Steve and Marni Van Kessel, who make music together as VK, join us on Episode 471 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their new album – album number three, “Charm”, a wonderful bluesy Americana folk-rock recorded with their new band Legends of THE DEEP. We also check out more of the latest new releases, and this time around we hear from Catherine MacLellan, Connie Kaldor, Jake Morley, Unfaithful Servants, Kevin K Gagnon, Adrian Sutherland, Kete Bowers, Lizanne Knott and Stephen Fearing. Check out the full playlist below.
Abe Drennan is a Canadian folk singer, educator and social / environmental activist based in the beautiful town of Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories, and over 100 miles into the Arctic circle. Abe released the single “Spirits Soared” earlier this summer – a song written to commemorate the lives of Daniel, 9, Harrison, 5 and Milly, 2, as well as their grandfather, Gary Neville, who were all killed in a car crash, caused by a drunk driver, on September 27 2015, in Vaughan ON. Proceeds from the release of the single go to support the work of the not-for-profit Many Hands, Doing Good, a charity born out of the tragedy, which supports arts programmes for children who have experienced trauma and also provides a radio broadcasting scholarship in honour of grandfather Gary. Spirits Soared is included on Abe Drennan’s second album “Iglu Sessions”, which was recorded and produced with Jason Manns in the iconic Igloo Church in Inuvik. Folk Roots Radio caught up with Abe Drennan in Inuvik to learn more about his music. For more information about the music of Abe Drennan, visit abedrennan.com. Music: Abe Drennan “Spirits Soared”, “Way Up North”, “There For You” and “Moments In Time” from “Iglu Sessions” (2019, Self) CDN.
Tomorrow Bird are an acoustic folk duo from the UK featuring Jen Bird and Simon Driscoll, who specialize in heartfelt songs that reflect on the human experience. They sing of hope, love, loss, courage and empowerment – creating stories and melodies that are complimented by the duo’s rich vocals and seamless harmonies. Jen and Simon met while Jen was pursuing a solo career, and Simon leading the folk-rock band Burnt Tomorrow. Tomorrow Bird released their self-titled debut album in 2018. Jen and Simon have also co-written and produced four full-length musicals together; “The Island of Lost Children”, “The Best Murder Mystery Party Ever”, “The Box” and “Imagine That”. Tomorrow Bird recently released a new single “Love Is Love”, which was written to coincide with Pride celebrations in the UK. Proceeds from the sale of the single will go to support the Stonewall UK charity. Folk Roots Radio caught up with Jen and Simon at home in Reading to chat about their music. For more information about the music of Tomorrow Bird visit tomorrowbird.com. Music: Tomorrow Bird “Love Is Love” (single) (2019, Self) and “Beyond The Storm”, “Heaven Forbid” and “Get Gone” from “Tomorrow Bird” (2018, Self).
We have a very special interview on Episode 470 of Folk Roots Radio. Coco Love Alcorn joins us to chat about her new album “Rebirth”, the follow-up to the very well-received 2016 album “Wonderland”. Like Wonderland, the new album is spiritual, but with a distinctly non-denominational message, it’s not at all preachy. Twelve new tracks that blend together Coco’s pop, jazz and gospel influences, while some of the tracks also have a lovely R&B feel to them. It’s a great album – and we know we’re biased, but it’s a fabulous interview. As usual, we wrap the episode with more of the new music we’ve received and this time around we hear from Katie Dahl, Tim Grimm, Dayna Manning, Bruce Cockburn and Robbie Smith, from Naming the Twins – who sadly passed away earlier this year. Check out the full playlist below.
Helen Austin and Paul Otten make music together as Big Little Lions. They join us on Episode 469 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their sixth album “Inside Voice” – fourteen songs that take as their theme the issue of mental health with songs about dementia, depression and anxiety. It’s a great album, and Helen and Paul are always a great interview. We also check out new music from Hannah Connolly, Lizanne Knott, Lori Lynne Johnson, Anna Ludlow, The Fitzgeralds and Don Brownrigg. Check out the full playlist below.
