Grayson Capps is a storytelling singer-songwriter from L.A. (Lower Alabama), with a wonderfully warm laidback style, that can’t help but be expressed in his songwriting and humorous on-stage banter. He landed on our radar, one morning, in the middle of the Caribbean, on the Cayamo roots music cruise. We were having a late breakfast in the pub while Grayson was in ear shot, on the atrium stage, sharing his stories and songs. His performance was so engaging we had to rush breakfast to catch the rest of the set. After the show, we sat down with Grayson to learn more about his music. Grayson Capps is the son of New Orleans based writer Ronald Everett Capps who wrote the novel “Off Magazine Street”, which was developed into the 2004 Scarlet Johanssen / John Travolta movie, A Love Song For Bobby Long – which was written and directed by Shainee Gabel (Grayson Capps wrote the title track and has several musical cameos in the film). Grayson Capps has just released a new compilation of his songs, “South Front Street – A Retrospective 1997 – 2019” (2020, Royal Potato Family). For more information, visit graysoncapps.com. Music: Grayson Capps “New Again”, “Bag Of Weed” and “You Can’t Turn Around” from “Scarlett Roses” (2017, Royal Potato Family).
We included a portion of an interview with Ol’ Billy Bob Boy, discussing his debut album, “Sweltering Sun”, in Episode 523 of Folk Roots Radio. We’re now pleased to be able to bring you our full conversation. It’s definitely worth checking out. Enjoy!
Bill Simms has performed as a side musician on upright bass with a number of folk and roots musicians including Raine Hamilton, Abigail Lapell, Piper Hayes, Shawn Willian Clarke and Sarah Beatty. He’s now stepping into the limelight in his own right as his country music singing alter-ego Ol’ Billy Bob Boy and debut album “Sweltering Sun” which features 12 original songs and blends traditional country and bluegrass music together with some tongue in cheek humour and stories inspired by life in Newfoundland and beyond. An album release show for Sweltering Sun had originally been planned for late May at The Tranzac in Toronto with an opening performance by Sarah Beatty. However, due to COVID-19, that show was cancelled in favour of an online release, which also featured Sarah Beatty. A cross-Canada tour planned for this summer will be rescheduled for a later date. Ol’ Billy Bob Boy joined us from his home in Newfoundland to chat about the new album. For more information about the music of Ol’ Billy Bob Boy, visit olbillybobboy.com. Music: Ol’ Billy Bob Boy “Darlin’ You Look Great” (feat. Mallory Johnson), “Carrie Ann”, “Bathroom Floor” and “Canadian Currency Blues” from “Sweltering Sun” (2020, Self).
Vancouver singer-songwriter and actor Adrian Glynn has just released his third solo recording, “Ghostlight Sessions” and it’s an album with a difference – it was recorded on an empty theatre stage in Kamloops BC at the start of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. At the time, Adrian was about to reprise his role as the ‘The Writer’ in Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen, which was being put on by the Western Canada Theatre. After Covid prevention protocols forced rehearsals to stop in mid-March, the theatre company generously paid out the actors’ full contracts and allowed them to remain in their Kamloops accommodation. With time on his hands, and no place to be, Adrian elected to start work on what he describes as a homemade album – nine songs from the vault recorded in a stripped down way without much more than a single mic and guitar. An introspective, acoustic folk record, the songs on the album move from a talkin’ blues about suicidal depression, to a modern satirical take on “If I Had A Hammer”, to an ode to slide-guitar guru Kelly Joe Phelps. Ghostlight Sessions is only available as a digital download from Bandcamp. A portion of the proceeds (25%) will go to the NAACP and BIPOC-Covid related organizations. Adrian Glynn (as Adrian Glynn McMorran) also takes the lead role in a new sci-fi psychological thriller, Volition (2019), from writing/directing team, the Smith Brothers. After screening at festivals worldwide and picking up many awards, including Best Feature at several festivals and a Best Actor win for Glynn at Italy’s Ostia festival, the movie is now available for on-demand viewing on streamings services. Adrian Glynn is also co-leader of Vancouver folk collective The Fugitives with Brendan McLeod. The Fugitives have just recorded a new album, “Trench Songs”, a re-imagining of songs and poems from the First World War period. Another album of original songs is also in the works. The release dates for both new projects have yet to be determined. For more information about Adrian Glynn, visit adrianglynn.com. Music: Adrian Glynn “Acting My Age”, “Hammer”, “Kelly Joe, I Heard You Sold Your Last Guitar” and “Talkin’ Suicidal Depression Blues” from “Ghostlight Sessions” (2020, Self) CDN.
