Manitoba singer-songwriter Carly Dow is as comfortable on the banjo as the guitar, and playing solo as much as playing with a band. Carly joined us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music and to play three songs live – including two that are yet to be recorded. We also take a look at some of the best of the latest new releases. Check out the playlist below.
Carly Dow arrived on the solo scene in 2015 with her debut “Ingrained”, and a songwriting style that’s not afraid to tackle important issues, without sounding preachy. Her music has been likened to that of Neko Case and Amelia Curran, with some Gillian Welch added into the mix. This summer, Carly Dow plays the Hillside Festival (July 14-16 2017) at Guelph Lake in Ontario. For more information about her music, visit carlydowmusic.com.
Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 315 of Folk Roots Radio.
St John’s NF singer-songwriter, storyteller and film make Ian Foster is getting ready to release his latest album “Sleeper Years”, the follow up to the very well-received “The Great Wave” from 2014. Sleeper Years is quintessential Ian Foster featuring song stories like the excellent “Stinging Nettle” and “Postcards” alongside issue related appeals like “Feels Like It Wants To Rain” or “New Rush For An Old Town. Ian Foster’s growing interest in film is clearly evident with many of the songs, especially “Our Love Was” having more of a indie cinematic feel than some of his earlier efforts.
The album also contains a beautiful tribute to the late great Ron Hynes who passed away in 2015.
According to Ian this is the story behind the song: “I was sitting on my couch when the power went out. I got a text from a friend that Ron Hynes had just died. These things happened within five minutes of one another. I would find out 1700 other houses in downtown St. John’s lost power at the same time – make what you will of these facts, but NL Power has yet to say what caused this outage…
So I’m alone, in the dark, with all electronics off other than the light of an iPhone, and my acoustic guitar hanging on the wall. So I take it down, and start this song. I finished it at 2:30 a.m. later that morning, after getting out of bed and going to the downstairs bathroom so I wouldn’t wake up the house.
This is all still so fresh. The song you’re gonna here is just acoustic and vocals, quick and dirty – a recording done on the afternoon of November 20th – the day after Ron passed. Ron helped give me one song before in my life, so maybe he helped me one more time, to give one back to him.
For more information about Ian Foster, visit ianfoster.ca.
Canadian prairie balladeer Scott Cook has a new album out “Further Down the Line” – it’s number six for those keeping track. Recorded at Adam Iredale-Grey’s studio on Mayne Island in BC, the album also comes with a 132 page book that reflects on ten years of songwriting and touring. On this episode we play the title track – a Woody Guthrie inspired state of the union address. For more information visit: scottcook.net.
One man band Sammy Duke from Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario has just released his E.P. “Glass Demons”. Sammy is proficient in thirteen different instruments and counting which makes touring a bit of a breeze, as long as he has a big enough band to bring everything with him.
As a solo artist, he simultaneously plays guitar, sings, beats on a drum, plays bass synthesizer pedals with his foot, shakes the tambourine strapped to his other foot, and handles a variety of percussion instruments with an occasionally liberated hand – or elbow, as in the case of his famed “elbow chimes.” Even in one of his other steady gigs, as a chosen sideman for Alysha Brilla, Sammy plays bass, cajon, shakers, and tambourine, all while singing harmony.
Singer/songwriter Jerry Leger from Toronto has just released a fabulous double vinyl album, “Nonsense And Heartache” produced by Michael Timmins from the Cowboy Junkies. It’s really two collections – Nonsense, an album of upbeat more rock and roll style songs, and Heartache which has more of a laidback singer-songwriter style vibe (2017, Latent Recordings). Recorded live off the floor, the album features multi-instrumentalist James McKie, bassist Dan Mock, and drummer Kyle Sullivan, along with guest vocalist Angie Hilts. The ragged-but-right results perfectly complement Leger’s tales of characters on the fringe, attempting to unravel life’s mysteries.
As Jerry tells it: “Mike Timmins came up with the idea of doing a double album, but it’s really two different records – Nonsense and Heartache – packaged into one. He had the idea to record one album as electric, bluesy, dirty rock and roll, with James and I on electric guitars, Dan on electric bass and Kyle bashing away. The other album was intended to be more of a singer/songwriter record with me on acoustic guitar or piano, James on fiddle or lap steel, Dan on upright and Kyle using brushes and percussion. So, it’s not an ego trip for either of us. It just felt like it made more sense to put them together, plus the fact that neither is overly long, just about 35 minutes each.”
Jerry will be on tour across Canada this year. For more information visit jerryleger.com
Rootsy groove meisters The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, AKA Shawn Hall (harmonica) and Matthew Rogers (guitar, bass, synths), have just released their new album “Apocalipstick”, the follow up to their very well-received 2014 album “A Real Fine Mess”. Also featured on the album are John Raham (The Be Good Tanyas) and keyboardist Geoff Hilhorst (The Deep Dark Woods), alongside vocals from Dawn Pemberton, Andrina Turenne, Alexa Dirks (Begonia), Ben Rogers, Khari Wendell McClelland, Erik Nielsen, and Ricardo Khayatte. For more information, visit harpoonistaxemurderer.com.
Nick Earle and Joe Coffin are a couple of great teenage blues players from St John NF. They came to prominence when their debut album “Nick Earle and Joe Coffin Live at The Citadel House” took home the Young Performer of the Year gong at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards as well as a Music NL nomination for Jazz/Blues Recording of the Year. They’ve just released their debut studio album, “Wood Wire Blood & Bone” (2017, Citadel House). With playing ability and professionalism that puts their music way beyond their years, and drawing inspiration from blues greats such as Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton and Muddy Waters, they’re already making the blues and roots community really sit up and take notice. For more information about their music, visit earleandcoffin.com.
Wyatt Easterling built a very successful career as songwriter for hire, before deciding to focus on performing his own songs. His third album “Divining Rod” is a refreshing mix of folk and Americana, produced by Chris Rosser. On this episode we play “Stumbling Towards the Light”, a sad tale about the choices we make – including leaving your guitar in the car!
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)
New Rush For An Old Town
Sleeper Years (2017, Self) CDN
Further Down the Line
Further Down the Line (2017, Self) CDN
What You’ll Leave Behind
Glass Demons (2017, Self) CDN
Nonsense And Heartache (Heartache) (2017, Latent Recordings) CDN
Escaped The Tide (2017, Self)
Too Much To Go Back (Live)
Interview: Carly Dow joins us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music.
Something Lost (Live)
Interview: Carly Dow
The Coyote Song (working title) (Live)
Earle and Coffin
Who Were You With Last Night
Wood Wire Blood & Bone (2017, Citadel House) CDN
The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer
Apocalipstick (2017, Self) CDN
Stumbling Towards the Light
Divining Rod (2017, Phoenix Rising Records)