Coco Love Alcorn is getting ready to release “Rebirth”, the follow-up to her very well-received 2016 album “Wonderland”. With a spiritual, but distinctly non-denominational message, Rebirth – like Wonderland, makes great use of Coco’s pop, jazz and gospel stylings, but with more of an R&B feel this time around. It’s a collection of songs that exhibit bravery and vulnerability with, in some cases, almost a spine-tingling fragility, as they document Coco’s own journey to spiritual growth. It’s a great recording, and one that really speaks to the importance of discovering and nurturing your own true self; and it’s an album that is sure to appeal to a growing fanbase. Coco Love Alcorn joined us on Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about the new project. Coco Love Alcorn will be on tour this fall with Ontario stops in Toronto, London, Perth, Kingston, Newmarket, and Owen Sound; Chelsea (Quebec), three concerts in Nova Scotia (Mahone Bay, Wolfville, Halifax), and then on to Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg. To learn more about the music of Coco Love Alcorn and to check out all upcoming tour dates, visit cocolovealcorn.com. Music: Coco Love Alcorn “Rebirth”, “What I Need”, “The Keeper” and “A Song To Sing” from “Rebirth” (2019, Self).
Manitoba singer-songwriter Del Barber joins us on Episode 468 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his fabulous new Americana flavoured album “Easy Keeper”. Easy Keeper may be the best thing Del Barber has ever done, although we are talking about an artist who has already been nominated for two Junos. A fine album, from a performer at the top of his game, and a great interview – we do hope you’ll stay with us to check it out. As usual, we wrap up the episode with some more of the latest new releases and this time we include great songs from Zachary Lucky, Ian & Sylvia, Don Brownrigg, Madison Galloway, Graham Lindsey, Caroline Spence, Susan Gibson and Lynne Hanson. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re pleased to bring you another episode of all female artists on Episode 467 of Folk Roots Radio. New York City based singer-songwriter Emily Mure joins us to chat about “Sad Songs and Waltzes”, her wonderful E.P. of reimagined cover songs. We’re big fans of Emily’s music, and it was a real pleasure to welcome her to Folk Roots Radio. We also check out more of the latest new releases and this time around we hear from Coco Love Alcorn, Jordana Talsky, Annie & Rod Capps, The Sweet Lowdown, Anna Ludlow, Katherine Fischer, West My Friend, Dayna Manning and Sharon Goldman. Check out the full playlist below.
Former lead vocalist with Prairie Oyster Russell deCarle is heading back out on tour this fall in support of his third solo album – the wonderful “Alone In Crowd”. Warm and smokey, it’s a wonderful slice of southern soul with some jazz, blues, old school country and western swing thrown into the mix – and some great players including regular compardres – the ever wonderful Steve Briggs on guitar, Russ Boswell on bass, John Sheard (piano), Denis Keldie (accordion), Chris Whiteley (harmonica) with drums by Al Cross and Jorn Anderson and vocal support from Cindy Church, Erin Costelo, Karla Crawford and Michelle Willis. Russell deCarle is one of those performers you always want to catch live, and he’ll be playing dates across Southern Ontario this fall with stops in Grimsby (Station One Coffee House – October 19), Collingwood (CROW Bar and Variety, incl. dinner option – October 22), Oakville (Moonshine Cafe, with Steve Briggs and Paul Pigat – October 25), Toronto (Hugh’s Room Live, with Steve Briggs and Paul Pigat – October 27). He will also be in Alberta in November with shows in Edmonton (New Moon Folk Club – November 15) and Calgary (Bow Valley Music Club – November 17). Russell de Carle joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about his music and upcoming tour dates. For more information about Russell deCarle, and all upcoming tour dates, visit russelldecarle.com. Music: Russell deCarle “Tanqueray”, “Lock Stock and Sorrows”, “Alone In This Crowd” from “Alone In This Crowd” (2017, Red Car Music).
