We’re all about the music again on Episode 537 of Folk Roots Radio, as we hold back the interviews for another hour of great new releases with more fun Covid lockdown songs thrown into the mix. We’re calling this one the ‘Choose Joy Edition’ because during these Covid Times not only do we have to remain positive, but we need to celebrate the joy in life – wherever we can find it. Join us for new music from Crowes Pasture, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kronos Quartet & Friends, Josh Kimbrough, Moira & Claire, Haley K Turner, Kelly’s Lot, Quote The Raven, The Wilds & Family, Glenn McFarlane, Carla Ulbrich, Buddy & Julie Miller, Jamie Anderson, Josie Bello, Cootes Paradise and Byrd & Street. Check out the full playlist below.
Monique Byrne & Andy Rogovin make music together as Boston contemporary folk duo Crowes Pasture. They perform a mix of original songs and well-chosen covers, known for their tight vocal harmonies and unusual banjo and guitar accompaniment. Their most recent album “Slow It Down” nearly slipped by without a play on Folk Roots Radio which is why we were pleased to give the title track a spin on this episode, especially as it’s a song about how time flies by!
Five-time Grammy-winner Mary Chapin Carpenter’s 15th studio album, “The Dirt And The Stars”, is an intimate and personal affair, and perfect for the strange times we’re living in – even though the album was actually recorded before staying at home became the new normal. Produced by Ethan Johns at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Bath, in southwestern England, on this episode we play “It’s Okay To Feel Sad” – which is one of two tracks on the album where MCC drops the F-bomb, which further understates the passionate nature of this project.
The Kronos Quartet have a great new album coming out – it’s a folk-classical recording, or should that be a classical folk recording? Entitled “Long Time Passing – Kronos Quartet and Friends Celebrate Pete Seeger” the new album includes string quartet versions of Pete Seeger songs with some fine guest vocalists and side players. On this episode we checked out the first single – a wonderful version of the classic “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?”, which also features Sam Amidon, Brian Carpenter, Lee Knight, Aoife O’Donovan. It’s absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.
North Carolina guitarist Josh Kimbrough‘s latest album is beautiful, especially so because it marries his fine fingerstyle play to some beautiful accompaniment featuring double bass, flute, strings, mandolin, banjo, and drums alongside both nylon and steel string guitar work. On this episode we play the gorgeous “Backyard Hawk” which features some nice flute work from Rachel Kiel.
Folk pop sister duo Moira & Claire from Antigonish NS have released another lovely single – their acoustic cover of Young the Giant’s “Mind Over Matter”, which actually started out life as a lockdown cover on social media.
“We did a short cover of Young The Giant’s “Mind Over Matter” on TikTok a couple months ago and it got a lot of love (400k views). The lead singer of Young The Giant even complimented us on it. People were asking us to release a full version and at first we just kind of laughed it off, but then we thought – hey, why not?”
According to Vancouver singer-songwriter Haley K Turner, her first full length album “in from the dark” is intended to inspire change while also encouraging self acceptance, equality and a respect for human decency. On this episode we play the ‘Gooder version’ of the lead-off track “Good Life”, a song that Haley describes as the perfect theme for… well, right about now. This album also features The Fugitives’ Adrian Glynn (who is no stranger to this radio show) on electric guitar and backing vocals on three tracks. Check out our great interview with Adrian Glynn about his great lockdown album “Ghostlight Sessions” HERE.
Californian singer-songwriter Kelly Zirbes and her band Kelly’s Lot have released a new contemporary folk and roots rock album “Another Sky”, which was recorded with Doug Pettibone. Six of the songs on the album were inspired by a challenge that Kelly put out to her fans on social media, to look into their hearts and share just one word. On this episode we play “Butterfly” which Kelly says was written after Prince’s passing, and intended as a way to honour the life of someone you love.
Newfoundland Americana folk duo Jordan Coaker and Kirsten Rodden-Clarke, make music together as Quote The Raven. Their new single “Hope” reflects on the duo’s highs and lows from their time touring across Canada, while paying homage to those who are separated from their loved ones.
“While touring Canada, we saw the changes in the lives of our friends back home and realized that our lives don’t really look the same. It was in that moment when we realized how lasting relationships and friendships still remain as long as we’ve got one another’s backs. No matter where life takes us all we can do is hope for the support from our loved ones and ensure we are still there for them, even if it’s thousands of kilometres away.”
