Folk Roots Radio Episode 361: Ryan Cook & More New Releases

Folk Root Radio Episode 361 - Ryan Cook & New Releases

Troubadour country roots singer-songwriter Ryan Cook started off playing heavy metal and punk before discovering a love for old time country music. He’s just released his fourth album “Having A Great Time”. Ryan Cook joins us on Episode 361 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his music and also plays a song from the new album live. It’s a great interview – definitely worth sticking around for. And, as always on this show, we check out more of the new folk and roots music we’ve received including new music from Shannon Kingsbury, The LYNNeS, Sarah Hiltz and Sean McConnell. Check out the full playlist below.


Ryan Cook sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference. His musical awakening came when he was exposed to county music from the 40s and 50s and the likes of (early) George Jones, Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubbs and Jimmy Rodgers. His latest release, “Having A Great Time” playfully explores the ups and downs of life on the road as a snowbirding itinerant troubadour singer-songwriter, travelling from place to place in a thirty five year old camper van. Whether performing live solo or as part of a duo or trio, expect to be regaled by some of Ryan’s fine original country folk – with a modern sensibility, alongside a few songs from the golden age of country music. For more information about Ryan Cook, visit

Show Notes

Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 361 of Folk Roots Radio.

Guelph songwriter and harpist Shannon Kingsbury released her second album of pastoral art folk “Bones & Secrets” in May 2017, the follow up to the very well-received “LuminoCity” (2010). Bones & Secrets is a beautiful album, with intriguing lyrics, a gorgeous sonic palette, imaginative use of instrumentation featuring hurdy curdy from Ben Grossman (Loreena McKennitt), multi-instrumentalist Jeff Bird (Cowboy Junkies) and some gorgeous harmonies from members of the vocal group she co-directs with Sue Smith, Ondine Chorus. The album, produced by Shannon Kingsbury, Jeff Bird and Ben Grossman weaves together stories that dip into mythology, human experience and the transformative nature of life. The album is beautifully packaged with an over size sleeve and a lovely artwork picture book from book designer Kathe Gray with artwork to accompany each song by Ryan Price. It’s an album that’s definitely recommended for those that like to step off the beaten track, and rewards repeated listening. Catching Shannon solo or with vocal group Ondine Chorus is highly recommended. A series of videos by Shannon’s brother Robert Kingsbury to support the album is available on her website at

“Beauty In The Blue”, the latest released from Toronto based and Chatham ON native Sarah Hiltz is a collection of songs written while she was riding the rails as artist on board on Canada’s Via Rail passenger train “The Canadian”. Beauty In The Blue, co-produced with Kevin Howley, features Sarah’s long-term stage collaborators, drummer Jordan Michaelis and multi-instrumentalist David Puzak. On this episode we play “Traveller’s Grace”. Learn more about Sarah Hiltz, at

You may remember Rusty Young as one of the leaders of seminal 70s country rock band Poco. Rusty announced his retirement from music in 2013, before being talked into making his first solo album “Waitin’for the Sun” (2017, Blue Elan Records). On this episode we play the instrumental “Seasons”. For more information about Rusty Young’s solo career, visit

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)

Shannon Kingsbury
Bones & Secrets (2017, Self) CDN

Anna Tivel
Riverside Hotel
Small Believer (2017, Fluff & Gravy Records)

Sarah Hiltz
Traveller’s Grace
Beauty In The Blue (2017, Self) CDN

Heartbreak Song For The Radio
Heartbreak Song For The Radio (2018, Self) CDN

Rusty Young
Waitin’ for the Sun (2017, Blue Elan Records)

Ryan Cook
Cult Of My Own
Having A Great Time (2017, Self) CDN

Interview: Ryan Cook recorded at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference.

Ryan Cook
Uncomplicated (Live)

Ryan Cook
Memory Foam
Having A Great Time (2017, Self) CDN

Sean McConnell
Best We’ve Ever Been (Acoustic Version)
Undone (2017, Rounder Records)

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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