Before there was Folk Roots Radio there was Royal City Rag, a mixed music and spoken word magazine style show focusing on Guelph community issues, music and the arts that went out on CFRU 93.3fm Guelph’s campus & community radio station from 2005-2011. On April Fool’s Day 2009, Sya Van Guest and Brad Woods, and singer-songwriter Sam Turton joined us on the show for a very special Tall Tales themed show apparently being broadcast live from an undisclosed and, at the time, quite controversial Guelph location. We’re not going to let you know where the show was supposed to be coming from – you’ll have to listen to the episode to find out. Let’s just say that a lot of our Guelph activist friends we’re quite shocked that we would be broadcasting from there. This was certainly one of our favourite Royal City Rag episodes. Enjoy!
Montreal roots swing band Jabbour have just released the video for their new single “Honey”. Honey was written by Jabbour’s Bill Collier, and arranged by the band. Performing on the single are Bill Collier (ukulele, percussion, banjo, lead vocals), Guillaume Jabbour (guitar, backing vocals), Carl Rufh (bass, backing vocals) and David Greely (fiddle). The new single was recorded at Studio Riverfield (Howick, QC) by John McColgan, with mixing by John McColgan, Paul Scriver (Square Peg Studios, Montreal, QC) and mastering by Harris Newman at Greymarket (Montreal, QC). Jabbour’s new album, the follow up to 2016’s “Round the Clock”, is due later this year. The video for Honey was produced by D’Onofrio Films and features Ottawa’s Ball & Chain – Michael Ball and Jody Benjamin, alongside a starring role for Hank the Dog. Check out our interview with Jabbour HERE. Find Jabbour online at jabbourband.com. Photo: Tanis Saucier.
A Folk Roots Radio EXCLUSIVE! Quebec roots swing band Jabbour will be releasing the video for their new single, “Honey”, at the Maison de la culture de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce on Friday April 13 at 8 p.m. Honey was written by Jabbour’s Bill Collier, and arranged by the band. Performing on the single are Bill Collier (ukulele, percussion, banjo, lead vocals), Guillaume Jabbour (guitar, backing vocals), Carl Rufh (bass, backing vocals) and David Greely (fiddle). The new single was recorded at Studio Riverfield (Howick, QC) by John McColgan, with mixing by John McColgan, Paul Scriver (Square Peg Studios, Montreal, QC) and mastering by Harris Newman at Greymarket (Montreal, QC). Jabbour’s new album, the follow up to 2016’s “Round the Clock”, is due later this year. Check out our interview with Jabbour HERE. Find Jabbour online at jabbourband.com. Photo: Tanis Saucier.
Folklorist and London ON Folk DJ Amanda Lynn Stubley is about to release “Gem”, a six track album of old time music recorded live off-the-floor with producer Deni Gauthier. The album features Amanda Lynn on banjo, guitar and vocals alongside her partner Martin Horak on fiddle, guitar and vocals. The album features six songs, three Amanda Lynn Stubbly originals, alongside a Martin Horak original and versions of both The Carter Family’s “Lonesome Pine Special” and Merle Haggard’s “Mama’s Hungry Eyes”. We caught up with Amanda Lynn at home in London ON to chat about the new album. The album release for Gem takes place on Sunday March 5 at 3 p.m. at the SoHo Bar And Grill, 466 South St, London (formerly known as the Victoria Tavern). Cover $5 ($10 with a copy of the CD). Amanda Lynn Stubley and Martin Horak are also members of London’s Heartaches Stringband with James Cummins on mandolin and multi-instrumentalist Uncle Dan Henshall on upright bass. For more information about Amanda Lynn, visit theheartachesmusic.com/amanda-lynn. Music: Amanda Lynn Stubley “Trouble Light”, “Christmas at the Brunswick Hotel” and “Lonesome Pine Special” from “Gem” (2016, self).
Guelph Celtic Orchestra are getting ready for their St. Patrick’s Day Extravaganza. This year’s event takes place at the Italian Canadian Club, 135 Ferguson Street, Guelph on Saturday March 18 2017 at 7:30 p.m. (Doors 7 p.m.). This year’s concert also features the Guelph Pipe Band and the orchestra’s award winning step dancers. The performance will be followed by a ceilidh dance. Tickets are $20 advance ($25 at the door), $10 (children aged 6-16) and are available through Janus Books, 10 Paisley St., Guelph and their website at guelphceltic.ca.
