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).
Vancouver based singer-songwriter Chris Ronald moved to Canada from England in 2002 and has built himself a great career as a songwriter renowned for his songcraft with a sound that has been described as “Canadian folk with British roots”. Chris joins us on Episode 362 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest release, “Fragments” and also plays three songs from the new album live. We also check out more of the latest new releases including new music from Steve Howell & Jason Weinheimer, Dennis Johnson, Dan Whitener and Kerri Powers. Check out the full playlist below.
Troubadour country roots singer-songwriter Ryan Cook started off playing heavy metal and punk before discovering a love for old time country music. He’s just released his fourth album “Having A Great Time”. Ryan Cook joins us on Episode 361 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his music and also plays a song from the new album live. It’s a great interview – definitely worth sticking around for. And, as always on this show, we check out more of the new folk and roots music we’ve received including new music from Shannon Kingsbury, The LYNNeS, Sarah Hiltz and Sean McConnell. Check out the full playlist below.
Jeremy Albino is a young musician with an old soul, and the classic sound of old time country blues surging through his veins. Musically he’s the real deal – when he plays live, it’s like he’s channeling music from another place and time. Jeremie grew up in Scarborough Toronto before deciding to pass up city life for the slower pace and rooted appeal of rural Prince Edward County. Though still developing as an artist, and yet to put anything down on record, he’s already building quite a name for himself. Jeremie Albino sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music and play three of his original songs live. Jeremie Albino will be playing the Roots North Music Festival in Orillia ON on Saturday April 21 2018. For more information about the music of Jeremie Albino visit jeremiealbinomusic.com. Music: Jeremie Albino “Shipwreck” (Live), “Klondike Man” (Live) and “Trouble” (Live).
The music of five times JUNO nominee and seven times Canadian Folk Music Award winning mando-maestro Andrew Collins (Foggy Hogtown Boys, Creaking Tree String Quartet) can broadly be described as folk, bluegrass and jazz though as a composer, it’s all about creating new original acoustic music and trying not to sound like other things. His most recent recording, the critically acclaimed instrumental concept album “And It Was Good” (2016) was based on the biblical seven days of creation – one track for each day of creation plus the title track to wrap it all up. Andrew Collins is now back in the studio working on a new project, two separate but connected albums – one a vocal selection of mostly reworked and reimagined cover songs, the other an album of new instrumental music. In live performance, the Andrew Collins Trio, featuring fellow string-meisters Mike Mezzatesta (mandolin, guitar, fiddle) and James McEleney (bass, mandocello), love to take the audience on a fun ride that effortlessly moves from folk to new acoustic roots, to bluegrass, and jazz, with some fine interplay on a variety of stringed instruments, punctuated by lead vocals from Andrew Collins and fine harmonies from his bandmates. Andrew Collins sat down with Jan Hall at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his current projects and future plans, and played an instrumental and a couple of songs live for us. For more information about Andrew’s music, visit andrewcollinstrio.com. You can find an interview recorded at the time of the release of And It Was Good HERE. Music: Andrew Collins “Banish Misfortune” (live), “Coming Into Hard Times Blues” (live) and “Nothing About Us” (live).
Ryan Cook started out playing punk and heavy metal music before discovering a love for classic country and western music from the 40s and 50s and the likes of (early) George Jones, Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubbs and Jimmy Rodgers. His latest release, album number four, “Having A Great Time” playfully explores the ups and downs of life on the road as a snowbirding itinerant troubadour singer-songwriter, travelling from place to place in a thirty five year old camper van. Whether performing live solo or as part of a duo or trio, expect to be regaled by some of Ryan’s fine original country folk – with a modern sensibility, alongside a few songs from the golden age of country music. Ryan Cook joined Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music, and played a song from the new album live. For more information about Ryan Cook, visit ryancook.ca. Music: Ryan Cook “Cult Of My Own” from “Having A Great Time” (2017, Self), “Uncomplicated” (Live) and “Memory Foam” from “Having A Great Time” (2017, Self).
Multi-instrumentalist (fiddle, mandolin, guitar and piano) singer-songwriter; two time Juno Award winner; and inductee in the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, Shari Ulrich has released 23 albums to date during a storied career that has also included work with Pied Pumkin, The Hometown Band, Ulrich Henderson Forbes (UHF), Bentall Taylor Ulrich (BTU), and the bluegrass band, The High Bar Gang. As a songwriter, Shari is a huge believer in serving the song. “It’s not about the ego or proving you are a great player. When I’m performing I’m celebrating the song and what it does for people.” Her most recent solo release, 2014’s “Everywhere I Go” took home the Canadian Folk Music Award for (English) Songwriter of the year. She’s currently hard at work on a new solo project and will be touring Ontario in May 2018 with her trio featuring her daughter Julia Graff (on violin, mandolin, guitar & vocals) and fellow High Bar Gang member Kirby Barber (on bass, guitar and vocals). Shari Ulrich sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference. To learn more about her music, visit shariulrich.com. Music: Shari Ulrich “Freefall” from “Everywhere I Go” (2014, Borealis Records), The High Bar Gang “Don’t This Road Look Rough & Rocky” from “Someday The Heart Will Trouble The Mind” (2016, Borealis Records) and Bentall Taylor Ulrich “You Got Lost” from “Tightrope Walk” (2016, Borealis Records).
