Award-winning songwriter and full-time road dog, Winona Wilde has been slinging her boisterous brand of country-folk Canadiana all over Canada, the U.S & Europe for several years without rest. Wielding lyrical wit and fearless emotion, this born-again-Ontarian promises to be two parts funny and one part sad. A 2016 Folk Music Ontario Official Showcase Artist and 2015 BC Musician Magazine Songwriter of the Year, Winona Wilde joined us in the mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music, and play a couple of new songs live. For more information, visit winonawilde.com. Music: Winona Wilde, “Dating Song” from “You Lose Some, You Lose Some” (2015, Self), Chick Singer (live), Wasted Time (live) and “Paper Clips For The Apocalypse” from “You Lose Some, You Lose Some” (2015, Self).
The Red Dirt Skinners joined us in the studio last fall for the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions. The duo, featuring Sarah Skinner on soprano sax, and multi-instrumentalist Rob Skinner on guitar and vocals, have been taking the UK roots scene by storm. An intoxicating mix of high energy and divine harmonies, the music they produce is original, unique and genre-defying as they effortlessly cross boundaries from blues, to country, to folk and all places in between. They’re back in Canada this spring for a tour of Alberta and Ontario including a stop in Leamington ON for a show at The Bank Theatre on May 5. Alongside a five song set, Sarah and Rob sat down with us to chat about their music and latest album “Behind the Wheel” (2016, Sidegoat Records). Definitely, check out the fabulous live version of their 7 minute soprano sax workout “Daybreak” after the interview. For more information about the Red Dirt Skinners, visit reddirtskinners.com. You can check out the full Red Dirt Skinners session and more videos from the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions at sunparloursessions.com.
Folklorist and fellow folk dj Amanda Lynn Stubley joins us on Episode 306 of Folk Roots Radio to talk about “Gem”, a six track album of old time music recorded live off-the-floor with producer Deni Gauthier. We also check out more of the new music we’ve received including new albums from Andrea Ramolo, Lee Palmer and Brock Zeman. You can check out the full playlist to Episode 306 below.
Episode 304 of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Julian Taylor, leader of self-described “pilgrims of funk, soul ‘n’ roll” – the Julian Taylor Band, recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference. We also feature music from the band’s great 2016 double album “Desert Star”. And, as always, we take a look at some of the latest new releases. Check out the full playlist online at http://folkrootsradio.com.
Another hour of Folk Roots Radio that’s all about the music as we take a look at more of the latest new releases. Among the new releases on this episode, we check out “Khlebnikov”, the latest from Danny Michel – which was recorded far above the arctic circle, while aboard the Russian icebreaker Capitan Khlebnikov, in the middle of the arctic ocean. We also take a first listen to “Folklife”, Jayme Stone‘s follow up to the fabulous Lomax Project, a new Battlefield Band compilation, and the latest from folk great Tom Paxton.
Hamilton based singer-songwriter and scientist Sarah Beatty has just released her second album “Bandit Queen”, an album she describes as the soundtrack to her life – a modern folk fable with spaghetti western movie stylings. It’s an album that because of its sassy rootsy, bluesy and jazzy joyously horn-filled groove and playful lyrics, works on several levels. The album was recorded at home in Hamilton with a great set of musicians under the watchful eye of Joe Lipinski. Bandit Queen is an album that’s all about transitions, for an artist who took time away from her music last year, to graduate with a Ph D in environmental science – and now juggles two careers. Featuring personal songs about relationships, discovering your life purpose, energy extraction/fracking and the notorious American female outlaw Belle Starr, there is much to explore. We caught up with Sarah while on tour in Europe to get the lowdown on the new album, and her interesting career choices. For more information, visit sarahbeatty.ca. Music: Sarah Beatty “Slaves & Kings”, “Holy Smokes”, “We Will Never Be The Same” and “Bandit Queen” (Acoustic) from “Bandit Queen” (2017, King of the Road).
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.
We’ve finally made it to three hundred episodes of Folk Roots Radio! Actually, truth be told, we’re way past 300, as this show previously existed under a different name – but it still sounds good to say that. For this episode, we’re bringing you another great selection of new releases, including our first play of the new albums from Rose Cousins, Richard Laviolette, Portland’s John Craigie and another track the great Bill & Joel Plaskett collaboration “Solidarity”. I hope you’ll check it out.
