Episode 280: Tia McGraff & Allison Brown

This episode of Folk Roots Radio features two interviews. Tia McGraff joins us to chat about what she’s been up to lately including the release of a new single and video, and a couple of upcoming shows in South Western Ontario. And Allison Brown checks in to chat about two specials shows with her band, “The Assembly Line”. We also take a look at the nominees in the New/Emerging Artist of the Year category at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Tia McGraff has just released “Wing Walker”, the latest single from her very well-received 2015 album “Crazy Beautiful” (2015, Bandana Records) with an accompanying video filmed at the No. 6 RCAF Dunnville Museum in Dunnville Ontario. You can check out the video HERE. Tia is one of the busiest people we know. She was just down in Tampa FL singing the The Star-Spangled Banner before a Devil Rays game. She’s now on her way to Nashville with partner Tommy Parham to do some songwriting, and then on to Austin for some folk conference showcases. Tia returns to Canada in October for two South Western Ontario; she’ll be in Port Stanley at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre on October 15, and at MacKenzie Hall in Windsor on October 22. For more information, and to get tickets, visit tiamcgraff.com.

Talking of upcoming shows in South Western Ontario, roots songstress Allison Brown has a couple of special band shows coming up in October in South Western Ontario. Allison will be bringing her band The Assembly Line to the The Bank Theatre in Leamington Ontario on Friday October 14, and the following night, Saturday October 15, they’re at the Kordazone Theatre in Windsor. Tickets for both shows are $12 in Advance, and $15 at the door. Joining Allison as part of The Assembly Line will be Jedd House on Upright Bass, ‘Uncle’ Dan Henshall on Mandolin, and Vera Colley from Whoa Nellie! Vera & Johnny on accordion & harmony vocals. You can get tickets for The Bank Theatre show online at allisonbrown.bandcamp.com or reserve by calling the box office at 519-326-8805. Tickets for the Kordazone Theatre show are available at Levigator Press, Dr. Disc Records, and Nancy John’s Gallery. We caught up with Allison Brown at home in Paquette Corners to chat about her upcoming shows. For more information about Allison’s music, visit allisonbrown.ca.

The Canadian Folk Music Awards take place in Toronto on Friday and Saturday December 2-3. On this episode we take a look at the nominees in the category of New/Emerging Artist of the Year: Ben Caplan for his sophomore release, “Birds With Broken Wings” – an album inspired by Eastern European and Jewish traditions that manages to feel old and new all at the same time; Old Whiskey Road from Ottawa, with their second album of country folk, “Under the Neon Lights”; Jonas Bonnet as Evening Hymns with “Quiet Energies”, the very well received follow up to his critically acclaimed “Spectral Dusk”; Hillsburn, a great live band from Halifax Nova Scotia for their debut “In the Battle Years”, and, no strangers to Folk Roots Radio, Cara Luft and JD Edwards as The Small Glories for their debut “Wondrous Traveler”. On this episode we play their version of “Way Over Yonder In a Minor Key” – words by Woody Guthrie and music by Billy Bragg and originally on the first Billy Bragg & Wilco album of unheard Woody Guthrie lyrics set to music, “Mermaid Avenue”. And a pretty good version it is too!

We also feature Newfoundlander Duane Andrews, a nominee in the Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year category… Django Reinhardt gypsy jazz meets Newfoundland traditional music meets classical music on the wonderful new crossover album “Conception Bay”. Great fun, and definitely worth checking out.

You can check out the full list of nominees for the Canadian Folk Music Awards at folkawards.ca. Congratulations to everyone who’s been nominated this time around. We’ll be looking at other categories and checking out the nominees on upcoming editions of Folk Roots Radio.

And that’s just about all we have time for, except to mention that Santa Cruz based Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Frechette is back in Ontario on tour with fiddle playing partner Laurel Thomsen in early October, with stops in London, Guelph, Toronto, Kitchener and Stratford. Visit danandlaurel.ca for all the details.

Check out the full playlist below – we’ve included artist links to make it easy to explore the music of the artists concerned, and , 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)

Ben Caplan
Birds With Broken Wings
Birds With Broken Wings (2015, Coalition Music Records) CDN

Old Whiskey Road
Neon Lights
Under the Neon Lights (2015, Self) CDN

Evening Hymns
House of Mirrors
Quiet Energies (2015, Self) CDN

Bury My Heart
In the Battle Years (2016, Groundswell Music) CDN

The Small Glories
Way Over Yonder
Wondrous Traveler (2016, Self) CDN

Duane Andrews
Conception Bay (2015, Self) CDN

Tia McGraff
Mesa Gold
Crazy Beautiful (2015, Bandana Records) CDN

Interview: Tia McGraff discussing upcoming shows and new single “Wing Walker”.

Tia McGraff
Wing Walker
Crazy Beautiful (2015, Bandana Records) CDN

Allison Brown
Your Enemy
Stitches & Incisions (2015, Self) CDN

Interview: Allison Brown discussing her upcoming shows with her band “The Assembly Line”.

Allison Brown
Stitches & Incisions (2015, Self) CDN

Dan Frechette And Laurel Thomsen
Serenading With You
Between The Rain (2016, Self) CDN

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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