Episode 390 of Folk Roots Radio features one of our favourite singer-songwriters Dana Sipos who joined us at the 2018 Hillside Festival for a surprise chat about her great fourth album “Trick Of the Light”. It’s a great interview, and well worth checking out. We also check out new music from Lucy Ward, Jupiter Owls, Jory Nash, The Ennis Sisters, Steve Dawson, Fink Marxer Gleaves, David Davis & The Warrior River Boys, Ronnie Bowman & Lou Reid, The Jeremiahs, Laurie MacAllister, Emerald Rae and Saor Patrol. Check out the full playlist below.
Not everyone we interviewed at the 2018 Hillside Festival was actually playing there this year. It was a very pleasant surprise to bump into Dana Sipos while wandering around the festival site between emcee gigs. It turned into a perfect opportunity to chat about her new album, “Trick Of the Light”, which was recently released on Miranda Mulholland’s boutique record label Roaring Girl Records.
Dana Sipos grew up in Hamilton ON, and spent her formative years in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, before heading out for a life on the open road in pursuit of her art. Trick of the Light features ten songs that were developed during extensive travels across North America and Europe in support of her very well-received 2015 album “Roll Up The Night Sky”, which received a nomination for the Canadian Folk Music Awards in the Pushing the Boundaries category. In making Trick of the Light, Sipos worked with experimental Toronto producer Sandro Perri. The album also features Mary Margaret O’Hara, Jesse Zubot and Doug Tielli. You can find Dana Sipos online at danasipos.com.
Check out this great video for the Dana Sipos song “When The Body Breaks”.
Notes about some of the new music on our radar that made it into Episode 390 of Folk Roots Radio.
Lucy Ward is an English singer-songwriter from Derbyshire with a really compelling vocal delivery, especially when singing a cappella. Lucy first came to our attention with “Lion”, her own World War One themed song, commissioned by Billy Bragg for 14-18 Now, and performed for the first time on the Leftfield Stage at Glastonbury 2014. “Lion” relates the true story of Rifleman Robert Loveless Barker who was summarily executed – ‘shot at dawn’ – in November 1916 for cowardice. Cowardice, in this case, being defined as a reluctance to leave his trench to face the enemy, despite having done so many times before. These days we would describe Robert Barker’s behaviour as being more likely to be associated with extreme Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than cowardice. (Check out the video of Lucy’s performance of Lion at Glastonbury HERE).
Lucy has just released her fourth album “Pretty Warnings”, nine songs – both original and some trad. adaptations, that explore love, tragedy and loss and really allow Lucy’s voice to shine. On this episode we play the lovely piano accompanied “Silver Morning”, a song about a beautiful morning walk. You really feel like you’re out on that early morning walk with her. The album is definitely worth checking out. We’ll try to do so again on another episode.
Jupiter Owls, from Somerset in England, describe themselves as a chilled mix of folk/pop tinged with Americana and Country, and inspired by artists such as James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, Nick Drake and CSNY. Their first long player, “The Fallow Cry of the Jupiter Owls” (2017, Cupboard Under The Stairs) was ‘recorded in the alcove under the stairs’ in band member John Levett’s house, which neatly acknowledges the way that modern technology has changed music production.
The singer-songwriter who loves to collect hats (he owns hundreds), Jory Nash has just released a new album – his ninth, “Wilderness Years”, which was recorded at Union Sound Company with his regular producer, Chris Stringer, and the support of some of the best musicians from the Southern Ontario scene.
On this episode we play Jory’s song “Wilderness”. As an outward bound instructor, there’s a bit of the outdoors (but only a bit) mixed into these mostly introspective and very reflective Jory Nash songs. After falling head over heels in love, getting married and now a new father, there’s definitely a hint or two that while making this album, Jory seriously contemplated quitting the music business. Exploring a new world and a way of being as a family man, it feels like there’s a bit of a shift going on. Glad to see the album saw the light of day, though.
Smithsonian Folkways have just released “Epilogue – A Tribute To John Duffey”. One of the fathers of modern bluegrass, John Duffey, passed away in 1996. Duffey was a leader of two prominent groups, The Country Gentlemen and The Seldom Scene, and during his 40-year career, his distinctive playing and singing broadened the horizons of bluegrass. The album project was produced by Akira Otsuka and Ronnie Freeland, who assembled an all-star bluegrass cast of musicians to bring the 17 songs on the album to life.
With his mastery of the mandolin, dobro and guitar, and blessed with a startling four-octave singing voice, John Duffey helped to transform bluegrass from a regional Appalachian music to a diverse and vibrant international sound. In the early 1960s, it even piqued the ears of a young Otsuka, who was learning to play the mandolin in Japan. He idolized Duffey and taught himself to play his hero’s instrumental passages note for note. Duffey eventually heard and produced Otsuka’s band, Bluegrass 45, an experience that led to a lifelong friendship.
David Davis & The Warrior River Boys have just released a great new old-time and bluegrass album, “Didn’t He Ramble: Songs Of Charlie Poole” (2018, Rounder Records) which features songs originally recorded by Charlie Poole, an old-time banjo player and leader of the North Carolina Ramblers from 1925-1930. The album revisits 15 timeless tunes from the Charlie Poole songbook, all written by Poole and Norman Woodlieff. The album was produced by Robert Montgomery & David Davis and recorded by Gary Gordon at Inside Out Studio in Sparta, Illinois.
Emerald Rae is a fiddler and folk singer from Gloucester MA. She’s just released her self-produced, self-tilted album which features 10 original stripped down vocal and fiddle songs in a variety of Americana and traditional music styles. On this episode we play the spell-binding “Moving On”.
A member of vocal group Red Molly since 2004, Laurie MacAllister has just released “The Lies The Poets Tell”, her first solo recording in 15 years. The new album features a fine selection of story songs from some of America’s finest songwriters, including songs by Bill Morrissey, Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky, Cliff Eberhardt, and Vance Gilbert with some great special guests and a fine group of musicians in the studio. On this episode we play “Poison And Wine”, a beautiful song about the dark and light of love, that also features one of last studio appearances of the late great Jimmy LaFave.
Saor Patrol describe themselves as Scotland’s premier medieval celtic rock band. Complete with kilts, pipes, guitar riffs and drumming. On this episode we play, “The Ride To The Marches” from their new album, “Battle Of Kings” (2018, Arc Music).
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)
Pretty Warnings (2018, Betty Beetroot Records)
The Fallow Cry of The Jupiter Owls (2017, Cupboard Under The Stairs)
Wilderness Years (2018, Thin Man Records) CDN
The Ennis Sisters
Keeping Time (2018, Self) CDN
Lucky Hand (2018, Black Hen Music) CDN
When The Body Breaks
Trick Of The Light (2018, Roaring Girl Records) CDN
Trick Of The Light (2018, Roaring Girl Records) CDN
Fink Marxer Gleaves
I’m Happy Every Day I Live
Shout And Shine (2018, Community Music)
David Davis & The Warrior River Boys
Didn’t He Ramble: Songs Of Charlie Poole (2018, Rounder Records)
The Femme Fatale Of Maine (2017, Self)
Poison And Wine (feat. Jimmy Lafave)
The Lies The Poets Tell (2017, Self)
Emerald Rae (2018, Self)
The Ride To The Marches
Battle Of Kings (2018, Arc Music)