Vancouver based singer-songwriter Chris Ronald moved to Canada from England in 2002 and has built himself a great career as a songwriter renowned for his songcraft producing an Americana and Canadiana sound that has been described as “Canadian folk with British roots”. Chris released a lovely fourth album, “Fragments” in 2017 on the Canadian folk label Borealis Records. In live performance, whether solo or with his trio with multi-instrumentalist guitarist John MacArthur Ellis and fiddle player Mike Sanyshyn, Chris draws on his abilities as a highly skilled singer, storyteller, and musician to deliver a fabulous show. Chris sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music and play three songs live from Fragments. To learn more about Chris Ronald, visit chrisronald.com. Music: Chris Ronald “Everything Goes Green” (Live), “Mosquito” (Live) and “Retirement Plan” (Live). All of the tracks can be found on the 2017 Borealis album “Fragments”.
Episode 352 of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Erin Costelo recorded at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference. Erin released a wonderful album in 2016, “Down Below, The Status Quo”, a fabulous slice of genre-bending soulful pop that skips from R&B/Soul to bluesy jazz, and an album that was deservedly one of our Favourite Albums of 2016. Erin joins us to chat about her current musical activities, including starting work on a new album in January. We also check out more of the best new releases including new music from Trent Severn, Susan Cattaneo, Janie Barnett & Blue Room and Edward Sayers. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re all about the Folk Music Ontario conference 2017 Developing Artist Program on Episode 350 of Folk Roots Radio. Each year during the annual conference, a group of developing artists – youth performers are paired with mentors from the Ontario folk community to work on a showcase performance and participate in professional development activities. Join us as we chat to participants in this year’s program and check out some of their music. The program 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 episode features commentary and musical contributions from program coordinator and mentor Treasa Levasseur; Mentors: Kaia Kater, Cindy Doire, AHI, Yao and Leonard Sumner; Youth: Madison Galloway, Sara Gougeon, Moscow Apartment, Ben Heffernan, Rachel Barber and Greg Smith. Learn more about the program HERE. Photo credit: Mike Bourgeault. Check out the full playlist below.
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.
We’re back at the Folk Music Ontario conference on Episode 348 of Folk Roots Radio for an interview with Hamilton Ontario singer-songwriter Piper Hayes & her partner Carson Ritcey-Thorpe. Piper is getting ready to release her first full-length album “Piper & Carson”. Piper and Carson join us in the studio for a fun chat about their music, and a couple of live songs from the new album. As always, we also check out more of the latest new releases. Check out the full playlist below.
Erin Costelo from Halifax NS released a wonderful album in 2016, “Down Below, The Status Quo”. A fabulous slice of genre-bending soulful pop that skips from R&B/Soul to bluesy jazz, the album was a joy from beginning to end, and deservedly one of our Favourite Albums of 2016. We caught up with Erin Costelo at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference, to chat about the critical response to the recording, and her current musical activities. To learn more about Erin Costelo, visit erincostelo.ca. Photo credit: Kimberly Sinclair. Music: Erin Costelo, “Fighter”, “Turn It On” and “The Line” from “Down Below, The Status Quo” (2016, Venue Records).
Raine Hamilton, the Winnipeg based singer-songwriter with the ethereal voice and the wonderful string trio will release her second album “Night Sky” in March 2018. Recorded in Winnipeg with Lloyd Peterson, the album features eight new Raine Hamilton songs and two co-writes with support from, among others, her regular string trio members Quintin Bart on double bass and Natanielle Felicitas on cello. Raine joined us in the mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference for a wonderful conversation about the making of the new album, plus two songs from the new album live and a first spin of the album’s first single “Lift Me Up”. You can also check out the new video for “Lift Me Up” HERE. For more information about the music of Raine Hamilton, visit rainehamilton.com. Music: Raine Hamilton “Robin Hood” (Live), “Bury My Heart” (Live) and “Lift Me Up” from “Night Sky” (2018, Self).
