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 an interview with Australian roots band Perch Creek recorded just before this summer’s Hillside festival. Perch Creek are great fun, and put on a fabulous live show. It’s a great interview, and definitely worthing checking out – they even pulled out their instruments to play a song for us in their hotel room! As always we found time for a lot of new music we’ve received and kicked off a new weekly feature on the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards, taking place in Edmonton from November 6-8 2015.
The nominations for the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards have been announced. Pharis and Jason Romero lead the pack with four nominations for their album “A Wanderer I’ll Stay”. Their nominations include Traditional Album of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Traditional Singer of the Year (Pharis Romero), and Producer of the Year (Pharis and Jason Romero with David Travers-Smith). Amelia Curran (St John’s, NL), Fortunate Ones (St John’s, NL), Jenn Grant (Lake Echo, NS), Whitehorse (Toronto, ON) and Catherine MacLellan (Charlottetown, PEI) each received three nominations.
This year’s youngest nominee is nine year old Vancouver Island artist Stella Swanson for the album “I’m Not A Bunny” in the Children’s Album of the Year category. Inspired by Stella’s pet bunny Romeo, the album was produced by Comox’s Helen Austin, a previous Canadian Folk Music Award and Juno Award recipient and a nominee this year with her group Big Little Lions.
Check out the full list of nominees here. We’ll be previewing the nominees on upcoming editions of Folk Roots Radio.
This week’s Folk Roots Radio – our 200th edition featured an interview with Mike Hill, Artistic Director at the Mariposa Folk Festival which takes place from July 3-5 in beautiful Tudhope Park on the shores of Lake Couchiching in Orillia. We also talked to Sudbury ‘bloodgrass’ band Murder Murder – they’re an outlaw country bluegrass band that play murder ballads – about their new album “From The Stillhouse” and their upcoming show in Guelph on June 20. We also included a good selection of new music alongside our mystery theme and, as the folk world mourns the passing of Ronnie Gilbert, a special tribute to folk pioneers The Weavers.
This week’s Folk Roots Radio featured an interview with North-East of England based singer-songwriter Pete Davies. Pete’s latest album “Long Way Home” is one of our favourite albums of the year so far. The fact that the album came to us out of the blue made receiving it all that more special. This week we included a special tribute to the sadly departed “Mother of Modern Folk Music” Jean Ritchie, alongside our mystery theme and some new music.
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 another interview recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October. This time we talked to Emm Gryner, Laura C. Bates and Dayna Manning who collectively form Trent Severn, a wonderful folk super-group who share fabulous stories of Canadiana in gorgeous harmony and music. You can find the interview on the website here. As always, we found time for some new music plus our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
Pharis & Jason Romero bring their beautiful harmonies and old-time banjo and guitar tunes to Kitchener on Friday September 12 for a show hosted by Folkway Music at the Registry Theatre, Kitchener. They released their recent album, “Long Gone Out West Blues”, in early 2013 to critical acclaim, the album garnering several awards while making it into the top 10 of many end of year ‘Best of’ lists. Long Gone Out West Blues features an array of songs that blend old and new, while telling stories about ageless characters, hard lives, love and loss. Tickets for the Registry show are $22.60 (includes HST) and available through Eventbrite, or in person at Folkway Music, 22 Dupont Street East, Waterloo ON N2J 2G9, 519-772-0424 (1-855-772-0424). Tickets will also be available at the Door $25 (cash only). The shows starts at 8:00 p.m. (Doors 7:30 p.m.). For more information: pharisandjason.com. Music: “Long Gone Out West Blues” and ‘I Want To Get Lucky” from “Long Gone Out West Blues” (2013, Lula Records).