Phil Elsworthy and Ed Koenig are releasing The Crooked Path, an album of mostly Celtic and Appalachian tunes using guitar, fiddle, mandolin and tambourine at The Albion 2nd Floor in Guelph on Sunday November 30 at 7:30 p.m. There is no cover for this event. Phil Ellsworthy and Ed Koenig joined us in the studio for Folk Roots Radio Overtime on Saturday November 29.
Local groups supporting live music in their own community are springing up everywhere. Georgetown Musictown is another example of a trend that may change the way we all think about live music. Why head to the big city to see a major act in an airport hanger-sized sports arena with poor sound and terrible sightlines when you can get up close and personal with great music close to home at a fraction of the cost? Georgetown Musictown are a volunteer group founded in 2013 to promote and expand the amount of live music available within Georgetown, a rapidly growing community within southern Ontario. They maintain an online calendar and use a mailing list to inform people about opportunities to hear great live music locally. They also provide support to both venues and musicians to increase the number of opportunities for musicians to play within the community.
The latest restaurant to join the music scene in Georgetown is Uncorked on Main, a new tapas bar & restaurant in Georgetown that has made a commitment to present live music on a regular basis, and planned accordingly with a dedicated stage area and premium sound system. Uncorked on Main is a joint venture of local Georgetown restauranteurs Brady Davies (of The Cellar) and Mike Willis (of Bistro at Silvercreek). They describe the Uncorked on Main experience as mouth-watering tapas fare and romantic wines accompanied by amazingly-talented local musicians. Uncorked on Main’s celebratory opening takes place on Friday December 5, and Saturday December 6 from 6 p.m. Tickets for the opening are $75 and can be picked up at Bistro at Silvercreek, and the Cellar Steak and Seafood in Georgetown. Ticket price includes canapés all night long, a cheese buffet, a champagne toast, three drink tickets and dancing until 2 a.m. to Canadian crooner Monty Greig and his Jazz band.
We sat down with Al Robitaille from Georgetown Musictown and Mike Willis from Uncorked on Main earlier this week. For more information about Georgetown Musictown visit georgetownmusictown.com. For more information about Uncorked on Main, visit uncorkedonmain.ca. Music: Ablett & Cooper, “Angie” from “Changing Landscapes” (2008, Self); Second Wind, “Second Wind” from “Second Wind” (2010, Self).
Phil Elsworthy and Ed Koenig are releasing The Crooked Path, an album of mostly Celtic and Appalachian tunes using guitar, fiddle, mandolin and tambourine at The Albion 2nd Floor in Guelph on Sunday November 30 at 7:30 p.m. There is no cover for this event. Phil Ellsworthy and Ed Koenig joined us in the studio for Folk Roots Radio Overtime from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday November 29.
Shawn William Clarke may be one of Toronto’s best kept secrets. After spending time as a sideman for Timber Timbre and Olenka & The Autumn Lovers, he is now forging his own solo career. As much a storyteller as a singer-songwriter, Shawn strives to make the subject matter for his songs as important as the beautiful melodies that accompany his well-crafted lyrics. His first solo album, 2010’s “Like Birds Too Tired To Fly” was very well-received. He is just about to release his latest album “William”, produced by James Bunton. We reached him at home in Toronto this week. For more information visit shawnclarkemusic.com. Music: Shawn William Clarke “Ten Years Ago”, “In Conversation” & “I Blame The Loyalist Ghost” from “William” (2014, Self).
This week’s episode of Folk Roots Radio featured an in-studio appearance by singer-songwriters Tannis Slimmon, Jude Vadala and Katherine Wheatley who come together each holiday season for a fabulous series of holiday concerts, “Songs For The Snowy Season”. This year, they are also releasing their first album under their new group name Boreal, “Winter’s Welcome”. As usual, we featured lots of new music, plus a new mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
Hillside Inside takes place on the weekend of February 6-8 2015 across Downtown Guelph. The musical portion of the Hillside Festival’s younger sibling kicks off on Friday February 6 with a cabaret style show featuring Oliver Mtukudzi with special guest Alex Cuba at the River Run Centre at 7:30 p.m. Later that night at 10 p.m., Kid Koala will take to the stage at St. George’s Church (Mitchell Hall) with bizZarh. Saturday February 7 features two shows, Owen Pallett with special guest Jennifer Castle in the Sanctuary at St. George’s Church at 3 p.m. and The New Pornographers with special guests Operators in St. George’s Church (Mitchell Hall) at 9:15 p.m. The festival concludes on Sunday February 8 with Stars and special guests Hey Rosetta! at the River Run Centre at 7:30 p.m. Details of community events taking place during the festival are yet to be announced.
Tannis Slimmon, Jude Vadala and Katherine Wheatley come together each Christmas to put on a series of concerts “Songs For The Snowy Season” in collaboration with Folkway Music. This year’s Guelph show (the 8th edition of this holiday tradition) takes place at Guelph Little Theatre, 176 Morris St, Guelph on Saturday, December 6 at 8:30 p.m. (Doors, 8:00 p.m.). This year, the performance will be that little bit more special as they are also releasing their first album under their new group name Boreal, “Winter’s Welcome”. Tickets $22.60 (includes HST) / $25 at the door and available from Folkway Music by phone at 1-855-772-0424, email or in person (22 Dupont Street East, Waterloo); The Bookshelf (41 Quebec Street, Guelph) and online through Event Brite HERE. Tannis, Jude and Katherine joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about the new album and upcoming Christmas shows. For more information about Boreal, visit borealsongs.ca.
