Episode 259: Shawna Caspi

This episode features an interview and a couple of live songs from Toronto based singer-songwriter Shawna Caspi alongside tracks from some of the current new releases.

Guitar-picking, classically-trained folkie Shawna Caspi released a great album of coffee house folk in 2014, “Apartments For Lovers” – an album that not only contains Shawna’s songs, but is also adorned by her own art work. Shawna joined us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music, and play a couple of new songs live for us. For more information about Shawna’s music and to check out her visual art visit shawnacaspi.com.

Rockwood Ontario’s Ian Reid is just about to release his new album, “Dad’s & Uncles”, recorded & produced with Guelph’s Harri Palm with contributions from Harri, Colin Couch, Jeff Bird, Robert Reid and Gary Brace. Ian has a CD release at St John’s Anglican Church in Rockwood ON on June 4 before setting off on an extensive Canadian tour – that heads west in June, through Ontario in July and out to Eastern Canada in August. For more details visit Ian’s website at ianreid.ca.

Among the new music we played this week was Adam Michael Rothberg with “Central Square” from his album “Soul Of A Man”. Central Square is all about trying to make it as a musician, something that’s probably all too familiar to many of the artists we play on this show – and part of the reason we need to show the appreciation for what they do whenever we get the opportunity. We also found time to play another track from “Some Notion or Novelty”, the fine second album from Golden Colorado’s Thomas Hine. Some Notion or Novelty has a lovely feel to it, and each of the songs feels so thoughtfully-crafted.

We also recently received the latest from singer/songwriter Lori Lieberman, “Ready For The Storm” (2015, Drive On Records). Lori is probably best known for recording the original version of the classic Killing Me Softly With His Song – which became a monster hit for Roberta Flack in 1973. The story of the song is very interesting. Lori was at a Don McLean show, and was so affected by his performance of “Empty Chairs” (from his American Pie album) that she wrote a poem about it on a napkin – and that poem formed the basis for a Norman Gimbel lyric put to music by Charles Fox which became Killing Me Softly With His Song. Empty Chairs is indeed a fabulous song from one of my all-time favourite albums and its easy to see how someone could be floored by hearing it in concert. If you’re not familiar with it or, indeed, the whole American Pie album, I’d strongly recommend checking out – there’s so much more to Don McLean’s music than just that song. Lori has recorded seventeen long-players in her career so far, and Ready for the Storm, is a pretty good album of singer-songwriter folk, and beautifully produced, managing to feel lush and full at the same time as having an intimate bedsitter lyrical quality that encourages you to pick up the liner notes to learn more about the songs. It also features a couple of great covers, Jackson Browne‘s “Alive In The World”, and the song we played this week Tom Paxton‘s “Last Thing On My Mind”.

And that’s all we have time for this week. You can find the full playlist with artist links below. Please 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 episode again on Mixcloud by following the link below.

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

Ian Reid
The Chase
Dads & Uncles (2016, Self) CDN

Adam Michael Rothberg
Central Square
Soul Of A Man (2015, AMR Music Works)

Van Norden & Aubrey Richmond
Find My Way
The Space Between (2016, Gate 5 Media) CDN

Thomas Hine
La Belle Riviere
Some Notion Or Novelty (2016, THM)

The Bills
Mando Coloured Glasses
Trail of Tales (2016, Borealis Records) CDN

Shawna Caspi
Devil’s Rolling Pin
Apartments For Lovers (2014, Self) CDN

Interview: Shawna Caspi recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference.

Shawna Caspi
Take This Mountain (Live)

Shawna Caspi
Never Enough (Live)

Shawna Caspi
Not So Silent
Apartments For Lovers (2014, Self) CDN

Lizanne Knott
It Ain’t Necessarily So
Excellent Day (2016, Self/Proper)

Mark Martyre
Ain’t Finished Yet
Bluebird (2016, Self) CDN

Lori Lieberman
Last Thing On My Mind
Ready For The Storm (2015, Drive On Records)

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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