Toronto roots rockers Skydiggers have just released “Let’s Get Friendship Right” – the follow up to the very well-received “Warmth Of The Sun” from 2017. Josh Finlayson and Andy Maize have been making music together as Skydiggers, with a variety of musical compadres, for nearly 30 years. The new project came out of a desire to use music as therapy to cope with the passing of several friends and family members – the majority of the songs on the new recording, which was originally intended to reflect on the five stages of grief, coming out of a songwriting retreat at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity. Let’s Get Friendship Right, which features nine new songs, was recorded at The Tragically Hip’s The Bathouse Studio with engineer/producer Nyles Spencer, with support from Peter von Althen (percussion) and Aaron Comeau (guitar/bass/keyboards). Josh Finlayson joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about the new album. For more information about Skydiggers and their upcoming tour dates, visit skydiggers.com. Photo: Heather Pollock. Music: “If I’m Spared”, “Ineligible” and “Questions of Love” from “Let’s Get Friendship Right” (2019, Latent Recordings) CDN.
Australian acoustic blues legend Lloyd Spiegel has been performing his hard-hitting, cutting edge brand of blues for more than 30 years. While on tour in Canada, Lloyd Spiegel sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the Folk Music Ontario conference for a chat about his music and three live songs. Believe it or not, Lloyd Spiegel first picking up a guitar at the age of four, played his first professional show at age ten and was touring the east coast of Australia at 12! Lloyd Spiegel’s tenth album “Cut and Run”, is the final part of a trilogy about personal redemption that he didn’t even realize he was writing until it was finished. Whereas his previous albums “Backroads” and “This Time Tomorrow” had Lloyd reflecting on the sins of the past and begging for forgiveness, Cut And Run finds him facing the next chapter of his life with optimism and determination. Check out the video of Lloyd Spiegel playing three songs at Folk Music Ontario HERE. You can SUBSCRIBE to Folk Roots Radio’s new Youtube channel HERE. For more information about the music of Lloyd Spiegel and upcoming tour dates, visit lloydspiegel.com. Music: Lloyd Spiegel “Life Is A Gamble” (Live), “Old Wounds” (Live) and “Mississippi Sun” (Live).
Russell deCarle joins us on Episode 466 of Folk Roots Radio for a wonderful conversation about his career, third solo album “Alone in this Crowd” and his live show. Russell deCarle is a fabulous artist who always surrounds himself with a supporting cast of great musicians, to put on a concert experience that just seems to be getting better and better. We also check out new releases from Linda McRae, William Kuklis, Lizanne Knott, Twas Now, Paul Pigat & Boxcar Campfire, West My Friend and Ruby Muse. Check out the full playlist below.
Josh Finlayson and Andy Maize have been making music together as Skydiggers, with a variety of musical compadres, for nearly 30 years. Josh Finlayson joins us on Episode 465 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about Skydiggers new album “Let’s Get Friendship Right”, the follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Warmth of the Sun” from 2017. The development of Let’s Get Friendship Right came out of a desire to use music as therapy to cope with the passing of several friends and family members. Music can be great medicine for what ails you, especially when faced with life’s challenges. Let’s Get Friendship Right is a great album, and it’s an excellent interview – we hope you’ll stay with us to check it out. We also take a look at more of the latest new releases, and this time around we hear from The New Customs, Bryan McPherson, Noah Derksen, Sultans of String, Natalie MacMaster, Jennis and Gathering Sparks. Check out the full playlist below.