Jazz-roots vocalist Brenda Lewis & blues roots singer-songwriter Gayle Ackroyd will be back at Magnolia Café, Guelph on Saturday, November 29 at 8 p.m. for their 2nd annual concert of lesser-known Christmas songs. Expect to be regaled with holiday favourites from 1960s Pop, Rock and R&B – to more recent country, folk and bluegrass, as well as one or two Gayle Ackroyd originals. Tickets are $15 advance purchase, $20 at the door. Ticket & dinner reservations are highly recommended, as this is a small, intimate venue. For reservations, please call: (519)766-4663.
We don’t normally focus on the activities of the Guelph Chamber Choir on Folk Roots Radio but they do have an interesting seasonal concert coming up on Sunday November 30 at 3 p.m. at St. George’s Church, Downtown Guelph. “Carols for Christmas” features special guests “Winter’s Eve Trio” with Sharlene Wallace on Harp, Joe Macerollo on Accordion and George Koller on Bass. This is your opportunity to sing a variety of seasonal songs and carols with the choir in one of Guelph’s finest acoustic spaces. Between choral works and numbers by the trio, choir members will present seasonal readings and poetry.
Three fabulous Guelph-based singer-songwriters Tannis Slimmon, Jude Vadala and Katherine Wheatley come together each Christmas to put on some fabulous concerts “Songs For The Snowy Season” in collaboration with Folkway Music. This year’s Guelph show (the 8th edition of this holiday tradition) takes place at Guelph Little Theatre, 176 Morris St, Guelph on Saturday, December 6 at 8:30 p.m. (Doors, 8:00 p.m.) This year, the performance will be that little bit more special as they’ll also be releasing their first album under their new group name Boreal, “Winter’s Welcome”. Tickets $22.60 (includes HST) / $25 at the door and available from Folkway Music by phone (855-772-0424), email, or in person (22 Dupont Street East, Waterloo), The Bookshelf (41 Quebec Street) and online through Event Brite HERE.
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).
Kitchener-based singer-songwriter Luke Michielsen is just about to release his new album “Oh Surround Me”. Luke joined us in the studio for Folk Roots Radio Overtime on November 15 2014. Sounding at times like REM’s Michael Stipe with songs that have the feel of artists as diverse as Carbon Leaf, Doug Paisley, Hayden and Neil Young, he’s definitely worth checking out. Oh Surround Me was produced by Michael Langford in Toronto. Luke’s Kitchener CD release is at The Boathouse on December 13. He’ll also be in Guelph on December 12 for a pre-release show at Van Gogh’s. Music: Luke Michielson, “For You” from “Oh Surround Me” (2014, Self), “Every Time I Come Home” (Live), “Derrida Says” (Live), “Wanderer” (Live), “Pine Needles” (Live) and “Hypothermia” from “Oh Surround Me” (2014, Self).
Episode 175 of Folk Roots Radio (the weekend of November 15 2014) featured interviews with folky funksters Shore Thing, London Ontario singer-songwriter Carly Thomas and Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace-Smith who together form The Hello Strangers. As usual, there was lots of new music as well as the obligatory mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
Niagara based Shore Thing will be in Guelph on Saturday November 15 2014 for a show at The Cornerstone . They have just released their E.P. “Outside Voices” recorded at Yummy Recordings in St. Catharines. Shore Thing are Jordan Nicolaides on guitar, Wilson Hadfield on guitar, Ben Goerzen on cello and Jarod Cardas on percussion. Their music transcends folk, soul, funk and indie… they describe it as ‘funky’as’folk’! At The Cornerstone they will be joined by The Sweet Experience and Emily & The Mainlanders. The show starts at 9 p.m., and it’s a pay what you can event. For more information visit shorethingtunes.com. We caught up with Jordan Nicolaides in Toronto.
London-based singer/songwriter Carly Thomas and her band will be making their Guelph debut at Van Gogh’s Ear on Saturday, November 22 . The show starts at 9 p.m., and also features local band Let’s Just Be Friends. Carly has just released her new E.P. “Explode” recorded at London’s Sonic Zen Studios by Michael “Musashi” Marucci. We reached her at home in London. Music: Carly Thomas, “Lightning Bolts” and “Explode” from “Explode EP” (2014, Self).
