Kristine Schmitt grew up singing musical harmony, and explored many different styles from country to rock to even punk before settling on a love of old time country, and country blues and jazz from the early part of the 20th Century. Her first solo recording “Good Dirt” from 2016 features a collection of Kristine’s playful original songs and a wonderful rootsy sound. The album was produced by Chris Coole, with support from members of the Lonesome Ace Stringband, and Simone Schmidt (Fiver) on harmony vocals. Kristine Schmitt is currently performing as part of a duo with Jesse Corrigan, although she is also much in demand as a supporting vocalist with a big voice and great stage presence. Kristine Schmitt sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music. Check out Kristine Schmitt online at kristineschmitt.com. Music: Kristine Schmitt “Hop On Awhile With Me”, “He Held Up His Hat (And He Kissed Her Behind It)” and “Deep In The Darkest Evening” from “Good Dirt” (2016, Self).
We love the banjo on Folk Roots Radio which is a very good thing, as this edition has more than the usual amount included. We talk to Ian Molesworth about Banjofest – a one day festival taking place in Guelph in March and listen to some of the artists who will be taking part. We also check in on some of the artists who will be performing at the 10th annual Hillside Inside which takes place in Downtown Guelph from February 9-12. Among the new releases, we get to hear some great musical commentary about the recent political upheaval south of the border.
Toronto bluegrass band The Slocan Ramblers have a reputation for producing some of the best live acoustic music out there – a refreshingly youthful and fiddle-free take on bluegrass featuring Adrian Gross on mandolin, Darryl Poulsen on guitar, Alastair Whitehead on bass and Frank Evans on three-finger and clawhammer banjo. They released their second album “Coffee Creek”, the follow up to their very well received 2012 debut “Shaking Down The Acorns”, in 2015. An album that explores the outer reaches of bluegrass while respecting its traditions, Coffee Creek was recorded live off the floor with Chris Coole (from the Foggy Hogtown Boys) at the controls and features a healthy dose of their own original material. The Slocan Ramblers will be appearing at the River Run Centre in Guelph on January 27, The Old Town Hall in Newmarket on March 25, The Registry Theatre in Kitchener on April 7, the Aurora Cultural Centre on May 12 and the Regent Theatre in Picton on May 20 alongside dates in Western Canada, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. We caught up with banjo player Frank Evans in Toronto, to chat about their music. For more information visit slocanramblers.com. Music: The Slocan Ramblers “Pastures of Plenty / Honey Babe”, “Elk River”, “Coffee Creek” and “Call Me Long Gone” from “Coffee Creek” (2015, Self).
Banjofest Guelph sounds like the perfect day out for anyone who love’s banjo. Guelph’s first festival devoted to banjo music takes place at Silence, 46 Essex Street in Guelph on Saturday March 11 2017. The festival features a full day of banjo music, in all its glory. The afternoon Session (2-5:30 p.m.) features Buckwheat Honey, Lotus Wight, The BIG Schotts, and Chris Coole with Arnie Naiman, commemorating the recording of their album “5 Strings Attached With No Backing” (1997, Merriweather Records) 20 years ago. The evening session (8-11 p.m.) includes performances by The Banjo Mechanics featuring Ian Pattison and Lewis Melville, Tim Posgate with Andrew Downing and The Lonesome Ace Stringband. Tickets are $25 per session or $40 for both sessions (there are only 55 tickets available for each session) and can be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is co-sponsored by Woodall Music Acoustic Roots Music Instructional DVDs and Folkway Music. To learn more about Banjofest we caught up with organizer and banjo player Ian Molesworth. Music: Arnie Naiman and Chris Coole “Country Blues” from “5 Strings Attached With No Backing” (1997, Merriweather Records), The Banjo Mechanics “Still Jiggin’ For Trout” from “JlP” (2014, Self).
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.
On this episode, we talk to Toronto based banjo player, guitarist and singer Chris Coole about his latest solo album “The Tumbling River, and other stories”, the follow up to the critically-acclaimed “Old Dog”. It’s an excellent interview and well worth checking out. As usual we include some of the latest new releases in the mix, alongside a tribute to Georgetown ON fiddler, Suzanne Marie Hnatiw. Photo: Jim K Nelson.
