Join us on Episode 616 of Folk Roots Radio for another hour of great new music, and a selection of songs that have a little bit of a new start feeling about them. As we settle into a new year, we wanted this episode to feel reflective, but also optimistic. Despite the challenging times, things will get better. This time around we hear from Lucy MacNeil (from The Barra McNeils), Sarah McQuaid, Michael Logen, Jennifer Cutting’s Ocean Orchestra, Tony McManus, Sophia Tice, Dar Williams, Sanctuary Song Project (feat. Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno), Big Little Lions, Gurf Morlix, Moira Smiley & Piers Faccini, Joe Nolan , Dizzy & Fay, Melanie Peterson and Christa Couture. Remember, if you like what you hear on Folk Roots Radio… and want to support the artists… don’t just stream their music, BUY their music and then you’ll really make a difference to their income during this difficult time, when it’s really hard to find live show opportunities. Check out the full playlist below.
They are finally here – Our Favourite Albums of 2021! One of the best things about doing a radio show is getting loads of great music to listen to each week. One of the hardest things to do though is to take all that fabulous music and narrow it down to your ten favourite albums of the year. ‘Best of the year’ lists are very subjective and can only reflect the albums that you’ve actually received, but they are a fun way to reflect on a year gone by, and hopefully get people to check out music they may not have realized they actually like. Join us on this episode as we countdown The Top 10, and check out the rest of our long list in the playlist below. We’ll be dipping into The Next 40 on future episodes of Folk Roots Radio. Remember, if you like what you hear on Folk Roots Radio… and want to support the artists… don’t just stream their music, BUY their music and then you’ll really make a difference to their income during this difficult time when it’s really hard to find live show opportunities.
We have another wonderful interview to share with you on Episode 614 of Folk Roots Radio. Award-winning singer-songwriter, writer and broadcaster Christa Couture joins us for an in-depth conversation about her career. An artist who describes herself as queer, disabled and proudly indigenous (she’s mixed Cree and Scandinavian), Christa Couture has experienced more loss than most people can ever imagine: childhood cancer that led to the amputation of her left leg plus a second bout of cancer – this time of the thyroid (later in life). She’s also lived with the tragedies of abortion and the deaths of two sons in infancy, followed by divorce. Her life experience informed her very well-received memoir “How To Lose Everything” which came out in 2020, and has helped many, many people deal with loss and grief. Christa Couture continues to make great art in both music and literature, with a willingness to share her story and inspiring attitude to life through broadcasting, public speaking and now film. We wrap things up with her uplifting new single “To Us”, a song she describes as ‘a toast to resilience and survival’, with the hope that things will get better as we move into 2022. Check out the full playlist below.
Ever wondered what it takes to run a record label? Peter Chapman joins us on Episode 613 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about Fallen Tree Records, the fantastic Edmonton AB based boutique label he founded in 2018, who specialize in folk, roots and alternative music. We have been really impressed by the way Fallen Tree Records support their artists. It seemed only natural, therefore, that we find time to chat to the people behind the label. Join us as we learn how they pick the artists they sign, and how they go about promoting the music they release. Peter Chapman also talks about how they are coping – not just with life in Covid times, but also as part of an industry that, in just a short space of time, has moved so heavily into streaming as the primary way people listen to music. It’s a fascinating conversation and well worth checking out. We also include music from Fallen Tree Records artists T. Buckley, Joe Nolan, Jon Brooks, Vivienne Wilder, Bùmarang, Silent Winters and 100 mile house. Check out the full playlist below.
