Episode 247: Leah Morise

Singer-songwriter Leah Morise joined us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music and latest album, “Live At The House Of Harmony”, which was released in 2015. I have to say that I really enjoyed this interview – quite lovely; it features some great conversation as well as three beautiful live songs. As usual, we also include some of the great new music we’ve received.

Leah Morise music crosses over from folk to contemporary to light jazz. “Live At The House Of Harmony” features twelve songs that perfectly showcase her beautiful warm voice, and playful and charming lyrics. The album was recorded in the living room of her converted church home in Fingal, Ontario, The House of Harmony, which doubles as the perfect rehearsal space, recording studio and house concert venue. Leah joined us at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October to chat about the new album and play three songs live, two featuring trumpet from her side-man partner Mike Bourgeault. For more information, visit leahmorise.com. Photo: Mike Bourgeault.

Another great one is gone. Merle Haggard, sadly passed away recently, on his birthday at the age of 79. This week we played a live version of “Workin’ Man Blues” recorded for the Austin City Limits TV show in 1978, when Merle was at the top of his game. Merle apparently left a treasure trove of unreleased songs behind him (I think we’re talking about three to four hundred songs, that he was saving until he was no longer able to record new material. Some of those songs may now see the light of day. The music will live on, and not just in a wonderful back catalogue.

This week’s new music selection featured Noah Zacharin, Lowell Levinger (that’s Banana from The Youngbloods), Steve Howell & The Mighty Men and Mark Brown.

Toronto’s singer-songwriter Noah Zacharin has just released a great new album that crosses the genres from blues to jazz to folk to even doo-wop,  “Strange Rider”. We’ll have an interview with Noah on a future show.

Lowell Levinger has released a great album of Youngbloods classics revisited, appropriately titled “Get Together – Banana Recalls Youngblood Classics”. This week we played a fabulous version of “Hippie From Olema”. You can find the album on Grandpa Racoon Records – it’s a great updated retrospective featuring some excellent musicianship and it’s nicely and informatively packaged.

Texas blues and roots guitarists Steve Howell and his band The Mighty Men has released an album of reimagined classics “Friend Like Me” (2015, Out Of the Past Records). This week we played a bluesy guitar version of Josh Thomas’ “Roustabout”, a banjo staple in Mike Seeger’s set for many years. Mark Brown‘s rootsy rough-hewn “Skin & Bone” is a great listen. Fourteen fun tracks that feel like they were just penned before recording them with a few friends in a cabin in the woods.

We also squeezed some Quebecois instrumental folk courtesy of composer Francois Couture who’s just released an album of music recorded for the La Buche restaurant in Quebec City – music to enjoy while savouring a great meal, I presume. The album’s out now on the Disques Boghei label, and definitely worth a listen – even if you feel the need to take a Quebec vacation and visit a fabulous restaurant!

Well, that’s all we have time for this week. Check out the full playlist with artist links below and share your love for all the great folk and roots music out there. Thanks to all the artists who share their music with us, and thank you for listening. We have a lot of great music to bring you on future shows. I hope you’ll join us! You can listen to this show again on Mixcloud by following the link below.

Nicolas & The Iceni (Theme)
Lucy She Rises (Demo)
Roll Right (expected 2016)

Noah Zacharin
Find My Baby
Strange Rider (2016, Self) CDN

Steve Howell & The Mighty Men
Friend Like Me (2015, Out Of the Past Records)

Lowell Levinger
Hippie From Olema
Get Together – Banana Recalls Youngblood Classics (2015, Grandpa Racoon Records)

Merle Haggard
Workin’ Man Blues
Live From Austin TX ’78 (2008, Warner Music)

Francois Couture
Réveil du printemps (valse)
La Buche Vol 1 (2015, Disques Boghei) CDN

Leah Morise
If Only He Had Known The Language
Live At The House Of Harmony (2015, Self) CDN

Interview: Leah Morise recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference. Listen to the interview HERE.

Leah Morise
She’s A Hurricane (Live)

Leah Morise
Tiny Trailer (Live)

Leah Morise
Flowers In The Carpet (Live)

Leah Morise
$2 Bill
Live At The House Of Harmony (2015, Self) CDN

Mark Brown
See You Next Time
Skin & Bone (2015, Self)

About the author


Host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan Hall started in Radio in 1993 at WEFT 90.1fm in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Folk Roots Radio (formerly Royal City Rag) debuted on CFRU 93.3fm in August 2005 before developing into a syndicated radio show. As the host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan focuses on bringing new folk, roots and blues music and the voices of upcoming and independent artists to the airwaves. Jan is also a much sought after stage host and festival emcee. In 2019, Jan Hall received Folk Music Ontario's prestigious Estelle Klein Award for her contribution to Ontario's folk music community.

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