Episode 284: Andrew Collins

Mandolin master and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Collins joins us on this episode to chat about his fabulous new album “And It Was Good”. And it is… very good, and nominated for both Instrumental Group of the Year and Producer of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. We also take a look at some of other nominees for the 2016 awards – this time we focus on the category of Young Performer Of The Year.

“Young Performer Of The Year” is a category open to performers younger than 19 years at the time of recording. As in each of the other CFMA categories, there are five artists included. We started off with singer-songwriter Jake Vance from Black Diamond in Alberta with The Poet from his first EP “Eden” and followed it with “Come On Mama” from two young blues players from St. John’s, NL,  Nick Earle & Joe Coffin. They’re nominated for their live album “Live at the Citadel House” and now working on their first long player.

Fourteen year old Jessica Wedden from Tichborne ON recorded her first album “Fiddling Is My Passion” when just 12 years old. And fiddling certainly is her passion. Jessica’s only been playing four years, and she’s already getting rave reviews for her fiddling, step dancing and trick fiddle work. One to watch, for sure.

Fifteen year old Keltie Monaghan from Sherwood Park in Alberta, is another interesting performer. She hasn’t had a chance to record any music yet, but is included for her song “Someone Tell Her” which is available in demo form on Youtube HERE alongside a few other originals and covers (young performers can apply to the CFMA even though they may not have reached the point of recording as long as they provide a three song demo).

And finally… Franco-Ontarian Chanelle Albert from Verner in Northern Ontario started songwriting in 2013 at the age of 16 and taught herself how to play guitar, piano, ukulele and harmonica. On this episode, we listened to “All Night” from her CFMA nominated album “How Beautiful We Are”.

Beppe Gambetta and Tony McManus have been nominated for two Canadian Folk Music Awards this year – World Group of the Year and Instrumental Group of the Year. They’re both amazing acoustic guitarists and their Round Trip album features a series of duets that blend a variety of different styles. This week we listened to their version of trad tune “La Bergamasca”.

The Canadian Folk Music Awards weekend takes place in Toronto on Friday and Saturday December 2-3. You can check out the full list of nominees at folkawards.ca.

Andrew Collins had already achieved greatness as an in-demand session player and part of Toronto’s famed Foggy Hogtown Boys and Creaking Tree String Quartet before setting out with his own Andrew Collins Trio, to create something very special indeed for their second effort “And It Was Good”, a concept album that takes as its theme, the biblical seven days of creation story, referenced by the eight individual tracks, that merrily criss-cross musical borders.

The trio features Andrew Collins on mandolin, mandocello, mandolin and little fiddle, accompanied by Mike Mezzatesta (mandolin, guitar, fiddle) and James McEleney (bass, mandocello) with support from the Phantasmagoria String Quartet (John Showman and Trent Freeman on violins, Ben Plotnick on viola and Eric Wright on cello). They serve up instrumental music that takes in classical baroque, jazz, bluegrass, folk and celtic influences (with a nod to the crossover work of the late great Oliver Schroer) in a format that, because of the prominent strings, has been dubbed chambergrass.

And It Was Good is a fantastic album – sublime, even – and it deserves to be listened to from beginning to end.

The Andrew Collins Trio have received a well-deserved nomination for Instrumental Group of the Year at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards and Andrew Collins along with David Travers-Smith is also in the running for Producer of the Year. The Andrew Collins Trio will be bringing the new album to Hugh’s Room in Toronto on Friday October 21 at 8:30 p.m. For more information and to get tickets, visit hughsroom.com or call (416) 531-6604.

And that’s all we have time for this time around. 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)

Jake Vance
The Poet
Eden EP (2016, Self) CDN

Nick Earle & Joe Coffin
Come On Mama (Live)
Live at the Citadel House (2016, Citadel House Records) CDN

Jessica Wedden
Rubber Dolly
Fiddling Is My Passion (2015, Self) CDN

Keltie Monaghan
Someone Tell Her
Demo (Youtube) (2016, Self) CDN

Chanelle Albert
All Night
How Beautiful You Are (2015, Self) CDN

Beppe Gambetta & Tony McManus
La Bergamasca
Round Trip (2015, Borealis Records) CDN

Andrew Collins Trio
Light From The Darkness
And It Was Good (2016, Self) CDN

Interview: Andrew Collins discussing his new album “And It Was Good”

Andrew Collins Trio
And It Was Good (2016, Self) CDN

Andrew Collins Trio
And It Was Good
And It Was Good (2016, Self) CDN

The Wrong Direction
Voices (2016, Goatskin 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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