Winnipeg roots/pop vocal group Sweet Alibi, who feature the beautiful harmonies of Amber Rose, Jessica Rae Ayre and Michelle Anderson, have just released a new single – and a great new video. It’s their version of Tom Petty’s “Crawling Back To You” – and a fabulous job they do, too. The song is part of a new playlist “Canada Covers Tom Petty”, curated by Jadea Kelly, who supplies her own cover of “Wildflowers”, alongside covers by Matt Mays and Terra Lightfoot (“Learning to Fly”), Royal Wood (“Don’t Come Around Here No More”), Matt Epp and Christina Martin (“Stop Dragging My Heart Around”) and many more. Sweet Alibi are playing some dates in Ontario this fall and will be bringing their great live show to the Mary Webb Centre in Highgate on Saturday November 3 at 8 p.m. Visit Sweet alibi online at sweetalibi.com.
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.
Saskatoon singer-songwriter Jen Lane has just released “Movin’ On”, the second single and video from her new album “This Life Of Mine” (2016, Self). Jen joined us in the studio with sideman, life partner and manager John Antoniuk, last fall, to chat about the new project. You can find the interview HERE. Jen will be on tour across Canada and the Eastern US in support of “This Life of Mine”, including showcasing at Canadian Music Week, in May. For more information, visit jenlane.com.
Trevor Gordon Hall has just released “Mind Heart Fingers”, the follow up to 2011’s “Entelechy”. We had a chance to chat with Trevor shortly before his appearance at this past summer’s Mariposa Folk Festival. If you love rich, creative guitar music with a twist, you’ll love Mind Heart Fingers. Check out the video of Trevor playing acoustic guitar on the beautiful “The Blue Hour”. I’ll admit that my knowledge of acoustic guitar tunings is rudimentary – however, for guitar aficionados, this song is apparently played in Nashville or high strung tuning (using only octave strings from a 12 string pack). This beautiful instrumental album was recorded during the summer of 2014 by Grammy Winning Producer Will Ackerman. You can find it in all of the usual places, including, for a physical copy, on CDBaby. For more information: visit trevorgordonhall.com.
There’s a new kid on the folk festival circuit – Kingsville. The first Kingsville Folk Music Festival takes place from August 8-10 2014 in Lakeside Park, Kingsville. The festival will feature four day-time stages, a dedicated children’s area “The Family Stomping Ground” and an evening main stage. With a broad mandate to feature acoustic roots music of all types and 50% Canadian content, it promises to be a great weekend for anyone who loves folk music. Check out the accompanying video to see the stellar line-up they’ve pulled together for their inaugural year. For more information visit kingsvillefolkfest.org.
Bry Webb has just released the latest video from his new album, Free Will. The song, “Prove Me Wrong”, is coupled with a very nice video by Colin Medley filmed at The Donkey Sanctuary near Guelph, Ontario. The sanctuary is a refuge for donkeys who have been neglected or abused, or who can no longer be cared for by their owners. The animals are provided a welcome and often life-saving peaceful haven after years of suffering and neglect. Webb describes it as “one of the most serene places I’ve ever been.”
“My friend Gavin was working there, organizing their yearly Donkey Day Festival. I hadn’t been playing much, but Gavin asked if I’d do some songs as part of the day. I had recently started making music with Mike Brooks (pedal steel) and Rich Burnett (lap steel), so we decided to work out arrangements of some old and new songs for the event. It was one of the first shows I had played since the Constantines stopped. When Colin had the idea to make a music video there, it seemed perfect. Music video making can often be an undignified process for musicians – I’m not really inclined to lip sync my own songs – but putting one of the songs to Maya Bankovic and Colin’s wonderful slow motion shots of these incredibly dignified animals has made me very happy.”
