Toronto singer-songwriter Stan Simon is getting set to release his third album, “Songs From Strange Places”, a new country folk recording that takes its lead from the great singer-songwriters and balladeers of our time, on a reflective collection of songs that explore themes of love, loss and spiritual exploration. The new 10 song recording, produced by Dennis Patterson at Big Smoke Audio, features Stan Simon on vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica with support from Nathan Gray (pedal steel), Sebastian Shinwell (bass, tambourine, electric guitar, piano and harmony vocals), Max Trefler (drums) and Jackie Mohr (vocals on “Visceral”). Folk Roots Radio caught up with Stan Simon at home in Toronto for an in-depth conversation about the new album, that also touches on songwriting, live performance and coping with Covid times. For more information about the music of Stan Simon, visit stansimonmusic.com. Music: Stan Simon “Only The Moon”, “Everlasting Love”, “Eternal Maze” and “Rest Well In The Blue Night” from “Songs From Strange Places” (2020, Self).
We’re holding back the interviews on Episode 522 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you another hour of great new music. We’re subtitling this one the ‘Blendsday’ edition as we’re fairly sure that we’re not the only ones who have trouble working out what day it is – as we all try to cope with endless days at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. We don’t know who came up with the name Blendsday but it does seem to be the perfect way to describe the strange days we’re now living through. So join us for Covid tunes, songs about social justice and tracks taken from some fine scheduled album releases, with music by Fred Arcoleo, Don Bray, Owen Paul, Judy Collins & The Global Virtual Choir, Kevin Gagnon, Skinner & T’witch, Tim Readman, Mike Glick, Don Johnston, Chastity Brown, Raye Zaragoza, Colleen Kattau, Carissa Kimbell, Katie Ditschun and Paul Kelly & Paul Grabowsky. Check out the full playlist below.
Toronto based singer-songwriter Ken Yates picked up a couple of Canadian Folk Music Awards for his critically acclaimed 2016 album “Huntsville”. He’s just released the follow-up, “Quiet Talkers” – an album Ken describes as his most personal to date, which is equally as wonderful and already picking up some critical buzz. Ken Yates joins us on Episode 521 of Folk Roots Radio for a great in-depth conversation about the new album, and life in lockdown – as we all continue to weather the coronavirus pandemic. We also hear from some other great songwriters as we check out new music from Glen MacNeil, Michael Logen, Barbara Jo Kammer, John Moreland, Graham Lindsey, Jason Wilber, John Prine and Gretchen Peters. Check out the full playlist below.
Before Folk Roots Radio there was Royal City Rag, a magazine show about Guelph ON that ran on CFRU 93.3fm, Guelph’s Campus & Community Radio Station from 2005 to 2011. On Canada Day 2009, Royal City Rag was ‘live on location’ in Riverside Park, Guelph for a Canada Day celebration with storytellers Sya Van Geest and Brad Woods, and singer-songwriter Sam Turton. Despite the poor weather, all turned out sunny on a fun show. One of our favourites, and definitely worthy of a replay. Enjoy!
We’re back with another all new music edition on Episode 520 of Folk Roots Radio, as we bring you more songs written in isolation during Covid times and more songs inspired by the protests against racial injustice and police brutality. We also take our regular look at some of the latest new releases. Join us for music by Terry Barber, Larry Burns, John McCutcheon, David Olney, Kevin Henderson & Neil Pearlman, Steve Earle, SONiA disappear fear, Ray Weaver, Shemekia Copeland, Sunflower Thieves, Jon Stancer, Christian Howse, Moonfruits and David Clayton-Thomas. Check out the full playlist below.
Ottawa based singer-songwriter Don Bray joins us on Episode 519 of Folk Roots Radio for a wonderful in-depth conversation about his sixth album “I Bless The Wounds” – thirteen songs written through the lens of Complex PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Sometimes sad, sometimes up, but mostly hopeful, this is Don’s most personal project to date. Join us for Don Bray… In Conversation on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
We recently showcased Julian Taylor’s new singer-songwriter album “The Ridge” with an interview on Episode 517 of Folk Roots Radio. We’re now pleased to be able to share our full in-depth conversation which focused on the making of the new album, and some of the early life experiences that provided source material for the recording. Julian also shares his perspective as a Canadian of West Indian and indigenous heritage to the on-going protests against racial injustice and police brutality.
Originally intended for a fall release, the release of “The Ridge” was brought forward in the hope that it might bring joy to listeners in troubled times – as we all cope with the on-going coronavirus pandemic. Enjoy!
