Folk Roots Radio Episode 373: Stephen Fearing & More New Releases

Folk Roots Radio Episode 373: Stephen Fearing & More New Releases

Stephen Fearing is heading out on the road this Spring for a solo tour that takes in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. We catch up with Stephen, on the road from Regina to Winnipeg, to chat about the tour and his very well received ninth solo album 2017’s “Every Soul’s A Sailor”, which took home the Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Singer of the Year. And among the new music on Episode 373 of Folk Roots Radio we check out the latest releases from Julie Ross, Ambre McLean, Dennis Ellsworth & Kinley Dowling, Vi Wickam & Justin Branum and Crystal Shawanda. Check out the full playlist below.

Show Notes

Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 373 of Folk Roots Radio.

“Putting pen to page is just something that happens… it’s not a job or a way to impress anyone, it’s a way to paint with words, on a page, and the arrange like color on a palate, moved and shifted in pitch and tempo, like a painting, like any piece of art. It’s a creative process that I don’t think is going away anytime soon.”

That’s the way that Julie Ross thinks of her music. Julie Ross comes from Chatham ON, and has always been drawn to storytelling songwriters who focus on melody and harmonies, while adding real roots and even a bit of funk and jazz into the mix. Her influences include Joni Mitchell, Jonatha Brooke, and the Patty Griffin – not necessarily in that order. Her latest album is “Water Music”, a lovely collection of songs written in and around the small Lake Erie village Erieau (on the northern shore of Lake Erie). On this episode we play the lovely “Time Will Tell”. For more information, visit

Ambre McLean splits her time between Chatham and Kitchener ON. A veteran of the Canadian music scene, Ambre has built a career, around a genre-defying style and a thoroughly independent approach to her music. An acclaimed vocalist, she has released three albums since her 2004 debut EP “Just Passing Through”. Her latest is “My Heart” (2017, Northwood Records), part two of a trilogy wrapped around the title of her song “Me, My Heart and The Moon”. On this episode we play the beautiful and intriguing “Fall Away”. Ambre McLean recently joined us in the studio to record an edition of the video series, the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions. We should have that up on the website at and Youtube fairly shortly.

Prince Edward Island’s Dennis Ellsworth & Hey Rosetta’s Kinley Dowling released a great album as a duo, “Everyone Needs To Chill Out” in 2017. On this episode we play “I’m Obscured” – a song they wrote with Justin Rutledge. There’s a new solo album from Dennis Ellsworth on the way, entitled “Things Change”. More about that on a future episode.

This episode’s instrumental features Loveland CO champion fiddler Vi Wickam with Nashville based swing fiddler Justin Branum on the jaunty ragtime swing tune “Stumbling” bu Zez Confrey. You can find it alongside eleven more instrumentals and three songs on their new album “Armadillo On A Hot Tin Roof” (2018, Wickam Music).

Juno Award-winning singer/songwriter Crystal Shawanda has built her reputation on a great voice, and being able to effortlessly move back and forwards between the country and blues genres. Her latest album, “Voodoo Woman”, focuses on the blues, and includes her take on some blues classics, like the title cut from Big Mama Thornton. On this episode we play Crystal’s version of another classic, Bob Montgomery’s “Misty Blue” – to my mind, she does as good a job with the song as Dorothy Moore did with her 1973 version.

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, 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)

Julie Ross
Time Will Tell
Water Music (2017, Self) CDN

Ambre McLean
Fall Away
My Heart (2017, Northwood Records) CDN

Dennis Ellsworth & Kinley Dowling
I’m Obscured
Everyone Needs To Chill Out (2017, Self) CDN

Vi Wickam & Justin Branum
Armadillo On A Hot Tin Roof (2018, Wickam Music)

Stephen Fearing
Red Lights In The Rain
Every Soul’s A Sailor (2017, Loudenproud) CDN

Interview: Stephen Fearing discussing his spring tour of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario and latest solo album “Every Soul’s A Sailor”.

Stephen Fearing
Blowhard Nation
Every Soul’s A Sailor (2017, Loudenproud) CDN

Stephen Fearing
Every Soul’s A Sailor
Every Soul’s A Sailor (2017, Loudenproud) CDN

Niall Teague & The Fast Company
Poor Boy
Big Red Bridge (2018, Self)

Crystal Shawanda
Misty Blue
Voodoo Woman (2018, New Sun Records / Fontana North) 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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