Folk Roots Radio Episode 310: Roots North Music Festival

Folk Roots Radio Episode 310 - Roots North Music Festival

On this episode of Folk Roots Radio we take a look at the Roots North Music Festival. Now in it’s third year, this year’s festival takes place on Friday and Saturday April 21-22 in a variety of venues in Downtown Orillia, Ontario. Amy Mangan, one of the festival organizers, joins us on this episode to chat about the line-up and how you can get tickets. We also talk to Raven from festival headliners Digging Roots, about their music and fabulous live show. We fill up the rest of the hour with music from some of the other performers heading to Roots North this time around. For more information about the festival and to buy tickets, visit Check out the full playlist below.

Roots North Music Festival

Historic Downtown Orillia, Ontario, Canada serves as the backdrop for the Roots North Music Festival. The main stage performances take place at the beautifully restored St Paul’s Centre, 62 Peter Street South in Downtown Orillia. A late night programme will also take place at the Geneva Event Centre, 16 West Street South, Orillia. There are also shows taking place within other performance spaces within the downtown core.

Fresh from a very successful launch of his new album “Khlebnikov”, recorded while traversing the arctic ocean on a Russian icebreaker, Danny Michel will be headlining at Roots North on Friday April 21. Joining Danny on the main stage that night will be young banjo phenom Kaia Kater, whose ground breaking sophomore release “Nine Pin” has been earning rave reviews, and finished up in our Best Albums of 2016, Kaia Kater joined us on Folk Roots Radio last summer to chat about “Nine Pin”. You can find that interview HERE. We also have an interview with Kaia discussing her debut release “Sorrowbound” – another fabulous album, on the website HERE. Rounding out the main stage bill on Friday evening are Toronto based Birds of Bellwoods – known for their lush harmonies and haunting lyricism, the group has charmed venues throughout Ontario and beyond.

After winning the Juno for Indigenous Music Album of the Year with “We Are…” in 2010, aboriginal roots rockers Digging Roots, featuring Shoshona Kish and Raven Kanatakta, further enhanced their reputation with 2014’s critically acclaimed “For The Light” and their Maple Blues Cobalt Prize winning song about Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women, “Hwy 17”. Digging Roots are a fabulous live band, with a wonderful bluesy sound that connects with the audience on many levels. They headline the main stage at Roots North on Saturday April 22. Raven Kanatakta from the band joins us on this episode to chat about their music and live show. Check out our full interview with Raven, including more discussion about their music and upcoming album release, and another song from the band HERE.

Also on the main stage bill Saturday night, are Jim Bryson and Orillia raised Cassie Dasilva. Jim Bryson’s latest album “Somewhere We’ll Find Our Place” detailed Jim’s struggle with depression. You can check out an interview and impromptu session we recorded with Jim at the 2015 Folk Music Ontario conference HERE. It’s well worth checking out if you haven’t heard it.

The festival late night programme at the Geneva Event Centre features Little Junior and Hollerado (Friday) and Repartee (Saturday). Returning performers, Pressgang Mutiny – billed as Canada’s youngest shantymen will be bringing their a cappella talents to Brewery Bay on Friday evening. Richard Laviolette will also be in town with his Oil Spills for a Saturday afternoon show at Apple Annie’s in Orillia. Other shows are being added. Check out the full schedule and updated performance roster for the Roots North Music Festival and pick up tickets, at

And that’s all we have time for this time around. 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 (Pre-release, self)

Jim Bryson
Somewhere We’ll Find Our Place (2016, Fixed Hinge Records) CDN

Danny Michel
Khlebnikov (2017, Self) CDN

Birds of Bellwoods
Come Home
The Fifth (EP) (2015, Self) CDN

Kaia Kater
Fine Times At Our House
Nine Pin (2016, Self) CDN

Interview: Amy Mangan, from the Roots North Music Festival organizing committee, discussing the 2017 line-up.

Kaia Kater
Rising Down
Nine Pin (2016, Self) CDN

Richard Laviolette
Two Guitars
Taking The Long Way Home (2017, Self) CDN

Digging Roots
Hwy 17
For The Light (2014, Self) CDN

Interview: Raven Kanetakta from Digging Roots joins us to chat about their music and live shows.

Digging Roots
The Time Has Come For Going
For The Light (2014, Self) CDN

Cassie Dasilva
Happy Song
(single) (2015, Self) CDN

Danny Michel
Who’s Gonna Miss You?
Sunset Sea (2010, Burnt Bun Music) 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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