Winnipeg singer-songwriter Kevin Roy, joins Jan Hall on Episode 324 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his great 2016 album “Heartworn Highways” and his upcoming Canadian tour dates. And, as usual, we also take a look at some of the latest new releases. Listen to the episode and check out the playlist below.
Troubadour Kevin Roy released a fabulous country roots album “Heartworn Highways” in 2016, the follow-up to his well-received 2014 debut “Taller Than The Trees”. With a lovely twanged up, and a live off the floor feel, the album was co-produced with Lloyd Peterson at Winnipeg’s Paintbox Recording. Joining Kevin on the album are William J. Western (co-producer of Del Barber‘s JUNO-nominated Prairieography) on pedal steel, Crooked Brothers honorary percussionist Daniel Bertnick, and Red Moon Road‘s Daniel Peloquin-Hopfner on banjo, with harmony vocals from Madeleine Roger (Roger Roger), Amelia Peterson and Logan McKillop. Kevin Roy is out on the road this Spring including some dates in Ontario. We caught up with Kevin at home in Winnipeg to chat about his music. For more information visit kevinroymusic.com.
Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 324 of Folk Roots Radio.
Vermont old school storyteller Phil Henry has released a great live album with his acoustic trio which also features the talents of multi-instrumentalist Jeff Kimball and Gary Moon on percussion. Appropriately titled Phil Henry Acoustic Trio Live, or PHAT Live for short, the album is a good representation of his music, and accurate representation of a fun show with a songwriter who clearly loves to have a good time while sharing his musical gift. For more information about Phil’s music, visit philhenryband.com.
Legendary Quebec harmonica player, Guy Bélanger, has just released his seventh album “Traces & Scars” – the title referring to some of the challenges that Guy has had to face over the past few years.
“The title clearly reflects the exercise that I lent myself to: to face, to assume and to find my tracks. The scars are the signature of the fights carried out and etched forever”
The album features ten instrumentals that move between folk and blues, alongside a couple of great songs, one sung by French Canadian vocalist Luce Default. Guy Bélanger is accompanied by André Lachance (guitars), Marc-André Drouin (bass, guitars and piano) and Michel Roy (drums and percussions).
Guy Bélanger has been awarded no less than 14 Lys Blues awards, the prestigious Maple Blues Award for Harmonica Player of the Year in 2014 and the André Gagnon Award (instrumental music category) presented by SPACQ in 2016. Check out Guy Bélanger online at www.guybelangermusic.com.
Last August, some of Canada’s top singer-songwriters and musicians got together to celebrate the music of Tony Quarrington at a special one night only event in Toronto. Tony Quarrington is one of Canada’s most respected musicians who as well as being a talented guitarist, and songwriter, is also a Juno Award winning producer.
Since 2010, Tony Quarrington has been focusing more on his songwriting. “If you can write something big and sing it in a live situation to people, you get an instant – as well as more permanent – reaction. A song can go out there and eventually other people do them and they spread around the world. I write a lot of songs about real people, and musicians. I find the details of those people’s lives fascinating.”
The ’60s folk song movement also provide Tony with inspiration as a songwriter. “Being around those songs, listening to and playing them taught me to put a lot into a song,” he explains. “It has to have a certain weight before I can really acknowledge it as a song.”
Wendell Ferguson, who is showcased on the new collection with “Jimmie’s Last Blue Yodel.” reveres Tony Quarrington as both a guitarist and songwriter. “He totally impressed me as a fluid guitar player who can play any style – the guitar player I wanted to be. As a songwriter, he delves into the autobiographies of people like Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams or Jimmie Rodgers. He then writes a song about them, in their style.”
Album producer Brian Gladstone is also impressed by Quarrington’s versatility. “Tony’s extremely well-read and he’s always researching to imbue his songs with authenticity, style, substance and vernacular. I was blown away by that side of him.”
The album, The Songs of Tony Quarrington, features performances by Jon Brooks, Glen Hornblast, David Storey, HOTCHA!, Wendell Ferguson, Sebastian Agnello, Brian Gladstone, Isabel Fryszberg, Soozi Schlanger, Wayne Neon, Noah Zacharin & Laura Fernandez, Joe Hall and Stuart Laughton, alongside a house band that featured Margaret Stowe, Tony LaViola, and Malcolm Gould. On this episode we feature David Storey‘s live version of the great “When Townes Sang ‘Em Down”. We’ll definitely dip back into the album again on a future episode. For more information about the album, visit tonyquarringtonsongs.com/the-songs-of-tony-quarrington.
“One Light Many Windows” , the latest release from California based singer-songwriter Merlin Sinder‘s has been very well received by the folk community and fans of the songwriting craft. Produced by Ed Tree, the album features eleven Merlin Snider songs and excellent support from a stellar group of side players including harmonies from all three members of Winnipeg band Red Moon Road.
Merlin is very appreciative of the support that has been shown for his music. “Bruce Springsteen said recently, ‘I believe every artist had someone who told them that they weren’t worth dirt and someone who told them that they were the second coming of the baby Jesus, and they believed ‘em both’ – I’ve heard both of those voices in my head, sometimes in the same day. Right now I find myself simultaneously grateful and disbelieving. Thanks to anyone who ever, for any momentary wisp of time, believed in me.”
Check out Merlin Snider online at merlinsnider.com.
Colorado singer-songwriter Todd Adelman has just released his sixth full-length album “Time Will Tell”. The albums features 14 songs collected over the past few years that takes inspiration from a wide range of musical influences including Hank Williams, Gram Parsons, Jerry Jeff Walker, Townes Van Zandt and Robert Earl Keen. The album was produced by Jeff Finlin.
“Though I named the album and wrote these songs a few years back, they are more pertinent than ever given the current state of affairs. This record straddles the line of looking at the past, questioning the present, and hoping for the future.”
You can find Todd Edelman online at toddadelman.com.
And finally, New Jersey singer-songwriter Loretta Hagen has a new album coming out, “Lucky Stars”, a nicely produced recording featuring eleven thoughtful and reflective songs from Loretta, that are beautifully sung with a lovely accompaniment. It’s definitely worth checking out. For more information visit lorettahagen.com.
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)
Getting Ready to Start (Getting Ready)
Shame (2017, Free Dirt Records)
You’ve Been Away So Long
You’ve Been Away So Long (2017, Self)
Phil Henry Acoustic Trio
PHAT Live (2017, Phil Guitar)
Traces & Scars (2017, Disques Bros Records) CDN
Heartworn Highways (2016, Self) CDN
Interview: Winnipeg singer-songwriter Kevin Roy discussing latest album “Heartworn Highways”.
The Mighty River
Heartworn Highways (2016, Self) CDN
Same Old Sky
Heartworn Highways (2016, Self) CDN
Now That I’m Able
Lucky Stars (2017, Bearfort)
Sea Of Forgetfulness
One Light Many Windows (2016, Barking Dog Music)
Todd Adelman & The Country Mile
Time Will Tell (2016, Porch Lantern Music)