Clawhammer banjo player, guitarist and singer Chris Coole has just released his second solo album, “The Tumbling River, and other stories”, the follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Old Dog” (2010). The album features twelve songs (eight originals, 4 covers) that tell some great stories with a wonderfully rich but subtle musical accompaniment from Chris alongside some of the best roots players on the Toronto scene – Burke Carrol (Pedal Steel), Andrew Collins (Mandolin, Mandola, Mandocello), Brian Kobayakawa (Bowed Bass), Ivan Rosenberg (Dobro), Simone Schmidt (Vocals, Guitar), Kristine Schmitt (Vocals) and John Showman (Fiddle). We caught up with Chris Coole at home in Toronto. Music: Chris Coole “Baby Blue”, “You Led Me To The Wrong” (Ola Belle Reed), “The Tumbling River” and “Beautiful Life” (W.M. Golden) from “The Tumbling River” (2016, Northern)
This episode of Folk Roots Radio is all about banjos… well, not quite, but mostly. Arnie Naiman joins us to chat about his latest album “Our Lucky Stars”. We also play tracks from the new albums of fellow banjo enthusiasts Chris Coole and Kaia Kater. And, as always, we also share some of the non-banjo related music we’ve received recently.
Clawhammer and old time style 5-string banjo player Arnie Naiman has just released, “My Lucky Stars”, his latest collection of mostly original 5-string banjo music featuring solo tunes, banjo/guitar duets with Chris Coole, and several band numbers that also feature John Showman and Arnie’s daughter Hannah Shira Naiman on fiddle and Max Heinemann on bass. We caught up with Arnie Naiman at home in Toronto to chat about the new album. For more information visit arnienaiman.com. Music: Arnie Naiman “Playing Jane”, “My Lucky Stars”, “Take Your Time” and “Slipping & Sliding/Boatsman” from “My Lucky Stars” (2016, Merriweather Records).
Mike Hill, artistic director at the Mariposa Folk Festival joins us on this episode to chat about Mariposa’s 56th edition taking place the weekend of July 8-10 2016, in beautiful Tudhope Park in Orillia, on the shores of Lake Couchiching. Mariposa is always an early summer highlight for us and as usual they have a great line-up. As always, we also include some of the latest releases we’ve received in the mix.
Dobro & Claw, the only dobro and clawhammer banjo duo act in the known universe, features Ivan Rosenberg on dobro and Chris Coole on banjo. They’re in Cambridge on Thursday March 31 for a Mill Race Folk Society show in the Galt Room at 8 p.m. A two-man folk festival, they put on a fabulous live show. Their latest album, “Return to Trion” features eleven tracks, ranging from Robbie Robertson’s “Stage Fright” and the country classic “Fool Such As I” to traditionals like “Georgie” and “Sail Away Ladies”, alongside three originals. Admission is just $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Check out millracefolksociety.com for all the details. For more information about Dobro & Claw, visit www.dobroandclaw.com. Photo: Mike Melnyk.
This episode features an interview with Chris Coole from bluegrass – old time band, The Foggy Hogtown Boys who will be bringing their show based on the music of The Carter Family and Johnny Cash to Toronto, Peterborough and Guelph. And as the holiday season is just about upon us, we’re including songs to welcome in the Winter Solstice, and some seasonal music that’s a little bit different from the usual fare.
Barnstorming bluegrass and old time band, the legendary Foggy Hogtown Boys are heading out on tour in January as they celebrate the music of The Carter Family and Johnny Cash. They’ll be making stops in Toronto and Peterborough before arriving in Guelph for a show at the ANAF Club 344, 32 Gordon St on January 9 at 8 p.m. Advance tickets for the Guelph show are $20 and available online HERE. The Foggy Hogtown Boys are a Canadian bluegrass and roots music institution that’s been together for over 17 years – since the start of their famed “Lonesome Wednesdays” residency at the Silver Dollar Room in Toronto, with a membership that reads like a who’s who of Canadian roots music. Chris Coole (banjo/acoustic guitar), John Showman (fiddle), Andrew Collins (mandolin/fiddle), Chris Quinn (banjo, rhythm guitar) have all been with the band from the start while Max Heineman (bass) joined the band eight years ago. Discovered in 1927 at the legendary “Bristol Sessions” in Bristol TN, the music of The Carter Family has been a huge influence on the development of American music, in particular, in the bluegrass, country, folk and Gospel genres. Johnny Cash, of course, needs no introduction – and when he tied the knot with June Carter in 1968, he married into this “First Family of Country Music”. The rest, as they say is history. To learn more about the Foggys mini-tour we caught up with Chris Coole at home in Toronto. Photo: Mark Somerfeld. Music: The Foggy Hogtown Boys “Kitten & The Cat” and “John Henry” from “Animals Insects & People” (2014, Self).