Toronto singer-songwriter Stan Simon is getting set to release his third album, “Songs From Strange Places”, a lovely new country folk recording that takes its lead from the great singer-songwriters and balladeers of our time, on a reflective collection of songs that explore themes of love, loss and spiritual exploration. The new 10 song recording, produced by Dennis Patterson at Big Smoke Audio, features Stan Simon on vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica with support from Nathan Gray (pedal steel), Sebastian Shinwell (bass, tambourine, electric guitar, piano and harmony vocals), Max Trefler (drums) and Jackie Mohr (vocals on “Visceral”). Folk Roots Radio caught up with Stan Simon at home in Toronto for an in-depth conversation about the new album, that also touches on songwriting, live performance and coping with Covid times. For more information about the music of Stan Simon, visit stansimonmusic.com. Music: Stan Simon “Only The Moon”, “Everlasting Love”, “Eternal Maze” and “Rest Well In The Blue Night” from “Songs From Strange Places” (2020, Slammin Media).
We recently included a portion of an interview with acclaimed singer-songwriter Ken Yates, discussing his latest album “Quiet Talkers”, in Episode 521 of Folk Roots Radio. We’re now pleased to be able to share our full conversation. It’s definitely worth checking out. Enjoy!
Toronto based singer-songwriter Ken Yates has just released “Quiet Talkers”, the follow up to his critically acclaimed album “Huntsville” from 2016, which picked up Canadian Folk Music Awards for both Songwriter of the Year and New Artist of the Year. Ken Yates describes the new album, which was again produced by Jim Bryson at Fixed Hinge Recording, as his most personal to date – with a more introspective feel on songs that reflect on home life, and the impact of mental health issues on interpersonal relationships. “This is by far my most personal album to date. I’ve always been better at observing than being a part of the action, so I like to think of this collection of songs as “thoughts from the quietest person in the room”. If Huntsville was about my experiences on the road, ‘Quiet Talkers’ is about coming home, facing the monsters hiding under the bed – or in some cases, the monsters hiding in plain sight.” Ken Yates joined us on Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about the new album. Our interview also touches on life in lockdown, for an artist, who was touring extensively before the enforced break – as we all continue to weather the coronavirus pandemic. For more information about the music of Ken Yates visit kenyates.com. Photo: Kate Jaczko. Music: Ken Yates “Grey County Blues”, “Safe From Yourself”, “Evangeline” and “Surviving is Easy” from “Quiet Talkers” (2020, Self) CDN.
We recently showcased Julian Taylor’s new singer-songwriter album “The Ridge” with an interview on Episode 517 of Folk Roots Radio. We’re now pleased to be able to share our full in-depth conversation which focused on the making of the new album, and some of the early life experiences that provided source material for the recording. Julian also shares his perspective as a Canadian of West Indian and indigenous heritage to the on-going protests against racial injustice and police brutality.
Originally intended for a fall release, the release of “The Ridge” was brought forward in the hope that it might bring joy to listeners in troubled times – as we all cope with the on-going coronavirus pandemic. Enjoy!
While clearly at the top of his game fronting the Julian Taylor band, Julian Taylor also loves the opportunity to showcase the singer-songwriter side of his music, as he does to great affect on his new eight song Americana album “The Ridge”. “I’d really like the heart of this record and the stories to connect with people. These are letters to members of my family. It’s something that everyone has – family (whether chosen or not) and memories.” The title track is based on the true story of summers that Taylor spent with his aunt and grandparents at their farm in British Columbia – telling the story of the young boy’s life, in snapshots, before they had to sell the farm and move on. Check out the great video mentioned during the interview HERE. For more information about the music of Julian Taylor, visit juliantaylormusic.ca. Music: Julian Taylor “The Ridge”, “Human Race”, “Ballad Of The Young Troubadour” and “Ola Let’s Dance” from “The Ridge” (2020, Howling Turtle inc.).
