Folk Roots Radio Episode 314: The Rough & Tumble Interview & More New Releases

Folk Roots Radio Episode 314 - The Rough & Tumble Interview & More New Releases

Playful Americana-folk duo The Rough & Tumble, join us on Episode 314 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their music and first tour of Southern Ontario. Originally from Nashville – that’s now just where they collect their mail, since they gave up the home base in favour of the open road, and life in a sixteen foot camper van, with only their dogs for company. As always, we also take a look at more of the best of the latest new releases. Check out the full playlist below.

The Interview

The Rough & Tumble feature the close harmonies, versatile instrumentation and engaging songwriting of Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler. They’re new on our radar, and peaked our interest when they sent us a link to a very adorable video for their song “Teeny Tiny Folk Band”.

The Rough & Tumble will be in Southern Ontario on tour this April, including two shows in Toronto and a visit to The Cornerstone in Guelph on April 13 2017. We caught up with Mallory and Scott, live from the road, to learn more about their music. Visit The Rough & Tumble online at

Show Notes

Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 314 of Folk Roots Radio.

Ron Sexsmith is regarded as being one of the greatest singer-songwriters of his generation, drawing comparisons to the work of both Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney. Another one of those ‘songwriter’s songwriters’ as far as many musicians are concerned, Ron releases his thirteenth solo album, “The Last Rider” on April 21, and then heads out across the country on The Last Rider tour.

For this album, Ron stepped into the producer’s chair for the first time, with support from long time collaborator Don Kerr. The album was recorded with members of his touring band, who probably understand his creative process better than anyone. With 15 tracks, The Last Rider has the flow you expect from a Ron Sexsmith album – at times romantic, then bittersweet or uplifting. And, often, humorous.

“I did have this wealth of knowledge about recording that I didn’t really realize I had,” Sexsmith says. “And being able to rely on Don’s skills at getting great sounds, and just making sure everything ran smoothly, was essential. I think for a long time I just may have been afraid to produce myself. I mean, if someone ever said to me, ‘I don’t like the way this album was produced,’ I could always say, ‘Well, I didn’t do it.’”

The track we play on this episode, “Man At The Gate (1913),” is all about a photograph taken a century ago in front of Toronto’s Trinity-Bellwoods Park – its source material being a postcard Ron recently bought in the area (as an aside, Ron has recently moved from his beloved Toronto to Stratford – a sign of the expensive times living in Toronto).

“In the photograph, there’s a man walking by the gates of the park, and you can barely see him, but that’s the kind of thing I easily get obsessed about,” he says. “I couldn’t stop thinking that that guy could be me 100 years later, and really could be all of us. We’re here for a certain period of time, and we leave behind these traces of who we were that have the potential to inspire people who come along after we’re gone. To me, that’s really beautiful.”

There’s a special deal for anyone picking up tickets for The Last Rider tour, which runs through mid May. Buy a ticket for any of the shows (all except the Ottawa National Arts Centre date), and you’ll be entitled to a digital copy of the new album. For more information visit

Connla are an exciting young band from Northern Ireland with strong traditional roots as well as contemporary influences. Featuring Ciara McCafferty (vocals), Ciaran Carlin (whistles) and Paul Starrett (guitar) joined by Armagh siblings Emer and Conor Mallon on harp and uilleann pipes, they met while at university. They’ll be at this summer’s Summerfolk taking place in Kelso Park, Owen Sound, Ontario from August 18-20. We’ll have more information about the festival on another episode of Folk Roots Radio .

Price Of My Pig (a great name for a band) come from the North West England in the UK. They reached out to us via our Facebook page and sent us a couple of demos to play. They describe themselves as a high octane folk/funk dance band who like to bring a little more life and energy to your average ceilidh, by introducing rhythms from disco, reggae, funk, afrobeat, ska into their mix of Irish, English and European folk tunes. On this episodes we play their version of trad reel “Lad O’Bierne’s” followed by one of their own, ‘Blencathera”. For more information, visit

Guy Davis has just released his latest album of acoustic blues, another collaboration with renowned international harmonica player Fabrizio Poggi. “Sonny & Brownie’s Last Train” is a tribute to the music of Piedmont blues icons harmonica player Brownie McGhee and acoustic guitarist Sonny Terry. It’s out now on M.C. Records.

David Bray‘s latest album “Night Rains” (2017, Under Duress Records) was recorded with an all-star band that included Motown’s Bob Babbitt, Garth Hudson from The Band, Colin Linden and Paul Reddick, sharing vocals with partner Lorraine Reid.

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)

Zoe Mulford
Answer The Knock At The Door
Small Brown Birds (2017, Azalea City Recordings)

Ron Sexsmith
Man At The Gate (1913)
The Last Rider (2017, Ronboy Rhymes) CDN

Tim Grimm
These Rollin’ Hills
A Stranger In This Time (2017, Vault Records)

Saints And Sinners
River Waiting (2016, Self)

Price Of My Pig
Lad O’Bierne’s / Blencathera
(demo) (2017, Self)

The Rough & Tumble
Teeny Tiny Folk Band
Cardboard & Christmas Lights (2017, Rock Candy Recordings)

Interview: The Rough & Tumble discussed their music, and upcoming tour of Southern Ontario.

The Rough & Tumble
Take Me With You
Cardboard & Christmas Lights (2017, Rock Candy Recordings)

The Rough & Tumble
Pieces By Pieces
Pieces By Pieces (2016, Self)

Eric Bibb
Migration Blues
Migration Blues (2017, Stony Plain Records)

Guy Davis & Fabrizio Poggi
Walk On
Sonny & Brownie’s Last Train (2017, M.C. Records)

David Bray
Who Do You Turn To?
Night Rains (2017, Under Duress Records) CDN

Davey O.
To Buffalo
A Bright Horizon Line (2017, Self)

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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