Wild Rivers are a band that’s really starting to happen. They started life as harmonizing folk pop duo Devan & Khaild, featuring Devan Glover (vocals) and Khalid Yassein (vocals, guitar), while at Queen’s University in Kingston, before morphing into the four piece ‘Wild Rivers’ with the addition of Andrew Oliver (guitar, bass) and Julien Laferriere (drums). After two album releases and a couple of singles, the Toronto-based band are really gaining traction on streaming services, and have already developed a loyal fan base. They’re just back from their Far Departed tour of the North Eastern US, Ontario and Quebec. Before that, they opened for Australian band The Paper Kites on the North American leg of the “Where You Live” tour. In April they will be touring Western Canada with Matt Andersen and his band. We caught up with Khalid Yassein in Toronto to chat about their music. For more information, visit wildriversmusic.com. Photo credit: Aika Lau. Music: Wild Rivers ““Moving Target” (single) (2019, Self), “Howling” and “I Won’t Be Back” from “Eighty Eight” (2018, Self)
One of Canada’s finest songwriters, Ron Sexsmith will be performing an intimate solo show at the 2019 Roots North Music Festival, at the St. Paul’s Centre in Orillia ON on Friday April 26. The songwriter’s songwriter, Ron Sexsmith has released fifteen full-length albums since his debut “Grand Opera Lane” in 1991. His most recent album, “The Last Rider” was released in 2017, shortly after making the decision to leave Toronto for Stratford. Ron is now also a published author after the release of his grown-up fairy tale “Deer Life”. Ron Sexsmith joined us on Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about his music, a possible musical version of Deer Life and a new album of original songs slated for 2020. For more information about the music of Ron Sexsmith, visit ronsexsmith.com. Music: Ron Sexsmith “Worried Song”, “The Man At The Gate (1913)” and “Who We Are Right Now” from “The Last Rider” (2017, Ronboy Rhymes) and “Love Shines” from “Long Player Late Bloomer” (2011, Ronboy Rhymes).
The 2019 Roots North Music Festival takes place across Downtown Orillia on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27. Ron Sexsmith will be sharing the Friday night main stage with two other fabulous songwriters, Rose Cousins and Ariana Gillis. Alt. folk rising star The Weather Station headlines the main stage on the Saturday evening with support from inspirational world music performer Alysha Brilla who blends folk, jazz and world rhythms together and Americana duo VK. There will also be a full day of free performances throughout the day on the Saturday, at a variety of downtown venues. Check out the full schedule for the Roots North Music Festival, on their website at rootsnorthmusic.ca. Weekend passes can be picked up at Alleycats Music in Orillia or online via the website. The early bird price is currently just $45! (weekend passes go up to $55 on April 12. Don’t miss out!)
Ariana Gillis joins us on Episode 438 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her upcoming appearance at the 2019 Roots North Music Festival which takes place in Downtown Orillia on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27. A captivating live performer, Ariana will be sharing the Friday night main stage with two other fabulous songwriters Ron Sexsmith and Rose Cousins. She is also getting ready to release “The Maze”, her third full-length album, recorded in Nashville with Buddy Miller. We also check out new music from Tariq, Gabrielle Papillon, The Maes , Safe As Houses, Còig, Zachary Lucky, Benjamin Dakota Rogers and Fresh Breath. Check out the full playlist below.
Orillia ON based husband and wife Steve and Marni Van Kessel make music together as VK. They join us on Episode 437 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their heartfelt brand of old-school rock and roll and Canadian style Americana, and their second album “Terms & Conditions”. VK will be playing the 2019 Roots North Music Festival on Saturday April 27. It’s a great interview and definitely worth checking out. And, as always, we take a look at more of the new releases we’ve received – and this time around we check out new music from Cary Morin, Graham Nicholas, Michael McDermott, Sumaia Jackson, Michael Martyn and Hugh Christopher Brown. Check out the full playlist below.
Hamilton based multi-instrumentalist Dave McEathron, the former frontman and principal songwriter of Toronto roots rockers, the much loved and sadly departed The Warped 45s, is back with a wonderful full-length solo album “Abandoned Companions” which is accompanied by a band E.P., appropriately entitled “The Abandoned Companions Companion Piece”. The new albums were mostly produced with Brian Pickett who has worked with both The Strumbellas and Ashley Condon (two tracks “The Other Side and “Luck” were produced by Hill Kourkoutis. “Luck” is a co-write with David Francey). A lovingly recorded project, both of the albums are presented in a hand crafted leather sleeve, made by Dave himself, that comes hand-stamped with the album’s logo. A songbook with lyrics and chord shapes is also included. We caught up with Dave at his cottage in the Ottawa Valley to chat about the new project. For more information about the music of Dave McEathron visit davemceathron.com. Music: Dave McEathron “His Mother Named Him Angel” and “No Better Teacher Than Time” from “Abandoned Companions” (2018, Self), “Midnight For Leadbelly” and “Hell To The Heavens” from “Abandoned Companions Companion Piece” (2018, Self).