“Frame By Frame” is the second solo recording from Calgary AB singer-songwriter T. Buckley and the follow up to 2018’s “Miles We Put Behind” which was nominated for a 2020 Canadian Folk Music Award in the New/Emerging Artist Of The Year category. Frame By Frame takes as its focus a series of moments, stories about family, relationships and community – gorgeous songs that draw you in and hold your attention from the first note to the last. It was recorded at Studio Bell in Calgary’s National Music Centre with producer/engineer Jeff Kynoch and features T. Buckley (vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica), Stephen Fletcher (Hammond organ, Wurlitzer, piano, synths), Mitch Jay (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, pedal steel, mandolin, dobro, banjo), Jesse Dollimont (vocals, mandolin, acoustic guitar, piano, tambourine, Jeff Kynoch (Omnichord, percussion, high-strung guitar, synths, mellotron), Keith Rempel (bass, vocals) and Dan Stadnicki (drums, percussion). “The players were stellar and I was working with a team that I was close with on a musical and personal level. Everyone was really invested in the project and cared about the tunes and the stories behind them, and I think that comes through when listening back to the body of work.” For more information about the music of T. Buckley, visit tbuckley.ca. Music: T. Buckley “Frame By Frame”, “Father’s Child” and “Before I Get To Turn Around” from “Frame By Frame” (2021, Fallen Tree Records) CDN
In March 2020, Joe Nolan was coming off a fantastic year in music – a very well deserved nomination for a Canadian Folk Music Award for his album “Drifters” (2020) and he’d played something like 170 shows, to great acclaim. In fact, it really seemed like his career was taking off. Of course, then the pandemic hit and Joe found himself back at home in Edmonton, in lockdown and almost feeling like he was starting over again. Joe didn’t let Covid times hold him back – starting out with the release of an EP, the wonderful “Cry Baby: B Sides” in the fall of 2020 – four songs left over from the session for his excellent 2018 album “Cry Baby”. He followed that with a couple of excellent stand alone singles “Lowlight” and “River Bends” earlier this year – two songs that he felt fit in more with 2020’s “Drifters”, than the songs he was getting ready to record. He has now released another new album ,”Scrapper”, a recording he made during the pandemic and one he describes as having a bit more edge than his previous work. Great songs, beautifully delivered – it’s fabulous! For more information about the music of Joe Nolan, visit joenolanmusic.com. Music: Joe Nolan, “Here’s To Hoping”, “New To The Neighbourhood” and “All Love Is Lit” from “Scrapper” (2021, Fallen Tree Records) CDN.
We have another hour of great new music to share with you on Episode 612 of Folk Roots Radio. 2021 has been a banner year for music. There is loads of wonderful new music out there and much of it from independent artists, who rarely get the exposure they deserve. It’s our absolute privilege to be able to share more of it with you on this episode. Join us on this episode as we hear from Over The Moon, Jessica Pearson & The East Wind, Jonathan Byrd , Moria Smiley & Tonality, Dave Clarke, Amanda Rheaume, Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neill, Geordie Gordon, Andrea Ramoloo, Michael Logen and Jennifer Hanson, Ane Brun, Brandi Carlile, Rose Cousins with Tim Baker, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Bruce T Carroll and The Ebbs. Remember, if you like what you hear on Folk Roots Radio… and want to support the artists… don’t just stream their music, BUY their music and then you’ll really make a difference to their income during this difficult time, when it’s really hard to find live show opportunities. Check out the full playlist below.
Kay Howl first landed on our radar as the driving force behind the South Western Ontario duo The Oh Chays, who also featured Mike Sugar Authier on guitar, percussion and backing vocals. Known for their upbeat and fun songs, powerful vocals and playful stage banter, the duo were finalists in the 2014 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search and represented Toronto Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2015. The Oh Chays may be no more, but the dynamic vocal delivery and fun stage presence lives on as Kay Howl. “Pink Trees”, which was produced with Marty Bak at SLR studios in Windsor ON is a personal and powerful statement – a coming out record, and very much a ‘this is who I am’ recording. Featuring 11 tracks, it packs quite a punch, and a recording that Kay feels is best appreciated in full album format. For more information visit Kay Howl on Bandcamp. Music: Kay Howl “Whatever”, “High On A Woman”, “Natural Disaster” and It Must Have Been Love (Roxette cover) from “Pink Trees” (2021, Self) CDN.
