Folk Roots Radio Episode 286: Brian Blain

Brian Blain, self-described semi-retired blues guy, “Blainsletter” blogger and managing editor of the Toronto Blues Society‘s Maple Blues newsletter joins us on this episode to chat about his music. Brian stopped by our mobile studio at the 2016 Folk Music Ontario conference for an immensely enjoyable conversation about his 40 plus years in the music business. We also take a look at the nominees for Vocal Group Of The Year at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards.

We started the hour with the five nominees for Vocal Group Of The Year at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Hillsburn from Halifax, Nova Scotia leading off with “Like the Winter” from their 2016 album “In The Battle Years”. Hillsburn are also nominated for New/Emerging Artist of the Year category.

We’re big fans of the pop/folk of Helen Austin and Paul Otten as Big Little Lions. This week we played “In The Quieter Times” from the “Vocal Group of the Year” nominated “Just Keep Moving”. They’re also nominated for “Contemporary Album of the Year”. It’s hard to believe that Big Little Lions record in two separate places – Helen on Vancouver Island and Paul in Columbus Ohio. Check out our great interview from the 2015 Folk Music Ontario conference HERE.

Musique à bouches are a Sherbrooke QC based group who do some fantastic a capella vocal work. On this episodes we played “Vive les marins” from their Vocal Group of the Year nominated album “Jusqu’aux oreilles”. We followed them with Rosie & the Riveters, four sassy dames from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, with “Ain’t Gonna Bother” from their album 2015 “Good Clean Fun!”. Rosie & The Riveters bring a retro 1940’s flare to their music and have a fabulous stage show. And finally, we heard from Sweet Alibi from Winnipeg with “One Chance” from their Vocal Group of the Year nominated album “Walking In The Dark”.

Tio Chorinho is a Toronto ensemble dedicated to performing Brazilian choro music, the original Brazilian soul music in the tradition of the great mandolin master Jacob do Bandolim. The group formed in 2009 and performs regularly at clubs, events and festivals throughout Toronto and southern Ontario. The group’s debut CD “Chora Brazil” was released in June 2016 and has received nominations for both World Group of the Year and Instrumental Group of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. The awards weekend takes place in Toronto on Friday and Saturday December 2-3.

The rest of the hour was given over to our interview with blues man Brian Blain recorded at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference in Ottawa. It’s a great conversation, and we even get a couple of live songs from Brian, alongside two from his remixed live album “New Folk Blues 2.0”.

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. You can also listen to episodes of Folk Roots Radio, on demand, via iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher and Tune-in Radio. (Click on the highlighted link to reach your chosen platform.)

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

Like the Winter
In The Battle Years (2016, Groundswell Music) CDN

Big Little Lions In The Quieter Times
Just Keep Moving (2016, Far Flung) CDN

Musique à bouches
Vive les marins
Jusqu’aux oreilles (2015, Les Disques Passeport) CDN

Rosie & The Riveters
Ain’t Gonna Bother
Good Clean Fun! (2015, Self) CDN

Sweet Alibi
One Chance
Walking In The Dark (2015, Self) CDN

Tio Chorinho
Bole Bole
Chora Brazil (2016, Self) CDN

Brian Blain
New Folk Blues 2.0 (2013, Self) CDN

Interview: Brian Blain recorded at the 2016 Folk Music Ontario conference in Ottawa.

Brian Blain
The Ghost of Clinton’s Tavern
New Folk Blues 2.0 (2013, Self) CDN

Brian Blain
Cape Cod Blues (Live)

Brian Blain
Last Time I Saw Lenny (Live)

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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