According to Steve Earle, his critically-acclaimed new album with his long time band The Dukes, Ghosts of West Virginia, which focuses on the 2010 Upper Big Branch mining disaster, is the record he had to make at this time. Although he has made political records in the past, those preached to the converted. This time around Steve wanted to reach out across the political divide to those that don’t vote like he does, in advance of the November US election. The Upper Big Branch Mine disaster took place in West Virginia in 2010, and killed twenty-nine miners – making it one of the worst mining disasters in American history. Seven songs on the new album are taken from the off-Broadway play Coal Country written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen. Jessica and Erik approached Steve to write and perform some original songs in the show – drawn from interviews and testimonials with surviving miners and the families of those who died. The new album also includes three more songs about West Virginia: “Black Lung”, “Fastest Man Alive” (about Chuck Yeager) and “The Mine”. For more information about the music of Steve Earle, visit steveearle.com. Image: Jacob Blickenstaff. Music: Steve Earle & The Dukes “Heaven Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”, “Union God And Country”, “Time Is Never On Your Side” and “It’s About Blood” from “Ghosts of West Virginia” (New West, 2020).
We included an excerpt from our great in-depth interview with Lynn Harrison in Episode 498 of Folk Roots Radio. You can now check out the full interview here. Enjoy!
Lynn Harrison is a wonderful storytelling singer-songwriter with a fine turn of phrase. Her sixth recording “Something More”, which was produced by Douglas September and Noah Zacharin, features 12 thoughtful and reflective songs about life, love and the power of the human spirit. It’s a beautiful album, and a joy from beginning to end. As befits the production team behind the project, this album has a wonderful feel to it, and includes some excellent players – Noah Zacharin on electric guitar, Douglas September on lap steel, George Koller on bowed bass, Ian de Souza on electric bass and Adam Warner on drums and percussion with cameos from Ed Michael Roth on a bouncy accordion, Denis Keldie on Hammond organ, and Alexander Brown on trumpet. Lynn Harrison is also an ordained Unitarian Universalist (UU) minister, and currently serving at First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto. She is also the creator and host of The Bridge – a themed open stage that blends music and spirituality in an innovative and inclusive way. In all aspects of her work, Lynn Harrison shares an inspirational message of love, hope and justice. For more information about the music of Lynn Harrison, visit lynnharrison.ca. Music: Lynn Harrison “You Come To Me”, “When I’m On The Water”, “The Protester” and “Something More” from “Something More” (Self, 2020) CDN.
Jack Pine is the stage persona of Gareth Auden Hole, an Ottawa based singer-songwriter, engineer and producer. Jack is an incredible live performer with a wonderful energy, and a very engaging style on both guitar and mandolin; however he self-deprecatingly describes himself as an anything goes singer-songwriter with a heavy-handed string band. His 2017 album band with his band The Fire “Left To Our Own Devices” picked up a 2018 Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for New/Emerging Artist of the Year and a 2019 Juno nomination for best art work. Jack Pine sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music. In 2019, we had a follow up conversation at FMO, and this time around he played some songs live for us. Check out the video for the song “You’ll Find Me Waiting” Jack mentions in the interview here. For more information about the music of Jack Pine visit jackpinefire.com. Music: Jack Pine “You’ll Find Me Waiting” (Live), “Rich In Time” (Live) and Jack Pine & The Fire “Desert Island” from “Left To Our Own Devices” (2017, Self). Bonus: Jack Pine “Cabin Fever” (Live).
Quebec based singer-songwriter Doug McArthur joins us on Episode 501 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest project “The Horses of the Sea”, a beautiful collection of songs and stories about Ireland. It’s a wonderful album, and one that has become a fast favourite on this radio show. This is another of our in-depth conversations recorded during the coronavirus Covid-19 emergency. Stay safe and healthy everyone – we’ll get through this together! Check out the full playlist below.
It is always a pleasure to sit down with Nashville based singer-songwriter Steve Poltz to chat about his music – especially so, when you’re in the middle of the Caribbean on the Cayamo roots music cruise. His third time on Cayamo, Steve was joined by partner Sharon, sister Kathy and Dad Joe; Steve and Sharon actually tied the knot on the boat, surrounded by 500 of their closest friends! A brilliant live performer, Steve Poltz is scheduled to be back in Canada to play the 6th Roots North Music Festival in Orillia ON on Saturday April 25 2020. The Roots North Music Festival takes place at a variety of venues across Downtown Orillia from Thursday – Sunday, April 23-26. For more information about the music of Steve Poltz, visit poltz.com. Photo: Susan Wheeler-Hall. You can also check out our full Cayamo radio episode HERE. Music: Steve Poltz “Silver Lining” from “One Left Shoe” (1998, UMG Recordings), “Sewing Machine” (Live) (2014, Live At Oasis House Concerts, San Diego CA, YouTube) and “Pharmacist” from “Shine On” (2019, Compass Records).
