Folk Roots Radio Episode 387: Sarah Hiltz & New Releases

Folk Roots Radio Episode 387: Sarah Hiltz and New Releases

Toronto-based singer-songwriter Sarah Hiltz joins us in the studio on Episode 387 of Folk Roots Radio for a great conversation about her music, and three live songs. Wrapping up an all Canadian episode, we also feature new music from Fortunate Ones, The Ennis Sisters, Taivi, Annie Lou, The Barra MacNeils, Ian Foster and the Julian Taylor Band. Check out the full playlist below.


Sarah Hiltz has been turning heads for the quality of her songwriting, which dips from folk into jazz. The Chatham raised singer-songwriter’s latest album, 2017’s “Beauty in the Blue” is a collection of songs written while riding the rails across Canada as part of the Via Rail Artists On Board programme. The album, produced with Kevin Howley from Running Red Lights, is the first to feature her long-term stage collaborators, drummer Jordan Michaelis and multi-instrumentalist David Puzak. For more information about the music of Sarah Hiltz, visit

Show Notes

Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 387 of Folk Roots Radio.

Newfoundland’s Fortunate Ones feature the close harmonies and musicianship of Catherine Allan and Andrew O’Brien. They’ve just released their second album “Hold Fast”, the follow up to their critically acclaimed debut “The Bliss” from 2015 which was nominated for a JUNO Award, and took home the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year.

The Fortunate Ones describe the new album as a study in resilience and partnership in the face of adversity, and features songwriting collaborations with Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea), Tim Baker (Hey Rosetta!), and Meg Warren (Repartee) alongside in studio support from Jim Bryson, Good Lovelies, Alexa Dirks (Begonia) and Kinley Dowling (Hey Rosetta!). The album was recorded in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia with Daniel Ledwell in the producer’s chair.

Maureen, Karen and Teresa Ennis – The Ennis Sisters have just released their latest collection “Keeping Time”. The new album has a bit of concept feel to it, as it honours the time spent with loved ones, and, in particular, their father who passed away recently from dementia.

“Rising Tide” (2017, Self) is the latest album from Toronto based singer-songwriter Taivi. Rising Tide features thirteen reflective and thoughtful songs that were recorded in North America and Frankfurt, Germany, with mentorship from Grammy-nominated and internationally renowned bluegrass artist Claire Lynch, and in studio support from her band.

“I feel lucky to have a body of work like Rising Tide out there. From the inspiration for the songs through the production, it has drawn from – and brought together – beautiful influences in my life. It’s a continuing journey, and I’m looking forward to where the next step is going to take me.”

St John’s NF singer-songwriter Ian Foster is on tour across Ontario and Newfoundland this summer. On this episode we play a live version of Ian’s song “Right Here” from his 2014 album “The Great Wave”, which was recorded live for the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions. You can check out the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions online at and on Youtube. For more information about Ian Foster’s tour dates, visit

Cape Breton’s celtic folk powerhouse The Barra MacNeils have just released their latest album “On The Bright Side”. Featuring everything you’d expect from a Barra McNeils recording – loads of fiddle, jigs and step dances, it’s hard to keep your feet still. The catchy first single “Livin’ The Dream,” reflects on the importance of finding a place to call home.

Self-styled Pilgrims of Funk, Soul and Roll, the Julian Taylor Band have just released a new single, “Sweeter”, a nostalgic look back at a cross Canada road trip Julian Taylor took as a child in 1986 – and a song that’s perfect for a road trip, any day of the week. Time to get your groove on!

“In 1986 when I was eight years old, my cousins and I all jumped into an old station wagon as soon as school had let out. My Great Uncle Paul had decided to follow in Clark Griswald’s footsteps and drive his family and me across Canada en route to my Grandfathers place in Maple Ridge. We set off on a what would be my very first Trans Canada road trip. Hearing Chief Dan George speak at the Mission Pow-Wow would be a highlight of that journey for me. I’ve had many Canadian journeys since. In fact I would hit the road again in 2001 but this time with my friends in a travelling band opening for the likes of Blue Rodeo, 54:40 and Spirit of the West. This is the story of that childlike euphoric feeling you get when you feel like you’re going somewhere even if you don’t know where that is. It’s also a song about the love that I have for this beautiful country that we are so lucky to live in.”

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)

Fortunate Ones
Before You
Hold Fast (2018, Old Farm Pony Records) CDN

The Ennis Sisters
Own Sweet Time
Keeping Time (2018, Self) CDN

Rising Tide
Rising Tide (2017, Duck Lake Music) CDN

Annie Lou
Home Fires
End Zone (2018, Self) CDN

Sarah Hiltz
Best I Can Believe (Live)

Interview: Sarah Hiltz live in the Folk Roots Radio studio.

Sarah Hiltz
How To Pour Whiskey For Stranger” (Live)

Sarah Hiltz
What We Leave Behind (Live)

Ian Foster
Right Here
Live at the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions (2017, Self) CDN

The Barra MacNeils
Living The Dream
On The Bright Side (2018, Barra Music) CDN

Julian Taylor Band
(single) (2018, Aproria 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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