We’re getting close to the end of 2020, which means it’s time to announce our favourite albums of the year. After the challenging year we’ve all had, it’s tempting to just want to put 2020 behind us and move on to 2021 to what will, hopefully, be a much better year for everyone. And yet, despite everything, 2020 has actually been a great year for recorded music – especially for those us who tend to focus on music that artists release independently, or via small and boutique record labels. Many artists have actually been making excellent use of the lockdown time forced on them by the coronavirus pandemic to record some wonderful ‘Covid Tune’ singles, EPs and in some case, even full albums. We’ve had great fun sharing them with you this year. We’ve also been doing our best to keep up with regularly scheduled releases. It gives us great pleasure each year, once we have put holiday radio episodes to bed, to consider our favourite albums of the year. 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 is to take all that fabulous music and narrow it down to your ten favourite recordings of the year. You can check out The Top 10 on Episode 560 of Folk Roots Radio. We’ll be playing more of our favourite albums on upcoming episodes of Folk Roots Radio. If you don’t see an album you really loved, that’s likely because it didn’t make it up on our radar because we didn’t receive a copy. Please consider sharing your favourite albums in the comments – we might even spin them on a future episode of the show. Listen to The Top 10 on this episode, and check out the full playlist and the rest of our long list below. Enjoy!
We included an excerpt from our excellent interview with Rick Fines, discussing his wonderful new album “Solar Powered Too”, in Episode 550 of Folk Roots Radio. We’re now very pleased to make the full conversation available. Enjoy!
When Canadian roots and blues artist Rick Fines started work on his new project “Solar Powered Too”, his intent was simple – to make a new recording at his solar powered cottage in the Kawartha Highlands as a follow-up to his very well received “Solar Powered” album from 2006. Initially intended to be just a guitar and voice solo recording, this album has grown into something rather special with some nicely judged guest appearances from some of his friends and a beautifully sympathetic production from Rick with Alec Fraser. Truly a joy for the ears, this is one of those albums you put on, and listen right through to the end. An album that needs to be heard and one that we think will bring comfort to many during these strange, strange Covid times. Solar Powered Too deservedly found a place in Our Favourite Albums of 2020. To learn more about the music of Rick Fines, visit rickfines.ca. Music: Rick Fines “Below The Surface”, “Laundry On The Line”, “Worry Be The Death Of Me” and “Never Let Go” from “Solar Powered Too” (2020, Self).
The holidays are here! Join us on Episode 559 as we celebrate the season with another special blend of Folk Roots Radio for the Holidays, with mostly new, independent songs that are definitely not your typical holiday fare. This year we’ve even thrown some Covid Christmas tunes into the mix! So, throw another log on the fire, settle down in your favourite chair and enjoy music from Good Lovelies, Fresh Breath, Abbie Gardner & Matt Nakoa, Colleen Brown, RUNA, Hal Cannon, Lisa Jeanette, Dion, Brett Perkins & Tamra Rosanes, Skinner & T’witch, Fortunate Ones, Skye Zentz, Screaming Orphans, Eoin Glackin, Céleste Lévis, Philip Scott Poli, Ed Sweeney and Connie Kaldor. Check out the full playlist below.
December is here, and winter is upon us – so it’s time to bring out the Christmas music. We know a lot of people are not fans of holiday tunes which is why on this show we like to focus on new songs about the season rather than just the same old songs and tunes given a quick makeover. And if we play something that’s not a new song, well that’s because the artist has taken it somewhere rather special indeed. So, join us for Episode 558 of Folk Roots Radio – the first of two episodes of Folk Roots Radio for the Holidays, which features solstice songs, winter songs, Hanukkah songs and Christmas songs from RUNA, Sara Thomsen & Paula Pedersen, Connie Kaldor, Ed Sweeney, The Honey Larks, Jackie Washington, MacMaster Leahy Family, Finest Kind, SONiA disappear fear, Aaron Nathans & Michael G Ronstadt, Kelly’s Lot, Tony Turner, Céleste Lévis, Ken Tizzard & Music For Goats, Josh Kimbrough and Jeffery Straker. Check out the full playlist below.
