Folk Roots Radio Episode 348: Piper Hayes & New Releases

Folk Root Radio Episode 348 - Piper Hayes & New Releases

We’re back at the Folk Music Ontario conference on Episode 348 of Folk Roots Radio for an interview with Hamilton Ontario singer-songwriter Piper Hayes & her partner Carson Ritcey-Thorpe. Piper is getting ready to release her first full-length album “Piper & Carson”. Piper and Carson join us in the studio for a fun chat about their music, and a couple of live songs from the new album. As always, we also check out more of the latest new releases. Check out the full playlist below.


Piper Hayes first full-length album, “Piper & Carson”, was produced by Chris Bartos, and recorded live off the floor at Thorpe’s Organic Produce farm in Millgrove, ON (near Hamilton) in the summer of 2017. Joining Piper Hayes (lead vocal, rhythm guitar) on the album are Carson Ritcey-Thorpe (vocal, lead guitar), Kevin Neal (pedal steel), Leah Ritcey-Thorpe (back-up vocals) and Chris Bartos (upright bass, piano, electric and acoustic violin, electric guitar, Moog, vocals).

Piper Hays has album release shows planned in Hamilton, at This Ain’t Hollywood, on Thursday, December 7, 2017, doors at 8:00 p.m. (show at 9:00 p.m.) and in Toronto, at The Dakota Tavern on Friday, December 8, 2017, doors at 6:00 p.m. (show at 7:00 p.m.). The support for the Hamilton show will be the great Guelph-based folk group The Lifers, while Owen Sound folk duo Our Shotgun Wedding join Piper for the Toronto release.

Check out the video for the Piper Hayes song “Honey” from her “Goodbye Mister Nice Guy” E.P. (2016, Self) discussed in the interview. The video was filmed on the rocky hill Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland. Easy to climb, Arthur’s seat feels more like a small mountain than a hill, and affords some great views of the city. It’s a place I know very well from my time at university – a great time in my life. It was nice to feel some wonderful memories welling up again!

For more information about Piper Hayes music, visit

Show Notes

Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 348 of Folk Roots Radio.

Ryan Cook from Bridgewater in Nova Scotia blends classic country together with a modern sensibility to produce a sound that is both progressive but also traditional. Ryan tours North America pretty extensively in a small RV with his dog for company – he’s also ventured as far as South-East Asia to share his music with appreciative audiences. Ryan Cook has also opened for country artists Dwight Yoakam, Rosanne Cash and Travis Tritt. His live show leans heavily on thumb-picking guitar, original folk ballads and vintage country music from the 1940’s and 1950’s. His latest album (the fourth) is “Having A Good Time” (2017, Self), and judging by the interview we recently recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference, that’s a code he carries with him on the road. Our interview with Rayn should make it on to the website fairly shortly. Stay tuned for more details. Ryan Cook is online at

Dori Freeman from Galax, Virginia, has just released her sophomore album of “Letters Never Read” which leans heavily on Appalachian old-time country and bluegrass. The album, produced by Teddy Thompson, also features guest appearances by Teddy’s Dad, British folk great Richard Thompson, Aoife O’Donovan and Kacy & Clayton.

The Kelly Song Collective are Toronto brothers John and Joe Kelly. According to John and Joe they were raised on a steady diet of The Mills Brothers, Frank Sinatra and AM radio, “…our parents paved the way for careers far removed from the arts!”

They describe their debut release “Unless And Until” as unvarnished alt. folk work rendered from wood and steel – Canadiana, with maple roots pulled from the stories inside the lives of all of us. The songs are epitaphs and elegies, narratives and no nonsense unearthing of the epic and the everyday. Driven by guitars, banjos, mandolins, and fiddles, some explode while others burn slowly.

“We used to play along to Beatles records in our bedroom. ‘Play along’, more like pretend; a cello slung like a guitar and the back of a kitchen chair was snare drum and hi hat.” Maybe that’s where the song writing seed was planted. Not sure, but this record has echoes of John and Paul as well as Townes and Leonard and Bob and many more.”

We’re pretty enthused by their new record. The album features support from some heavy hitters on the Toronto folk scene, including Chris Coole on banjo, Brian Kobayakawa on double bass and Chris Bartos on fiddle, electric guitar, mandolin, accordion and piano. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Find The Kelly Collective online 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 Soundcloud by following the link below. You can also listen to episodes of Folk Roots Radio, on demand, via iTunes, Mixcloud, 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)

Chris Ronald
Everything Goes Green
Fragments (2017, Borealis Records) CDN

Ryan Cook
Mid-Morning Cry
Having A Great Time (2017, Self) CDN

The New Customs
Leave Me Cold
All Walls Fall (2017, Self) CDN

Dori Freeman
Just Say It Now
Letters Never Read (2017, Blues Hens Music)

Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers
So Familiar
The Long Awaited Album (2017, Rounder Records)

Piper Hayes
In My Bones
Piper & Carson (Pre-release) CDN

Interview: Piper Hayes with Carson Ritcey-Thorpe recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference.

Piper Hayes
Careless (Live)

Piper Hayes
Big Red (Live)

Piper Hayes
Goodbye Mister Nice Guy (2016, Self) CDN

Drew McIvor
Crooked Smile
Through The Tangle Of Trees (2017, Self) CDN

The Kelly Song Collective
Scatter My Ashes
Unless And Until (2017, Self) 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.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2019. Designed by Susan Wheeler of SuzyWeb