On this edition of Folk Roots Radio, we talk to singer/songwriter Corin Raymond who has just received a Juno Award nomination for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year for his wonderful album “Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams”, which just happened to be our favourite recording of 2016. Corin joined us in the mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October for a wide-ranging conversation that covered his songwriting, the joys of collaboration, his 100 Book Blog, and, of course, the making of “Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams”. We also get to play some tracks from the album we haven’t yet played on the show. And, as always, we fill up the rest of the hour with a look at more of the latest new releases.
Corin Raymond is having a great start to 2017, with a Juno Award nomination for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year for “Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams”. The album was also named our favourite recording of 2016. Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams is quintessential Corin Raymond, featuring some fabulous word craft on ten songs, eight co-written with other top drawer songwriters Jonathan Byrd, Sean Cotton, Rob Vaarmeyer, Rakhu Lokanathan and Jaxon Haldane alongside one Corin Raymond original, the glorious “Morning Glories” and a cover of Doug Norquay‘s “Best Demented Cowgirl Face” (one of the best and most intriguing song titles out there). The album also earned two nominations at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards, with David Gillis taking home the gong for Producer of the Year. Corin joined us in the mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October to chat about the making of “Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams”. For more information about Corin’s music, visit corinraymond.com. Music: Corin Raymond “Rain Bed”, “Two Miles Of Train”, “Best Demented Cowgirl Face” and “Under The Belly Of The Night” from “Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams” (2016, Local Rascal Records).
We’re all about the Folk Music Ontario (FMO) Developing Artist Program (formerly known as the FMO Youth Program) on Episode 295 of Folk Roots Radio. Each year during the annual conference, a group of youth performers are paired with mentors from the Ontario folk community to work on a showcase performance and participate in professional development activities. The programme is open to residents of Ontario and the National Capital Region, between the ages 15 and 21, who are chosen for their interest, ability and experience. This documentary features commentary and musical contributions from programme coordinator Treasa Levasseur; Mentors: Cécile Doo-Kingué, Christa Couture, Graydon James, Lynn Miles and Alysha Brilla; Youth: Brandon Girouard, Anita Cazzola, John Muirhead, Missy Bauman and Melina Hanke. The 31st annual FMO conference takes place October 19-22, 2017, at the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel & Suites, 5875 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON. The closing date for the 2017 Folk Music Ontario Developing Artist Program is August 18. Learn more about the program HERE. Photo credit: Mike Bourgeault.
Folk-noir singer-songwriter Abigail Lapell joins us on Episode 294 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her sophomore release, “Hide Nor Hair”. Heavily influenced by her time in the art folk scene in Montreal in the 2000s, and recorded with mood maestro Chris Stringer (Ohbijou, Timber Timbre) in Toronto, the album features ten songs with a cinematic quality that take love and loss as their central theme. We also check out some of the best of the latest new releases.
The Bombadils, featuring Sarah Frank (fiddle, banjo, vocals) and Luke Fraser (guitar, mandolin, vocals), will be bringing their kitchen party folk to Wheatley ON for a Kingsville Folk Music Festival fundraising concert at the the Car Barn Restaurant on Thursday January 12 2017 at 7:30 p.m. (Doors at 7:00 p.m.). Tickets are $20, and can be reserved at 519-825-7436. The Bombadils released their first album as a duo, “New Shoes” on Borealis Records earlier this year. Check out our interview recorded with Sarah and Luke at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference in Ottawa. For more information on the Bombadils visit thebombadils.com. Music: The Bombadils, Train In The Night from New Shoes (2016, Borealis Records).
Scottish singer-songwriter Fraser Anderson joins us on this episode to chat about his latest album “Under The Cover Of Lightness”. He also plays a couple of songs live, and recites an original poem – a pleasant surprise for this show. It’s a great interview, lots of fun and definitely well worth checking out. We also take a look at at a new compilation of English folk music, The Ultimate Guide to English Folk.