Well. It’s just about time to wish goodbye to 2016… a challenging year in so many respects. At least we had lots of great music to enjoy!
We’re taking a break for the holiday season, but we’ll be back with a lot more music and interviews in 2017.
You can check out our Best of the Year HERE. There are also loads of interviews and full episodes to enjoy via the website.
Thanks to all the artists who share their music with us during the year, and thank you for listening.
Have a safe, and enjoyable holiday season. We’ll see you next time!
Brian “Colorblind” Blain has been writing and performing his unique brand of slow-cooked, solid-groove folk blues for more than 40 years. Brian released a “live” solo album called “New Folk Blues” in 2011 that took a light-hearted look at his life in music, while giving him free rein to indulge his passion for folk, blues and jazz. Brian has elected to revisit the tracks on the New Folk Blues album by inviting musical friends Harry Manx, Clayton Doley, Drew Jurecka, Colleen Allen and others into the studio, leading to a sweetened, stacked and mastered version of the album appropriately titled “New Folk Blues 2.0”. Brian will be celebrating the reboot of the “New Folk Blues 2.0” album on Saturday, October 29 at Toronto’s legendary Old Mill where he will be joined by George Koller, Michelle Josef and Alison Young, all of whom contributed to the new recording. For more information visit brianblain.com.
The nominations for the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards have been announced. PEI bilingual trio Ten Strings And A Goat Skin lead the nominations this year with 4 nominations for their album “Auprès du Poêle”, Double nominees include: The Strumbellas, Whitehorse, Donovan Woods, Royal Wood, Danny Michel, David Francey, Big Little Lions, The Small Glories, William Prince, Nadia Gaudet & Jason Burnstick, Corin Raymond, Megan Bonnell, The Andrew Collins Trio, Beppe Gambetta & Tony McManus, Fásta, The Yves Lambert Trio, Hillsburn and Shannon Quinn.
Check out the full list of nominees here. We’ll be previewing the nominee categories on upcoming editions of Folk Roots Radio.
Northern-Irish singer-songwriter Ciaran Lavery has been creating quite a bit of a buzz for his achingly beautiful songs and stellar songwriting, especially on his 2014 “Kosher” EP and “Not Nearly Dark” album, and top download tracks “Shame” and “Left for America”. Ciaran’s just released the very well received “Let Bad In” (2016, Believe Recordings) and he’ll be making his Canadian debut at Silence in Guelph on August 15 at 8 p.m. (doors 7:30pm). Tickets are $20 in advance/ $25 at the door and $12 for students and unwaged and available at Royal Cat Records in Guelph, Forch’s Record Store in Cambridge and online at dollartone.com. The show is a co-presentation of Guelph Roots, Hillside Festival and Dollartone and supported by Forch’s Record Store. For more information visit ciaranlaverymusic.com.
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.
One of our favourite live performers Fred Eaglesmith is taking his Travelling Steam Show back out on the road again this spring with stops in Niagara-on-the-Lake Legion Br 124 (April 23), The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto (April 28), Midland Legion Br. 80 (April 29), Elora Legion Br. 229 (April 30), Port Stanley Legion Br. 410 (May 12) and the Moose Lodge in Chatham on May 13. If you haven’t experienced Fred Eaglesmith live, you need to check him out. If you’re already familiar, you’ll be wanting another fix. You can also spend a weekend with Fred and some of his friends at this year’s Charity Picnic (the 22nd) which takes place the weekend August 19-21 in Aylmer. Check out all the details at fredeaglesmith.com.
The latest edition of the acoustic songwriters series Source of the Song takes place on Saturday April 16 from 2-5 pm in Glen Williams Town Hall, 1 Prince Street in Glen Williams and features Soozi Schlanger and David Storey alongside host Bruce Madole. Tickets are $20 and available in Glen Williams at Reeve and Clarke Fine Books, (open Thursday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m, at 521 Main Street in Glen Williams), or by contacting co-producers Bruce or Marlene Madole at 905-459-9753 (or via email HERE at [email protected]).