Singer-songwriter Jean-Paul De Roover is renowned for his innovative and original approach to music, using live looping with guitars and voice as part of his performance. Although Jean-Paul was born in Thunder Bay, ON, he was raised overseas in Africa, Asia and South America before returning to Canada in 2001 – an upbringing that led him to create a post-pop style that is decidedly his own, blending ideas from rock, pop, a cappella and electronica together in his music. Jean-Paul De Roover released a great new acoustic album “Love” earlier this year. It’s actually part of a two album set, Love & Loss, with “Loss” to be released in 2020. As well as being a singer-songwriter, Jean-Paul De Roover is also a composer for film and TV, and currently artistic director at the Live from the Rock Folk Festival. Jean-Paul De Roover sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2019 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music. For more information about the music of Jean-Paul De Roover, and upcoming tour dates, visit jeanpaulderoover.com. Music: Jean-Paul De Roover “My Heart and My Head”, “I’ll Do Anything”, “I Can’t Sleep” and “Ragged Angel” from “Love” (2019, Self) CDN.
Australian acoustic blues great Lloyd Spiegel joins us on Episode 464 of Folk Roots Radio for a chat about his music and three live songs. A fantastic live performer, Lloyd Spiegel has been performing his hard-hitting, cutting edge brand of blues for more than 30 years. Lloyd Spiegel released his tenth album, “Cut & Run”, earlier this year. It’s a great interview – we hope you’ll check it out. And as always we wrap up the hour with more new releases, and this time we hear from I’m With Her, Annie & Rod Capps, Zachary Lucky, Dale Boyle, The Lifers, Jennis, Durham County Poets and Kae Shelby. Check out the full playlist below.
Toronto singer-songwriter and carpenter Tim Moxam joins us on Episode 463 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his music, latest album “Marlborough Hall” and the StopGap on Tour initiative – building and delivering StopGap wooden accessibility ramps to inaccessible music venues he visits while on tour. It’s a very inspirational interview, and definitely worth checking out. We also take a look at more of the new music we’ve received, and this time around we hear from Big Little Lions, Daniel Norgren, Jeremy Voltz, Linda McRae, Darling Cora, Rising Appalachia, Kevin Mitchell, Ian Reid, Peter Light and Gathering Sparks. Check out the full playlist below.
Linda McRae is getting ready to release a great new solo recording “Going to the Well” (October 1 release). The new album actually came out of house concert put on by fellow singer-songwriter Deni Gauthier in St Thomas ON, who suggested that Linda might like to record a few tracks in his studio. What followed is a new stripped down recording that’s really just Linda McRae singing with her guitar or banjo, alongside some great cameos from Gurf Morlix and Bill Kirchen on guitar and backing vocals, Deni Gauthier on guitar and duet vocal, and Shara Gustafson on backing vocals. The new album features solo versions of three Linda McRae songs from her 2015 “Shadow Trails” album, a new lovely Linda McRae and Kelly Kessler co-write, with a poignant political message, “Empty”, and some wonderful covers including solo banjo versions of David Bowie’s “Heroes” and “Ashes to Ashes”, Richard Thompson’s “Dimming of the Day”, Bill Kirchen’s “Man in the Bottom of the Well” and Willie P Bennett’s “Caney Fork River”. We caught up with Linda McRae at home in Nashville to chat about the new album. For more information about the music of Linda McRae and upcoming tour dates, visit lindamcrae.com. Music: Linda McRae “Ashes to Ashes”, “Empty”, “Man in the Bottom of the Well” and “Dimming of the Day” from “Going to the Well” (2019, 42 RPM).
Ottawa based singer-songwriter Kae Shelby‘s inspirational debut album “Music and Motorcycles” is the recording that she always wanted to make, and a life long dream. Kae describes the music on the album as a blend of Southern Rock Infused Canadiana Country that will reach inside and touch your soul. Produced by Anders Drerup and Steve Foley, the new album features eight tracks – six original songs and a couple of great covers; Brad Paisley’s “When I get Where I’m Goin'” recorded in memorium for her brother and a long time favourite, Melissa Etheridge’s “Late September Dogs”. Getting the album out there represents a sense of passage for Kae Shelby, who waited until she mostly wound down a career in policing before allowing her music to take flight. Folk Roots Radio caught up with Kae Shelby at home in Ottawa to learn more about the new album. For more information visit kaeshelby.ca. Music: Kae Shelby “Here I Am”, “Through the Reckless”, “Waiting For When” and “My High My Way” from “Music and Motorcycles” (2019, Willow Sounds Records) CDN.
