Acclaimed Prince Edward Island singer-songwriter Ashley Condon released what might be her most thoroughly PEI album to date, “Can You Hear Me”, in October. Her third full length recording, Can you Hear Me features a series of co-writes with other PEI artists and artists who came to PEI on creative exchanges. The album also features some beautiful harmony vocals from Ashley’s fellow Eastern Belles – Catherine MacLellan and Meaghan Blanchard, and a sophisticated sonic palette thanks, in part, to her producer, (Anne Murray’s nephew) Dale Murray (formerly of The Guthries and Cuff the Duke). The album is not the only new thing on Ashley Condon’s horizon; she has also launched a PEI-based microbrewery Copper Bottom Brewing with her husband and brewmaster, Ken Spears. We caught up with Ashley at home on PEI to chat about the new album, the island’s wonderful music community and the family microbrewery, which is also a music venue, in Montague PEI. For more information about the music of Ashley Condon, visit ashleycondon.com. Check out the video for “The Rain” HERE. Music: Ashley Condon “Diamond Sky”, “The Rain” and “Oh My Love” from “Can You Hear Me” (2017, Self).
Fun bilingual Quebec roots trio Jabbour join us at the Folk Music Ontario conference on Episode 349 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their music and play three songs live. We also check out more of the latest new releases including new music from Ashley Condon, Dennis Johnson, The Lifers and Harrow Fair with a fabulous version of The Rankin Family classic song “Fare Thee Well”. Check out the full playlist below.
Singer/songwriter Sharon Goldman from New Jersey joins us on this episode to chat about her latest album, “Kol Isha (A Woman’s Voice)”, an album that it takes as its theme, Sharon’s own life experience – growing up in an orthodox Jewish family on Long Island, New York. We also take our first look at the nominees for the Canadian Folk Music Awards starting off with the category of Contemporary Album of the Year.
The grande dame of Canadian Folk Festivals, the Mariposa Folk Festival is getting set for it’s 56th edition which takes place the weekend of July 8-10 2016, in beautiful Tudhope Park in Orillia, on the shores of Lake Couchiching. Performers announced so far include Ahmed Knowmadic Ali, Benjamin Dakota Rogers, Beth McKean, Big Little Lions, Brother Sun, Campfire Crew, Cat Clyde, Catherine MacLellan, Colin Linden, Dave Gunning, David Amram, Dirty Dishes, Fortunate Ones, Gathering Sparks, Georgian Bay, Hunter’s Corners, Ivan Coyote, James Hill, Jeffrey Foucault, Jen Schaffer and the Shiners, Jon Brooks, Josh White Jr., Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham, Ken Whiteley and the Beulah Band, Leonard Sumner, Lori Yates, Lorraine Sutton, Meredith Moon and the Oldest Man I Know, Melanie Brûlée and Anique Grianger, Moulettes, Murder Murder, Next Generation Leahy, Notre Dame de Grass, Quique Escamilla, Rita Coolidge, Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar, Sheesham and Lotus & ‘Son, Shred Kelly, Slow Leaves, Sussex featuring Rob Lutes, Ten Strings & a Goat Skin , Terry Savage and the Wonky Honkees, The Fitzgerald Family Band, The Good Family, The Imbayakunas, The Laws, The Milk Carton Kids, Rita Cox, Three Women and the Truth (Eliza Gilkyson, Gretchen Peters and Mary Gauthier) and Vance Gilbert. To learn more about this year’s festival, we caught up with artistic director, Mike Hill at work in Orillia. Mariposa Folk Festival 2016 Passes are now on sale. Children 12 & under are admitted FREE if accompanied by a ticket-bearing adult. You can buy your tickets online HERE. Music: Brother Sun “So Far To Come” from “Weights & Wings” (2016, Self) and Milk Carton Kids “Wish You Were Here” (2016, Anti).
Episode 241 of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Toronto singer-songwriter Mark Martyre recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October. Mark also played a couple of songs live for us. Mark has just released his fourth solo album, “Bluebird” and is out on tour in Ontario in March.
Well, It’s that time of year… Time to pick our favourite albums of 2015. And you know what, it doesn’t get any easier. There’s just so much great music out there, and it’s been our great privilege to bring lots of it to you each week on Folk Roots Radio. Like last year, most of the albums on this list aren’t a surprise as I raved about them during the year. This time around though I selected a twenty-five album long list, then narrowed it down to the Top 10 you can read about below.