Canadian folk legend Ken Whiteley joins us on Episode 500 of Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about “Calm In The Eye of The Storm”, his first recording in four years and a project that looks at the personal, political and spiritual dimensions of finding peace in these turbulent times. The follow up to 2016’s Freedom Blues, the new album has a fabulous bluesy, folky and gospel sound, and a wonderful message to share with the world. Recorded during the coronavirus Covid-19 emergency, we chat about the album, Ken’s production work, live show and gospel matinees. It was a very enjoyable conversation, and hopefully it will be of great comfort to listeners during a period of uncertainty for many people. Stay safe and healthy – we’ll get through this together. Check out the full playlist below.
Kelowna BC’s Jane Eamon started writing the songs for her beautiful seventh album “Pieces of Me” after her husband had a stroke on Christmas Day and the sudden death of her father. At the time, Eamon, a 2011 Kerrville New Folk finalist, actually thought she was done with the music business – but the songs wouldn’t rest, they just kept coming. Yet, after helping her husband recover from his stroke, he was then diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer which lead to further family turmoil. Fortunately Jane’s songwriting helped her pull her through this incredibly difficult period in her life. What developed from all this was the stripped down, honest and completely authentic nine track album album Pieces of Me which speaks to the emotions of that challenging period, but also brings with it a sense of hope – storms can be weathered. Pieces of Me was produced by her long-time collaborator Andrew Smith from Lake Studios, Kelowna BC, and has been critically acclaimed despite flying under many radars. It deservedly became one of Our Favourite Albums of 2019. Jane Eamon’s husband is now in recovery from cancer and she’s working on a new album. For more information about the music of Jane Eamon visit janeeamon.net. Music: Jane Eamon “Pieces Of Me”, “Broken Things”, “Stuck” and “Not Today” from “Pieces Of Me” (2019, Self) CDN.
The Durham County Poets are having an absolutely fabulous year. They released the wonderful “Hand Me Down Blues” in 2019 – a celebration of all things blues and the artists that have inspired their music. Since then, they have received nominations for both the 2020 JUNO Blues Album of the Year & the 2019 Maple Blues Awards New Artist/Group of the Year. According to band front man and lead vocalist Kevin Harvey, the decision to make a full-on blues album brought back memories of catching the great Muddy Waters live in Montreal in 1981, when – front row and centre, a young Kevin Harvey was able to touch the great man’s shoe. “Muddy looked at me and winked, as if to say ‘welcome to the blues, son’. I didn’t know then, that I would have a life-altering spinal cord injury three months later that would place me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. That experience made the blues come alive to me. The band and I – we have our own experiences and inspirations that lead to the creation of a dedicated ‘blues album’, paying homage to our favourite blues artists. Muddy Waters was just one of many who handed the genre down to us, and now we want to continue in that tradition by putting our own stamp on it and “Hand” the blues to the next generation.” Hand Me Down Blues which was produced by Bill Garrett, features compositions written by all four long-time members of the band: David Whyte, Neil Elsmore, Carl Rufh and Kevin Harvey alongside some well chosen covers. New boy Rob Couture joins them in the drum chair. The Durham County Poets continue to tour on a regular basis, and upcoming dates include Sharbot Lake ON (March 21, Sharbot Lake Inn), Oakville (March 26, The Moonshine Cafe), Kingsville ON (March 27, Road to Kingsville Folk Fest), Wallaceburg ON (March 28, Jeanne Gordon Theatre) and Wakefield QC (May 16, The Blacksheep Inn). For more information, visit durhamcountypoets.com. Music: Durham County Poets, “Hand Me Down Blues”, “Can’t Be Satisfied”, “If The Lid Don’t Fit” and “Evil In The Heart Of Man” from “Hand Me Down Blues” (2019, Self).
