A fabulous live performer, Cameroonian Canadian guitarist and singer-songwriter Cécile Doo-Kingué blends together blues, afro-roots and soul with some jazzy overtones, to create a sound that is very much her own. Cécile Doo-Kingué is two thirds of the way through a trilogy “Anybody Listening”. “Part 1: Monologues” (2015), was a solo acoustic recording exploring the blues and roots of everyday life while “Part 2: Dialogues” (2016) featured a full band and special guests on a similar set of songs. Cécile will compete the project with “Part 3: Communion” (expected 2019-20), a live recording showcasing her exceptional guitar playing, soulful vocals, and powerful songwriting. Cécile Doo-Kingué sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio to chat about her music after an exhilarating show at the 2018 Hillside Festival. Check out Cécile Doo-Kingué online at cdkmusik.com. Music: Cécile Doo-Kingué “Thankful” from “Anybody Listening: The Dialogues” (2016, Self).
Newfoundland’s Fortunate Ones feature the fine musicianship and close harmonies of Catherine Allan and Andrew James O’Brien. Known for their fabulous live performances, their critically acclaimed 2015 album “The Bliss” earned them a Juno nomination, and took home the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year. They describe their new album “Hold Fast” (2018) as a study in resilience and partnership in the face of adversity, and features songwriting collaborations with Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea), Tim Baker (Hey Rosetta!), and Meg Warren (Repartee) alongside in studio support from Jim Bryson, Good Lovelies, Alexa Dirks (Begonia) and Kinley Dowling (Hey Rosetta!). The new album was recorded in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia with Daniel Ledwell. Catherine and Andrew joined Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Hillside Festival to chat about their music, and the new album. Check out the Fortunate Ones online at fortunateones.ca. Music: Fortunate Ones, “Hold Fast” from “Hold Fast” (2018, Old Farm Pony Records).
Not everyone we interviewed at the 2018 Hillside Festival was actually playing there this year. Highly regarded Canadian singer-songwriter Dana Sipos was enjoying the festival as a patron when we bumped into her, and decided we had the perfect opportunity for an interview. Dana recently released her fourth album “Trick Of the Light” on Miranda Mulholland’s boutique record label Roaring Girl Records. Dana Sipos grew up in Hamilton ON, and spent her formative years in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, before heading out for a life on the open road in pursuit of her art. Trick of the Light features ten songs that were developed during extensive travels across North America and Europe in support of her very well-received 2015 album “Roll Up The Night Sky”, which received a nomination for the Canadian Folk Music Awards in the Pushing the Boundaries category. In making Trick of the Light, Sipos worked with experimental Toronto producer Sandro Perri. The album also features Mary Margaret O’Hara, Jesse Zubot and Doug Tielli. Check out Dana Sipos online at danasipos.com. Music: Dana Sipos “When The Body Breaks” and “Blue Ridge” from “Trick Of The Light” (2018, Roaring Girl Records).
British acoustic roots and blues guitarist Martin Harley, who plays a 100 year old Weissenborn Hawaiian acoustic lap guitar, released one of our favourite albums of 2017, “Static In The Wires”. Static in the Wires was his second album recorded with Nashville based stand-up bassist Daniel Kimbro who also joined Martin on the fabulous “Live From Southern Ground” (from 2015). Martin Harley sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Hillside Festival to chat about his music. Check out Martin Harley online at martinharley.com. Music: Martin Harley “Gold” from “Static In The Wires” (2017, Del Mundo Records).
Toronto’s Slocan Ramblers are one of Canada’s finest bluegrass bands. Rooted in the tradition, they’re as comfortable with their own songs as they are with the bluegrass canon. They’ve just released a great new album “Queen City Jubilee”. The Slocan Ramblers are Frank Evans on banjo, Adrian Gross on mandolin, Darryl Poulsen on acoustic guitar and Alastair Whitehead on bass. Frank Evans joined Folk Roots Radio while at the 2018 Hillside Festival to chat about the band, and their new album. Check out The Slocan Ramblers online at slocanramblers.com. Music: The Slocan Ramblers, “Mississippi Heavy Water Blues” from “Queen City Jubilee” (2018, Slomusic).
We’re getting set for the 2018 Hillside Festival on Episode 389 of Folk Roots Radio. This year’s festival takes place the weekend of July 13-15 at beautiful Guelph Lake, just outside Guelph, in Southern Ontario. Each year, Hillside – a true community festival, brings together a line-up that promises something for everyone, and this year is no exception. This episode features some of the artists we’re looking forward to catching at the festival including A Tribe Called Red, Jeremy Dutcher, Iskwé, Cris Derksen, nêhiyawak, Cécile Doo-Kingué, Martin Harley, Les Tireux d’Roches, Poor Man’s Whiskey, The Slocan Ramblers, Ken Whiteley, Fortunate Ones, Jeremy Fisher, Sarah MacDougall and Annie Sumi. Check out the full playlist below.
