Folk Roots Radio Episode 543: feat. Big Little Lions (Covid Times) & More New Releases

Folk Roots Radio Episode 543: feat. Big Little Lions (Covid Times) & More New Releases

Helen Austin and Paul Otten are two fabulous songwriters who make music together as Big Little Lions, even though they are actually based over two thousand miles apart. They were on tour as the coronavirus pandemic hit, and despite having to head home and into lockdown, they have continued to make great music – including the release of a pandemic inspired album “Are We there Yet?”. Big Little Lions join us on Episode 543 of Folk Roots Radio for a fun in-depth conversation about how their lives and their music have been changed by the on-going emergency. The pandemic has hit the artistic community hard, which is why we all need to do what we can to ensure it is supported during these strange Covid Times – and why we encourage our listeners to… buy the music, don’t just stream it! As always, we wrap up the episode with more new releases, and this time around we hear from Emily Barker, Lizzy Hardingham, Gillian Welch, Mo Kenney, Hauler and Mike Plume. Check out the full playlist below.


Regular listeners to Folk Roots Radio will know that we’re big fans of Big Little Lions, the wonderfully prolific folk pop duo featuring Helen Austin from Vancouver Island & Paul Otten from Cincinnati OH. Our Covid Times interview covers the making of their pandemic inspired album “Are We there Yet?” and the videos they’ve created to accompany the new songs. Just prior to the start of the pandemic, Big Little Lions were on tour in British Columbia. Hopefully it won’t be too long until they are able to get back out on the road again. In the meantime let’s enjoy the great music that they’re continuing to produce.

You will soon be able to also check out this interview as a socially distanced ‘Covid Times’ edition of our sister show, the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions. Unfortunately because of the ongoing pandemic, we haven’t been able to record any more video sessions, so we’ve switched to a socially distanced interview format similar to Folk Roots Radio. Since we started the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions, we’ve had 50 different artists/bands join us in the studio. You can check out the sessions online at

For more information about Big little Lions, visit

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!


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)

Emily Barker
Strange Weather
A Dark Murmuration Of Words (2020, Everyone Sang / Thirty Tigers)

Lizzy Hardingham
(single) (2020, Self)

Gillian Welch
Valley Of Tears
Boots No. 2: The Lost Songs, Vol 1 (2020, Acony Records)

Mo Kenney
Game Of Pricks
Covers (2020, Turtlemusik) CDN

Finders Keepers
Hauler (2020, Self) CDN

Big Little Lions
Are We There Yet? (2020, Self) CDN

Interview: Big Little Lions discussing their pandemic inspired album “Are We There Yet?” and the impact of the Covid-19 emergency on their music careers.

Big Little Lions
Need One Another
Are We There Yet? (2020, Self) CDN

Big Little Lions
Stay In
Are We There Yet? (2020, Self) CDN

Big Little Lions
Distant Air
(single) (2020, Self) CDN

Mike Plume
In God’s Hands Now
Lonesome Stretch of Highway (2020, Royalty 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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