While clearly at the top of his game fronting the Julian Taylor band, Julian Taylor also loves the opportunity to showcase the singer-songwriter side of his music, as he does to great affect on his new eight song Americana album “The Ridge”. “I’d really like the heart of this record and the stories to connect with people. These are letters to members of my family. It’s something that everyone has – family (whether chosen or not) and memories.” The title track is based on the true story of summers that Taylor spent with his aunt and grandparents at their farm in British Columbia – telling the story of the young boy’s life, in snapshots, before they had to sell the farm and move on. Check out the great video mentioned during the interview HERE. For more information about the music of Julian Taylor, visit juliantaylormusic.ca. Music: Julian Taylor “The Ridge”, “Human Race”, “Ballad Of The Young Troubadour” and “Ola Let’s Dance” from “The Ridge” (2020, Howling Turtle inc.).
We have another wonderful all music edition to bring you on Episode 518 of Folk Roots Radio. We’re continuing our focus on Covid-19 lockdown tunes, alongside some great musical social commentary inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests that have been taking place across the US, and now across the world – after the tragic death of George Floyd. We’ve subtitled this episode the Better Times Will Come edition as a special shoutout to Janis Ian and her wonderful Better Times Will Come project. Join us for new music from Janis Ian, Rising Appalachia, Fresh Breath, Crys Matthews & Heather Mae, Rube & Rake, Scott Cook, Stacey McNeill & Jonathan Smith, Ellis Delaney, Tom Prasada-Rao, Heather Pierson, Ernest Troost, The Treeline, John McCutcheon, Cris Cuddy, Olguita Alvarez and Noel “Paul” Stookey & Friends. Check out the full playlist below.
Julian Taylor joins us on Episode 517 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his wonderful new singer-songwriter recording “The Ridge”, an album which has a quite lovely Americana sound to it. Originally intended for a fall release, the eight-song recording was brought forward in the hope that it might bring joy to listeners in troubled times – as we all cope with the on-going coronavirus pandemic. The Ridge is a fantastic album, and, it’s always a pleasure to chat to Julian Taylor about his music. We wrap up the episode with more of the great new music we’ve received, and this time around we hear from Birds From Paradise, Kylie Fox, Elisa Peimer, For Lua, Sultans Of String, Forest Sun, Woody Woodburn and Mike McKenna Jr. Check out the full playlist below.
According to Steve Earle, his critically-acclaimed new album with his long time band The Dukes, Ghosts of West Virginia, which focuses on the 2010 Upper Big Branch mining disaster, is the record he had to make at this time. Although he has made political records in the past, those preached to the converted. This time around Steve wanted to reach out across the political divide to those that don’t vote like he does, in advance of the November US election. The Upper Big Branch Mine disaster took place in West Virginia in 2010, and killed twenty-nine miners – making it one of the worst mining disasters in American history. Seven songs on the new album are taken from the off-Broadway play Coal Country written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen. Jessica and Erik approached Steve to write and perform some original songs in the show – drawn from interviews and testimonials with surviving miners and the families of those who died. The new album also includes three more songs about West Virginia: “Black Lung”, “Fastest Man Alive” (about Chuck Yeager) and “The Mine”. For more information about the music of Steve Earle, visit steveearle.com. Image: Jacob Blickenstaff. Music: Steve Earle & The Dukes “Heaven Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”, “Union God And Country”, “Time Is Never On Your Side” and “It’s About Blood” from “Ghosts of West Virginia” (New West, 2020).
Miranda Mulholland and Andrew Penner make music together as Harrow Fair, a fabulous Americana roots duo with a huge sound and exhilarating live show. Featuring Miranda on fiddle, and multi-instrumentalist Andrew on dobro, guitar and more; they have just released a great sophomore album “Sins We Made” – quite possibly the perfect recording for the current times. Harrow Fair should have been on tour in the UK and the US this spring, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic they are currently quarantined at home in Toronto. We caught up with Miranda and Andrew at home in self-isolation for a fun chat about the new recording, that reaches far beyond the album, to talk about what it feels like to put everything on hold and stay home while you are supposed to be out promoting and touring a great new release. For more information about the music of Harrow Fair, visit harrowfair.ca. Photo credit: Jen Squires. Music: Harrow Fair “Sins We Made”, “Rules Of Engagement”, “Loved You Enough” and “Dark Gets Close” from “Sins We Made” (2020, Roaring Girl Records) CDN.