Episode 436 of Folk Roots Radio features an in-depth length interview with Tamara Lindeman. You may not recognize the name, but if we tell you that, for music, she goes by the name The Weather Station, we’re sure you’ll know who she is. A fabulous Canadian musician, Tamara Lindeman is already turning heads with the quality of her songwriting. The Weather Station will be headlining the 2019 Roots North Music Festival in Downtown Orillia ON on Saturday April 27. It’s a great interview, and definitely worth sticking around for. We also check out new music from Tomato Tomato, Mother Banjo, Ross Falzone, Michael Jerome Browne and Dave Gunning. Check out the full playlist below.
Amy Mangan joins us on Episode 435 of Folk Roots Radio to talk about the 5th Annual Roots North Music Festival which takes place across Downtown Orillia on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27. This year, a fabulous main stage line-up sees renowned Canadian songsmith Ron Sexsmith take the stage on he Friday evening with Prince Edward Island raised, Halifax NS based Rose Cousins and the ever intriguing Ariana Gillis, while inspirational world music performer Alysha Brilla who blends folk, jazz and world rhythms together and Orillia based Americana duo VK join The Weather Station on the Saturday evening. There will also be a full day of free performances throughout the day on Saturday at a variety of downtown venues. We also take a look at more of the latest new releases and this time around we check out new music from Iain Thomson and Marc Duff, Doug McArthur, Le Vent du Nord, AKA Trio, Ashley Condon, Cathy Hutch and Noah Derksen. Check out the full playlist below.
Self-described “pilgrims of funk, soul ‘n’ roll”, the Julian Taylor Band are back with their latest soulful groove “Avalanche”. Avalanche may be musical revisionist Julian Taylor’s most personal record to date, featuring eight songs written during a period of self-reflection after looking through a treasure trove of life memories stored in his mother’s attic. The new album was recorded with the band, live to tape, at Canterbury Sound in Toronto. The Julian Taylor band will be launching the new album at The Great Hall, 1087 Queen Street West in Toronto on Saturday, March 30, 2019. They’ll also be appearing at this year’s Mariposa Folk Festival. If you love the sound of a funky, soulful rock n’roll band, with some folk, blues, jazz, reggae and calypso thrown into the mix, you’ll love them live. We caught up with Julian in Toronto to chat about the new album. For more information, visit the Julian Taylor Band online at juliantaylorband.com. Music: Julian Taylor Band “Sweeter”, “Gone” and “Back Again” from “Avalanche” (2019, Gypsy Should Records).
*TRIGGER WARNING | Saffron A is an alt.folk musician and poet who describes her music as sitting where emotion and intellect intersect. Distinct from every other young musician who starts out on guitar or piano, Saffron A creates her music on octave mandolin, mandocello and other members of the mandolin family. Saffron A. first came to our notice as part of the Developing Artist Program at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference. She’s about to release her powerful new single “Resilience” which will be followed by a full E.P., of the same name, on May 4. Resilience documents the emotional fallout from a sexual assault that occurred last summer. This fall, Saffron A will release a second E.P., “Resistance” which will further document her progress since the assault. That will be followed by the release of more new songs as part of a full concept album. Saffron A will be touring Ontario and further afield this spring and summer. Saffron A joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio for an in-depth conversation about the project. For more information, visit saffronamusic.com. Music: Saffron A. “Resilience”, “No Words”, “Mind Over Mania”, “Where The Truth Lies” and “Give Me A Minute” from “Resilience” E.P. (2019, Self).
*TRIGGER WARNING: We are pleased to support this project knowing that sexual assault is an important societal topic that needs our attention and public discussion. However, we also appreciate that some listeners may be triggered by such conversations.
