene. But also notable this year is the large number of bands and groups that will perform on the festival’s eleven stages. They hail from the South Pacific, Ireland, Australia, Cuba and many locales across Canada and the United States. To learn more about this year’s festival we caught up with Mariposa Artistic Director Mike Hill. For more information about the festival, visit mariposafolk.com.
The Birds of Chicago should be very familiar to regular listeners to Folk Roots Radio. We’re big fans of the band that features JT Nero from JT and the Clouds and Ally Russell from Po’ Girl. How much do we love them? Well we’ve already had them join us for a live studio appearance on the show and now we’re getting excited because they will be back in Canada in early July for appearances at the Mariposa Folk Festival (July 4-6) and the Vancouver Island MusicFest (July 11-13). Birds of Chicago are one of the hardest working bands on the folk scene today, they tour almost constantly. Fortunately they do take a break now and again. And we caught up with JT Nero this week at home in Chicago. For more information, visit birdsofchicago.com.
Music: Birds Of Chicago, Barley from Live From Space (2009, Self); Birds Of Chicago, I Have Heard Words from Live From Space (2009, Self)
The Wailin’ Jennys play the Enwave Theatre at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto on Saturday June 21 2014. Tickets are $35 and are available online here. Since their humble beginnings in Winnipeg, the Jennys have grown to become one to the most beloved folk acts on the international scene. Founding members Ruth Moody (vocals, guitar, accordion, banjo, bodhrán) and Nicky Mehta (vocals, guitar, harmonica, drums, ukulele) along with New York-based Heather Masse (vocals, upright bass) continue to create some of the most beautiful music you are ever likely to hear. We caught up with Nicki Mehta earlier this week. For more information check out thewailinjennys.com.
Tannis Slimmon, the Guelph-based singer-songwriter with the golden voice, tunes up for her BC tour with a special concert with her long time musical collaborator Lewis Melville at the Music In The Wood, 122 Main Street South, Rockwood on June 28 2014 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. To reserve, call (519) 856-9266 or email email@example.com. For more information visit tannis.ca.
Tickets go on sale on May 3 at 10 a.m. at ticketbreak.com or by phone at 1-866-943-8849. Tickets are also available from The Bookshelf (41 Quebec St.) and The Beat Goes On (23 Wellington St. E.) in Guelph; Encore Records (54 Queen St. S.) in Kitchener; and at Soundscapes (572 College St.) in Toronto. For more information, visit hillsidefestival.ca. Music: Basia Bulat, “Wires” from her 2013 album “Tall Tall Shadow”.