We love the banjo on Folk Roots Radio which is a very good thing, as this edition has more than the usual amount included. We talk to Ian Molesworth about Banjofest – a one day festival taking place in Guelph in March and listen to some of the artists who will be taking part. We also check in on some of the artists who will be performing at the 10th annual Hillside Inside which takes place in Downtown Guelph from February 9-12. Among the new releases, we get to hear some great musical commentary about the recent political upheaval south of the border.
Banjofest Guelph sounds like the perfect day out for anyone who love’s banjo. Guelph’s first festival devoted to banjo music takes place at Silence, 46 Essex Street in Guelph on Saturday March 11 2017. The festival features a full day of banjo music, in all its glory. The afternoon Session (2-5:30 p.m.) features Buckwheat Honey, Lotus Wight, The BIG Schotts, and Chris Coole with Arnie Naiman, commemorating the recording of their album “5 Strings Attached With No Backing” (1997, Merriweather Records) 20 years ago. The evening session (8-11 p.m.) includes performances by The Banjo Mechanics featuring Ian Pattison and Lewis Melville, Tim Posgate with Andrew Downing and The Lonesome Ace Stringband. Tickets are $25 per session or $40 for both sessions (there are only 55 tickets available for each session) and can be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is co-sponsored by Woodall Music Acoustic Roots Music Instructional DVDs and Folkway Music. To learn more about Banjofest we caught up with organizer and banjo player Ian Molesworth. Music: Arnie Naiman and Chris Coole “Country Blues” from “5 Strings Attached With No Backing” (1997, Merriweather Records), The Banjo Mechanics “Still Jiggin’ For Trout” from “JlP” (2014, Self).
Zachary Lucky joins us on this episode to chat about his new album “Everywhere A Man Can Be”. We also continue our review of the nominees for the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards. This time around we take a look at the nominees for The Oliver Schroer Pushing The Boundaries Award, and, as every year, some great artists and albums have been nominated.
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).
Lotus Wight, banjo player with rag-timers Sheesham, Lotus and ‘Son released a solo album of banjo-driven tunes, the rather appropriately-titled “Ode to the Banjo” late in 2015. “Ode to the Banjo” itself is not a musical track, but a 23-stanza poem about the history of the banjo written by Lotus Wight. A musical version of the poem may appear on a future recording. Lotus Wight plays all the instruments on the 13 tracks (12 traditional, one self-composition) on the album, and alongside a variety of banjos, also plays the kalimba and his own invention, the Contrabass Harmoniphoneum. Lotus stopped by our mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about the new album. For more information about Lotus Wight, visit lotuswight.com. Music: Lotus Wight “Skillet” and “Roustabout” from “Ode to the Banjo” (2015, Self).
Gregory Hoskins and Kevin Breit will be sharing the stage for a series of concerts across Southern Ontario this December. They join us in the studio for a fun conversation about their collaboration and discuss what people can expect when they come out to one of their joint shows. And it’s that time of year – Tannis Slimmon, Jude Vadala and Katherine Wheatley come together each Christmas as Boreal to put on a series of concerts, “Songs For The Snowy Season”. Jude Vadala joins us to chat about their annual ritural, and their 9th annual show in Guelph on December 5.
This week’s Live & Local includes a feature-length interview with singer-songwriter Andy White – originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland but now living in Melbourne, Australia. We also take our usual look at the local music scene including upcoming shows by Nicole Ensing Band, Kevin Breit and Gregory Hoskins and a special fundraiser for local bluesman Mo’ Kauffey who is battling cancer.