April 16 is Record Store Day – that day each year when we celebrate the independent record store! Although many record stores have gone to the wall in challenging economic times in a rapidly changing industry, the ones that remain are thriving because they work hard to provide a knowledgeable customer service and a selection that doesn’t exist online or, dare I say it, Wal-Mart. You can also credit part of the success to the resurgence of vinyl, and an appreciation that it was, and probably still is, the best way to listen to recorded music.
Iconic Toronto folk-pop band Skydiggers are about to release their latest album, a tribute to Byrds songwriter Gene Clark, appropriately titled “Here Without You – The Songs of Gene Clark”. The album features eight songs written by the famed writer of such classics as “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better”, “She Don’t Care About Time”, “Set You Free This Time” and “Eight Miles High”, all delivered in the trademark, stark and intimate, Skydiggers style. The album, produced by Michael Timmins from the Cowboy Junkies, will be released on May 13 on Latent Recordings. The Skydiggers will be in Guelph for a show at the Guelph Little Theatre, 176 Morris St Guelph on Thursday May 7 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and available from Janus Books. Out of town tickets are available HERE. Check out the other Skydiggers dates HERE.
Dobro & Claw, the only dobro and clawhammer banjo duo act in the known universe, features Ivan Rosenberg on dobro and Chris Coole on banjo. They’re in Cambridge on Thursday March 31 for a Mill Race Folk Society show in the Galt Room at 8 p.m. A two-man folk festival, they put on a fabulous live show. Their latest album, “Return to Trion” features eleven tracks, ranging from Robbie Robertson’s “Stage Fright” and the country classic “Fool Such As I” to traditionals like “Georgie” and “Sail Away Ladies”, alongside three originals. Admission is just $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Check out millracefolksociety.com for all the details. For more information about Dobro & Claw, visit www.dobroandclaw.com. Photo: Mike Melnyk.
Acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter Dave Gunning is back on tour in Ontario this April, including a stop off in Leamington for a Road to Kingsville Folk Fest show at The Bank Theatre (April 15), The Registry Theatre, Kitchener (April 16), Hugh’s Room, Toronto (April 21) and The Moonshine Cafe, Oakville (April 28). He’ll also be appearing at this summer’s Mariposa Folk Festival (July 7-10). Dave is fresh off a 13-date trip to Australia and the release of his 11th album “Lift” (2015, Wee House Of Music), a stellar collection of personal and character-driven songs featuring four Dave Gunning originals alongside co-writes with some other great Canadian songwriters including contributions from Matt Andersen, Catherine MacLellan, Thom Swift and the late Jim Dorie. There is also a fabulous tribute to the late great Pete Seeger, “Sing It Louder” co-written with North Carolina singer-songwriter Sally Spring. Check out all of Dave’s upcoming appearances at davegunning.com.
Nudie brings his old school country Americana to Guelph for a homeroutes.ca/concerts/guelph house concert on Wednesday April 6 at 8 p.m. (Doors 7:15 p.m.). After spending time in Toronto, Montreal, Phoenix, Austin and New York, Nudie now hangs his Gibson guitar in Charlottetown, PEI. Nudie has appeared at the Philadelphia & Ottawa Folk Festivals, Willie Nelson’s end-of-tour party in 2006, and recently featured in the support slot for Marty Stuart & The Fabulous Superlatives. For more information, visit nudiemusic.com. Photo credit: A Karpinski.
Main Stage favourites from the 2014 Kingsville Folk Music Festival, alt. folk band Fish & Bird are back on tour in Ontario during February. Raised on a diet of Radiohead and classic roots music, Fish & Bird are a fabulous live band, and well worth checking out. Their fourth album, “Something in the Ether” was released in September 2014 on Fiddlehead Records to critical acclaim. Fish & Bird play Leamington (February 25), Guelph (February 26), Hamilton (February 27), Burdock (February 28), Owen Sound (February 29). The Leamington show, presented by the Sun Parlour Folk Music Society & The Sun Parlour Players Community Theatre, takes place at The Bank Theatre, 10 Erie South, Leamington on Thursday February 25 at 8 p.m (doors 7 p.m.). Advance tickets are $20 and available online HERE. In Guelph, they’re back at Silence for a Guelph Roots show on Friday February 26 at 8 p.m. (doors 7:30 p.m.). Tickets are $15 in advance ($20 at the door). Advanced tickets may be purchased online HERE. For more information about Fish & Bird visit fishandbird.ca.