Canadian Folk Music Award nominee and Folk Music Ontario Songs from the Heart winner Allison Lupton is getting ready to release her fourth full length album “Words Of Love”, a fabulous recording that features Allison and her band – including some of the best musicians on the Southern Ontario folk scene, on a mix of self-written songs and traditional material with romantic love as a central theme, while also telling stories about Canada, the immigrant experience and the travails of itinerant labour. Words of Love, which was produced by Allison Lupton, features Jess Arrowsmith (backing vocals), Richard Arrowsmith (melodeon), Andrew Collins (mandolin, backing vocals), Shane Cook (fiddle, mandolin, feet), Tony McManus (guitar), Joe Phillips (bass, backing vocals), Ivan Rosenberg (dobro) and Craig Werth (backing vocals). Allison Lupton will be launching the album with a release show at Hugh’s Room Live on March 30 featuring Tony McManus, Shane Cook, Joe Phillips, Ivan Rosenberg, and Andrew Collins. Allison will also be playing shows in Kingston (May 24), Almonte (May 25), Goderich (May 31) and Cambridge (June 1). For more information, visit Allison Lupton online at allisonlupton.com. Music: Allison Lupton “Away”, “Words Of Love” and “What Will I Dream” from “Words Of Love” (2019, Self).
Canadian country singer-songwriter Lisa Brokop is celebrating nearly 30 years in the music business as she brings her ‘Legendary Ladies of Country’ show to Ontario this spring. Fresh from the success of “The Patsy Cline Project”, the new performance will also feature songs from some of the other great female country singers, including Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Tanya Tucker and Emmylou Harris. The performance will be accompanied by stories about the songs and the impact that these first ladies of country have had on Lisa’s own career. Lisa Brokop will also be adding some of her own songs into the mix. Canadian country artists Patricia Conroy and Amanda Wilkinson will be joining Lisa on stage for some of the performances. The Legendary Ladies of Country show will be stopping in Kirkland Lake (Northern College Auditorium) March 31, Peterborough (Showplace Performance Centre) April 1, Nepean (Centrepointe Theatre) April 2, St. Catherine’s (First Ontario Performing Arts Centre) April 3, Guelph (River Run Centre) April 4, Kingston (Grand Theatre) April 5, Highgate (Mary Webb Centre) April 6. Get Tickets for the Highgate show at the Mary Webb Centre HERE. We caught up with Lisa Brokop in Nashville to chat about the new show. For more information about the music of Lisa Brokop, visit lisabrokop.com. Music: Lisa Brokop “Walkin’ after Midnight” from “The Patsy Cline Project” (2015, Brokop Entertainment), “Delta Dawn” and “I Will Always Love you” from “Legendary Ladies of Country” – Limited Release (2018, Brokop Entertainment).
Acclaimed singer-songwriter and vocalist Allison Lupton joins us on Episode 434 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her fourth album “Words of Love”. Words of Love is a fabulous recording that features Allison and her band – including some of the best musicians on the Southern Ontario folk scene, on a mix of self-written songs and traditional material with romantic love as a central theme, while also telling stories about Canada, the immigrant experience and the travails of itinerant labour. It’s a great interview, and definitely worth checking out. We also take a look at new music from Jane Yolen & 3 Ravens, Michael Jerome Browne, Noah Derksen, Tomato Tomato, Fist & Chips, Kelly and Woolley, Thom Ashworth, and John Duhan. Check out the full playlist below.
Hamilton ON singer-songwriter Jamie Shea has just released his first album “Come Down To The Water”. Well known on the Hamilton music scene as a band guitarist playing rock, pop, blues and jazz, Jamie’s solo debut is long overdue. Come Down To The Water features 11 well-crafted songs about personal experiences, love and loss – and the triumph of the human spirit, that really draw you in. Produced by Michael Birthelmer at Pine Street Studio in Hamilton with some fine musical support, the new album has a really nice feel to it. We caught up with Jamie at home in Hamilton to chat about the solo project. For more information about the music of Jamie Shea, visit jamiesheamusic.com. Music: Jamie Shea “Think Again”, “Mercy Of The Wind” and “Come Down To The Water” from “Come Down To The Water” (2018, Self) CDN.
Renowned Canadian songsmith Ron Sexsmith and alt. folk rising star The Weather Station are headlining this year’s Roots North Music Festival which takes place across Downtown Orillia on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27. A particular strong main stage line-up features another couple of fabulous songwriters, Prince Edward Island raised, Halifax NS based Rose Cousins and the ever intriguing Ariana Gillis who join Sexsmith on the Friday evening, while inspirational world music performer Alysha Brilla who blends folk, jazz and world rhythms together and VK, an Orillia based Americana duo featuring Steve and Marni Van Kessel joining The Weather Station on the Saturday evening. There will also be a full day of free performances throughout the day on Saturday at a variety of downtown venues. To learn more about this year’s line-up we caught up with Amy Mangan, one of the festival organizers. Check out the full schedule on the Roots North Music Festival website. Weekend passes can be picked up at Alleycats Music in Orillia or online at rootsnorthmusic.ca. The early bird price is currently just $45! (The cost of a weekend pass goes up to $55 on April 12. Don’t miss out!) Photo: Deb Halbot. Music: Ron Sexsmith “Evergreen” from “The Last Rider” (2017, Ronboy Rhymes), Rose Cousins “Chosen” from “Natural Conclusion” (2017, Outside Music) and The Weather Station “You and I on the Other Side Of The World” from “The Weather Station” (2017, Outside Music).