Bruce Cockburn joins us on Episode 611 of Folk Roots Radio for a wonderful in-depth conversation about his new career spanning retrospective, “Greatest Hits 1970-2020”, a double CD set featuring 30 songs he has released as singles. After 34 albums, 13 Junos, thousands of shows across the world and numerous other awards, it’s been quite the career. The good news is that Bruce Cockburn is still going strong, still working on new songs, and still playing shows. In fact, this month he sets out on his 50th Anniversary tour. It’s actually Take 2 – because COVID put paid to the first version last year. There was a lot to talk about which is why we’ve given over the whole of this episode to the interview. So settle down and enjoy Bruce Cockburn… in Conversation on Folk Roots Radio.
It’s getting close to ‘that time of year’. We know that because wonderful vocal trio Good Lovelies, that’s Caroline Brooks, Kerry Ough and Sue Passmore are about to hit the road on their 16th Christmas tour. After appearing virtually last year because of the COVID pandemic, this time around they’ll be taking their songs, harmonies and a kick ass band around Ontario for some in person shows. They join us on Episode 610 of Folk Roots Radio to talk about the tour, and some interesting future plans – and spoiler alert, it sounds like they are already hard at work on a new album. Although it feels a little too early to go into full holiday mode, we also include some wintery songs and Hanukkah songs to ease you into the holiday season, and feature music from Joni Mitchell, Bruce Cockburn, Garth Hudson with Kevin Hearn and Thin Buckle, The McDades, Haley K Turner, Rachael Sage, Deborah Holland and Catherine MacLellan. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re heading back to Alberta for another interview on Episode 609 of Folk Roots Radio. This time around we are in Lethbridge to chat to John Wort Hannam about his new album “Long Haul”. The follow up to 2018’s “Acres Of Elbow Room”, it was recorded in lockdown, during pandemic times. A lovely, relaxed, warm feel to it – it’s a timely reflection on relationships and life in general and what we all miss when we’re not able to spend time together. As always, we wrap up the rest of the episode with more new releases, and this time around we hear from Dizzy & Fay, Margot Merah, Katie Spencer, Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neill, Doc Watson with Merle Watson, Julian Taylor, Chris LaVancher and Josh Ritchie. Check out the full playlist below.
We have another great hour of new music for you on Episode 608 of Folk Roots Radio. This time around we feature Sunny War, Aspen Jacobsen, The Breath, Jessica Pearson & The East Wind, Shane Cook & The Woodchippers, Katie Spencer, Jaspar Lepak, Terry Morrison, Digging Roots, String Bone, Spell Songs, Cut Split & Delivered, Mark Perry and Joe Nolan. It’s a fun episode – you’ll not be disappointed! Remember, if you like what you hear on Folk Roots Radio… and want to support the artists… don’t just stream their music, BUY their music and then you’ll really make a difference to their income during this difficult time, when it’s really hard to find live show opportunities. Check out the full playlist below.
Guelph ON singer-songwriter James Gordon joins us on Episode 607 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his pandemic release “When I Stayed Home”. Unable to bring anyone into the studio, James pretty much recorded the whole thing himself. However, making a new album was not the only thing that James Gordon has been up to during Covid lockdown. He also finished his novel “The Ark Of The Oven Mitt” (which includes a 36 song recording) and performed a virtual tour of his one-man show “James Gordon’s Emergency Climate Musical”. He also found time to kick cancer’s butt (Yeah, James!) and all while still working at his other job as a member of Guelph City Council. As you can imagine, we had lots to talk about, which is why we’ve decided to give the whole of this episode over to the interview. So, settle down and enjoy James Gordon… in Conversation on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
Calgary AB based singer-songwriter T. Buckley joins us on Episode 606 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about “Frame By Frame”, the follow up to the very well received “Miles We Put Behind” from 2018, and a recording T. Buckley describes as guided by the loved ones that have shaped his life. It’s a great album, and a fabulous conversation. As always, we wrap up the episode with more of the latest new releases and this time around they are all by female artists. Join us for new music from Janis Ian, Efrat, Ana Egge, Charlotte Cornfield, Laurel Premo, Annie Sumi, AV (Ann Vriend) and Andrea Ramolo. Check out the full playlist below.