Graydon James and Laura Spink are the heart of Toronto’s The Young Novelists, a six piece folk-roots band when playing close to home, but pretty much everywhere else they’re stripped down to their essence, a finely tuned harmonizing duo. They’ve had a fabulous couple of years musically – their sophomore release, 2015’s “made us strangers” was very well received, taking home the prize for New/Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards and they’re now touring in the United States regularly. Graydon and Laura sat down with us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about their music, travels, and future plans. Photo: Ana Muira Music: The Young Novelists, Always Make The Mistake and Hear Your Voice from Made Us Strangers (2015, Self)
The amazing Scottish singer-songwriter with the delicate and dexterous vocal delivery, Fraser Anderson, who now makes his home in the wonderful musical city of Bristol in the UK, joined us in our mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music and latest album “Under The Cover Of Lightness” (released in April 2016). During our chat, Fraser played a couple of live songs and gave us a wonderful poem recitation. Our fun conversation included one of his first musical experiences – singing in his father’s butcher’s shop with an animal bone for a microphone, and one of his most meaningful, playing with Dougie MacLean for four years. The gorgeous Bex Baxter also joined us in the studio on harmony vocals. Fraser’s new digital EP recorded in Toronto, “Beautiful Eyes Ontario Skies” was released on November 4. For more information visit fraseranderson.com. Photo credit: Charles Gravely. Music: Fraser Anderson “Rising Sons” from “Under The Cover Of Lightness” (2016, Membran), “What Kind Of Man” (Live), “Beautiful Eyes” (Live), “With You All” (Live), “Crying From My Heart” from “Under The Cover Of Lightness” (2016, Membran).
This edition of Folk Roots Radio is all about the 2016 Folk Music Ontario conference that recently took place in Ottawa. We play music from some of the great artists we saw play official showcases at the conference and chat with two of our favourite bands, The Young Novelists and The Bombadils.
Brian Blain, self-proclaimed semi-retired blues guy, “Blainsletter” blogger and managing editor of the Toronto Blues Society‘s Maple Blues newsletter, stopped by our mobile studio at the 2016 Folk Music Ontario conference for an immensely enjoyable conversation about his 40 plus years in the music business, the upcoming official release of his remix album “New Folk Blues 2.0” and to play a couple of tunes live. As always it was great fun. Brian will be celebrating “New Folk Blues 2.0” with a show at Toronto’s legendary Old Mill on Saturday, October 29 where he will be joined by George Koller, Michelle Josef and Alison Young, who all contributed to the remixed recording. For more information visit brianblain.com. Photo credit: Russ Kelley. Music: Brian Blain “Forgotten”, “The Ghost of Clinton’s Tavern” from “New Folk Blues 2.0” (2013, Self), “Cape Cod Blues” (Live) and “Last Time I Saw Lenny” (Live).
The Bombadils produced some big news in 2016, announcing that they’re now a two piece featuring Sarah Frank (fiddle, banjo, vocals) and Luke Fraser (guitar, mandolin, vocals) after bassist Alan Mackie and flautist Anh Phung moved on to new projects. The newly slimmed down Bombadils released their first album as a duo, “New Shoes” on Borealis Records earlier this year. The Bombadils now perform live as a duo, or in larger settings, with cello or bass. Sarah and Luke sat down with us at FMO to chat about the changes in the band and the release of the new album. Photo: Ana Muira Music: The Bombadils, Train In The Night from New Shoes (2016, Borealis Records).
Sheesham and Lotus & ‘Son are the fabulous old-time vehicle for the musical talents of Teilhard Frost (Sheesham Crow), Sam Allison (Lotus Wight) and Son Sanderson. Featuring fiddle, banjo and sousaphone alongside some musical contraptions of their own creation – the Sepia-phonic Monophone, and the Contrabass HarmoniPhoneum, their live show is a mix of old-time fiddle, depression era trad blues and some originals that takes you back to the 1920s heyday of the music they love, and it’s an experience that is not to be missed. Sheesham, Lotus and Son joined us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about their roots, history, live show and upcoming album “78 rpm” which is based on material recorded using vintage 1938 record cutting equipment, courtesy of Lathe Revival. For more information visit sheeshamandlotus.com. Music: Sheesham and Lotus & ‘Son “Chinquapin”, “The Blackberry Blossom Into Wink The Other Eye” and “Swimming Blues” from “The High Stepping Music of Sheesham and Lotus & ‘Son” (2014, Sepiaphone Records).
There’s always magic in the room when singer-songwriter and storyteller Joanna Chapman-Smith joins us on Folk Roots Radio. Joanna stopped by the mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her latest project – an album of musical folk tales under the working title of “Elon and the City of Stone”. Joanna also played three songs live for us. As always, it was a great pleasure having Joanna in the studio. To learn about her music and storytelling, visit joannacs.com. Music: Joanna Chapman-Smith “Paris” (Live), “June” (Live), “Crystal Heart” (Live) and “Arbitrary Lines” from “Contraries” (Self, 2009).