We’re celebrating International Women’s Day on Episode 433 of Folk Roots Radio as we sit down with Canadian singer-songwriter Emily Jean Flack to chat about her music and new E.P. “Throwing Shapes”. We also check out more music from female artists including new releases from Carly Thomas, Madison Violet, Our Native Daughters (Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell), Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage, Jen & John, Tret Fure and Kat Danser. It’s a great episode. We hope you’ll take a listen. Check out the full playlist below.
London ON based singer-songwriter John Muirhead first landed on our radar as a member of the Developing Artist Program (formerly the Youth Program) at the 2016 Folk Music Ontario conference. He has since released two E.P.s and is now working on his first full length record. John Muirhead joins us on Episode 432 of Folk Roots Radio for a great conversation about his music. We also check out new music from Pete Eastmure, Jamie Shea, Lula Wiles, Steve Poltz, Kate Weekes, Outside I’m A Giant, Matt Mays, Dave McEathron and Benjamin Dakota Rogers. Check out the full playlist below.
Logan McKillop is renowned for his work as a guitarist. However, he’s also a pretty fine songwriter in his own right. Logan’s just released “Anchorless” the beautiful follow-up to his debut from 2013, “Prairie Sky”, an album that focused on natural beauty and prairie life. The new album “Anchorless”, rather than focusing on landscapes and wide open spaces, shares heartfelt stories about people, life’s challenges and family members that have touched his own life. Co-produced with Scott Nolan at the Song Shop in Winnipeg, the new recording features support from some of the top players on the Manitoba music scene and a musical palette that includes a string section, piano, drums, bass, pedal steel, vibraphone, clarinet, banjo, mandolin, and some great harmonies. It’s clear that putting this album together was a labour of love. Logan McKillop sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about the new album. For more information about the music of Logan McKillop visit loganmckillop.com. Music: Logan McKillop “Mother’s love”, “Anchorless” and “There He Goes” from “Anchorless” (2019, Self).
We’re giving over the whole of Episode 431 of Folk Roots Radio to an in-depth conversation with singer-songwriter David Storey. David Storey is probably best known as the executive producer and director of iconic Canadian comedy series and movie Corner Gas, but he’s also a pretty good songwriter. He’s just released his new album “made in Canada”, the follow-up to 2015’s “Coming Home”, one of our favourite albums of that year. David also plays four songs from the new album live in the studio. It’s a great interview – well-worth sticking around for. Check out the full playlist below.
The Guelph Celtic Orchestra will hold its annual St. Patrick’s extravaganza at The Royal Canadian Legion in Guelph on Saturday March 16 at 7 p.m. This year’s performance will feature the orchestra, directed by Fiona McCairley, with champion step dancers, and special guests The Guelph Pipe Band and singer Grace Laceby. Later, there will be a ceilidh dance, for all ages, lead by caller Maureen Mulvey O’Leary. Tickets are $20 advance ($25 at the door), $12 (children aged 6-16) and are available online via the website at guelphceltic.ca and in person at Janus Books, 10 Paisley St., Guelph (cash only).
Canadian Singer-songwriter Emily Jean Flack weaves together elements of pop and jazz and her celtic folk roots to produce a piano driven sound that is all her own. The daughter of Denise Flack from Canadian sibling Celtic folk band Leahy, Emily splits her time between Dorchester ON and Limerick in Ireland where she has been studying Traditional Irish Music, with a specialization in song. Emily is just about to release her first E.P. of original songs “Throwing Shapes”. The new album was recorded in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with producer Peter Wallace and a group of Irish musicians that included whistle and flute player Brian Finnegan from the band Flook and Limerick based guitarist Marty Barry. Emily Jean Flack joined Jan Hall in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about the new album. For more information, visit emilyjeanflack.com. MUSIC: Emily Jean Flack “Another Year Gone By”, “Tread Softly” and “Throwing Shapes” from “Throwing Shapes” (2019, Self) CDN.