Young Canadian singer-songwriter Campbell Woods released a fabulous debut album, “Oxford Street” in 2017. An album full of well-crafted story songs, Oxford Street was very well-received both nationally and internationally, and made it into our favourite albums of 2017. Campbell Woods joins us on Episode 388 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his music. He also plays three songs live for us. We also check out more of the latest new releases including new music from Winter Wilson, Molly-Anne, Noah Zacharin, Ilaria Graziano & Francesco Forni, Sarah McQuaid, Grant Peeples, Joe Jencks, Fink Marxer Gleaves, Rebekah Long and Bruce T. Carroll. Check out the full playlist below.
Toronto-based singer-songwriter Sarah Hiltz joins us in the studio on Episode 387 of Folk Roots Radio for a great conversation about her music, and three live songs. Wrapping up an all Canadian episode, we also feature new music from Fortunate Ones, The Ennis Sisters, Taivi, Annie Lou, The Barra MacNeils, Ian Foster and the Julian Taylor Band. Check out the full playlist below.
Indie folk duo Evan & John from Sarnia, Ontario have a sound that’s influenced by both Simon & Garfunkel and The Milk Carton Kids and focuses on tight, complex harmonies, wrapped in a beautiful duelling acoustic guitar accompaniment. They join us in the studio on Episode 386 of Folk Roots Radio for a chat about their music and three live songs. We also check out new music from Annie Lou, Dana Sipos, Kellie Loder, Welli Horne, Lewis West DeAdder, Thomas Stajcer, Sons Of Rhythm, Gordie Tentrees with Jaxon Haldane and Norm Brunet. Check out the full playlist below.
The 2018 Home County Music & Art Festival takes place the weekend of July 20-22 in the beautiful confines of Victoria Park in London ON. Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, it’s an important part of the Southern Ontario folk calendar. Home County features more than 40 musical acts on 7 stages, over 120 juried Canadian craft artisans, over 30 food vendors serving a variety of international cuisines, craft demonstrations, a community/open stage, and an interactive family area. Main stage headliners this year are Jim Cuddy from Blue Rodeo, Harrow Fair and Irish Mythen. Also on the bill this year are Tom Wilson, Valdy, Donovan Woods, Rose Cousins, Kris + Dee, Alysha Brilla, Sultans of String, Russell deCarle and many more. Home County is proud to present a number of local acts throughout the festival, including Broomsticks & Hammers, The Rizdales, New Cumberland, The Cedar Sisters and Ken Yates (now based in Toronto). The Emerging Artist Stage returns for its second year and will feature more local musicians, such as Jessica Allosery, John Muirhead, Chad Price, Fraser Teeple, Willow Switch and Yess Woah. Admission to the festival is by donation, and because the festival is held in a downtown London park, it is, also, totally accessible. Alongside a great musical line-up, the festival also features some great art and craft vendors. To learn more about this year’s festival we caught up with artistic director Darin Addison. For more information, visit homecounty.ca. Music: Jim Cuddy “While I Was Waiting” from “Constellation” (2018, 5 Corners Productions); Harrow Fair “Told A Lie to My Heart” from “Call To Arms” (2017, Roaring Girl Records).
Alberta based Canadian roots/swing duo Over The Moon join us in the studio on Episode 385 of Folk Roots Radio for a very enjoyable conversation about their music, and debut album “Moondancer” and a few live songs. We also feature new music from Noah Zacharin, Birds of Chicago, Big Little Lions, Stéphanie Labbé & Francois Couture, The Lonesome Ace Stringband, Christina Martin and the Andrew Collins Trio. Check out the full playlist below.
Crowd-surfing festival favourite Steve Poltz joins us on Episode 384 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his music, and fabulous live show. Steve Poltz is one of those artists that once you catch a show, you can’t wait to do it again. It’s a really insightful interview – definitely worth sticking around for. And as always on Folk Roots Radio, we check out more of the latest releases and this time around we stay in the US as we check out new music from Daniel Crabtree, Rebekah Long, Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches, Vi Wickam & Justin Branum, John Gorka and John Linn. Check out the full playlist below.
Evan & John are an indie folk duo from Sarnia, Ontario, featuring Evan Dawe and John Pilat. Influenced by Simon & Garfunkel and The Milk Carton Kids, their music focuses on tight, complex harmonies, wrapped in a beautiful duelling acoustic guitar accompaniment. Since forming in 2017, Evan & John have been playing shows right across southern Ontario and beyond. In January 2018, they released an EP entitled “Little Songs”, followed by a single “House By The Sea” in April. Evan and John joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio for a chat about their music, and three live songs. For more information, please visit evanandjohn.bandcamp.com. Music: Evan & John “South Coast Highway” (Live), “Turncoat” (Live) and “Early June” (Live).
