Folk Roots Radio Episode 297: Erin Costelo Interview & More New Releases

Folk Roots Radio episode 297 features a great interview with Halifax NS singer/songwriter Erin Costelo about her fabulous slice of genre-bending soulful pop, “Down Below, The Status Quo”, one of our Favourite Albums of 2016. And, as always, we take a look at some great new releases.

The follow up to 2012’s very well-received “We Can Get Over”, Down Below, The Status Quo features ten tracks written, arranged, and produced by Erin Costelo at Joel Plaskett’s Dartmouth NS studio, New Scotland Yard, with support from engineer Thomas Stajcer. Joining Erin on the album are longtime guitarist Clive MacNutt, bassist Ian Bennett, drummers Dave Marsh and Matt Gallant, alongside the Blue Engine String Quartet and horns from Matt Myer, Andrew Jackson and Andrew MacKelvie.

Gifted with a fabulous expressive voice that harkens back to some of the great female vocalists of the golden age of soulful blues and jazz, Down Below, The Status Quo is a joy from beginning to end and another of those albums that reminds me that great music needs to be shared – and that radio shows like Folk Roots Radio shouldn’t be constrained by a rigid focus on genre. You can check out our full interview with Erin Costelo, including another song from the album “Titanic” (co-written with Stephen Fearing) on the website HERE. To learn more about Erin’s music, visit Photo: Dana Osmond.

This episode’s instrumental at the first break, features Toronto bluegrass band The Slocan Ramblers, with “Galilee” from their great 2015 album “Coffee Creek”. We taped a great interview with banjo player Frank Evans this week, which you can find on the website HERE. The Slocan Ramblers are on tour in Ontario, Nova Scotia/PEI and out to Western Canada during the first few months of 2017. They’re a fabulous live band – you won’t want to miss them.

Among the new releases on this episode, is “Solidarity” (2017, Pheromone) by Bill & Joel Plaskett – that’s Joel Plaskett with his dad Bill, who emigrated from the UK to Canada in 1967 . According to Joel, Bill has been a huge influence on his musical development. “I grew up around him playing guitars and his love of folk music, particularly music from the British Isles and Ireland is something I’ve inherited from him – artists like Bert Jansch, Richard Thompson and Paul Brady. Conversely, I have introduced him to some of my favourite records by artists like Those Bastard Souls, Led Zeppelin and Gillian Welch.”

Kate Rusby, from the UK, one of the finest interpreters of traditional folk song has a new album out, “Life In A Paper Boat” (2016, Pure Records). On this episode we listen to her version of Archie Fisher’s “The Witch Of The Westmorland”. We also listen to Ange Hardy with Lukas Drinkwater with “Daughter Dear Daughter”, a song that Ange Hardy wrote for her own daughter, from their great new release “Findings” (2016, Story Records).

You can also check out “Bones”, another track from Tim Moxam‘s wonderful deeply personal new album, “Soft Summer” recorded live off the floor in Toronto with Chris Stringer at the controls, and out now on Miranda Mulholland‘s boutique label Roaring Girl Records.

Kayla Luky from rural Manitoba has just released her latest album “Back to Dirt” – twelve songs soaked in alcohol, dirt and sorrow, honouring the roots of real country music. Pretty good it is. Kayla received the 2016 Manitoba Country Music Association Emerging Artist Award. She’s spreading her wings beyond Manitoba. I caught her act at the Folk Music Ontario conference. Definitely worth checking out if you get the chance.

We wrapped the hour with Ann Vriend, who was the winner of the Toronto Blues Society Cobalt Prize at the Maple Blues Awards for the song “All That I Can”, which you can find on the upcoming E.P. of the same name on Aporia Records.

Thanks to all the artists who share their music with us, and thank you for listening. We have a lot of great music and interviews 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)

Kate Rusby
The Witch Of The Westmorland
Life In A Paper Boat (2016, Pure Records)

Campbell Woods
Blood Is Thicker Than Water
Oxford Street (2017 Self) CDN

Ange Hardy and Lukas Drinkwater
Daughter Dear Daughter
Findings (2016, Story Records)

Kayla Luky
Back To Dirt
Back To Dirt 2016 (2017 Self) CDN

The Slocan Ramblers
Coffee Creek (2015, Self) CDN

Erin Costelo
Down Below, The Status Quo (2016, Venue Records) CDN

Interview: Erin Costelo discussing her new album, “Down Below, The Status Quo”.

Erin Costelo
Quiet The Bombs
Down Below, The Status Quo (2016, Venue Records) CDN

Erin Costelo
Down Below, The Status Quo (2016, Venue Records) CDN

Bill & Joel Plaskett
Solidarity (2016, Pheromone)

Tim Moxam
Soft Summer (2016, Roaring Girl Records)

Ann Vriend
All That I Can
All That I Can E.P. (2016, Aporia 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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