Join us on Episode 524 of Folk Roots Radio for more of the latest new releases, with some great Covid tunes thrown into the mix. There is just so much great music being produced at the moment, and much of it from lockdown – it’s great to be able to share it with you on this show. Coming up on this episode we’re featuring new music from Big Little Lions, T Bear, The Promise Is Hope, John McCutcheon, David Foley & Jack Smedley, Lucinda Williams, Scott Cook, Kim Moberg, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Dead South, Lee Harvey Osmond, Dawn Tyler Watson, Kathleen Edwards, Sherman Downey, Keats Conlon and Dennis Ellsworth. Check out the full playlist below.
Regular listeners to Folk Roots Radio will know that we’re big fans of Helen Austin and Paul Otten, who make catchy folk-pop together as Big Little Lions. We’ve featured the band a couple of times already since the Covid-19 pandemic started. The uplifting songs they’ve shared with us are now destined for a new E.P., entitled “Are We There Yet?”, which is due later this year. On this episode, we play their latest single, “It’s Amazing”, which was recorded in lockdown, and as always, while Helen and Paul are thousands of miles apart – Helen on Vancouver Island and Paul in Cincinnati. Let’s be honest, Big Little Lions are amazing! It’s always a pleasure to find a new song from them in your inbox.
Back in the day, singer-songwriter (and actor) Richard T Bear performed with likes of Dave Mason, Mick Fleetwood, The Doobie Brothers, Johnny Winter, The J Geils Band, Jeff Beck, Richie Havens, and The Rascals. He’s been away from the music business for a while, but around five years ago he started writing songs again – and now, there’s a new album, “The Bear’s Back” on the way. T Bear has also written a Covid tune, “One Day At A Time” – one of the best crafted Covid-19 inspired songs we’ve heard so far.
Life partners Ash and Eric L’Esperance make music together as Massachusetts based indie-folk duo The Promise Is Hope. They’ve just released a great new single “Simon Taylor Denver Cash”, a song inspired by five years on the road as touring musicians, and a reflection on the nature of their work as it relates to self-worth and success.
“When All This Is Over” is another song from the excellent “Cabin Fever: Songs from the Quarantine”, an album of Covid lockdown inspired tunes from renowned singer-songwriter John McCutcheon.
“Time To Fly” is a fine new album from Scotland’s David Foley (flute) & Jack Smedley (fiddle). On this episode we play “Coruscate”.
Lucinda Williams has written a great song for these troubling times “When The Way Gets Dark”. It’s from her new album “Good Souls Better Angels”, and although it wasn’t specifically written with the pandemic in mind, it is an excellent fit.
When the way gets dark
Will you lose your spirit
Will you lose your heart
When the way gets dark
Will you lose your fight
Will you lose your spark
Don’t give up
Hang on tight
Don’t be afraid…
Edmonton Alberta’s globetrotting singer-songwriter Scott Cook has just released another single from his wonderful new album “Tangle Of Souls”. “Say Can You See” is a song for the United States, released to coincide with July 4, and a plea to focus on what should be important – a decent living wage, health care for all and an end to wars of aggression. A timely release as the country moves towards what is likely to be the most important presidential election in many generations.
“Avarice And Greed” is a song for the selfish ‘me generation’, who put profit and accumulation of wealth above everything else. It comes from Maine singer-songwriter Kim Moberg and you can find it on her excellent new album “Up Around The Bend”.
Old Crow Medicine Show‘s new single “Pray For America” is a plea for unity and justice as the country tries to move on from troubled times. That would be another song about what happens after November 3, then.
On this episode, we also included a short set highlighting some of the winners at the 2020 Juno Awards that have been finally announced in a Covid-19 lockdown sort of way. Americana Bluegrass band The Dead South from Regina SK picked up the Juno for Traditional Roots Album of the Year for “Sugar & Joy”, Tom Wilson as Lee Harvey Osmond picked up the 2020 Juno for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year for his latest recording “Mohawk”, and Dawn Tyler Watson picked up the blues award for her album “Mad Love”. We completely forgot to mention (and play) Celeigh Cardinal who picked up the Juno for Indigenous Artist of the Year for her great 2019 album “Songs From A Downtown Apartment”. Please accept our apologies for that oversight. Sometimes the desire to create a great mix gets in the way of making sure that every song you should include in an episode, actually gets in there!
Ottawa based roots rocker Kathleen Edwards stepped away from music in 2014, to open a coffee shop, Quitters, in Stittsville ON. Kathleen’s back making music again (as well as coffee). On this episode we play the excellent “Options Open” from her forthcoming album “Total Freedom” (which arrives August 14).
Keats Conlon is an indie folk singer-songwriter from Windsor ON, who is now based in Halifax NS. On this episode we play her latest single “Only Distance”. Staying out east we also found time to play the fun “Romancer” from “New Beautiful” – the excellent new collection from Newfoundland singer-songwriter Sherman Downey, and a reimagined version of “Step Into The Light” from the deluxe version of “Common Senseless” by Dennis Ellsworth. That song also features vocal powerhouse Reeny Smith.
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.
If you enjoy the music we play on this show and want to support the artists – many of whom aren’t able to play live at the moment because of the Covid-19 pandemic, don’t just stream their music – that earns them much less than a penny per play. Instead, buy their music – and really make a difference to their income. They’ll love you for it!
Stay safe and well everyone! We will get through this.
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, Spotify, 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)
Big Little Lions
Are We There Yet? (2020, Self) CDN
One Day At A Time
(single) (2020, Quarto Valley Records)
The Promise Is Hope
Simon Taylor Denver Cash
(single) (2020, Self)
When All Of This Is Over
Cabin Fever: Songs from the Quarantine (2020, Appalsongs)
David Foley & Jack Smedley
Time To Fly (2020, Head East Records)
When The Way Gets Dark
Good Souls Better Angels (2020, Highway 20 / Thirty Tigers)
Say Can You See
Tangle Of Souls (2020, Self) CDN
Avarice And Greed
Up Around The Bend (2019, Self)
Old Crow Medicine Show
Pray For America
(single) (2020, Red Light Management)
The Dead South
Heaven In A Wheelbarrow
Sugar & Joy (2019, Six Shooter Records) CDN
Lee Harvey Osmond
Forty Light Years
Mohawk (2019, Latent Recordings) CDN
Dawn Tyler Watson
Don’t Make Me Mad
Mad Love (2019, Self) CDN
(single) (2020, Dualtone Records) CDN
New Beautiful (2020, Self) CDN
(single) (2020, Self) CDN
Step Into The Light (alt. version)
Common Senseless (Deluxe) (2020, Pyramid Scheme Records) CDN