Graydon James & Laura Spink from Toronto’s The Young Novelists join us on Episode 383 of Folk Roots Radio for a fun conversation about their third studio album “In City & Country”. On an all Canadian episode, we also feature music from new releases by Carly Thomas, El Coyote, David Francey, Steve Dawson, Sugar Brown, Conor Gains and Annie Lou. Check out the full playlist below.
Highly entertaining English vocal trio The Young’Uns join us on Episode 382 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their music and latest album “Strangers”. It’s a great interview – one you’ll definitely want to stick around for. We’re also staying in the UK for the rest of the episode as we check out new music from The Mellowship (feat. Maureen Dewdney, Lukas Drinkwater & Ciaran Algar), Molly-Anne, Kete Bowers, Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Sarah McQuaid and Gerry Hallom. Check out the full playlist below.
Over The Moon are a Canadian roots/swing duo featuring award-winning multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Suzanne Levesque and Craig Bignell. Suzanne and Craig met, fell in love, got married and discovered that they could make beautiful music together. They live on a ranch in the foothills of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, and “Moondancer”, their debut album, celebrates life in the Canadian west on a set of songs that move from 40’s sounding western swing and Appalachian old-time, to cowboy blues. While on tour in Ontario, Over The Moon joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about their music and play three songs from Moondancer live. For more information about Over The Moon, visit overthemoonband.com. Music: Over The Moon “Over The Moon” (Live), “By The Mark” (Live) and “Moondancer” (Live).
Guelph storytelling singer-songwriter Doris Folkens joins us on Episode 381 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her music and her self-titled debut album, produced by mando-maestro Andrew Collins. It’s a great interview, and well-worth checking out. We also check out new music from Mayhemingways, Sugar Brown, Birds of Chicago, Miller – Macdonald – Cormier, Sue Foley, Tom Rush, Joe Jencks, Graham Parker and Robert Lane. Check out the full playlist below.
Duane Forrest is a singer-songwriter and social activist from Toronto who describes his passions as music, travel and language but, most importantly, love. Duane weaves bossa nova, jazz and soul together to produce a laid-back sound that calls to mind a mix of Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, João Gilberto and Nat King Cole. His latest album “The Climb” was released in 2017. Duane has recently founded a non-profit Genesis Community of the Arts that sends teachers and art equipment to marginalized people and places around the globe, and provides classes in drama, music, dance, and the visual arts that he hopes will inspire the students to discover their own creativity. Genesis currently has teachers working in Honduras and Guatemala. For more information about the music of Duane Forrest, visit duanesguitar.com. Music: Duane Forrest “Changes” (Live), “Oceans” (Live) and “Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Live).
Cheshire Carr are a six-piece Montreal-based folk-rock collective who weave together their diverse influences to produce a sound that is warm and inviting, yet also very intriguing. With songs and vocals that bring to mind a mash up of Paul Simon, Crosby Stills & Nash, Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd, their first album “Odds & Ends” is very engaging, and definitely worth exploring. Cheshire Carr feature Geneviève Cooke (vocals, percussion), Elie Flynn (guitars), Pierre Lavoie (vocals, drums, banjo), Mathilde Pigeon (accordion), Hugo Chaput (bass) and Ariel Harrod (vocals, guitar). Odds & Ends was mixed by Plants & Animals Warren C Spicer, who also helped shape the final sonic direction of the project. Cheshire Carr have a fabulous live show that comes across like a fun summer festival workshop featuring a coffee house folk act rocking out with a jam band. We caught up with Cheshire Carr’s Ariel Harrod at home in Montreal to chat about the band and their music. Visit Cheshire Carr online at cheshirecarr.com. Cheshire Carr play the Blacksheep Inn in Wakefield QC with Moonfruits on Friday May 18 at 8:30 p.m. Photo: Frank Lam. Music: Cheshire Carr “This Song”, “Devil in a Porcelain Dress”, “Water Rising”, “Remember When” from “Odds and Ends” (2016, Self).
Toronto based Sarah Hiltz has been turning heads for the quality of songwriting, that dips from folk into jazz. Her latest album, 2017’s “Beauty in the Blue” is a collection of songs written while riding the rails across Canada as part of the Via Rail Artists On Board programme. The album, produced with Kevin Howley from Running Red Lights, is the first to feature her long-term stage collaborators, drummer Jordan Michaelis and multi-instrumentalist David Puzak. Sarah Hiltz joined us in the studio to chat about her music and play three songs from Beauty In The Blue live. For more information about the music of Sarah Hiltz, visit sarahhiltz.com. Music: Sarah Hiltz “Best I Can Believe” (Live) “How To Pour Whiskey For Strangers” (Live) and “What We Leave Behind” (Live).