Halifax singer-songwriter Ian Sherwood joins us in the studio on Episode 378 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his music and latest album “Bring The Light”. He also plays three songs live for us. And, as always on Folk Roots Radio, we check out more of the latest new releases, including new music from The Bodarks, The Young Novelists, John Gorka and The Once. Check out the full playlist below.
Ian Sherwood picked up a Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Singer Of The Year, for his 2012 live album “Live At The Hive”. His fifth studio album “Bring The Light”, produced by Daniel Ledwell, is filled with the same hooky cleverness that has endeared Sherwood to his audience. This time around, the deft work of Ledwell’s production brings Sherwood’s songs a new dimension of beauty and depth. Ian Sherwood sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference. Check out Ian Sherwood online at iansherwood.com.
Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 378 of Folk Roots Radio.
El Coyote are an alt-country-folk, Nashville influenced Canadiana band from Montreal that sound as if they have been playing together for years. And much of that is true. Guitarist Mike O’Brien seems to be the common thread, having worked alongside Angela Desveaux (Yonder Hill) since 2007, Katie Moore (Socalled, Yonder Hill) since 2008 and Michelle Tompkins (Sin & Swoon) since 2009. Andrew Horton (Katie Moore, Firemen, Notre Dame de Grass) is on upright bass and vocals, with Joe Grass (Patrick Watson, KLAUS) on pedal steel and dobro. Their debut self-titled album features songs about small town affairs, wayfaring love, choices and toiling away at the local grind. Recorded and mixed by Gilles Castilloux at The Treatment Room, the songs were written by Tompkins, Desveaux and Moore. A great set, the album has a lovely laid back country roots feel, that really allows the songs to breath. It’s definitely worth checking out.
The Bodarks come from Dallas TX and describe themselves as a porch-stompin’, fiddle-sawin’, bass-spankin’ hootenanny jug band leaning ragtime stringband with their own take on Americana. They just released their second album “Uprooted”.
Toronto’s The Young Novelists, featuring Graydon James and Laura Spink, have a new album out, “In City & Country”. Known for their effortless harmonies and darkly poetic storytelling, The Young Novelists third studio album was recorded in Montreal with JUNO-winning producer Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Leonard Cohen, The Wooden Sky) at his Hotel2Tango studio.
“The album explores the idea of community through the lens of those stranger-than-fiction tales that get passed from neighbour to neighbour over a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. Each song was inspired by a different small town in Ontario — we actually travelled to and researched the history of the towns — and from those efforts distilled a group of songs that aim to tease apart what it means to belong and what it means to be an outsider, and how the communities we make share more similarities than differences.”
The Young Novelists picked up the Canadian Folk Music Award for New/Emerging Artist , and a nomination for Vocal Group of the Year for their sophomore release “Made Us Strangers” (2015, Self). We’re working on an interview. Stay tuned.
John Gorka‘s latest album “True In Time” was released in January. His first studio album since 2014’s “Bright Side Of Down”, the new album was produced by Rob Genadek at Uptown Sound in Minneapolis, and recorded live off the floor with some of the Twin Cities best session musicians and vocal cameos by fellow folk luminaries Jonatha Brooke, Eliza Gilkyson, and Lucy Kaplansky.
“A lot of the songs on this record remind me of Utah Phillips’ line ‘The past didn’t go anywhere’ and Faulkner’s ‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past,’. I wrote the title song with Pete Kennedy (The Kennedys). When Carrie Fisher and her mom, Debbie Reynolds, died within a day of each other, I quoted lines from Paul Simon’s ‘Mother and Child Reunion’ on Facebook — ‘Oh I would not give you false hope on this strange and mournful day. But a mother and child reunion is only a motion away.’ Pete responded, ‘Maybe all songs come true in time.’ Later he wrote, ‘True in time sounds like a song,’ and we proceeded to write the song long distance via the internet. We collaborated on the title and the lyrics and I came up with the tune.”
Both “Arroyo Seco” and “Iris & Pearl” were conceived at Eliza Gilkyson’s Casa de Musica songwriter workshop near Taos, NM. “Iris & Pearl” although written about two aspiring musicians, was inspired by the names of Eliza’s two dogs and their spirit. “Nazarene Guitar”, inspired by his 20-year-old Martin guitar, was written for his friends at Godfrey Daniels Coffeehouse in Bethlehem, PA, where he got his start as a songwriter.
The wonderful Newfoundland trio, The Once featuring Geraldine Hollett, Phil Churchill and Andrew Dale are getting set to release their fourth studio album “Time Enough”, produced by Daniel Ledwell. This time around The Once composed separately but arranged together, which was a little different from their previous albums. The album also showcases some of the most honest material of their career. As typical for a band with a reputation for creating fabulous ethereal soundscapes, these personal stories and deep emotions are wrapped up in some great musicianship and gorgeous harmonies.
“We approached Time Enough with an open heart and an open mind,” says Hollett. “We are pretty tough customers so it was scary bringing so much guts to the table, but over the years we have earned and accepted one another’s trust. This album is special because of it.”
The album opener that we play on this episode, “I Can’t Live Without You”, reflects on women battling with self-image issues with inspiring words about being the change in their own lives.
Following a performance at the East Coast Music Awards in Halifax in May, the band will embark on a UK tour. Canadian tour dates will be announced later.
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)
El Coyote (2018, Self) CDN
My Flying Machine
Uprooted (2018, Self)
Northumberland Slums (2018, Out Of Sound Records) CDN
The Young Novelists
Back To The Hard Times
In City & Country (2018, Self) CDN
The Lonesome Ace Stringband
When The Sun Comes Up (2018, Self) CDN
Dig That Hole (Live)
Short End Of The Stick (Live)
We’re Only Human
Bring The Light (2017, Self) CDN
True In Time (2017, Red House Records)
Portage (2017, Self) CDN
I Can’t Live Without You
Time Enough (2018, Self) CDN