Guitar-picking, classically-trained folkie Shawna Caspi released a great album of coffee house folk in 2014, “Apartments For Lovers” – an album that not only contains Shawna’s songs, but is also adorned by her own art work. Shawna joined Folk Roots Radio at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music, and play a couple of songs live. For more information visit shawnacaspi.com. Photo: Roni Hoffman. Music: Shawna Caspi “Devil’s Rolling Pin” from “Apartments For Lovers” (2014, Self), “Take This Mountain” (Live), “Never Enough” (Live) and “Not So Silent” from “Apartments For Lovers” (2014, Self).
James Gordon is just about to release “Sunny Jim”, his forty-something album over all, and seventh on Borealis Records. The title (and title track) alluding to the fact that we all have our down days, even someone as relentlessly upbeat and optimistic as James Gordon – singer-songwriter, community activist, and now city councillor in Guelph, Ontario. The album features James Gordon, accompanied by his musical sons Geordie and Evan, on 12 songs that, as expected, ooze social commentary on everything from politics and protest, to war and conflict and the environment, but, more personally, also reflect on love and loss. There’s also a very special a cappella version of what maybe his best known song “Frobisher Bay” – originally written for his former band Tamarack, it has been covered more than 100 times. Album release shows take place in Hamilton at The Pearl Company (June 11), Toronto, at Hugh’s Room (June 16), Guelph at Heritage Hall (June 17) and Collingwood (June 18) at Simcoe Street Theatre. We caught up with James at home in Guelph to chat about the new album. For more information and to BUY Tickets visit jamesgordon.ca.
We’re giving the whole of this episode of Folk Roots Radio over to an interview with banjo player and rising star Kaia Kater who has just released her sophomore recording “Nine Pin”. Nine Pin is a concept album that takes as its inspiration the Black Lives Matter movement and Kaia’s own experience growing up as a person of colour in North America. And it’s an album that gives Kaia free reign to push her own boundaries using her old-time Appalachian banjo as the leaping off point for powerful lyrical songs that show maturity way beyond her years. It really is a terrific album, and it’s a great interview. I hope you enjoy it.
This episode of Folk Roots Radio features two interviews. Banjo and fiddle playing singer-songwriter Hannah Shira Naiman joined us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music, her new project involving shadow puppetry, and play a couple of songs live. We also check in with Gordie Tentrees who will be appearing at this year’s Kingsville Folk Music Festival which takes place in the beautiful confines of Lakeside Park in Kingsville from August 12-14. And as always, we include some of the best of the new releases we’ve received.
Kaia Kater has just released her sophomore recording “Nine Pin”. Recorded in just one day in Toronto, with Chris Bartos, the producer of Kaia’s debut album “Sorrow Bound”, Nine Pin is a concept album that takes as its inspiration the Black Lives Matter movement and Kaia’s own experience growing up as a person of colour in North America – but also touches on more personal source material such as love and loss. And it’s an album that gives Kaia free reign to push her own boundaries using her old-time Appalachian banjo as the leaping off point for powerful lyrical songs that show maturity way beyond her years. We caught up with Kaia at home in Toronto to chat about the new album. Kaia has a CD release concert in Toronto at the Burdock on June 12. She’ll also be appearing at the Kingsville Folk Music Festival, August 12-14. For more information, visit kaiakater.com. Music: Kaia Kater “Rising Down”, “Harlem’s Little Blackbird”, “Paradise Fell” and “Nine Pin” from “Nine Pin” (2016, Self).
Gordie Tentrees is no stranger to Folk Roots Radio. We’ve interviewed him a couple of times before, and I think the last time was around the release of his great 2015 album “Less Is More”. Well, Gordie will be bringing what he describes as his ‘storytelling-based folk, country, blues thing‘ to this year’s Kingsville Folk Music Festival with support from Jaxon Haldane (who will be performing in his own right at the festival). This year’s festival takes place from August 12-14 2016 in the beautiful confines of Lakeside Park in Kingsville. Get your tickets HERE. We reached Gordie at home in the Yukon to chat about what’s new with his music and this year’s festival. Music: Gordie Tentrees “Somebody’s Child” from “Less Is more” (2015, Buckaroo Records).