Fresh Breath are a wonderful Cottam ON based duo, featuring Josh and Katie Pascoe, with a very positive attitude and a sound that they describe as folk-rock, blues, pop and country with a lot of heart and soul. Fresh Breath released their well-received full-length album “Us Against The World” in June 2017, and they’ve just released the follow-up, “The Big Picture”. Fresh Breath joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about their music and the new album. For more information about the music of Fresh Breath, visit freshbreathband.com. Music: Fresh Breath “Jump In”, “One Liners”, “I Still Cry” and “I’m On A Roll” from “The Big Picture” (2019, Self) CDN.
Marni and Steve Van Kessel, who make music together as VK, are back with a new album – album number three, and this time it’s a wonderful bluesy Americana folk-rock recording with their new band Legends of THE DEEP. After a very successful appearance at this spring’s Roots North Music Festival in support of their last album, “Terms and Conditions, VK released the new album “Charm” at this summer’s Mariposa Folk Festival. Joining Steve and Marni Van Kessel as Legends of THE DEEP on this recording are John Lebarr (guitar/vocals), Sean Murray (keyboards/vocals), Jamey Heidman (bass/vocals) and Roger Stanley (percussion). Folk Roots Radio caught up the Marni and Steve Van Kessel at home in Orillia to chat about the new album. For more information about the music of VK, visit 112records.com/vk. Photo credit: GH Thomson. Music: VK & Legends of THE DEEP “Letting Go”, “Love Me Baby” and “Someday, Someway” from “Charm” (2019, 112 Records) CDN.
Three-time Juno award winning singer-songwriter David Francey‘s musical world fell apart when he was told by his doctors that he must rest his voice. At the time, he was all set to head out on an extensive tour to promote his 2018 album “The Broken Heart Of Everything”, which had also been nominated for a Juno. David Francey joins us on Episode 462 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about having to take a break from singing, and how with a bit of help from his other creative outlet – his visual art, he was able to get through it. The good news is that David Francey will be back on the road this fall, though taking it a little easier as far as his touring schedule is concerned. It’s a great interview – we hope you’ll stay with us to check it out. We also take a look at more of the new music we’ve received, and this time around we hear from Dale Boyle, Ariana Gillis, Den Of Ashes, Jon Brooks, Sussex, Emily Mure and Jessica Rhaye and the Ramshackle Parade. Check out the full playlist below.
Toronto full-time musician and carpenter Tim Moxam is putting all his skills to good use as he heads out on a tour with a difference, delivering StopGap wooden accessibility ramps to inaccessible music venues he visits along the way. Tim is coordinating the StopGap On Tour initiative, a program that partners musicians who possess a skilled trade (like Tim, and Broken Social Scene’s Jason Collett) with Toronto’s StopGap Foundation, a Canadian charity that is raising awareness about the importance of accessibility, inclusion, and a barrier-free society. Through StopGap’s Community Ramp Project, businesses with single step entryways are able to receive a custom built access ramp, drawing attention to the issue of accessibility, while at the same time creating an entrance that is accessible to everyone. Tim Moxam released the excellent “Marlborough Hall” earlier this year, the follow-up to his very well-received debut “Soft Summer” from 2016. Tim regards Marlborough Hall as a substantial development in his career as a musician. “Soft Summer was about loss and heartbreak, about being traumatized by love and relationships. Marlborough Hall is about maturity and confidence. It’s about coming to terms with who I am and owning that. It’s about honesty.” Marlborough Hall features nine new songs and was produced by Chris Stringer (Megan Bonnell, Timber Timbre, The Wooden Sky) at Toronto’s Union Sound Company with support from multi-instrumentalist Adrian Cook (guitars, keys, synths, woodwinds), Joshua Van Tassell (drums, percussion), Charles James (bass) and Ivy Mairi (vocals). We caught up with Tim Moxam on tour in Eastern Canada to chat about his music and the Stop Gap on Tour initiative. For more information about the music of Tim Moxam and upcoming tour dates, visit timmoxam.com. Check out the video about the Stop Gap on Tour initiative HERE. Music: Tim Moxam “Honesty”, “All I Feel”, “Marlborough Hall” and “Goodbye Already” from “Marlborough Hall” (2019, Roaring Girl Records) CDN.