The folk music community came together in Edmonton this past weekend to celebrate the vibrancy of the Canadian folk music scene as they handed out the 11th Canadian Folk Music Awards. The weekend events included nominee showcases, a live broadcast on the CKUA radio network and the awards gala itself hosted by Connie Kaldor and Benoit Bourque (La Bottine Souriante). This year, artists from Newfoundland and Ontario received the most honours, each taking home five wards. Quebec artists followed, with three awards. Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia were recipients of two awards each with Alberta and British Columbia artists collecting one award each. Congratulations to all the nominees and recipients. Read on for all the details.
Genre-defying fiddler Anne Lindsay will be bringing her new album “Soloworks” to the Paul Morin Gallery at the Alton Mill Arts Centre on September 24. The gallery has fabulous acoustics and a view to die for, looking out over the mill pond. Anne Lindsay is a session player extraordinaire, having played the fiddle for Led Zeppelin, Blue Rodeo, James Taylor and The Chieftains to name just a few. Her new solo album “Soloworks” is fabulous and crosses many borders, featuring songs and tunes composed by Anne for violin, nyckelharpa (a Swedish keyed violin – you learn something new every day), piano and voice, and a cello tune played by Amy Laing. This should be a fabulous evening. Photo: Kevin Kelly.
The Sultans of String are about to release their latest album, “Subcontinental Drift”, a collaboration with sitar master Anwar Khurshid. To celebrate the release, Folk Roots Radio has been given two amazing prize packs to give away. Included in the prize pack are two tickets for the Saturday September 19 show at the Registry Theatre in Kitchener and a Sultans of String four-CD pack.
Want to get in on the draw to win this fabulous prize? Get in touch via the website, social media or an e-mail to jan[at]folkrootsradio.com. Good luck!
The Mill Race Society’s biweekly traditional music sessions take place on the 2nd and 4th Sunday from 2–4pm through the winter and spring. The pub sessions are informal gatherings for musicians who enjoy playing traditional jigs, hornpipes etc! The repertoire is primarily English music, although some tunes are shared with the Irish, Scottish, Canadian, and American traditions. Sounds like lots of fun. Musicians (and non-musicians) are welcome.
2nd Sunday: Brownstone Gastro Pub
39 Queen St. E., Hespeler Village, Cambridge
2015 dates: Sep. 13, Nov. 8. (No session Oct. 11)
4th Sunday: Argyle Arms
210 King St. East, Preston, Cambridge
2015 dates: Sep. 27, Oct. 18, Nov. 22
For more information visit millracefolksociety.com.
The nominations for the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards have been announced. Pharis and Jason Romero lead the pack with four nominations for their album “A Wanderer I’ll Stay”. Their nominations include Traditional Album of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Traditional Singer of the Year (Pharis Romero), and Producer of the Year (Pharis and Jason Romero with David Travers-Smith). Amelia Curran (St John’s, NL), Fortunate Ones (St John’s, NL), Jenn Grant (Lake Echo, NS), Whitehorse (Toronto, ON) and Catherine MacLellan (Charlottetown, PEI) each received three nominations.
This year’s youngest nominee is nine year old Vancouver Island artist Stella Swanson for the album “I’m Not A Bunny” in the Children’s Album of the Year category. Inspired by Stella’s pet bunny Romeo, the album was produced by Comox’s Helen Austin, a previous Canadian Folk Music Award and Juno Award recipient and a nominee this year with her group Big Little Lions.
Check out the full list of nominees here. We’ll be previewing the nominees on upcoming editions of Folk Roots Radio.
Linda McRae brings her solo show to Silence on Friday October 9 in support of her new album, “Shadow Trails”. Linda is perhaps most widely known for her time with Spirit of the West, and prominent involvement on two of their most enduring songs, “Home for a Rest” and “If Venice is Sinking”. Since leaving the band in 1996, however she has developed a very successful solo album culminating in the release of an excellent solo compilation, and a fabulous introduction to her music, “Fifty Shades of Red” in 2014.