U.S. folk singer and activist Bryan McPherson released a great album of protest songs, “Wedgwood” in 2015. Originally from Boston, Bryan has chosen a life on the open road as the archetypal troubadour, singing songs about the oppressed for the oppressed – like a latter day Woody Guthrie, or more recently, the U.K.’s Billy Bragg. A passionate protest singer, he’s not afraid to use his gift to tackle issues like inequality, homelessness and police brutality. Demo recordings for “Wedgewood” were originally created in a rustic shack in California; the album has a lovely enveloping feel (referencing the Wedgewood stove Bryan used to keep him warm), even if it bristles with barely controlled anger as he sings songs of conscience about a country that he believes has lost its way. Brian McPherson joined us on Folk Roots Radio to talk about his music and some tour dates in Eastern Canada in early 2017. For more information about Bryan’s music, visit bryanmcpherson.com. Photo: EA Zimmermann. Music: Bryan McPherson “Born On A Highway”, “Days of Rage”, “Here We Go” and “Hearts In Boxcars” from Wedgewood (2015, OFD Records).
Well. It’s just about time to wish goodbye to 2016… a challenging year in so many respects. At least we had lots of great music to enjoy!
We’re taking a break for the holiday season, but we’ll be back with a lot more music and interviews in 2017.
You can check out our Best of the Year HERE. There are also loads of interviews and full episodes to enjoy via the website.
Thanks to all the artists who share their music with us during the year, and thank you for listening.
Have a safe, and enjoyable holiday season. We’ll see you next time!
Expat Brit Peter Stone and his partner Albertan Denise MacKay have just released their fourth album as 100 Mile House, “Hiraeth’, which is a Welsh word with no direct English translation but is defined as a sort of homesickness, but with a sense of nostalgia and longing for a place or person that may never have actually existed. Recorded in Edmonton AB, with Peter Stone in the producer’s chair, “Hiraeth” is a fabulous album of deeply personal and introspective songs that focus on subjects like love, loss and grief, accompanied by fine musical arrangements – including some gorgeous use of both violin and cello alongside some beautiful harmonies. We caught up with Peter Stone at home in Edmonton to chat about the new album. Photo: Jessica Fern Facette. For more information about 100 mile House, visit 100milehouse.co.uk. Music: 100 Mile House “Hidden Springs”, “All We Have”, “Last Branch” and “You Feel Like Home” from “Hiraeth” (2016, Self).
It’s another all music hour on Folk Roots Radio as we play catch up on the best of the latest new releases.
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).
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).
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.
This episode of Folk Roots Radio features two interviews. Tia McGraff joins us to chat about what she’s been up to lately including the release of a new single and video, and a couple of upcoming shows in South Western Ontario. And Allison Brown checks in to chat about two specials shows with her band, “The Assembly Line”. We also take a look at the nominees in the New/Emerging Artist of the Year category at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Windsor singer-songwriter Karen Morand joins us in the studio on this episode to chat about her music and play a few new songs live. Since recording this interview and session, Karen has gone on to win the 1st Canada South Songwriting Competition at the Kingsville Folk Music Festival with the song “Big Muddy”, one of the new songs she played for us. We also check out some more new music from Windsor & Essex County in Ontario.
This episode is the first of two that features interviews recorded at the 2016 Kingsville Folk Music Festival. Festival producers John and Michelle Law have brought a lovely festival to South-Western Ontario and despite some rain on the Saturday – which didn’t dampen spirits at all, we were all treated to a wonderful weekend of live music and community. Folk Roots Radio was very fortunate to have some artists stop by to chat about their music, and their festival experiences. This week we feature interviews with Connie Kaldor, Erika Kulnys, Gordie Tentrees, Jaxon Haldane, Karen Morand and a festival visitor coming all the way from Germany, Oliver Tamagnini alongside some music from festival artists. I think we’ve captured a little bit of the flavor of the festival and I hope you enjoy it. Special thanks to Gary Glass from Quantum Sound Productions for his help in recording these interviews. Photo: windsorite.ca.
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.
This episode of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Madeleine Roger from Winnipeg folk-pop duo Roger Roger. They’re on tour in Ontario this August, including a trip to this year’s Summerfolk, which takes place the weekend of August 19-21, in Kelso Park, on the shores of Georgian Bay, in Owen Sound. As always, we also include a selection of the latest new releases.