We’re giving Episode 260 of Folk Roots Radio over to the Youth Program at the 2015 Folk Music Ontario (FMO) Conference. The program is open to residents of Ontario and the National Capital Region, between ages 15 and 21, who are chosen for their interest, ability and experience. The selected youth members are paired with experienced mentors from the Ontario folk music community for the duration of the weekend conference, while developing a showcase performance and participating in professional development activities. This documentary features commentary and musical contributions from programme coordinator Treasa Levasseur; Mentors: Quique Escamilla, Rosina Kazi, Amélie Lefebvre, James Keelaghan and Julian Taylor and Youth: Sydney Delong, Jillian Kerr, Mira Meikle, Braden Phelan and Joelle Villeneuve. For more information about the Folk Music Ontario Youth Program visit folkmusicontario.ca. Photo credit: Mike Bourgeault. Music: Treasa Levasseur “Feel Good Time” from “Broad” (2011, Self), Amélie & Les Singes Bleus “La Rua Madureira” from “À l’étage des funambules” (Self, 2012), Joelle Villeneuve “En vert” (Demo), Quique Escamilla “Nuevo Dia, Hombre Libre” from “500 Years of Night” (2014, Lulaworld Records), Braden Phelan “With You” (with Vale Abbott) from “379 Evert Street” (2015, Self), Lal “Stand In My Way” from “Find Safety” (2016, Coax Records), Mira Meikle “Coming Home” from “Mira” (2015, Self), Julian Taylor Band “Just A Little Bit” from “Desert Star EP” (2015, Aporia Records), Sydney Delong “Cruel, Adore” from “My Vow To You EP” (2014, Self), James Keelaghan “Glory Bound” from “History: The First 25 Years” (2013, Borealis Records) and Jillian Kerr “Cold Winter” from “Dreams” (2015, Self).
Guitar-picking, classically-trained folkie Shawna Caspi released a great album of coffee house folk in 2014, “Apartments For Lovers” – an album that not only contains Shawna’s songs, but is also adorned by her own art work. Shawna joined Folk Roots Radio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music, and play a couple of songs live. For more information visit shawnacaspi.com. Photo: Roni Hoffman. Music: Shawna Caspi “Devil’s Rolling Pin” from “Apartments For Lovers” (2014, Self), “Take This Mountain” (Live), “Never Enough” (Live) and “Not So Silent” from “Apartments For Lovers” (2014, Self).
Hamilton ON singer-songwriter Will Gillespie truly has a sound of his own. A dynamic performer with a crooning cabaret style delivery, his diverse catalogue of original songs combine elements of folk, pop, rock & roll and jazz to create a unique sound he describes as jazzed-up folk-rock. Will sat down with us at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October to chat about his music. For more information about Will Gillespie, visit willgillespie.ca. Music: Will Gillespie, “Let The Money Keep You Warm” from “Chasing Shadows” (2015, Self), “Moving To Music” (Live), “Kings of the Summer” (Live) and “Ankle Deep” from “Chasing Shadows” (2015, Self).
Singer-songwriter Glen MacNeil produced one of our favourite albums of 2015, “The Island Where The Heart Remains”. A veteran of the South West Ontario music scene, it was hard to believe that this was Glen’s debut album. Featuring a fine selection of beautifully-crafted songs focusing on relationships, family and life in general with some fabulous musicianship and beautifully understated production from John Law from The Laws, the album is truly a joy for the ears. Glen came into the Folk Roots Radio mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October for a chat and a few live songs. Music: Glen MacNeil, “If I Could I Would” (Live), “The Island Is Where The Heart Remains” (Live), “Up On High” (Live) “I’m In Love” (Live).
Andrew Queen started out playing jug and washtub bass in celebrated Toronto bluegrass Canadiana jugband Jughead before forging a career as a children’s entertainer renowned for comic tales and a lively stage performance. Christened “Too Tall” because he’s a little taller than everyone else, Andrew was voted Children’s Artist of the Year at the 2011 Indies, and picked up Parent’s Choice Recommended Awards and Canadian Folk Music Award nominations for “Too Tall” (2010, Self) and “GROW” (2012, Self). Andrew joined us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his career and new shows with the Campfire Crew, featuring life partner and co-songwriter, Karen Stille. Music: Campfire Crew “Gingerbread Man” (2016, Self), Andrew “Too Tall” Queen: “Hansel & Gretel” (Live), “Goin’ On A Gator Hunt” (Live) and Andrew “Too Tall” Queen “Big Trouble For Little Red” from “Too Tall” (2010, Self).
Singer-songwriter Leah Morise joined us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music and latest album, “Live At The House Of Harmony”, which was released in 2015. I have to say that I really enjoyed this interview – quite lovely; it features some great conversation as well as three beautiful live songs. As usual, we also include some of the great new music we’ve received.