Folk Roots Radio Episode 371: feat. The Kelly Song Collective & More New Releases

Folk Roots Radio Episode 371: The Kelly Song Collective & More New Releases

The Kelly Song Collective join us in the studio on Episode 371 of Folk Roots Radio. The Kelly Song Collective are a folk roots duo from Sudbury and Toronto featuring the brothers John and Joe Kelly. They released a fabulous debut album “Unless & Until” in 2017. Although they weren’t even on our radar at the time, we’ve since gotten to know them and love their music. It was a great pleasure to have John and Joe join us in the studio for an in-depth conversation and some live songs. We also check out more of the new releases, including new music from Niall Teague & The Fast Company, Kyle Carey, John Flanagan Trio, Banjo Mechanics, Big Little Lions, Christina Martin and Amelia Coburn. Check out the full playlist below.


The Kelly Song Collective’s John & Joe Kelly write songs. Canadian songs. Acoustic songs. And sing and play the way only siblings can. Their wonderful debut album “Unless & Until” was released in 2017 and has become a firm favourite on Folk Roots Radio. Featuring strong songwriting, a lovely warm vocal delivery and support from some of the best musicians on the Toronto folk scene, it’s a recording you must check out. Sit down with this album, and you’ll need to listen right through to the end! John & Joe Kelly joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio in Leamington ON to chat about their music and play three songs live. Check out The Kelly Song Collective online at

Show Notes

Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 371 of Folk Roots Radio.

Niall Teague is a singer -songwriter and multi instrumentalist, originally from Belfast, and, now based in Galway in the west of Ireland. Niall Teague and the Fast Company play well-crafted folk and roots style songs as well as uplifting trad. fusion instrumentals and features some of the best talent on fiddle, flute, accordion, guitars, double bass, piano, drums, bodhran, harmonies in the west of Ireland. With an Irish traditional folk music sound you can also hear country, Americana and bluegrass influences in their music. On this episode we play “Rise Little Angel” from their new album “Big Red Bridge” (2018, Self).

The John Flanagan Trio come from Australia and feature award-winning songwriter, John Flanagan alongside charismatic double bass player Liz Frencham and virtuoso guitar and mandolin picker Daniel Watkins. They’ve just released the single “Something To Complain About” – a lighthearted on the first world problem we all love to participate in – complaining, as a teaser for their new album “Honest Man”. John describes their music as bluegrass/folk meets Rock n’ Roll. Based on this song, they’re definitely worth checking out on disc and live.

This episode’s instrumental comes from Guelph’s Banjo Mechanics, a duo that features banjo maker Ian Pattison with fellow banjo enthusiast Lewis Melville – who is of course Tannis Slimmon’s musical partner. Their latest album (their second) is “Luck Of The Beanrow”, and on this episode we play the very enjoyable title track.

Helen Austin lives on Vancouver Island, and Paul Otten in Cincinnati, and together as Big Little Lions, and at a long distance, they write some of the best folk/pop you’re ever likely to hear. On this episode we play “Find Your Tribe” from their new album “Alive And Well”. Big Little Lions just took home the prize for Americana single at the Independent Music Awards for their song “Against the Wall” which is also on the new album. They’re currently on tour in the US. For more information, visit

Nova Scotian singer-songwriter Christina Martin has just released her latest album “Impossible To Hold” (2018, Come Undone Records) produced by her partner Dale Murray. Her music has been described as an amalgam of Americana and rock. Her vocal styling is very reminiscent of Kate Bush. It’s almost uncanny. On this episode we play “Lungs Are Burning” – her song about the opioid/Fentanyl crisis in Canada and elsewhere. Christina lost her own brother to an opioid overdose in 2013.

“For those of you who don’t know, I wrote the music for this song with Dale Murray one morning back in 2016. The lyrics and melody came after having read about the rising Fentanyl overdose crisis in Canada, I went to sleep, and woke up with a message and melody rolling around inside my chest. Having lost my/our brother/son/friend Stephane Martin to an opioid overdose in 2013, I could feel this shared pain, and the desire to reach for something to fill the void from this loss. It’s not a song strictly about addiction, but addiction is a topic in the song. ‘Do you want to stay private and kill?’ Maybe I’m asking this question to addiction, as if it were a living breathing person, or maybe I’m asking the person living with addiction, or maybe it’s a question to families and friends and communities who don’t know how to address the issue with loved ones, for fear of pushing them away. This I know to be true, people won’t ask for help when they feel shame, and we can help so many people have a better life if we open our hearts and minds to the different struggles we all have. It could be any of us, the same or different circumstances, in need of a hand and heart. One thing I learned from this shitty loss, was how to be a better daughter, friend, and hopefully sister. If I could TURN BACK TIME (yes, I’m quoting CHER) I would have asked my brother (who I was quite close with) the tougher questions. As hard as I thought it would have been, as much as I feared pushing him away, I would have asked ‘Hey, can we help you, what’s going on, you seem like you are going through a tough time’. Instead, I remember being very ‘busy’ and I ignored some pretty obvious signed that he had relapsed. I’m saying this because I believe that there are other people experiencing something similar and could use some guidance REACHING OUT. Perhaps your friend or family member is in trouble, and you are afraid and don’t know what to do. My advice is to always be kind, be gentle, be persistent, be loving… just BE THERE for them, whatever happens. That’s my advice.”

Ukulele playing young folk singer Amelia Coburn comes from Teeside in the UK. She’s building a name for herself as an interpreter of other people’s songs. On this episode we play her plaintive and beguiling version of Nick Drake’s “Day Is Done” from her new Amelia Coburn E.P. The E.P. also features a cover of Radiohead’s “No Surprises” alongside a couple of originals.

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)

Niall Teague & The Fast Company
Rise Little Angel
Big Red Bridge (2018, Self)

Kyle Carey
Tell Me Love
The Art Of Forgetting (2017, River Boat Records)

John Flanagan Trio
Something To Complain About
Honest Man (2018, Self)

Banjo Mechanics
Luck Of The Beanrow
Luck Of The Beanrow (2018, Self)

The Kelly Song Collective
Scatter My Ashes (Live)
Live in the Studio

Interview: John & Joe Kelly (The Kelly Song Collective) live in the Folk Roots Radio studio.

The Kelly Song Collective
Circus (Live)
Live in the Studio

The Kelly Song Collective
Louis Riel (Live)
Live in the Studio

Christina Martin
Lungs Are Burning
Impossible To Hold (2018, Come Undone Records) CDN

Big Little Lions
Find Your Tribe
Alive And Well (2018, Far Flung) CDN

Amelia Coburn
Day Is Done
Amelia Coburn E.P. (2018, Self)

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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