Chicago based singer-songwriter Joe Jencks has built his music career around a fabulous tenor voice and a reputation for well-crafted songs that speak to a human experience fraught with challenge, and injustice, yet, also offering hope for a brighter future. His latest solo album, “Poets, Philosophers, Workers & Wanderers” includes 11 original songs about such topics as prison ships, veterans and PTSD, solstice renewal and the testimony of Pete Seeger before the Un-American Activities Committee in 1955, alongside some well-chosen covers that include a lesser known Phil Ochs song and a Jon Brooks classic, “Mercy”. We caught up with Joe Jencks on tour to chat about the new album. To learn more about Joe Jencks, visit joejencks.com. Joe Jencks is also a member of harmony trio Brother Sun, (with fellow singer-songwriters Pat Wictor and Greg Greenway). Brother Sun will be going on hiatus at the end of 2017. If you want to catch the group performance one last time, you can check out their dates at brothersun.com. Music: Joe Jencks “Let Me Sing You A Song”, “One Piece At A Time”, “Everybody Sings The Blues” and “Going Home” from “Poets, Philosophers, Workers & Wanderers” (2017, Turtle Bear Music).
The grande dame of Canadian Folk Festivals, the Mariposa Folk Festival is getting set for it’s 56th edition which takes place the weekend of July 8-10 2016, in beautiful Tudhope Park in Orillia, on the shores of Lake Couchiching. Performers announced so far include Ahmed Knowmadic Ali, Benjamin Dakota Rogers, Beth McKean, Big Little Lions, Brother Sun, Campfire Crew, Cat Clyde, Catherine MacLellan, Colin Linden, Dave Gunning, David Amram, Dirty Dishes, Fortunate Ones, Gathering Sparks, Georgian Bay, Hunter’s Corners, Ivan Coyote, James Hill, Jeffrey Foucault, Jen Schaffer and the Shiners, Jon Brooks, Josh White Jr., Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham, Ken Whiteley and the Beulah Band, Leonard Sumner, Lori Yates, Lorraine Sutton, Meredith Moon and the Oldest Man I Know, Melanie Brûlée and Anique Grianger, Moulettes, Murder Murder, Next Generation Leahy, Notre Dame de Grass, Quique Escamilla, Rita Coolidge, Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar, Sheesham and Lotus & ‘Son, Shred Kelly, Slow Leaves, Sussex featuring Rob Lutes, Ten Strings & a Goat Skin , Terry Savage and the Wonky Honkees, The Fitzgerald Family Band, The Good Family, The Imbayakunas, The Laws, The Milk Carton Kids, Rita Cox, Three Women and the Truth (Eliza Gilkyson, Gretchen Peters and Mary Gauthier) and Vance Gilbert. To learn more about this year’s festival, we caught up with artistic director, Mike Hill at work in Orillia. Mariposa Folk Festival 2016 Passes are now on sale. Children 12 & under are admitted FREE if accompanied by a ticket-bearing adult. You can buy your tickets online HERE. Music: Brother Sun “So Far To Come” from “Weights & Wings” (2016, Self) and Milk Carton Kids “Wish You Were Here” (2016, Anti).
Well, It’s that time of year… Time to pick our favourite albums of 2015. And you know what, it doesn’t get any easier. There’s just so much great music out there, and it’s been our great privilege to bring lots of it to you each week on Folk Roots Radio. Like last year, most of the albums on this list aren’t a surprise as I raved about them during the year. This time around though I selected a twenty-five album long list, then narrowed it down to the Top 10 you can read about below.
This week’s Folk Roots Radio features interviews with two artists who have produced wonderful new albums, Brenda McMorrow joins us to chat about her latest western folk meets Kirtan (Indian devotional music) album “My Heart Bows Down To You” and we talk to Ange Hardy, direct from Somerset England, about “Esteesee”, her great new album inspired by the life and work of English romantic poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. As usual we include a selection of the new music we’ve received and continue our on-going feature on the nominees for the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards. I really enjoyed putting this show together. I hope you enjoy it.
This week’s Folk Roots Radio featured an interview with singer-songwriter Jon Brooks who released his fifth record, an album of murder ballads, “The Smiling & Beautiful Countryside” late last year. Jon makes his first trip to Guelph for show at Silence on Friday June 5. And, as usual we have lots of new music alongside our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
This week’s Folk Roots Radio featured an interview with Hamilton-based singer-songwriter Sarah Beatty. Sarah Beatty describes herself as being both a musician and a scientist. While completing a Ph D in environmental science, she found time to release an off the floor debut album, the stripped down girl and a guitar “Black Gramophone” in 2012. Black Gramophone blurs the lines between rootsy blues and the singer-songwriter genre, while Sarah’s playful and imaginative lyrics and soulful and passionate vocal delivery draws comparisons with Regina Spektor, Ani DiFranco and Billie Holiday. Sarah is now hard at work on the follow-up. As usual, we found time to include some new music we’ve received alongside our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
Toronto singer-songwriter Jon Brooks makes his first visit to Guelph for a Folk Roots Radio presents… show at Silence on Friday June 5 at 8 p.m. For Jon Brooks, Kerrville New Folk Winner and a three-time “Songwriter of the Year” nominee at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, social commentary is as much a part of his being as is being a songwriter. His critically acclaimed 2012 album ”Delicate Cages” focused on themes of love and fear; and freedom and imprisonment. For his latest, “The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside”, Jon buried his trademark social commentary in an album of rural Canadian murder ballads that holds a mirror up to contemporary society and encourages the listener to reflect on what it all means. We caught up with Jon at home in Toronto. Music: Jon Brooks, “Gun Dealer”, “Highway 16” and “People Don’t Think Of Others” from “The Smiling & Beautiful Countryside” (2014, Borealis Records).
This week’s Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Atlanta singer-songwriter Eliot Bronson, who joins us to chat about his new self-titled album and his tour of Ontario with Jonathan Byrd. Jonathan Byrd and Eliot Bronson will be in Guelph on Friday March 20 for a Folk Roots Radio hosted show at the great listening venue, Silence. Check out all the event details here. As always, the show also contains a lot of new music and our 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.