One of our favourite people, singer-songwriter and storyteller, Joanna Chapman-Smith joins us on this episode to chat about her forthcoming album of modern folk tales, “Elon & The City of Stone”. Joanna also plays three songs live for us. And, as always, we take a look at some of the latest new releases.
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).
St Catherine’s born Darren Eedens plays both flat-picking banjo and guitar at such a frenetic pace that you can’t help but sit up and pay attention whenever he starts to play. His nasal percussive vocal delivery makes you think that you’ve stepped into some honky tonk saloon from a bygone era. Known as the Canadian Dirty Little Picker in Europe, Darren now calls Cardiff Wales, home. He joined us in the studio straight after a rousing and rambunctious performance at the 2015 Hillside Festival to chat about his latest album “Of My Word” (2014, Self) and play a few tunes live. For more information, visit darreneedens.bandcamp.com. Music: Darren Eedens “Oh Darlin” from “Of My Word” (2014, Self), “Mountain Dew” (Live), “On The Line (The Laundry Song)” (Live), “Rye Whiskey” (Live) and Darren Eedens “Movin’ On” from “Of My Word” (2014, Self).
We’re giving the whole of this episode of Folk Roots Radio over to an interview with banjo player and rising star Kaia Kater who has just released her sophomore recording “Nine Pin”. Nine Pin is a concept album that takes as its inspiration the Black Lives Matter movement and Kaia’s own experience growing up as a person of colour in North America. And it’s an album that gives Kaia free reign to push her own boundaries using her old-time Appalachian banjo as the leaping off point for powerful lyrical songs that show maturity way beyond her years. It really is a terrific album, and it’s a great interview. I hope you enjoy it.
Dale Butler has been making music in Essex County in South-Western Ontario for over forty years. A full time musician, singer-songwriter and storyteller Dale performs solo, as a duo with wife Judy and also with his band “Dale Butler & Friends”. He also hosts Dale’s Friday Coffee House, formerly known as the Last Friday Coffee House, a Leamington musical institution that takes place monthly at The Bank Theatre and helps nurture the careers of young and new performers. Dale is also known for a great folk festival workshop where he shows participants how to play a guitar in two minutes even if they’ve never ever held a guitar before – a hold over from his days as a music store proprietor in Leamington. Dale joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about his music and play a few songs live. Music: Dale Butler “Love That Grows” from “Aiming For Left Field” (2014, Self), “My Life” (Live), “Let’s Write Our Song” (Live), “Question Marks on My Windshield” from “Now I See” (2013, Self), “Lonely Child” (Live), “Thirty Years On” (Live) and “Summertime” from “Butler Tunes 1” (2012, Self).
This episode of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Manitoba Hal Brolund who has dedicated his musical career to proving that the ukulele is a mighty instrument despite only having four strings. It’s a really informative interview and well worth checking out. As always we also have a great selection of new music we’ve received to share with you. Photo credit: James Millar.
This episode features an interview with John & Michele Law who joined us to chat about the line up for the 3rd Annual Kingsville Folk Music Festival, which takes place from August 12-14, in the beautiful confines of Lakeside Park in Kingsville on the shores of Lake Erie It’s a great festival and already gaining a great reputation for bringing fabulous folk, roots, blues and world music down into South-western Ontario. There’s also a lot of new music on this episode. I hope you’ll check it out.
Ukulele bluesman Manitoba Hal Brolund has dedicated his musical career to proving that the ukulele is a mighty instrument despite only having four strings. Ukelele advocate, teacher and performer, Hal joined us at Folk Music Ontario to chat about all matters ukulele, including his new album “Dancing in the Moonlight”, a fine selection of songs reflecting on matters of love, loss and redemption. For more information, visit manitobahal.com. Photo credit: Ed Sprake Photography. Music: Manitoba Hal “Come To Me”, “Sweet Honey Bee” and “Daylight” from “Dancing In The Moonlight” (2015, Hal’s Kitchen).