Kevin Roy Kratsch spent five years on the road as country folk singer-songwriter Kevin Roy before re-inventing himself as cosmic balladeer Mister K, and starting work on “In Event Of Moon Disaster”, a musical journey through the highs and lows of a mental health struggle – what Kevin describes as those Darker Days. In Event Of Moon Disaster was created with producer and collaborator Rusty Matyas (The Sheepdogs, The Weakerthans, Imaginary Cities) who opened up about his own struggles with alcoholism prior starting work on the project. The two found support, inspiration, and empowerment while breathing life into these songs; a testament to the strength of healing through music and art. Musically this is very much a folk-pop album. “I basically told producer Rusty Matyas I wanted to make an album that sounds like Neil Young produced by George Martin – kind of like Neil Young meets Abbey Road, but done in a modern way. I almost feel kind of like I’ve come full circle. When I started writing music and playing music, it was the music of Neil Young and Tom Petty – and some of those songs I grew up on, and then I went off into this whole country thing, for a while.” There have been three singles released from the album, so far: “Hundreds Of Dollars”, “Lonely One” and the latest, “Darker Days” – Kevin’s personal story and a song he hopes will be a conversation starter with respect to the importance of discussing mental health. The new single is being released on January 29 to coincide with Bell Let’s Talk Day. The full album will arrive later in 2020. Mister K sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2019 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about the new project. For more information about the music of Mister K, visit heyheymisterk.com. Music: Mister K “Hundreds of Dollars” and “Lonely One” from “In Event of Moon Disaster” (2020, Self) and “Darker Days” (Live).
Noah Derksen is a Canadian singer-songwriter with a wonderfully soulful folk-roots Americana sound and some very strong songs. Also an American citizen, Noah Derksen’s new album “America, Dreaming” – which was produced by Murray Pulver (The Bros. Landreth, Joey Landreth, Doc Walker, etc.) in Winnipeg, is a search for identity, reflecting on time spent living and travelling across the United States. “As an American-citizen growing up in Canada, I held an unrealistic depiction of the United States as a land of opportunity and freedom. In years spent living, touring, and working south of the border, I’ve discovered the practical limitations to that opportunity and freedom. America, Dreaming represents an observation of my home and native land south of the 49th parallel; an observation both externally, of how things change with time, and internally, on how I have had to shift my own perspective.” Noah Derksen joined us in the studio to chat about the new album, and while he was with us played three songs from the new album live. For more information, visit noahderksen.com. Music: Noah Derksen “Hoping You Would Stay” (Live), “Lonely in America” (Live) and “What Kind of Love is That” (Live).
Ken Dunn is a modern day traveling troubadour giving social and environmental issues a voice in song, while reminding us to keep our loved ones and peace at the forefront of this precious life. Ken’s eighth album, “Live in L.A.” was recorded at an impromptu gig at Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood with proceeds going towards L.A. Family Housing support for those struggling with homelessness in the greater Los Angeles area. The songs on the album reflect on homelessness, peace, and social challenges as well as love – all things desperately needed in today’s world. The song “Tahlequah” tells the story of a mother orca who carried the lifeless body of her young for two weeks before finally releasing the baby to the deep. According to Ken, the song reminds us that not only human beings have precious lives – our planet and all its inhabitants need to be protected and loved. Sadly, there are now only 75 resident orcas in the Salish Sea near Ken in British Columbia. Ken Dunn joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about “Live in LA”, and played three songs live for us. For more information about the music of Ken Dunn visit kendunnmusic.com. Music: Ken Dunn “Tahlequah” (Live), “Precious Life” (Live) and “King High Tide” (Live).
The Pairs are a fantastic female fronted folk/pop group from London ON featuring classically trained vocalists Hillary Watson, Renée Coughlin and Noelle Coughlin with a wonderful sound driven by sweet harmonies, and joyful rhythms. With support from their other band member, former punk rock drummer, Steve Plimmer, they really put on a great show – they’ll have you up on your feet dancing before you realize what’s happening! The Pairs have just released their second album “Noise” which features twelve self-written songs that tell stories about this beautiful, and, at times, crazy and chaotic journey we call life, and all its conflicting emotions… the joy, the sadness – the comedy and the tragedy. The Pairs sat down with Folk Roots Radio at Folk Music Ontario for a fun conversation about their music and three live songs from the new album. For more information about The Pairs, visit thepairsmusic.com. Music: The Pairs “Wrong Side Of Life” (Live), “Everything I Call Home” (Live) and “Put The Gun Down” (Live).
Our interview with Keri Latimer from Leaf Rapids went so much further than what we were able to include in Episode 489 of Folk Roots Radio. Check out our full in-depth conversation here.
