Episode 276: Karen Morand

Windsor singer-songwriter Karen Morand joins us in the studio on this episode to chat about her music and play a few new songs live. Since recording this interview and session, Karen has gone on to win the 1st Canada South Songwriting Competition at the Kingsville Folk Music Festival with the song “Big Muddy”, one of the new songs she played for us. We also check out some more new music from Windsor & Essex County in Ontario.

Karen Morand is great fun to have in the studio. Relaxed conversation and some great live songs, and, considering that she was coming off a weekend playing music in sweltering heat on Pelee Island, we were honoured that Karen wanted to spend time with us before heading home again.

We’re big fans of Karen’s songwriting and live performances. It’s certainly no surprise to us that she was the winner of the songwriting contest at Kingsville. Her songwriting has a wonderful warm earthy quality that begs you to want to spend time in her company. And she loves to tackle important subjects, and does so with empathy and understanding. As a live performer, she’s equally comfortable as a solo artist with a guitar (she wowed us at a recent edition of Dale’s Friday Coffee House in Leamington) or playing with her wonderful band “Bosco”, named after the infamous chocolate syrup of Seinfeld fame, and featuring Aaron Verhulst on mandolin and guitars and Benny Santoro on cajon, Her performances are not to be missed. We’re really looking forward to her next album too!

With the time left left towards the end of the hour, we thought it fun to explore some more of the new music coming out of Windsor and Essex County. Andrew Taves is a young singer-songwriter from Leamington Ontario who first heard play at Dale’s Friday Coffee House taking place monthly from September – May at The Bank Theatre in Leamington. Andrew’s shares a demo version of one of the song’s be played that night on this episode, “North Country Girl”.

Dale Butler is no stranger to this show. Since moving the Folk Roots Radio studio to Leamington Ontario, Dale has been a good friend. With more than forty years making music, some of that time as a proprietor of a local music store, it’s easy to see why “The Dale” has become such an important part of the music scene in Essex County – a hard working musician, prolific songwriter and mentor for people making their first steps in their music career, never mind the provider of some of the instruments people use to get started. Dale has just released his latest collection, “A Songwriter’s Journey” produced by John Law in Wheatley Ontario, and as we’re getting to the end of the summer, it seemed rather appropriate to play his song from the album about the joys of summer appropriately entitled “Summertime”. Dale recently joined us in the studio for an in-depth conversation about his music and play a few songs live. It was lots of fun and you can find it on the website HERE.

Windsor’s Max Marshall is a new artist on our radar. Featuring his trademark folk fingerstyle playing, his 2016 album “Back Through The Meadows” has a lovely introspective coffee house sound that make it feel like it comes from an earlier time. Currently working on a new album, we’re hoping to have Max join us in the studio on a future show.

Another artist we’re looking forward to welcoming into the studio is LaSalle’s Martha Renaud. Martha has just released her second album, “Tide & Tide”, produced with multi-instrumentalist JP Cormier in Nova Scotia. A strong songwriter with a warm welcoming folk style, we were recently privileged to see a great performance from Martha to close out the Sunday summer concert season at the Two Creeks Conservation Area in Wheatley Ontario. Featuring support from David Light on guitar and John Takle on stand-up bass, it was a great show, and, one that will live long in the memory. We wrapped the hour rather appropriately with “Goin’ Home” from Martha’s new album.

And that’s all the time we have chat this week. You can check out 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)

Karen Morand
Carry On
Carry On (2012, Self)

Interview: Karen Morand live in the studio.

Karen Morand
Big Muddy (Live)

Karen Morand
Junkyard Heart (Live)

Karen Morand
Arms Of Love (Live)

Karen Morand
Brighter Days
I Think I’ll Lose My Mind Today (2014, Self)

Andrew Taves
Northern Ontario Girl (Demo)

Max Marshall
Back Through The Meadows (2016, Self)

Dale Butler
A Songwriter’s Journey (2016, Self)

Martha Renaud
Goin’ Home
Time and Tide (2016, 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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