Toronto singer-songwriter Jon Brooks is getting ready to release his seventh album, “Moth Nor Rust II”- a re-imagining of his 2009 solo album “Moth Nor Rust”, and this time around, he brings his band ‘The Outskirts Of Approval’ along for the ride. The Outskirts of Approval feature Neil Cruickshank (guitars, bass, organ), John Showman (fiddle) and Vivienne Wilder (bass, vocals). Moth Nor Rust II was produced by the original engineer, Jason LaPrade with Neil Cruickshank. A Kerrville New Folk winner (2010), Jon Brooks has been nominated for English Songwriter of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards more times than any other artist. He says that he writes songs to calm those who’ve looked into and seen what is in their hearts; he also writes songs to terrify those who’ve not. That’s pretty accurate as far as we’re concerned – his lyrics deserve to be poured over, as no word is EVER wasted. He’s an artist who pushes you to reflect on what you’re listening to, and in the case of Moth Nor Rust to ask what it means to be human. When Jon Brooks decides it’s time to revisit an album to reflect on his own artistic maturity and with a new band in tow, then it’s definitely time for another conversation. Jon Brooks joined us on Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth interview about his music and the new album. A must-see performer, Jon Brooks will be releasing the new album at The Moonshine Cafe, Oakville (September 12) and The Dakota Tavern, Toronto (September 13). For more information about Jon brooks and upcoming tour dates, visit jonbrooks.ca. Photo: Kevin Kelly. Music: “When We Go, “What’s Within Us”, “The Crying of the Times #3” and “There Is Only Love” from “Moth Nor Rust II” (2019, Fallen Tree Records) CDN.
Three-time Juno award winning singer-songwriter David Francey released “The Broken Heart Of Everything” in 2018, another beautiful and timeless collection, that was again nominated for a Juno. Unfortunately, around the time he was due to head out on some extensive touring, to promote the new album, David found had to take time off from performing to rest his voice. Although the enforced break seriously impacted his musical plans, it did allow him to focus more on his other creative pursuit – visual art, leading to the development of an art tour of Canada that visited many of the places he had planned to tour with his music. David Francey is back on the road this fall with Ontario dates in Newmarket (September 21), Waterloo (October 5), Toronto (Hugh’s Room Live) (October 6), Uxbridge (November 16) and an appearance at the Deep Roots Festival in Wolfville NS (September 27-28). Later in the fall, he will be heading to Ireland on his Irish Bus Tour and then off to Alberta and Saskatchewan for dates in Edmonton (November 2), Hinton (November 3), Saskatoon (November 5), Regina (November 6) and Calgary (November 9). David Francey joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about this music, his visual art and getting back on the road again. For more information and upcoming shows, visit davidfrancey.com. Music: David Francey “Walking In Jerusalem”, “The Flower of Colonsay” and “Lonely Road” from “The Broken Heart of Everything” (2019, Laker Music) CDN.
Toronto singer-songwriter Jon Brooks joins us on Episode 461 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his seventh album “Moth Not Rust II” – a reimagining of his 2009 solo album of the same name, but this time around, with his band ‘The Outskirts of Approval’. Jon Brooks is one of those performers that is a must see – and an artist who pushes you to reflect on what you’re listening to, and in the case of Moth Nor Rust – to ask what it means to be human. I know we’re biased, but it’s a fabulous interview with an artist who really brings out the fan in me. Rounding out the episode this time around, we also check our new music from The New Customs, Nelson Sobral, Lloyd Spiegel, Bruce Cockburn, Sharon Goldman and Emily Mure. Check out the full playlist below.