We have another hour of great new music to bring you on Episode 516 of Folk Roots Radio. We’ve heard people say that new releases have slowed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. That may very well be the case for the major labels, but fantastic independent music just keeps on coming – including many brand spanking new songs recorded in lockdown. Join us for great new music from Big Little Lions, David Berkeley (from Son of Town Hall), Richard Garvey, Cheshire Carr, Project Smok, Michael McDermott, Kim Moberg, Lynn Harrison, John & Sheila Ludgate, SONiA disappear fear, Lynn Jackson, Joshua Wood Orchestra and Eliza Gilkyson alongside a great spoken word piece from poet Bob Jensen. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re all about the music on Episode 515 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you more Covid-19 lockdown inspired tunes and more great new releases. We’ve actually included a lot more singles on this episode than usual – many written during lockdown, which is why we’ve decided to subtitle this one ‘The Covid Times Edition’ of Folk Roots Radio. Join us for new music from Andy Comley, Melanie Peterson, Fresh Breath, Don Johnston, Hamish Napier, Martyn Joseph, Tomorrow Bird, The Worldwide Shanty Project, Castanea & Rising Appalachia, Becky Buller, Jason Wilber, Chicks With Dip, Jeff Orson and Francine Honey (with Robert Gray). Check out the full playlist below.
Steve Earle joins us on Episode 514 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his critically-acclaimed 20th studio album, “Ghosts of West Virginia”, which tells the story of the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster which took place in West Virginia in 2010, and killed twenty-nine miners – making it one of the worst mining disasters in American history. It’s a great interview. We hope you’ll stick around to check it out. We also include more of the new music we’ve received, and this time around we hear from Evangeline Gentle, Norma MacDonald, Kieran Begbie, Adam Karch, Mike Scott, Julian Taylor, Scott Cook and David Clayton-Thomas. Check out the full playlist below.
We included an excerpt from our great in-depth interview with Lynn Harrison in Episode 498 of Folk Roots Radio. You can now check out the full interview here. Enjoy!
Lynn Harrison is a wonderful storytelling singer-songwriter with a fine turn of phrase. Her sixth recording “Something More”, which was produced by Douglas September and Noah Zacharin, features 12 thoughtful and reflective songs about life, love and the power of the human spirit. It’s a beautiful album, and a joy from beginning to end. As befits the production team behind the project, this album has a wonderful feel to it, and includes some excellent players – Noah Zacharin on electric guitar, Douglas September on lap steel, George Koller on bowed bass, Ian de Souza on electric bass and Adam Warner on drums and percussion with cameos from Ed Michael Roth on a bouncy accordion, Denis Keldie on Hammond organ, and Alexander Brown on trumpet. Lynn Harrison is also an ordained Unitarian Universalist (UU) minister, and currently serving at First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto. She is also the creator and host of The Bridge – a themed open stage that blends music and spirituality in an innovative and inclusive way. In all aspects of her work, Lynn Harrison shares an inspirational message of love, hope and justice. For more information about the music of Lynn Harrison, visit lynnharrison.ca. Music: Lynn Harrison “You Come To Me”, “When I’m On The Water”, “The Protester” and “Something More” from “Something More” (Self, 2020) CDN.
We’re holding back the interviews on Episode 513 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you another hour of great new music. We’re including more Covid-19 tunes and songs from isolation alongside some great new releases. Live performances may have been curtailed by the current crisis, but the new music just keeps on coming. Join us for great new songs from Big Little Lions, Sofia Talvik, Stan Simon, Liona Boyd, Westward The Light, Sherman Downey, Kristen Martell, 100 Mile House, Peter Rowan & Don Edwards, The Hello Darlins, Christina Hutt, Elles Bailey, Danny Schmidt and Noah Reid. Check out the full playlist below.
Acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter Jerry Leger was supposed to be on tour in Europe this spring in support of his ninth studio album “Time Out For Tomorrow”, but unfortunately, like the rest of us, he is sheltering at home as we wait out the first wave of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Jerry’s been keeping busy playing some livestream shows, and he’s just released a surprise 10 track lo-fi collection “Songs From The Apartment”, recorded solo at home. These are songs that Jerry had written, quickly demoed but never released. They are out in the world now, and some of them, like a lot of Jerry’s music, are really, really good. Join us on Episode 512 of Folk Roots Radio… as we go In Conversation with Jerry Leger to chat about his music, and both new albums. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re bringing you another hour of great new music on Episode 511 of Folk Roots Radio. This time around we’re including more new Covid-19 tunes, some songs recorded during the coronavirus lockdown, alongside some fine new releases. Join us for new music from Martyn Joseph, Chip Taylor, Crys Matthews & Heather Mae, Gillian Nicola, Shawn Clarke, Bill Bourne, Katie Dahl, Doris Folkens, Pharis & Jason Romero, Claudia Nygaard, Leeroy Stagger, Maggie Duffy, Nelson Sobral, Donovan Woods, Carolyn Anele and Shelley Posen. Stay safe and well everyone! We will get through this… together and apart. Check out the full playlist below.