On this edition of Folk Roots Radio we head out to Corner Brook in Newfoundland to talk to folk-pop duo Gary & Whit, about “Matches”, an album of beautiful songs, with engaging lyrics and gorgeous harmonies that really connects with the listener – and another of our favourite albums of 2016. And as always, we take a look at some of the latest new releases. For more information about the music of Gary & Whit, visit garyandwhit.com. Photography: Candace Cunning and Dru Kennedy.
There are no interviews in this hour of Folk Roots Radio, as we play catch up on some of the best of the new music we’ve received over the past few months. There’s lots of great music out there, and as we’re all about the music, we’re pleased to do our bit to share it with you.
Erin Costelo from Halifax NS released “Down Below, The Status Quo”, a fabulous slice of genre-bending soulful pop that skips from R&B/Soul to bluesy jazz in March 2016, and one of our Favourite Albums of 2016. The follow up to 2012’s very well-received “We Can Get Over”, Down Below, The Status Quo features ten tracks written, arranged, and produced by Erin Costelo at Joel Plaskett’s Dartmouth NS studio, New Scotland Yard, with support from engineer Thomas Stajcer. Joining Erin on the album are longtime guitarist Clive MacNutt, bassist Ian Bennett, drummers Dave Marsh and Matt Gallant, alongside the Blue Engine String Quartet and horns from Matt Myer, Andrew Jackson and Andrew MacKelvie. Gifted with a fabulous expressive voice that harkens back to some of the great female vocalists of the golden age of soulful blues and jazz, Down Below, The Status Quo is a joy from beginning to end and another of those albums that reminds me that great music needs to be shared – and that show’s like Folk Roots Radio shouldn’t be constrained by a rigid focus on genre. We caught up with Erin Costelo at home in Halifax to chat about her music. To learn more about Erin Costelo, visit erincostelo.ca. Music: Erin Costelo, “Move”, “Quiet The Bombs”, “Titanic” and “Fighter” from “Down Below, The Status Quo” (2016, Venue 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.
Gary & Whit are husband and wife singer/songwriter Gary and Whitney French from Goose Bay, Newfoundland and now based on the west coast of the island in Corner Brook. Their album “Matches” was one of our favourite albums of 2016. With Gary on acoustic guitar/vocals and Whitney on vocals, the recording features some beautiful songs, with engaging lyrics and gorgeous harmonies that really connect with the listener. We reached Gary & Whit at home in Cornerbrook to chat about their music. For more information, visit garyandwhit.com. Photography: Candace Cunning and Dru Kennedy. Music: Gary & Whit “Matches”, “Water Under The Bridge”, “Heartbreak” and “Goodbye” from “Matches” (2015, Self).
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.
Toronto based folk-noir singer-songwriter Abigail Lapell is about to release her sophomore album, “Hide Nor Hair” – quite possibly, one of the first great records of 2017. Heavily influenced by her time in the art folk scene in Montreal in the 2000s, and recorded in Toronto with Chris Stringer (Ohbijou, Timber Timbre), the album features ten songs with a cinematic quality that take love and loss as their central theme, and provide a platform for a voice that floats over a musical accompaniment that features harmonica, piano, finger style guitar from Abigail alongside drummer (and whistle soloist) Benjamin Hermann; Rachael Cardiello on viola; Joe Ernewein on bass; Mike Eckert on pedal steel and longtime collaborator Jessica Moore on backup vocals. Abigail Lapell was the recipient of the 2016 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award for the song “Jordan,” which appears on the new record. Abigail Lapell is on tour in Eastern Canada in January with a CD release show in Toronto at The Burdock on Thursday January 19. Abigail is also in Guelph on Sunday January 29 for a show at The Cornerstone. For more information, visit abigaillapell.com. Photo: Jen Squires. We caught up with Abigail in Toronto to chat about the new album. Music: Abigail Lapell “Night Bird And Morning Bird”, “Jordan”, “Hostage Town” and “Home to Me” from “Hide Nor Hair” (2017, Coax Records).
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.
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).