The Wilds are a Vancouver based band who create what they describe as eco-rock songs about the earth. Featuring Holly Arntzen (vocals, dulcimer, piano), Kevin Wright (vocals, cajon) with Nathen Aswell on bass, they are joined by a variety of family members on their Covid lockdown tune “Blessing In Disguise”
“We wrote this song for all of us who are struggling to find their way through the pandemic and hold onto a vision for the future. Our story, like most musicians, is that we lost all our work from mid March onwards. At the time we said that we have to look at this enforced pause as a blessing in disguise. This song emerged slowly over the next three months when we started hearing news stories about the clearing skies due to the shutdown and lower pollution levels. It’s an unintended consequence that shows how effectively billions of people can respond to a threat and dramatically change their behavior almost overnight. The pandemic is causing terrible suffering, yet there are things we are learning that will help us meet the even greater challenges of climate change, racism and the need for social and economic justice – such as the ability to turn on a dime and work together for the common good.”
We included four fun Covid lockdown songs in this episode starting out with Buddy & Julie Miller and “Concerning Bleach” from their Covid-lockdown album “Lockdown Sessions”, followed by humorous songwriter Carla Ulbrich with “10 Out Of 10” from her lockdown album “Inside Jokes: Songs from Quarantine”. Two songs about the same subject matter. No prizes for guessing who they are about!
Brampton ON singer-songwriter Glenn McFarlane also loves to write humorous songs. His COVID-19 song is all about the new ‘Working From Home’ paradigm that many people with day jobs are now experiencing. We wrapped up the set with Ottawa’s Jamie Anderson, and her goofy song “Marry Me” (and ‘goofy’ is her description, not mine) – a song that’s all about her infatuation with MSNBC news anchor and all around smart person Rachel Maddow. And that’s from Jamie’s Covid times album, and 12th recording “Songs From Home”.
Josie Bello is a Long Island singer-songwriter who has been making music since before she could walk. On this episode we play the title track from her latest confessional album “Have Purpose Live Long”, a useful reminder that you only get to live each day once – there are no do-overs, even if we’re in the midst of a pandemic. Best not to waste the time you have. That’s my mantra, anyway!
Hamilton ON blues band Cootes Paradise were nominated for a Toronto Blues Society Maple Blues Award for their very well-received self-titled debut album. They’ve just released the follow-up, “Downstream”, which was delayed by the sad death of renowned producer, ‘Tone Guru’ Nick Blagona and the pandemic. On this episode we play the inspirational ballad “Meant For Something More” which was chosen for a Trans teen suicide awareness video.
We wrapped the episode with Byrd & Street from Austin TX and their beautiful song “May The Light Shine Bright On You” from their latest album “Love Circles ‘Round”. The perfect way to end another show of ‘hope’. Choosing joy in difficult times is the right way to go.
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)
Slow It Down
Slow It Down (2019, Self)
Mary Chapin Carpenter
It’s Ok To Feel Sad
The Dirt & The Stars (2020, Thirty Tigers)
Kronos Quartet & Friends (feat. Sam Amidon, Brian Carpenter, Lee Knight, Aoife O’Donovan)
Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
Long Time Passing – Kronos Quartet and Friends Celebrate Pete Seeger (2020, Smithsonian Folkways)
Slither, Soar & Disappear (2020, Tompkins Square)
Moira & Claire
Mind Over Matter
(single) (2020, Ticklegrass Records) CDN
Haley K Turner
Good Life (Gooder Version)
in from the dark (2020, One Stop Shop) CDN
Another Sky (2020, Self)
Quote The Raven
Can’t Hold the Light (2020, Self) CDN
The Wilds & Family
Blessing In Disguise
(single) (2020, Self) CDN
(single) (2020, Self) CDN
10 Out Of 10
Inside Jokes: Songs from Quarantine (2020, Self)
Buddy & Julie Miller
Lockdown Sessions (2020, New West)
Songs From Home (2020, Self) CDN
Have Purpose Live Long
Have Purpose Live Long (2020, Self)
Meant For Something More
Downstream (2020, Self) CDN
Byrd & Street
May The Light Shine Bright On You
Love Circles ‘Round (2020, Self)