Folk Roots Radio Episode 352: Erin Costelo & More New Releases

Folk Root Radio Episode 352 - Erin Costelo & New Releases

Episode 352 of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Erin Costelo recorded at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference. Erin released a wonderful album in 2016, “Down Below, The Status Quo”, a fabulous slice of genre-bending soulful pop that skips from R&B/Soul to bluesy jazz, and an album that was deservedly one of our Favourite Albums of 2016. Erin joins us to chat about her current musical activities, including starting work on a new album in January. We also check out more of the best new releases including new music from Trent Severn, Susan Cattaneo, Janie Barnett & Blue Room and Edward Sayers. Check out the full playlist below.


Erin Costelo sat down with Folk Roots Radio to chat about the critical response to her 2016 album “Down Below, The Status Quo”, and her current musical activities, including recording her plan to record a fifth studio album over a ten day period in January 2018 at a very unique oceanfront property in rural Nova Scotia. Joining her in the studio will be some incredibly talented musicians and her super-talented friend and Juno award-winner, Amelia Curran, who will translate the recording process into a documentary film.

Amelia and I have been friends for a long time. In fact, years ago we lived in the same apartment building here in Halifax. We would spend our time bouncing between apartments playing each other our newest songs. She was writing Juno-winning album “Hunter, Hunter” and I was writing “We Can Get Over” (not a Juno winner, but it won a couple awards:). Most people would not think of Amelia as a documentary filmmaker but she has leaped in with both feet and has made a name for herself with work like “Gone, and Listen”, a passionate plea for Mental Health care reform in Canada.”

“Unlike past records, I have challenged myself to create this record in 10 days. But they will be 10 amazing, creative and inspiring days with some of the most wonderful musicians – including Blue Rodeo’s drummer Glenn Milchem, longtime collaborator Clive MacNutt on guitar, Anna Ruddick on upright and electric bass (Randy Bachmann, Ben Caplan, Ladies of the Canyon), Leith Fleming-Smith (Matt Mays) on organ, Andrew McKelvie (sax) and Andrew Jackson (trombone), plus my long-time loves, the Blue Engine String Quartet.”

Check out the crowdfunding site for the project HERE.

Photo credit: Mike Bourgeault.

Show Notes

Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 352 of Folk Roots Radio.

Acclaimed vocalist and singer-songwriter Ambre McLean has just released her latest album “My Heart”, the follow up to 2014’s “Me”. Me and Heart form part or a trilogy tied to Ambre’s 2010 Folk Music Ontario Songs From The Heart winner “Me My Heart & The Moon” – a version of which appears on the new album. From that you can work out that the final part of the trilogy will be called “The Moon”. Heart is a great album, with some fabulous songs and great harmonies, mostly courtesy of Ambre’s love of looping technology, but fellow singer-songwriter Preetam Sengupta who has sung with Ambre as part of Crash Bamboo also pops up in there. We’ll definitely dip back into it on a future episode.

Ambre McLean joined us in the Quantum Sound Productions studio recently in Kingsville ON to record an edition of the video series, the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions. We look forward to bringing that to you in the not too distant future. For more information about the music of Ambre McLean, visit

Trent Severn, the fabulous Canadiana vocal band featuring Dayna Manning, Emm Gryner and Lindsay Schindler have a new album out, “Portage”. On this episode we play their song “Bryan Adams”, a tongue in check song about the everyday struggles that we all experience and the thought that Brian Adams, as a very successful 80s pop star (and now a Canadian icon) wouldn’t have any – because he’s Bryan Adams! Trent Severn put on a great live show. Definitely check them out if you get a chance. They’re online at

Susan Cattaneo has just released a new self-produced double album “The Hammer & The Heart” that features two different sets, one electric, “The Hammer” and the other, acoustic, “The Heart”. On this episode we play “Work Hard Love Harder” from The Heart which also features heavenly harmonizing trio, The Boxcar Lilies.

Veteran Texan bluesman Steve Howell, and his partner Jason Weinheimer, have come up with a great new project, “A Hundred Years From Today.”, a wonderful ten song collection of rural country blues and traditional jazz offerings in the intimate setting of guitar, bass and vocals. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Virginia native Janie Barnett and her band Blue Room has just released a fabulous new album “You See This River”. On this episode we play the love letter “Wrap Me Up”. It’s an excellent album. We’ll definitely dip back into it on a future show.

Toronto folk-rock singer-songwriter Edward Sayers has just released his first full-length album “Underdog Overlord”. The self-produced recording is dynamic in genre and style with every song taking you to a different side of Sayers’s music/world. Featuring songs including “Eventide,” “Holding Out” and “Rose,” Underdog Overlord is filled with layered lyrics, bold guitar and Edward’s passionate voice.

“Lyrically the songs deal with struggling in an urban environment, longing for home or seeking a new one. Musically the songs range from folk to all out rock and roll. I’m excited to show people the different sides of my songwriting, and I’m proud to be putting out something that says, this is what I’m about, this is what I do.”

Michael Phillips has released his second album as Mighty Lopez, “Tales From The Wood”. On this episode we play his tongue in cheek blues about the Canadian winter, “Hard Time Of Year” which was written with Sean Cotton. Brrr!

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)

Ambre McLean
Morning Lullaby
My Heart (2017, Northwood Records) CDN

The Kelly Song Collective
If I Could Only
Unless And Until (2017, Self) CDN

Trent Severn
Bryan Adams
Portage (2017, Self) CDN

Susan Cattaneo
Work Hard Love Harder (feat. The Boxcar Lilies)
The Hammer & The Heart (The Heart) (2017, Jersey Girl Music)

Steve Howell & Jason Weinheimer
Limehouse Blues – After You’ve Gone
A Hundred Years From Today (2017, Out Of The Past Music)

Erin Costelo
Down Below, The Status Quo (2016, Venue Records) CDN

Interview: Erin Costelo recorded at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference.

Erin Costelo
Turn It On
Down Below, The Status Quo (2016, Venue Records) CDN

Erin Costelo
The Line
Down Below, The Status Quo (2016, Venue Records) CDN

Janie Barnett & Blue Room
Wrap Me Up
You See This River (2017, Minor Regrets Records)

Edward Sayers
Holding Out
Underdog Overlord (2017, Self) CDN

Over The Moon
Moondancer (2017, Self) CDN

Mighty Lopez
Hard Time Of Year
Tales From The Wood (2017, Tree Ring Records) 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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