This week’s Folk Roots Radio features interviews with two artists who have produced wonderful new albums, Brenda McMorrow joins us to chat about her latest western folk meets Kirtan (Indian devotional music) album “My Heart Bows Down To You” and we talk to Ange Hardy, direct from Somerset England, about “Esteesee”, her great new album inspired by the life and work of English romantic poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. As usual we include a selection of the new music we’ve received and continue our on-going feature on the nominees for the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards. I really enjoyed putting this show together. I hope you enjoy it.
This week’s Folk Roots Radio features two interviews – Stephen Fearing joins us to chat about his songwriting workshop and concert, taking place on Friday September 25 in Waterloo ON. And later, we catch up with Newfoundland band The Once at this summer’s Hillside Festival. As always, there’s a lot of new music on the show, and we continue our run down of the nominations for the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
The nominations for the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards have been announced. Pharis and Jason Romero lead the pack with four nominations for their album “A Wanderer I’ll Stay”. Their nominations include Traditional Album of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Traditional Singer of the Year (Pharis Romero), and Producer of the Year (Pharis and Jason Romero with David Travers-Smith). Amelia Curran (St John’s, NL), Fortunate Ones (St John’s, NL), Jenn Grant (Lake Echo, NS), Whitehorse (Toronto, ON) and Catherine MacLellan (Charlottetown, PEI) each received three nominations.
This year’s youngest nominee is nine year old Vancouver Island artist Stella Swanson for the album “I’m Not A Bunny” in the Children’s Album of the Year category. Inspired by Stella’s pet bunny Romeo, the album was produced by Comox’s Helen Austin, a previous Canadian Folk Music Award and Juno Award recipient and a nominee this year with her group Big Little Lions.
Check out the full list of nominees here. We’ll be previewing the nominees on upcoming editions of Folk Roots Radio.
Yukon-based singer-songwriter Gordie Tentrees has just released his latest album “Less Is More”, a stellar collection of folk, roots and blues, featuring songs of true Canadiana alongside others that tackle current events and issues head on, and often in a deep and personal way. The album produced by Juno award winner Bob Hamilton features 11 new compositions including a Gordie Tentrees version of Mary Gauthier’s “Camelot Hotel”. Tentrees plays dobro, guitar and harmonica with stellar accompaniment from Aiden Tentrees on upright bass & Fabian Brook on guitar and fiddle. The album also includes guest appearances from Bob Hamilton, Patrick Hamilton, Annie Avery, Lonnie Powell and the harmony vocals from 2015 Juno Award winner Catherine MacLellan. We caught up with Gordie on the road in Alberta. Music: Gordie Tentrees “Less Is More”, “Somebody’s Child” and “Love In Ink” from “Less Is more” (2015, Buckaroo Records).
This week’s Folk Roots Radio featured another interview recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October. This time we talked to Emm Gryner, Laura C. Bates and Dayna Manning who collectively form Trent Severn, a wonderful folk super-group who share fabulous stories of Canadiana in gorgeous harmony and music. You can find the interview on the website here. As always, we found time for some new music plus our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
This week’s Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Connecticut based singer-songwriter Kerri Powers. After years out of the spotlight to raise a family, Kerri returned to the music scene in 2014 with her stunning self-titled Americana blues and roots album, “Kerri Powers”, a little bit country, a little bit bluesy and very rootsy it was one of our favourite albums of 2014. As usual, there’s lots of new music on this week’s show alongside our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
This week’s episode of Folk Roots Radio featured an in-studio appearance by singer-songwriters Tannis Slimmon, Jude Vadala and Katherine Wheatley who come together each holiday season for a fabulous series of holiday concerts, “Songs For The Snowy Season”. This year, they are also releasing their first album under their new group name Boreal, “Winter’s Welcome”. As usual, we featured lots of new music, plus a new mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
Folk Roots Radio on October 25 2014 (Episode 172) was built around a feature-length interview with Tara MacKenzie, Trevor MacKenzie and Mike Weir from the MacKenzie Blues Band at the Folk Music Ontario (FMO) conference. The interview also included five songs from their great new album, “Slam Bam!”. The first of many interviews we recorded at this year’s conference, I think it is also one of our best. Check it out here as part of this weekend’s show or elsewhere on this site.