Edmonton AB’s Joe Nolan is a fabulous songwriter, and an artist who consistently produces excellent albums. He joins us on Episode 605 of Folk Roots Radio for a wonderful in-depth conversation about his latest album “Scrapper”, the follow up to 2020’s “Drifters” which was nominated for Contemporary Album of the Year at that year’s Canadian Folk Music Awards. We wrap up the hour with more new music, and this time around we feature new releases from Caroline Wiles, Terry Morrison, Kimon Kirk, Bob Jensen & Tony McManus, Laurel Premo, ALMA, How We Led Our Lives, Valerie Smith and Dizzy & Fay. Check out the full playlist below.
Rob and Sarah Skinner, who make music together as Red Dirt Skinners, have a much bigger sound than two people should ever be able to produce. They also create music that ticks all the boxes – it can be catchy, and driving, and full of soaring harmonies and fabulous soprano sax solos or they can pull everything back and become incredibly intimate. They join us on Episode 604 of Folk Roots Radio to talk about their great new album “Bear With Us” which has more pop/rock sounds than their previous recordings. Formerly living in the UK, and now happy at home in Canada, it’s a great interview – and Bear With Us is an excellent album. As always, we wrap up the hour with more new music and this time around we hear from Ptarmigan, Cynthia Marchant, John Pippus, Staran, Lynne Hanson and Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re pleased to bring you another hour of great new music on Episode 603 of Folk Roots Radio. This episode is a little different though, as all the music is by Canadian artists and we’re also including a short interview with Shane Whalen, Director of Marketing at the International Songwriting Competition who are celebrating their 20th anniversary with the launch of a brand new annual prize, the Spotlight Award which focuses on talent from a specific region of the world. This time around, in collaboration with Canada’s music licensing organization SOCAN, the prize will go to a Canadian songwriter. We wrap up the episode with new releases from Canadian artists T. Buckley, Pat Chessell, Sophie Lukacs, The Fretless, Yves Desrosiers, Big Little Lions, Slow Leaves, Born On A Wednesday, Luke Michielsen, Joe Nolan, Daniel James McFadyen and Alanna Gurr.
Toronto based singer-songwriter and poet Donna Dunlop joins us on Episode 602 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her career in music, and latest album “Backlight” which features songs that were originally recorded in 2000-2001, but revisited this past year with support and instrumentation from producer/engineer and guitarist Steve Sherman. Although Donna is no longer active as a live performer, she has a great music catalogue and lots of interesting stories to share. So, settle down and enjoy Donna Dunlop… in Conversation on Folk Roots Radio.
Alec Fraser Jr is a renowned bass player and producer/engineer, and half of dynamic roots duo Fraser/Daley. He’s now added singer-songwriter to the resume and joins us live on Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about his career in music and first solo album “On The Wings Of The Wind” which was recorded while in pandemic lockdown with support from some fine musicians including Chris Bartos (violin/fiddle), and Jimmy Bowskill (mandolin). As a bassist, Alec Fraser Jr has toured internationally and worked with many world-class artists, playing with everyone from Bo Diddley, Ben E. King and The Drifters to Jeff Healey, Jack de Keyser, Ron Hynes and Ron Sexsmith. As a producer, he’s worked with some of our favourite artists… people like Rick Fines, John Brooks, Clela Errington. He’s also produced several albums that have made it on to our annual ‘best of the year’ list. Alec Fraser Jr is also the inventor of ‘the circus bass’, seven drums attached to an upright bass that allows him to play both bass and drums at the same time – using a brush held between his fingers. A lot to talk about – needless to say it was a fabulous conversation. We hope you’ll check it out. For more information about the music of Alec Fraser Jr, visit alecfraserjr.com.
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We have more great new music to share with you on Episode 601 of Folk Roots Radio – some wonderful new songs, and guess what, they were all received within the last few weeks. So stay with us as we check out new releases from Kristen Martell, Josienne Clarke, Steve Warner, Jeremy Voltz, Graham Rorie, Clever Hopes, Daniel James McFadyen, Matt McGinn & Aoife Scott, Andrea Ramolo, Howard Gladstone, Tania Joy, Billy Bragg, Zachary Lucky and Sarah McQuaid. Remember, if you like what you hear on Folk Roots Radio… and want to support the artists… don’t just stream their music, BUY their music and then you’ll really make a difference to their income during this difficult time, when it’s really hard to find live show opportunities. Check out the full playlist below.