Keri Latimer and her partner Devin Latimer, formerly of Juno Award-winning alt-country quartet Nathan, released “Citizen Alien”, their second album as Leaf Rapids in May 2019. Citizen Alien is a wonderful recording, that uses Keri and Devin’s own family history to tell stories about the nature of identity and reflect on what it means to belong, in a world where more and more politicians are using populist nationalistic rhetoric to separate the ‘us’ from the ‘them’. According to Keri Latimer, “Every family has stories of people who crossed oceans, who survived, who struggled and tried. People who knew injustice. And though some of those stories now fade into the haze of time, the truth of them remains vivid. On Citizen Alien, the album’s title track, love declared by ancestors leads to separation through the travesty of Canada’s Second World War-era Japanese internment camps; if the same thing happened today, Devin and I would be split up, our children taken away.” The 10 songs on the new album were co-produced with acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and composer Rusty Matyas (Imaginary Cities, The Sheepdogs) at Paintbox Recording and feature Keri Latimer (vocals, guitar and theremin), Devin Latimer (bass), Rusty Matyas (piano/keyboards/trumpet), Joanna Miller (drums) and Bill Western (pedal steel) with special guests: Alexa Dirks (Begonia), Madeleine Roger, Grant Davidson (Slow Leaves), Myron Schultz, Chris Dunn and JP Hoe. Keri Latimer sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2019 Folk Music Ontario conference for an in-depth conversation about her music and the new album. Citizen Alien was included on our long list of Our Favourite Albums of 2019. Check them all out HERE. For more information about the music of Leaf Rapids, visit leafrapids.org. Music: Leaf Rapids “Dear Sister”, “Citizen Alien”, Barbershop Shears” and “There They Go” from “Citizen Alien” (2019, Coax Records) CDN.
We included an excerpt from our in-depth interview with Annie Capps in Episode 488 of Folk Roots Radio. You can now check out the full interview here.
Annie & Rod Capps released their eighth, self-produced album “When They Fall” in 2019, a wonderful collection of songs that really fits every mood – from the light and cheery, to the serious and dramatic. What all these songs have in common is they are all very well-written, and beautifully sung and played by a fine group of musicians. Joining Annie Capps (vocals, guitar, banjo) and Rod Capps (guitar, viola and harmony vocals) on the album are regular band members Jason Dennie from Thunderwüde (mandolin, mandola and harmony vocals) and Dan Ozzie Andrews (bass) with Michael Shimmin (Joshua Davis, the olllam, May Erlewine) on drums and percussion. Drew Howard also guests on pedal steel and Jenny Bienemann provides some delicate vocal harmonies on the song “Brevity”. When They Fall was deservedly included on our long list of Our Favourite Albums of 2019. Check them all out HERE. Annie Capps joined us on Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about the new album. Annie & Rod Capps have also joined forces with two of their favourite songwriters, Jan Krist & Jim Bizer in a new project, and with the addition of Jan’s partner Alan Finkbeiner on percussion, they are now Diamonds In the Rust. A full length album from the new combo is expected in 2020. For more information about the music of Annie & Rod Capps, visit maynardmusic.com. Photo: Jennifer Prouty. Music: Annie & Rod Capps “When They Fall”, “(That Would Do) Some Good” and “This Little Apple” from “When They Fall” (2019, Yellow Room Records)
We’re bringing something a little different to you on Folk Roots Radio this week. We’re celebrating the music of Kevin K Gagnon, a bass player from Windsor ON who has been active on the local scene since 1978. When I received the press release about “It Is What It Is”, Kevin’s first solo album – released after 40 years in the music business, I knew I had to bring him into the studio for an in-depth conversation. During his career, Kevin K Gagnon has pretty much played every bar, club and concert venue throughout the Windsor/Essex area, and recorded in just about every local studio. “It Is What It Is” is a collection of mostly instrumental works, written for electric guitar as well as bass – Kevin plays both on the album. Back in the 80s, Kevin toured with his band “Destiny”, and he has played with Joe Konas (The Gods), the late Windsor blues great Michael Bruce and many others. He has also offered his talents for countless local charity events over the years and currently performs live with local Windsor band, The Formula. It Is What It Is includes the recently recorded “A Blues Memory”, in memory of Michael Bruce, and a brand new song entitled “One Or The Other” featuring guitarist/vocalist Jeff Oppen. Kevin Gagnon is a recipient of The Windsor/Essex County Music Appreciation Award and a Hall of Fame inductee. Kevin K Gagnon joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio today for an in-depth conversation about his music and the new album. Music: Kevin K Gagnon “A Blues Memory”, “Minstrel Cramp”, “Today and Forever”, “One Or The Other” and “A Walk In The Park” from “It Is What It Is” (2019, Self).