Folk Roots Radio on November 8 2014 was all about the music… lots of it, and, much of it new. As usual we also featured a new mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
The Hello Strangers are sisters Larissa Chace-Smith and Brechyn Chace. They come from rural Pennsylvania and write wonderful roots songs with an earthy Appalachian feel and fabulous harmonies that can chill you to the bone. They describe their music as original Pennsyltucky Fried Sister Folk which is a fair approximation of how ‘it’ makes you feel. These girls have it, in spades. Their first full-length, self-titled album is already among our favourite albums of 2014. We caught up with them at home in Pennsylvania. Photo: Ryan Smith Photography. Music: The Hello Strangers, “The World Knows Far Better”, “What It Takes To Break A Heart” and “Runaway” from “The Hello Strangers” (2014, IMI)
“The Shoeless” are Frank Evans (Slocan Ramblers) on banjo, Eli Bender (Hale and Hearty) on cello and Emilyn Stam (Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Beneath the Ice, Eh?!, Té) on fiddle. They’ll be in Guelph on Thursday November 13 for a show at Magnolia Café at 8 p.m. Their music is a blend of traditional and original tunes/songs, with influences from klezmer, celtic, old time, french, bluegrass and more … they describe it as Bela Fleck meets Bela Bartok in Appalachia! The show starts at 8 p.m. The cover is $10. Magnolia Café is a licensed cafe and restaurant that also doubles as one of the area’s most intimate listening venues. Because of the size of the venue, reservations are highly recommendeded especially if you’d like to enjoy a meal before the show! For more information, visit www.theshoeless.com.
Joanna Chapman-Smith may be based in Toronto, but with familial roots in Canada, the U.S., New Zealand, Italy and Brazil, and a touring schedule that has taken her across the world she has a diversity of life experience that not only comes through in her body of recorded work but also points towards an exciting and very creative future. Her most recent album “Love Me Deeply” only came out in 2013, however she is already preparing to head back into the studio to record a folk-tale album with Ken Whiteley in the producer’s chair. As well her own career as a singer-songwriter, Joanna is also the founder of Songbirds Travelling Music School, which delivers music, vocal and creative workshops into far-flung under-supported communities of Canada. We caught up with her at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference. Music: “Pick Me Up” (Live), “Cry For The Departed” (Live), “Goose Girl” (Live), “Melodies” (Live), “Paris” from “Love Me Deeply” (2013, Wound Up Records).
Folk Roots Radio on November 1 2014 (Episode 173) featured interviews with Ted Ferris from Cambridge Live Music (Cambridge Ontario) discussing their live local music awareness program and Taylor Ashton from Fish & Bird discussing their latest release “Something In The Ether”. As always, we wrapped it all up with a new mystery theme, guilty pleasure and, of course, lots of great music.
In this audio documentary we step inside the Youth Program at the 2014 Folk Music Ontario (FMO) Conference. The program is open to residents of Ontario and the National Capital Region, between ages 15 and 21, who are chosen for their interest, ability and experience. The selected youth members are paired with experienced mentors from the Ontario folk music community for the duration of the weekend conference, while developing a showcase performance and participating in professional development activities. The documentary features commentary and musical contributions from programme coordinator Treasa Levasseur, mentors David Newland, Melanie Brulée, Drew Gonsalves, Tannis Slimmon and Brian Kobayakawa; as well as youth members Jazmine Wykes, Campbell Woods, Martine Fortin, Annie Sumi and Benjamin Rogers. For more information on the Folk Music Ontario Youth Program visit folkmusicontario.ca. Photo credit: Mike Bourgeault. Music: Treasa Levasseur “Shine Your Light” from “The Memphis Sessions” (2013, Self), David Newland “I Saw the Light” from “Give It A Whirl” (2012, Self), Melanie Brulée “Wonder” from “Sucré/Salé” (2012, Self), Kobo Town (Drew Gonsalves) “Mr. Monday” from “Jumbie In The Jukebox” (2012, Cumbancha), Tannis Slimmon “Do What You Do” from “In & Out Of Harmony” (2013, Self), Brian Kobayakawa “Indeed Indeed” (Demo), Jazmine Wykes “Laura’s Song” (Demo), Campbell Woods “Mad Trapper” (Demo), Martine Fortin “Qui est c’est fille?” (Demo), Annie Sumi “Life Like That” (Demo), Benjamin Rogers “Wayfarer” & “Pendulum” from “Wayfarer” (2014, Self).
Fish & Bird are a five piece alt. folk – roots band, featuring songwriter Taylor Ashton (vocals, banjo), Adam Iredale-Gray (fiddle, vocals), Ryan Boeur (electric and acoustic guitars), Ben Kelly (drums) and Zoe Guigueno (upright bass, vocals). They will be in Guelph for a Folk Roots Radio promoted CD launch for “Something In The Ether” at Silence, 46 Essex St on Wednesday November 12 2014. The support act will be Guelph’s own Tannis Slimmon. I had the privilege of introducing Fish & Bird at the Kingsville Folk Music Festival this summer, and they put on a fabulous show. Their performance at Kingsville was especially memorable in that they earned, that rare distinction, a festival main stage encore. The Silence show starts at 8 p.m. (doors 7:30 p.m.) Tickets four the Guelph show are $20 in advance ($25 at the door). Advanced tickets may be purchased online from Ticket Scene here. Silence is a fully accessible concert venue. We caught up with Taylor Ashton earlier this week. Music: Fish & Band, “Something In The Ether” , “Lost” and “Go-To-Bed Light” from “Something In The Ether” (2014, Fiddle Head Records).