Folk Roots Radio Episode 506: We’re All About The Music! (Covid-19 Edition)

Folk Roots Radio Episode 506: We're All About The Music! (Covid-19 edition)

We’re all about the music on Episode 506 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you an all music Covid-19 isolation edition of the show. We’re in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and we’re all social distancing, but artists are still making great music. Join us for new songs written especially for these strange times from Julia Appleton, Tara MacLean & Catherine MacLellan, Shawn Erker and Mark Perry, alongside some great new releases we just had to share from Valerie Smith, David Foley & Jack Smedley, Deborah Holland, Tomo, David Madras and Midnight Vesta. We also include a special four song tribute to the late great John Prine, who sadly passed away after contracting the coronavirus. Stay safe and well everyone! We’ll get through this together… and apart. Check out the full playlist below.

Show Notes

Tara MacLean & Catherine MacLellan‘s new song “This Storm” was born out of the Covid-19 self-isolation. It’s actually their first collaboration, although their fathers, Gene MacLellan and Marty Reno, wrote and toured together for decades.

The wonderful video accompanying the single includes family, friends, fellow musicians, community leaders, as well as, essential service workers and first responders from Prince Edward Island. It’s a beautiful video, and a bit of a tear jerker – so definitely have your hankies at the ready.

In Basements: In Isolation Vol 1 developed out of weekly musical get-togethers that have been taking place in the basement of Wenona Craft Beer Lodge in Toronto for the past couple of years or so. As the artists involved can no longer assemble in person, it has now developed into a mixtape project with the requirement that the musicians involved only make use of the instruments and gear they have access to, wherever they are self-isolating. Vol 2 has just been released. All proceeds from the sale of the albums go back to the artists concerned to help make up for lost earnings during this time of social distancing.

Mark Perry’s “Flatten out the Curve” started out as a quirky little home video before taking on a life of its own on Facebook. That prompted Mark to record a single version of the song, with support from Colin Maskell at Old Highway Studios in Smithers BC, who recorded the guitar tracks and Jordy Walker (Stackwall Sound Productions) in Whitehorse Yukon who added bass, drums and accordion and engineered the final mix. And all of this was done while following strict social distancing guidelines!

The fun video that accompanies the single includes clips of fans, from right across the globe, dancing along to the song.

What can we say about the loss of the great John Prine to the coronavirus? The outpouring of love for John on social media has been truly amazing, and shows how much his songs meant to so many people. Despite two brushes with cancer, John continued to put out great music and was in the middle of a late period renaissance as far as his popularity was concerned. He was due to play this summer’s Mariposa Folk Festival (July 3-5) which, as of now, has not yet been cancelled – though we are expecting that news any day now. A tragic loss.

That’s all we have time for. 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 episodes.

Stay safe and well everyone.

Image: Image by Tumisu from Pixabay


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 Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Tune-in Radio. (Click on the highlighted link to reach your chosen platform.)


Nicolas & The Iceni (Theme)
Lucy She Rises
Roll Right (2019, self)

Julia Appleton
Make It Out Alive
(single) (2020, Self) CDN

Tara MacLean & Catherine MacLellan
This Storm
(single) (2020, Self) CDN

Shawn Erker
Don’t Touch Your Face
In Basements: In Isolation Vol 1 (2020, Self) CDN

Mark Perry
Flatten The Curve
(single) (2020, Northern Sky Records) CDN

Valerie Smith
From A Distance (feat. Claire Lynch and Irene Kelley)
From A Distance (2020, Bell Buckle Records)

David Foley & Jack Smedley
Takit: The Lockhouse / Cat P’s
Time To Fly (2020, Head East Records)

Deborah Holland
Fine, Thank You!
Fine, Thank You! (2020, Rage On Records) CDN

David Madras
(single) (2020, Self) CDN

Enough To Drink
(single) (2020, Self)

Midnight Vesta
I’ll Have Another
(single) (2020, Self) CDN

John Prine
That’s The Way The World Goes Round
Bruised Orange (1978, Oh Boy Records)

John Prine
Jesus The Missing Years
The Missing Years (1991, Oh Boy Records)

John Prine
When I Get to Heaven
The Tree of Forgiveness (2018, Oh Boy Records)

John Prine
Hello In There (Live)
John Prine Live (1988, Oh Boy Records)

Nina Simone
Heaven Belongs To You
Fodder On My Wings (1982) (2020, Verve / UMe)

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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