Nova Scotian funeral director turned songwriter Terra Spencer joins us on Episode 557 of Folk Roots Radio for a very engaging conversation about her wonderful wintery themed second album “Chasing Rabbits”, that reflects on many aspects of life – relationships, travel, going away to college, and, above all, the joy of getting to come home again. It’s a great interview – and settling into an album that reflects on the important things in life is just what we need after the year we’ve all experienced. We continue the winter theme throughout the rest of the episode, and feature music from Ian Gill, Colleen Kattau, Reid Jamieson, Stephan Moccio, Kathleen Healy and Grant-Lee Phillips. Check out the full playlist below.
Vancouver based singer-songwriter Leah Barley joins us on Episode 556 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her first full length album “Bring Out Your Dead” which features eight original songs for both guitar and banjo – ranging from foot stomping love songs to others that are dark and broody, and, clearly, quite personal. It’s a great listen, and an excellent interview – we hope you’ll stay with us to check it out. As always, we wrap up the episode with more of the new music we’ve received and this time around we hear from Braden Gates, Julie Title, Tré Burt, Gwenifer Raymond, Ordinary Elephant, Chris Pierce and Cidny Bullens. Check out the full playlist below.
Folk trio Boreal, who feature singer-songwriters Katherine Wheatley, Tannis Slimmon, and Angie Nussey, join us on Episode 555 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their holiday show, Songs For The Snowy Season. In early December, each year, Boreal heads out on the road for a series of shows that celebrate winter and the upcoming Christmas season. Things are going to be a bit different this year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Instead of a whole series of shows, there will be just one performance – a FREE live-streamed performance direct from the River Run Centre in Guelph ON on December 11 at 8 p.m. It’s a fun interview, and it’s always great to be able to chat with Katherine, Tannis, and Angie about their Christmas show, especially as this year everyone, wherever they are, can enjoy one of the highlights of our holiday season. We continue the snow song theme through the rest of the episode and also feature music by Ellis Delaney, The Hello Darlins, Dayna Manning, RUNA, Ted Yoder, Tara MacLean & Adam Brazier, and Melissa Ferrick. Check out the full playlist below.
Sultans of String, released a fabulous new recording “Refuge” earlier this year – an album that highlights the extraordinary contributions that indigenous people, immigrants and refugees make to culture and life in North America. Refuge features collaborations with over 30 musicians including Béla Fleck, Robi Botos, Ifrah Mansour, Demetrios Petsalakis, Imad Al Taha, Amir Amiri, Duke Redbird and Twin Flames. Sultans of String were supposed to be out on tour across both North America and the UK this year but because of the on-going pandemic none of that has been able to happen. Chris McKhool violinist and leader of the band joins us on a very special Covid Times edition of our video sister show, the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions to chat about the new album, and how the band has been impacted by the on-going emergency while sharing some of the fabulous videos they have prepared to support what is truly a fantastic project. Unfortunately because of the ongoing pandemic, we haven’t been able to record any more video sessions, so we’ve switched to a socially distanced interview format similar to Folk Roots Radio. Since we started the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions, we’ve had 50 different artists/bands join us in the studio. Check them out online at sunparloursessions.com. Enjoy!.
Boreal are a fabulous folk trio featuring three great singer-songwriters: Guelph ON’s Katherine Wheatley and Tannis Slimmon and Orillia ON’s Angie Nussey . They get together in early December each year for a series of shows that celebrate ‘the snowy season’ with some wonderful original songs and holiday classics. This year however is going to be a bit different because we’re in the midst of the Covid pandemic – so instead of a whole series of shows, there will be just one performance. But guess what… this time around they’ll be live-streaming a FREE ‘virtual performance’ from the River Run Centre in Guelph on Friday December 11 at 8 p.m. Everyone, no matter where they are, can enjoy a show that has become a highlight of our holiday season. Alongside the upcoming live-streamed show, Boreal have also released a great new single, a Katherine Wheatley song, “Snow Falls Down”. Folk Roots Radio caught up with Katherine, Tannis, and Angie for a fun chat about the upcoming livestream and the new single. If you’d like to register for the livestream – remember it’s FREE, you can do so by signing up for the River Run Centre newsletter HERE. For more information about Boreal, visit borealsongs.ca. Music: Boreal “Snow Falls Down” (single), “Warm Hands” (single) and “Carol Of The Bells” & “Gotta Go” from “Winter’s Welcome” (2014, Self).