Trevor Gordon Hall is bringing his Kalimbatar to this summer’s Mariposa Folk Festival. His what, I hear you say? His kalimbatar. It’s his own invention, an acoustic guitar with a kalimba – an African thumb piano (and common in sub-Saharan Africa), attached to the side of it. It’s pretty nifty and produces an incredibly full and beautiful sound, that is almost mesmeric in quality. Check out the attached video of Trevor playing the kalimbatar. You can find other videos on his website at trevorgordonhall.com. We’re impressed – so much so that we’re working on an interview. In case you don’t know, the Mariposa Folk festival runs from July 4-6 2014 in beautiful Tudhope Park up in Orillia. To check out all the details and pick up tickets, visit mariposa folk.com. It promises to be a great weekend!
The Imbayakunas mix the traditional sound of the Andes with a variety of latin and european influences to create worldbeat music that is so intoxicating that you’ll find it hard to enjoy without getting up to dance. Featuring traditional andean instruments such as the rondador (and other pan flutes), charango, ronrocco (similar to a lute) and cajas (drum) as well as fiddle and electric guitar they create quite the party. This summer they’ll be at the Mariposa Folk festival, July 4-6 2014. Mariposa, summer, danceable music… bring it on! For more information about the Mariposa Folk Festival and to buy tickets, visit mariposa folk.com.
Tannis Slimmon, the Guelph-based singer-songwriter with the golden voice, tunes up for her BC tour with a special concert with her long time musical collaborator Lewis Melville at the Music In The Wood, 122 Main Street South, Rockwood on June 28 2014 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. To reserve, call (519) 856-9266 or email [email protected]. For more information visit tannis.ca.
When the Wailin’ Jennys started out they were just three solo singer-songwriters getting together for a one-time-only performance at a tiny guitar shop in Winnipeg. Since those humble beginnings they’ve grown into one of today’s most beloved international folk acts. Founding members Ruth Moody (vocals, guitar, accordion, banjo, bodhrán) and Nicky Mehta (vocals, guitar, harmonica, drums, ukulele) along with New York-based Heather Masse (vocals, upright bass) continue to create some of the most exciting and exquisite music on the folk-roots scene.
For more information check out thewailinjennys.com.
The Bombadils describe themselves as a charismatic bunch of kind-hearted rascals. They write and perform tunes that blend their strong musical conviction, drawing from Québecois, Irish, and bluegrass folk styles. It’s a decidedly contemporary sound that combines soaring melodic lines, tight rhythmic energy, and virtuosity.
Formed in 2009 at McGill University, the band has performed regularly since then around Montreal in pubs and cafés while completing their studies in jazz and classical music. The Bombadils released their debut CD “Fill Your Boots!” in 2012.
Tickets are $12. Due to the intimate size of the venue, reservations are recommended. Call 519-766-4663 to book your place.
For more information, visit thebombadils.com.
Craig Cardiff will be in Cambridge on Friday May 23 2014 for a show at the Galt Club (2nd floor above Cafe 13), 13 Main St, Galt, Cambridge. Tickets are $15 online from www.craigcardiff.com or $20 at the door. The support act will be The Vaudevillian. Show starts at 8 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.). Promises to be a great night.
We’ve just discovered fabulous Americana – Blues songstress Kerri Powers who hails from Connecticut. Check out some beautiful slide guitar on “Buttercup” from her new self-titled album “Kerri Powers”. We’ll be playing more music from Kerri on Folk Roots Radio. For more information on Kerri Powers visit kerripowers.com.
Drew McIvor has made it into the regional semi-finals of the CBC Searchlight contest with “45s and 33s”, a slice of nostalgia with an upbeat rocksteady / R&B groove that’s the perfect song to soundtrack your summer. He also has a great video to go with it! Vote for Drew here. Drew will be releasing his latest album in May. We’ve been promised a studio visit. Stay tuned.
David Celia will be bringing his own brand of folk to Magnolia Café, 88 Yarmouth St in Guelph on Thursday April 24. The support act will be Guelph’s own Tricia Brubacher. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 (or PWYC). Due to the intimate size of the venue, reservations are recommended. Call 519-766-4663 to book your place. The perfect idea for date night!