Miranda Mulholland joins us on Episode 510 of Folk Roots Radio for a wonderful in-depth conversation about her second solo album, the JUNO-nominated “By Appointment or Chance”. Classically trained on violin and in voice, Miranda is also a member of the roots duo Harrow Fair with Andrew Penner from the Sun Parlour Players. Harrow Fair released their own second album “Sins We Made” a few weeks ago. Outside of her own musical creativity, Miranda Mulholland runs the record label Roaring Girl Records and the Muskoka Music Festival, and continues to travel the world advocating for fair remuneration for creators. Needless to say, there was a lot to talk about, which is why we’ve devoted the whole of this episode to an hour plus of Miranda Mulholland… In Conversation, on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
One of Canada’s finest songwriters, Connie Kaldor joins us on Episode 509 of Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth interview about her career in music. A three time Juno award winner, and a member of the Order of Canada, Connie Kaldor has forged a great career that, alongside some great albums, has also included CD books for children, musicals and music for both film and web-series – and all achieved while remaining proudly independent. Her latest album, her sixteenth, “Everyday Moments” was released in the fall of 2019, however the Covid-19 pandemic has severely limited her ability to tour in support of the new recording. Connie Kaldor joined us from her home in Montreal where she is staying safe with the rest of her family, in what she likes to call the isolation station. A fabulous performer with a very engaging live show, we’re pleased to be able to bring you Connie Kaldor… In Conversation on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re holding back the interviews on Episode 508 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you another hour of great new releases. We may all be continuing to self-isolate in the midst of the on-going Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, but artists are still producing fabulous music. So settle down and enjoy songs from Parkland, Heather Styka, Andrea Ramolo, Jesse Cook, Stuart Markus, Grae J Wall, Michael Logen, Tara Thompson, Rachael Sage, Sara Thomsen, Lara Herscovitch, Deborah Holland, Julian Taylor, Alex Lauzière and Erik Balkey. Stay safe and well everyone. We will get through this… together and apart. Check out the full playlist below.
Jen Bird and Simon Driscoll make music together as acoustic folk duo, Tomorrow Bird. They specialize in heartfelt songs that reflect on the human experience – and sing of hope, love, loss, courage and empowerment. Jen and Simon were due to be Canada this spring but because of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic they’ve had change their plans and are now keeping themselves safe at home. Because they can’t be with us this year, we’re pleased to bring an interview we recorded with them last year to Episode 507 of Folk Roots Radio. We also check out more of the great new music that’s come into the studio, and this time around we hear from Raina Krangle, Forest Sun, Brent Mason, Raye Zaragoza, Ewen Henderson, Jeffrey Straker, Mattie Leon and Ayla Brook & The Sound Men. Stay safe and well everyone! We’ll get through this… together and apart. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re all about the music on Episode 506 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you an all music Covid-19 isolation edition of the show. We’re in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and we’re all social distancing, but artists are still making great music. Join us for new songs written especially for these strange times from Julia Appleton, Tara MacLean & Catherine MacLellan, Shawn Erker and Mark Perry, alongside some great new releases we just had to share from Valerie Smith, David Foley & Jack Smedley, Deborah Holland, Tomo, David Madras and Midnight Vesta. We also include a special four song tribute to the late great John Prine, who sadly passed away after contracting the coronavirus. Stay safe and well everyone! We’ll get through this together… and apart. Check out the full playlist below.
Sara & Ryan Fontaine, who make music together as The Fontaines, join us on Episode 505 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their music and self-titled debut album. Sara and Ryan met while pursuing separate musical careers; Sara in theatre and vocal performance, and Ryan as an upright bass player. With a sound that they describe as ‘folk with a modern twist’, they affectionately call every gig ‘date night’. We’re in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic emergency and so we caught up with Sara & Ryan over Zoom, rather than live in the studio. Stay safe and well everyone – and settle down and enjoy The Fontaines… In Conversation, on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
Jack Pine is the stage persona of Gareth Auden Hole, an Ottawa based singer-songwriter, engineer and producer. Jack is an incredible live performer with a wonderful energy, and a very engaging style on both guitar and mandolin; however he self-deprecatingly describes himself as an anything goes singer-songwriter with a heavy-handed string band. His 2017 album band with his band The Fire “Left To Our Own Devices” picked up a 2018 Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for New/Emerging Artist of the Year and a 2019 Juno nomination for best art work. Jack Pine sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music. In 2019, we had a follow up conversation at FMO, and this time around he played some songs live for us. Check out the video for the song “You’ll Find Me Waiting” Jack mentions in the interview here. For more information about the music of Jack Pine visit jackpinefire.com. Music: Jack Pine “You’ll Find Me Waiting” (Live), “Rich In Time” (Live) and Jack Pine & The Fire “Desert Island” from “Left To Our Own Devices” (2017, Self). Bonus: Jack Pine “Cabin Fever” (Live).