Banjo and fiddle playing singer-songwriter Hannah Shira Naiman is just about to head into the studio to record the follow-up to “Tether My Heart”, her very well received 2013 album on Merriweather Records. Hannah joined us at Folk Music Ontario to chat about her music and Shadow Puppet Theatre, her collaboration with shadow puppeteer Christopher Godziuk of Panadream Theatre. Using Hannah’s lyrics for inspiration, Christopher creates a shadow puppet world to complement the musical performance. Check out their video for Hannah’s song “Tether My Heart” HERE. Hannah also played a couple of new songs live for us. For more information visit hannahshiranaiman.com. Music: Hannah Shira Naiman “Little Fox” from “Tether My Heart” (2013, Merriweather Records), “Ruby Kee” (Live), “The Blue House (Live) and “Tekakwitha” from “Tether My Heart” (2013, Merriweather Records).
We’re giving over the whole of this episode of Folk Roots Radio to the music of Leamington Ontario singer-songwriter Dale Butler. As well as his own career as a full-time musician, Dale also hosts a coffee house that helps nurture the careers of new performers. Dale joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about his music and play a few songs live.
This episode of Folk Roots Radio is all about banjos… well, not quite, but mostly. Arnie Naiman joins us to chat about his latest album “Our Lucky Stars”. We also play tracks from the new albums of fellow banjo enthusiasts Chris Coole and Kaia Kater. And, as always, we also share some of the non-banjo related music we’ve received recently.
Clawhammer and old time style 5-string banjo player Arnie Naiman has just released, “My Lucky Stars”, his latest collection of mostly original 5-string banjo music featuring solo tunes, banjo/guitar duets with Chris Coole, and several band numbers that also feature John Showman and Arnie’s daughter Hannah Shira Naiman on fiddle and Max Heinemann on bass. We caught up with Arnie Naiman at home in Toronto to chat about the new album. For more information visit arnienaiman.com. Music: Arnie Naiman “Playing Jane”, “My Lucky Stars”, “Take Your Time” and “Slipping & Sliding/Boatsman” from “My Lucky Stars” (2016, Merriweather Records).
The Fitzgerald Family will be bringing their own brand of high-energy fiddle and group step-dancing to the Fergus Grand Theatre for the Guelph Celtic Orchestra Seasonal Finale on Saturday May 28 at 8 p.m. Featuring champion Canadian old-time fiddlers Julie (24), Kerry (23), and Tom (20) supported by brother Pat (25) on percussion, and a repertoire that includes traditional jigs and reels alongside bluegrass, jazz and swing, Celtic and gospel, it promises to be a great night out. Advance tickets are $25, $30 at the door. If you’re still not sure why you need to be there, you might like to check out their promotional video. Buy tickets online HERE.
Dale Butler has been making music in Essex County in South-Western Ontario for over forty years. A full time musician, singer-songwriter and storyteller Dale performs solo, as a duo with wife Judy and also with his band “Dale Butler & Friends”. He also hosts Dale’s Friday Coffee House, formerly known as the Last Friday Coffee House, a Leamington musical institution that takes place monthly at The Bank Theatre and helps nurture the careers of young and new performers. Dale is also known for a great folk festival workshop where he shows participants how to play a guitar in two minutes even if they’ve never ever held a guitar before – a hold over from his days as a music store proprietor in Leamington. Dale joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about his music and play a few songs live. Music: Dale Butler “Love That Grows” from “Aiming For Left Field” (2014, Self), “My Life” (Live), “Let’s Write Our Song” (Live), “Question Marks on My Windshield” from “Now I See” (2013, Self), “Lonely Child” (Live), “Thirty Years On” (Live) and “Summertime” from “Butler Tunes 1” (2012, Self).
Toronto based singer-songwriter and guitarist Noah Zacharin joins us on this episode of Folk Roots Radio to talk about “Strange Rider”, an album that gives a band treatment to a selection of some of his older songs. It’s one of our favourite albums of the year so far, and definitely worth checking out. As always, we also include music from some of the new releases that we’ve received.
