Folk Roots Radio on November 8 2014 was all about the music… lots of it, and, much of it new. As usual we also featured a new mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
This week we had a ‘bumper’ mystery theme in honour of Remembrance Day and a special focus on The First World War, the centenary of the start of the war taking place earlier this year. We started off with Blind Colour and their musical version of the John McCrae poem “In Flanders Fields”. We followed that with Karine Polwart and a beautiful version of “Will Ye go To Flanders?” from her 2007 album “Fairest Floo’er, followed by Lizzy Hoyt from Alberta, with “Vimy Ridge” from her 2010 album “Home”
Angel Snow was up next with “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” from a 2013 compilation “Divided & United: The Songs Of The Civil War” followed by the heartbreakingly beautiful words of Oliver Wendell Holmes w/ The Sullivan Ballou Letter from Ken Burns 1990 documentary The Civil War.
Dave Gunning followed that with the classic Eric Bogle tune “And The Band Played Waltzing Matilida” from his 2010 album “A Tribute To John Allan Cameron”, a song that also features the late John Allan Cameron on vocals. And then… Lucy Ward with her own introduction to her World War 1 song “Lion” recorded live and for the first time at Left Field Glastonbury. And finally… Shane Koyczan & The Short Story Long with “Remember How We Forgot” from their 2011 album “Remembrance Year”.
Later in the show we feautured a special set of songs from the great new Jean Ritchie tribute double album on Compass Records entitled “Dear Jean: Artists Celebrate Jean Ritchie”. Born in Kentucky in 1922, Jean Ritchie is regarded as being one of the most influential figures in American music. Often called “The Mother of Folk Music,” a living connection between traditional songs and contemporary folk, country and bluegrass.
After Ritchie suffered a stroke in 2009, producers Mick Lane, Charlie Pilzer and Dan Schatz began working on “Dear Jean” as a way for the folk community to honor one of its leading figures. Artists were intentionally selected to reflect a diversity of musical styles, with veterans like Judy Collins, Kathy Mattea, Janis Ian, Robin and Linda Williams, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Robbie O’Connell and John McCutcheon performing side by side with younger, up and coming talents like Sam Amidon, Rachael Davis, Elizabeth LaPrelle, and the Starry Mountain Singers, as well as members of the Ritchie family.
Because Ritchie has been outspoken in efforts to halt the destruction of mountains and communities caused by the environmentally destructive “mountain-top removal” coal mining method, the artists on the album teamed up to support the advocacy group Appalachian Voices, a regional non-profit organization promoting a shift away from this and other harmful, polluting energy practices.
We picked four songs to play today featuring an array of talent that its unusual on one album. We started off with John McCutcheon, Tim O’Brien, Suzy Bogguss, Kathy Mattea, Stuart Duncan & Bryn Davies w/ “Black Waters” and followed that with Robin & Linda Williams with John Jennings w/ “The L & N Don’t Stop Here No More”, The Starry Mountain Singers with “I’ve Got A Mother” and finally Janis Ian w/ “Morning Come, Maria’s Gone”.
You can find all those songs along with 33 others on Dear Jean: Artists Celebrate Jean Ritchie. Dare I say it, it could make a great gift for the folkie on your list this holiday season!
This week’s guilty pleasure was Acker Bilk from 1962 with “Stranger on the Shore”. Acker passed away earlier this past week at the age of 85. Stranger on the Shore” became the UK’s biggest selling single of 1962 where it remained in the UK charts for more than 50 weeks, peaking at number two, and was the first No. 1 single in the United States by a British artist in the era of the modern Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.
My Dad, who passed away in 2011, loved Acker Bilk. He’d often pull out some Acker when he got to play some of his music at home – which in our house wasn’t very often and usually only on a Sunday afternoon after church. I still have a lot of affection for the music he used to play and dare I say it, I think that affection is increasing with age. And, it’s because of the connection between Acker and my Dad, that I dedicated this week’s guilty pleasure to my Mum.
If you have a guilty pleasure you’d like to share – that song you still love though you think other people would find it unfashionable (believe me, they won’t), get in touch. We’d love to play it for you! And, if you have a good story about why you love that song, so much the better.
There was lots of new music on today’s show, too many artists to make individual mention, which is why we like to lay out the full playlist with artists links below.
Well, that’s just about all the time we have for today. You can find the full playlist for the show below. Thanks to all the artists who share their music with us, and thank you for listening. We’ll see you next week!
You can listen to the show again on Mixcloud.
Mystery Theme: “Remembrance Day”
Ooh La La
Ooh La La: An Island Harvest (2014, Island)
In Flanders Fields
Single (2010, Self) CDN
Will Ye Go To Flanders?
Fairest Floo’er (2007, Hegri/Proper)
Home (2010, Self) CDN
When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Divided & United: The Songs Of The Civil War (2013, ATO)
Jay Unger, Paul Roebling & David McCullough
Ashokan Farewell / Sullivan Ballou Letter
The Civil War (Ken Burns Documentary) (1990, Elektra)
And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
A Tribute To John Allan Cameron (2010, Wee House Of Music) CDN
Lion (Live Demo)
Left Field at Glastonbury 2014
Shane Koyczan & The Short Story Long
Remember How We Forgot
Remembrance Year (2011, Self) CDN
Rose of Allendale
Six Strings North Of The Border Volume 2 (2005, Borealis) CDN
This week’s Guilty Pleasure:
Stranger On The Shore
Acker Bilk – Stranger On The Shore (1962, Polygram)
They Promised You Mercy (2014, Six Shooter Records) CDN
Misfits & Moonbeams (2014, Green Suitcase Productions) CDN
Wait To The Sun Comes Up
Name dropper (2014, Sonic Unyon Records/Sony) CDN
You Can’t Outrun The Radio (2014, Self) CDN
The Smiling & Beautiful Countryside (2014, Borealis Records) CDN
E.B. Anderson & The Resolutes
Dead & Gone
Broken Down Horse (2013, Let’s Riot) CDN
At Home (2011, Self) CDN
Pass It Along
One More Time Around (2014, Self) CDN
Riding The Train (The Meter Maid Mix)
Georgia I’m Here (2014, Milagrito Records)
Ooh La La: An Island Harvest (2014, Island Records)
When The Spirit Moves
Trans Atlantic (2013, Self) CDN
Trent Severn (2012, Outside Music) CDN
For So Long
The Old Silo (2014, Borealis Records) CDN