Northern-Irish singer-songwriter Ciaran Lavery makes his Canadian debut at Silence in Guelph on Monday August 15. Ciaran’s been creating lots of buzz for the quality of songwriting and some achingly beautiful songs, especially on his 2013 debut “Not Nearly Dark” and the “Kosher” EP (2014). His new album, “Let Bad In”, is already gaining some great reviews. We also include a special musical tribute to Canadian folk stalwart Penny Lang who sadly passed this week, alongside some of the latest new releases.
Leamington-based singer-songwriter Francine Leclair will be appearing at this summer’s Kingsville Folk Music Festival, taking place in beautiful Lakeside Park, in Kingsville, on the shore of Lake Erie from August 12-14. Francine joined us in the studio to chat about her music and also plays a couple of new songs live for us. We also include music from some of the other artists heading to Kingsville this summer. For more information about the Kingsville Folk Music Festival, visit kingsvillefolkfest.org.
The 41st Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival takes place August 19-21, in Kelso Park, on the shores of Georgian Bay, in Owen Sound ON. The festival features more than 40 musical acts from across Canada and across the world representing genres from folk, country and bluegrass, to blues, to hip-hop and funk. And, like any great folk festival they also have lots of children’s activities, community workshops, artisan booths, dozens of food vendors… and two licensed areas. James Keelaghan, Artistic Director at Summerfolk, joins us on this episode to chat about the fabulous musical line-up. We also include music from some of the artists who’ll be at Summerfolk alongside a selection of the latest new releases.
Canadian singer-songwriter Francine Leclair will be appearing at this summer’s Kingsville Folk Music Festival, taking place in beautiful Lakeside Park, in Kingsville, on the shore of Lake Erie from August 12-14. After releasing her debut album “An Ordinary Woman” in 2008, Francine left a very successful career in the computer technology industry to focus full-time on her music, a transition she documented on her 2014 album “Re-Drawn”. She is currently working on her follow-up to “Re-Drawn”, tentatively entitled “To Be Continued”. Francine Leclair joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about her music and play a couple of songs live. For more information, visit francineleclair.com. Music: Francine Leclair “I’m Outta Here” from the album “Re-Drawn” (2014, Self), “To Be Continued” (Live), “I Soldier On” (Live) and “Lake Erie” (single) (2016, self)
The 41st annual Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival takes place August 19-21, in Kelso Park, on the shores of Georgian Bay, in Owen Sound. The festival features more than 40 musical acts from across Canada and across the world representing genres from folk, country and bluegrass, to blues, to hip-hop and funk. Like any great folk festival they also have lots of children’s activities, community workshops, artisan booths, dozens of food vendors… and two licensed areas. This year’s line-up features Anne Beverly Foster * Ben Spencer * Ben Turcotte and Carter Rolland * Beppe Gambetta/Tony McManus * Big Little Lions * Blackburn * Bobby Dean Blackburn * Bruce Cockburn * Cassie and Maggie MacDonald * Coco Love Alcorn * David Newland * Durham County Poets * Frank Francalanza * Good for Grapes * Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra * Ian Tamblyn * Irish Mythen * Ken Whiteley & The Beulah Band * Leonard Sumner * Les Poules a Colin * Lindi Ortega * The Lifers * LookUp Theatre * Magoo * Maneli Jamal * Matt Gordon and Leonard Podolak * Mel Parsons * Michael Jerome Browne * My Son the Hurricane * Natalie MacMaster * Notre Dame de Grass * Old Man Luedecke * Olivia and The Creepy Crawlies * Richard Garvey and Celidh Barker * Roger Roger * Sarah Beatty * Scarlett Jane * Scatter The Cats * The Small Glories * The East Pointers * The Krueger Band * The Mae Trio * The O’Pears * Todd Crowley’s Musical Petting Zoo * Treasa Levasseur …alongside Youth Discoveries Jimmy Pearson * Cassie DaSilva * Jake Feeney * Brontae Hunter * Marshall Veroni. We caught up with James Keelaghan, Artistic Director at Summerfolk to chat about this year’s line-up. For more information and to buy tickets visit summerfolk.org. Music: The Small Glories with “Had I Paid” from “Wondrous Traveller” (2016, Self) and Big Little Lions “Fill Me Up” from “Just Keep Moving” (2016, Riptide Music Group).