Singer-Songwriter Peter Boyer joined us on Folk Roots Radio on May 9 for an an in-depth conversation about the new Same Latitude As Rome album, “Early Days”, a collection of songs that pays homage to Canada’s earliest history. A CD release for the album takes place at the Acoustic Cafe at the Elora Centre for the Arts on June 12. We’re also giving away a copy of the new CD to the person who can tell us the name of the Father of Confederation mentioned in song on the album. Send us an e-mail or contact us via the website and we’ll be mailing that CD right off to you! Music: Same Latitude As Rome “Early Days”, “Song for David Thompson”, “Song for Louis Riel”, “The Wild McLean Boys”, “The Assassination of Thomas D’Arcy McGee”, “The Great Rendezvous Polka” and “Robbin’ Trains” from “Early Days” (2015, Self).
Irish Mythen travelled the world as a singer-songwriter before settling in Canada and making Prince Edward Island her home. Irish, who is just about to release her new album – the self-titled “Irish Mythen”, joined us for an interview and impromptu session at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference. For more information visit irishmythen.com. Music: Irish Mythen “Gypsy Dancer” from “Irish Mythen” (2014, Self), “These Walls” (Live), “Their Waltz” (Live) and “Take Me To The River” from “Irish Mythen” (2014, Self).
This week’s episode of Folk Roots Radio featured an in-studio appearance by singer-songwriters Tannis Slimmon, Jude Vadala and Katherine Wheatley who come together each holiday season for a fabulous series of holiday concerts, “Songs For The Snowy Season”. This year, they are also releasing their first album under their new group name Boreal, “Winter’s Welcome”. As usual, we featured lots of new music, plus a new mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
Episode 175 of Folk Roots Radio (the weekend of November 15 2014) featured interviews with folky funksters Shore Thing, London Ontario singer-songwriter Carly Thomas and Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace-Smith who together form The Hello Strangers. As usual, there was lots of new music as well as the obligatory mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
Folk Roots Radio on November 8 2014 was all about the music… lots of it, and, much of it new. As usual we also featured a new mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
Folk Roots Radio on November 1 2014 (Episode 173) featured interviews with Ted Ferris from Cambridge Live Music (Cambridge Ontario) discussing their live local music awareness program and Taylor Ashton from Fish & Bird discussing their latest release “Something In The Ether”. As always, we wrapped it all up with a new mystery theme, guilty pleasure and, of course, lots of great music.
Folk Roots Radio on October 25 2014 (Episode 172) was built around a feature-length interview with Tara MacKenzie, Trevor MacKenzie and Mike Weir from the MacKenzie Blues Band at the Folk Music Ontario (FMO) conference. The interview also included five songs from their great new album, “Slam Bam!”. The first of many interviews we recorded at this year’s conference, I think it is also one of our best. Check it out here as part of this weekend’s show or elsewhere on this site.
Folk Roots Radio on October 11 2014 (Episode 170) was broadcast live from the Guelph Farmers Market as part of CFRU 93.3fm’s annual Raise Your Voice funding drive. In honour of Thanksgiving (Canadian), this week’s show also featured a Canadian and close to home music mix alongside feature interviews with Guelph-based musicians Nicole Ensing (with The Wild Oats) and Tyler Wagler.
Folk Roots Radio on September 27 (Episode 165) featured one of our best recent editions, our end of the festival season show from August 30 2014. Unfortunately I was struck down with a virus on the way back from a short family break to Florida. That will teach me to think about taking a holiday!
Folk Roots Radio on September 13 (Episode 167) featured interviews with British Americana duo Plumhall, who’ve just release a great album of moody British Americana, “Thundercloud” and Guelph-based singer-songwriter Jane Lewis, who releases her new album “Stay With Me” on September 26. We wrapped it all up in lots of great music including a highly topical mystery theme and this week’s guilty pleasure.