Mike Hill, artistic director at the Mariposa Folk Festival joins us on this episode to chat about Mariposa’s 56th edition taking place the weekend of July 8-10 2016, in beautiful Tudhope Park in Orillia, on the shores of Lake Couchiching. Mariposa is always an early summer highlight for us and as usual they have a great line-up. As always, we also include some of the latest releases we’ve received in the mix.
Toronto-based singer-songwriter Noah Zacharin has just released his seventh recording, the genre-defying “Strange Rider”, an album that moves effortlessly between blues, jazz, folk, pop and r n’ b, and even throws some doo-wop into the mix. The album features ten older Noah Zacharin songs given the widescreen treatment, with support from co-producer Douglas September, and an elite group of Toronto musicians and backing vocalists, aided by legendary side players Ralph Carney (Tom Waits) on horns and Ken Pearson (Janis Joplin) on piano. The album has a wonderful expansive and lush feel, without ever feeling over-bearing or forced – and really rewards multiple listening. We caught up with Noah Zacharin at home in Toronto. For more information, visit noahsong.com. Music: Noah Zacharin “The Way Love Calls”, “A Woman’s Tears” and “Miss Me When I’m Gone” from “Strange Rider” (2016, Self).
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).
This episode of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Manitoba Hal Brolund who has dedicated his musical career to proving that the ukulele is a mighty instrument despite only having four strings. It’s a really informative interview and well worth checking out. As always we also have a great selection of new music we’ve received to share with you. Photo credit: James Millar.
This episode features an interview with John & Michele Law who joined us to chat about the line up for the 3rd Annual Kingsville Folk Music Festival, which takes place from August 12-14, in the beautiful confines of Lakeside Park in Kingsville on the shores of Lake Erie It’s a great festival and already gaining a great reputation for bringing fabulous folk, roots, blues and world music down into South-western Ontario. There’s also a lot of new music on this episode. I hope you’ll check it out.
Ukulele bluesman Manitoba Hal Brolund has dedicated his musical career to proving that the ukulele is a mighty instrument despite only having four strings. Ukelele advocate, teacher and performer, Hal joined us at Folk Music Ontario to chat about all matters ukulele, including his new album “Dancing in the Moonlight”, a fine selection of songs reflecting on matters of love, loss and redemption. For more information, visit manitobahal.com. Photo credit: Ed Sprake Photography. Music: Manitoba Hal “Come To Me”, “Sweet Honey Bee” and “Daylight” from “Dancing In The Moonlight” (2015, Hal’s Kitchen).
The performers for the 3rd Annual Kingsville Folk Music Festival, which takes place from August 12-14, have just been announced. This year, the festival, which takes place in the beautiful confines of Lakeside Park in Kingsville on the shore of Lake Erie, features Buffy Sainte-Marie, fresh from success at the Juno Awards with her Polaris Music Prize winning album “Power in the Blood”. Joining Buffy at this year’s festival are Alex Cuba, Quique Escamilla, Irish Mythen, Garnet Rogers, Alysha Brilla, Qristina & Quinn Bachand, Bill Bourne, The Boxcar Boys, Jason Dennie & Rochelle Clark, Tony Gouveia, Maneli Jamal, Connie Kaldor, Kaia Kater, The Laws, Rob Lutes, Danielle Miraglia, The O’Pears, Amanda Rheaume, Gordie Tentrees & Jaxon Haldane, Union Duke, Luther Wright, Dale Butler, Francine Leclair, Whoa Nellie! Vera & Johnny, Tribute to Willie P. Bennett and children’s performers: Jangles The Magical Clown, Butterfingers and Magoo alongside Todd Crowley’s Musical Petting Zoo. Artistic Directors John & Michele Law joined us to chat about this year’s festival. Weekend passes at Kingsville are still under $100 which sounds like a great deal and Children 16 and under are admitted FREE! Regular priced weekend – senior – student and single day passes are now available online HERE. For more information visit kingsvillefolkfest.org. Music: Buffy Sainte-Marie “Power In The Blood” from “Power In The Blood” (2015, True North Records).