The 4th annual Island Unplugged Music Festival takes place the weekend of Saturday & Sunday August 5-6 in the heart of beautiful Pelee Island on the Canadian side of Lake Erie. A family friendly event, the festival features performers from the local, regional and national scene, alongside the opportunity to enjoy some great local food, craft beer and wine while exploring everything else the island has to offer. To learn more about the festival, we caught up with artistic director Rod Strickland. This year’s line-up features headliners Elliott BROOD and Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar alongside The Ron Leary Sextet, Brock Zeman, Old Man Grant, The Lofi Mind, The Layrite Boys, The Coffee House Combo, The Brandy Alexanders, Mike Galbraith, Twas Now (Mike & Diana Erb), Allison Brown, Deirdre Roberts and the Windsor Youth Fiddlers. For more information about The Island Unplugged and to pick up tickets, visit theislandunplugged.org. Music: Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar “Addicted” from “Send The Nightingale” (2015, Self), Elliot Brood “Little Ones” from “Work and Love” (2014, Paper Bag Records).
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).
Coming up as we go Live & Local on Folk Roots Radio, we’re featuring an interview with acclaimed bassist and multi-instrumentalist David Woodhead, who joins us to chat about his upcoming Ontario tour dates with his genre-defying side project Confabulation. Guelph-based storyteller Brad Woods also joins us to chat about his new live storytelling album “The Woods” and upcoming appearance at the Guelph Civic Museum for Fourth Friday on January 22nd.
Summerfolk runs from August 20-23 in Kelso Park on the shores of Georgian Bay in Owen Sound. This year they are celebrating their 40th anniversary with a bumper edition, and kicking it all off with a birthday blues bash featuring Matt Andersen and MonkeyJunk on Thursday August 20 from 7 p.m. The festival features more than 40 musical acts including Trout Fishing in America, David Francey, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Whitehorse, Joel Plaskett and Claire Lynch (International Bluegrass Music Association Vocalist of the Year).
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.
Toronto-based blues, roots and gospel singer Samantha Martin will be playing the Toronto Blues Society‘s 28th Annual Women’s Blues Revue taking place at Massey Hall in Toronto on Saturday November 22. She is currently applying the finishing touches to her as yet untitled new long player with her band Delta Sugar; a release that’s expected early next year. Because of her strong stage presence and powerhouse vocals, Samantha Martin is very much a once seen, never forgotten live experience. That she writes fabulous songs and sings like she grew up along the Mississippi Delta just adds to the mystique. We caught up with her at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference for a feature-length conversation and impromptu session. Music: Samantha Martin, “Mississippi Sun” from “Mississippi Sun” EP (2014, Dollartone Records), “When You Walk Away” (Live), “Give Me Your Mercy” (Live)”, “Addicted” (Live) and “One More Day” from “Mississippi Sun” (2014, Dollartone Records).