We’ve just released our 600th episode of Folk Roots Radio! To celebrate, we’re pleased to bring you another great interview. Suzie Ungerleider joins us on the show for a wonderful conversation about her latest album. You might not recognize the name Suzie Ungerleider, but if we tell you that she is a two-time Juno nominee and has released ten albums, nine of them under the name Oh Susanna, we’re sure that you now know who she is. Suzie is now making music under her own name and she’s just released a great new recording, “My Name Is Suzie Ungerleider”. As always, we wrap up the episode with more new releases, and this time around they are all by female artists. Join us for new music from ALMA, Annie Sumi, Julie Title, Colleen Power, HEISK, Sierra Ferrell, Valerie Smith and Dar Williams. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re all about the music again on Episode 599 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you another hour of great new releases, with some fabulous Covid tunes and social justice songs thrown into the mix. We’ve said this a few times now – but we can’t believe how much great new music is out there. It’s our great pleasure to bring more of it to you on this episode. Join us for songs from Amos Lee, John McCutcheon, Joy Zimmerman, John Michael Ferrari, HEISK, The Furious Seasons, James Gordon, John Wort Hannam, War & Pierce, Madison Violet, Willie Nile, Matt Patershuk, Jackson Grimm, Gordie Tentrees, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss and Finny McConnell. Remember, if you like what you hear on Folk Roots Radio… and want to support the artists… don’t just stream their music, BUY their music and then you’ll really make a difference to their income during this difficult time, when it’s really hard to find live show opportunities. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re holding back the interviews again on Episode 598 of Folk Roots Radio to bring you another hour of the best new releases. There is just so much great new music out there and, sadly, so little time to play it – but we’ll do our bit again on this episode. This time around we hear from Jordana Talsky, Matt Patershuk, Caroline Wiles, Efrat, Eli West, John McCutcheon, John Gage and Aaron Bibelhauser, John Wort Hannam, Red Dirt Skinners, Chris Coole, Big Little Lions, Craig Robertson, Jabbour, T. Buckley and Finny McConnell. Remember, if you like what you hear on Folk Roots Radio… and want to support the artists… don’t just stream their music, BUY their music and then you’ll really make a difference to their income during this difficult time, when it’s really hard to find live show opportunities. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re off to Pointe-Claire QC on Episode 597 of Folk Roots Radio to chat with singer-songwriter Rob Lutes about his wonderful eighth solo album “Come Around”. No stranger to this show, Rob Lutes’ last album – the critically acclaimed “Walk In The Dark” was our favourite album of 2017. Come Around is another beautiful blend of folk, blues and Americana, and in some ways it’s a reflection on the challenges we all face in life but particularly during these strange pandemic times. As always, we wrap up the episode with more great new releases, and this time around they are all by Canadian artists. Join us for new music from Lynne Hanson , Alicia Toner, The Fretless, Marc Audet, Barney Bentall & Geoffrey Kelly, Isaac Murdoch (Bomgiizhik) & Matt Epp, Gordie Tentrees, Ken Tizzard & Music For Goats and The McDades. Check out the full playlist below.
Mattie Leon returns to Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest album “In Natural Light”. Mattie has a catchy and soulful folk/pop style, and the most amazing singing voice – one that he describes as… a bit like Paul Simon, solo Paul McCartney or James Taylor – but just a little higher! No stranger to Folk Roots Radio, Mattie joined us in the studio in 2019 for a fun chat and some great live songs. You can check out that interview HERE. Recently signed by Inside Pocket Music, In Natural Light was recorded at Noble St Studios in Toronto with JUNO-award winning producer, Gavin Brown (Sarah Harmer, Metric, Barenaked Ladies). For more information about the music of Mattie Leon, visit mattieleon.com.
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Folk Roots Radio is a labour of love, a full-time hobby. If you like what we do, please spread the word.