New Jersey based Sharon Goldman has built a fine reputation as a songwriter with a wonderful string of albums culminating in KOL ISHA (A Woman’s Voice) from 2016 which focused on her own experience growing up in an orthodox Jewish family on Long Island. Her latest 12-song album “Every Trip Around The Sun”, produced with Allison Tartalia, was released in July 2019 to more critical acclaim. The new recording features a fabulous selection of songs – some topical, some romantic, some nostalgic and some inspirational – all of them well-crafted and engaging. Every Trip Around The Sun was included on our long list of Our Favourite Albums of 2019. Check them all out HERE. For more information about the music of Sharon Goldman visit sharongoldmanmusic.com. Music: Sharon Goldman “A Garden”, “Am I There Yet”, “Sunset At The Border” and “Penny With The Waves” from “Every Trip Around The Sun” (2019, Self).
Emily Mure is a classically-trained oboist who performed at world-class venues like Carnegie Hall as a teenager, before picking up a guitar and developing a career as a singer-songwriter. After three albums of original music, Emily’s six-track EP of reimagined cover songs, “Sad Songs & Waltzes” features folky and acoustic versions of songs that were originally performed by Radiohead, The Cranberries, Coldplay, Willie Nelson, Wilco, and The Shins. Working on these songs – favourites while she was growing up, gave Emily the opportunity to use her classical music background to take some of these songs, like Radiohead’s “No Surprises” (with the addition of piano, English horn and cello) to another place altogether. The new E.P. was co-produced with Dan Cardinal at Boston’s Dimension Sound Studios with a small group of collaborators including Elizabeth Ziman (from Elizabeth and the Catapult) who played piano and added background vocals, Audrey Q. Snyder (cello), Emily DiAngelo (English horn) and singer/songwriter Caroline Cotter (backing vocals). Sad Songs and Waltzes was included on our long list of Our Favourite Albums of 2019. Check them all out HERE. For more information about the music of Emily Mure, visit emilymure.com. Music: Emily Mure, “Yellow”, “Sad Songs & Waltzes” and “No Surprises” from “Sad Songs & Waltzes” (2019, Nine Athens Music).
Douglas Richard Sinclair is a Métis musician with roots in the Red River Settlement. He’s also a member of The Red River Ramblers, an Ontario trio dedicated to reviving Manitoba Métis Fiddle music – which brings together the rhythmic spirit of the First Nations peoples with a blend of both the Scottish and French fiddle traditions. Douglas Richard Sinclair has developed his own rhythmic and melodic style of Métis banjo and guitar, and is joined in the band by Stephen Dayfoot on hand drum, spoons and assorted percussion, and new band member Nathan Smith on fiddle. The band have just released their eight track debut album “Métis Fiddle Music”, which also featured fiddler Pierre Arsenault. The new album was recorded in Toronto with John Dinsmore at Lincoln County Social Club. To learn more about the band and music, we caught up with Douglas Richard Sinclair at home in Halton Hills. For more information about The Red River Ramblers, and their upcoming live dates, visit theredriverramblers.com. Music: The Red River Ramblers “Wigwam Polka”, “Red River Jig” and “Louis Riel Reel” / “Chanson De La Grenouilliere” from “Métis Fiddle Music” (2020, Self) CDN.
Manitoba singer-songwriter Del Barber released a wonderful new album this year – the Americana flavoured “Easy Keeper”. Four years in the making, this album really packs a punch. 11 great songs, that are at times deeply personal, and yet at others, quite celebratory. A renowned storyteller in song, Del Barber has produced five critically acclaimed albums and been nominated for JUNO Awards, Western Canadian Music Awards, and Canadian Folk Music Awards. Easy Keeper was predominantly recorded in Manitoba, and produced by Del Barber with Grant Siemens (Corb Lund, Tom Russell), with Bill Western on pedal steel, Bernie Thiessen on bass and Ivan Burke on drums with Geoff Hilhorst (Leeroy Stagger, The Deep Dark Woods) on keys, and Jeremy Rusu (Rosie & The Riveters, Red Moon Road) on accordion. For more information about the music of Del Barber, visit delbarber.com. Music: Del Barber, “Dancing In The Living Room”, “Louise” and “Easy Keeper” from “Easy Keeper” (2019, Acronym Records).