Hamilton folk singer-songwriter Piper Hayes is getting ready to release her first full-length album, “Piper & Carson”, which also features her partner Carson Ritcey-Thorpe. Produced by Chris Bartos, the album was recorded live off the floor at Thorpe’s Organic Produce farm in Millgrove, ON (near Hamilton) in the summer of 2017. Joining Piper Hayes (lead vocal, rhythm guitar) on the album are Carson Ritcey-Thorpe (vocal, lead guitar), Kevin Neal (pedal steel), Leah Ritcey-Thorpe (back-up vocals) and Chris Bartos (upright bass, piano, electric and acoustic violin, electric guitar, Moog, vocals). Album release shows take place in Hamilton, at This Ain’t Hollywood, on Thursday, December 7, 2017, doors at 8:00 p.m. (show at 9:00 p.m.) and in Toronto, at The Dakota Tavern on Friday, December 8, 2017, doors at 6:00 p.m. (show at 7:00 p.m.). The support for the Hamilton show will be the great Guelph-based folk group The Lifers, while Owen Sound folk duo Our Shotgun Wedding join Piper for the Toronto release. Piper and Carson joined Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference for a fun chat about their music and a couple of live songs. For more information about Piper Hayes, visit pipersings.com. Music: Piper Hayes “In My Bones” from “Piper & Carson” (2017, Self), “Careless” (Live), “Big Red” (Live) and “Honey” from “Goodbye Mister Nice Guy” (2016, Self).
Jabbour are Guillaume Jabbour (Lachute, QC.), Carl Rufh (Ormstown, QC.) and Bill Collier (Charlottetown, P.E.I.). Having played in various bands prior (Grouyan Gombo, Les Perroquets, Durham County Poets), the three combined their creative abilities to form a project focused on original work and an engaging live sound. Walking the line that often separates Canada’s two solitudes drives songwriting that features dramatic waltzes, tales reminiscent of Quebec chansonniers, swinging rhythms and toe-tapping two-steps. Jabbour released their debut album “Round The Clock” in 2015. They are currently working on their next album, due in 2018. Jabbour joined Folk Roots Radio in the mobile studio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about their music and play three songs live. Visit Jabbour online at jabbourband.com. Music: Jabbour “Honey” (Live), “Son Secret” (Live) and “You’re Gone” (Live).
Montreal Singer-songwriter Mike McKenna Jr. is our special guest on Episode 318 of Folk Roots Radio. Mike joined us in the mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference for an in depth conversation about his music and also plays three songs live. We also take a look at more of the latest new releases on the folk and roots scene. Check out the full playlist below.
Singer-songwriter Scott Shea started out in music in the 90s, singing songs with his brother in Toronto, before giving it up in favour of a successful career building custom homes. In 2008, Scott found himself re-evaluating his life choices when his father, Red Shea, former lead guitarist for Gordon Lightfoot passed away. Relocating to Vancouver Island with his family, Scott returned to songwriting in 2013. Since then, he has released two albums – “Let It Storm” (2015), recorded in Austin, and his latest, 2016’s “Pendulum” which was recorded in both LA and Toronto with producer Bill Bell, and a band featuring Kenny Aronoff (drums), James “Hutch” Hutchinson (Bass) and Chris Joyner (Keys). Pendulum features some great songs about life and relationships, that while at times introspective and reflective, also have an optimistic feel for the future. It’s also a perfect companion for the long car ride. With a music career that’s now firmly based on giving back, all the proceeds from sales of Pendulum go to support Scott’s favoured charity, SOS Children’s Villages. Scott Shea joined us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music. For more information visit scottsheasongs.com. Music: Scott Shea “Crazy Love” from “Pendulum” (2016, Self), “Shine” (Live), “Vanity” (Live), “Scattering Crows” (Live) and “(Gone) Too Young” from “Pendulum” (2016, Self).
Growing up in Cape Breton, you’d expect Mike McKenna Jr. to have celtic music coursing through his veins. Indeed he has – his first instrument was a fiddle, but he also fell in love with the storytelling aspect of being a troubadour singer-songwriter with east coast grit in his voice. After leaving Cape Breton for a new home base in Montreal, Mike released his first E.P., “Travelin Man” in 2016. He’s currently readying his first full length album, “Pacific Northwest Bound”, for release in May 2017. Mike joined us in the studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music, and play three songs live. For more information about Mike McKenna Jr., visit mikemckennajr.com. Music: Mike McKenna Jr. “Travelin Man” from “Travelin Man” (2016, Self), “The Highway” (Live), “Little Things” (Live), “Die In The West” (Live) and “Take Me Home” from “Travelin Man” (2016, Self).
Montreal based troubadour singer-songwriter Bobby Dove released her debut album “Thunderchild” in October 2016. Recorded in Peterborough, Ontario with producer James McKenty (Blue Rodeo, Gordon Lightfoot), the album harks back to the golden age of country music, and features a mix of broody ballads, honky-tonkin two steps and reflections on the what-ifs of life. Bobby joined us in the studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music and to play a couple of songs live for us. For more information about Bobby’s music, visit bobbydove.com. Music: Bobby Dove, “Thunderchild” from “Thunderchild” (2016, Self), “Gridlock” (Live), “Another Doggone Day” (Live), “Too Late To Go Home” from “Thunderchild” (2016, Self).