Renowned fingerstyle guitarist Bob MacLean will be bringing a whole selection of guitars and mandolins to Magnolia Café on Saturday April 26 2014 for an intimate evening of trad tunes, songs & finger style guitar. The show kicks off at 8:00 p.m. and the price of admission is just $10. Due to the intimate size of the venue, reservations are recommended. Call 519-766-4663 to book your place.
Let’s all raise a “Little Glass of Wine” to Jesse Winchester. Rest In Peace, Jesse Winchester (1944 – 2014).
Our good friend Jack Cooper from BerLen Music will be joining us on Folk Roots Radio on April 5 2014 to chat about a special fundraiser for singer-songwriter Mary Anne Epp taking place at the ANAF in Guelph on April 12 at 8:00 p.m. A minimum donation of $10 is suggested and you can register online here. Mary-Anne’s song, “Rhoda” was written about an encounter with a homeless woman. Little did she know that she herself would end up homeless one day. Mary-Anne has written many great songs and hopefully this fundraiser will help Mary-Anne get back on her feet. To learn more about Mary-Anne’s story, read this article in Chateleine. There, but for the grace of God…
Birds of Chicago (featuring JT Nero and Ally Russell) will be at Mariposa Folk Festival (July 4, 5, 6) this summer. There latest album is the live set Live From Space. Birds of Chicago are an amazing live band. Definitely check them out, when they come to your town. You’ll not be disappointed.
JT Nero and Ally Russell joined us in the studio in October. Check out their visit here.
For more on Birds of Chicago visit birdsofchicago.com.
This is a nice video to a beautiful song, the thought-provoking “Sweet and Sunny South”, by New Orleans based singer-songwriter Gina Forsyth (of The Malvinas) . It’s a song that speaks to the culture of the deep south of the United States. It really has great cross over potential for folk and politics; perfect for those who enjoy what we do here at Folk Roots Radio but also take in the humorous political commentary and interviews on our sister show Beyond the Ballot Box. Thanks to uber-humour-folkie Christine Lavin for the heads-up and the video.
Every so often, an album crosses your desk that makes you sit up and take notice. Megan Bonnell’s new album “Hunt and Chase” definitely fits into that category. This is an acoustic version of “We
Are Strangers Now”. Enjoy. For more information on Megan Bonnell, visit meganbonnell.ca
The O’Schraves will be in town for a show on March 3 at 7:30 p.m. at St David and St Patrick Church, 520 Speedvale Avenue, Guelph. Tickets: $15 ($20 @ The Door). Call Judy at (519) 763 2494 or email [email protected].
These guys are amazing. Check them out in concert if you ever get the chance.
Do you love the music of Nick Drake? Ever wish you could have seen him live? Well, unfortunately that is not possible, but you can still check out the gorgeous music he did create and check out some of the artists who are determined to introduce new listeners to his music. The Songs of Nick Drake tour visits Guelph on Friday November 16 2012 for a show at Dublin St United Church.
Featuring Oh Susanna (Suzie Ungerleider), Kevin Kane of The Grapes of Wrath, and the tour’s organizer, British-born Luke Jackson, along with a distinguished backing band featuring guitarist Kurt Swinghammer, drummer Don Kerr (Rheostatics, Ron Sexsmith), and double-bassist Jason Mercer (Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Ani DiFranco). The string section includes Sahra Featherstone, Alex Cheung, Johan Lotter and Wendy Solomon. There will also be some special guests for the Guelph show including Rich Burnett, Matt Masotti, Amy McCann and David Matheson. The Songs of Nick Drake was first produced by Jackson at Toronto’s Trinity St. Paul’s United Church in November 2010. It was a tribute both to Nick Drake and Robert Kirby, with whom Jackson had collaborated on his last album. Apparently Kirby had planned to fly to Toronto to conduct the string section at a similar concert a year earlier, but passed away unexpectedly a week before the show was to be announced.
To coincide with the tour, Kurt Swinghammer is releasing Two Portraits, a limited edition 12″ single of his version of Nick Drake’s “River Man” backed with a version of Donovan’s “Sunny Goodge Street.” The sleeve features Swinghammer’s painted portrait of Nick Drake.