Folk Roots Radio Episode 549: feat. Countermeasure – Guest Sessions & More New Releases

Folk Roots Radio Episode 549: feat. Countermeasure - Guest Sessions & More New Releases

We have a very special interview to bring you on Episode 549 of Folk Roots Radio. Aaron Jensen, the composer and arranger for Toronto based a cappella group Countermeasure joins us to chat about their new concept album “Guest Sessions” which features collaborations with world class instrumentalists like Kevin Fox, Christian Roberge, Randy Brecker, Evelyn Glennie and Natalie McMaster; each piece on the new recording being specifically tailored to compliment the sound and aesthetic of the guest artist. It’s a great album and an excellent interview – we hope you’ll check it out. We wrap up the episode with new songs inspired by Canadian icon Leonard Cohen (who left us four years ago) from Lynn Jackson, Imogen Joy and Shawn William Clarke; alongside two of the tracks that the great man was working on prior to his death, that are included on his posthumous album “Thanks For The Dance” – the sublime “The Goal” and the beautiful title track. Check out the full playlist below.


Countermeasure’s third album Guest Sessions sees the vocal group pushing the boundaries of a cappella on collaborations with some fabulous instrumentalists including three multi-GRAMMY award-winners: Randy Brecker (trumpet), Evelyn Glennie (percussion) and Cindy Cashdollar (dobro) alongside JUNO-award winning fiddler Natalie McMaster, Quebecois guitarist Christian Roberge, Austria’s Pamelia Stickney (theremin), the 88 year-old band leader of New Orleans famed Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Charlie Gabriel (clarinet), and from Toronto, Rich Brown (electric six string bass), Kevin Fox (cello) and Michael Davidson (vibraphone).

Countermeasure have sold-out theatres across Canada, the U.S., Italy, Scotland, Japan, and the U.K. The group is currently preparing for a shared bill with the New Japan Philharmonic in May 2021 at Triphony Hall, in Sumida, Tokyo. Countermeasure’s composer and arranger Aaron Jensen was also the musical director, music producer, band leader and composer for CBC Television’s Emmy winning comedy series Schitt’s Creek.

For more information about Countermeasure, visit

Stay safe and well! We will get through this.

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)

Lynn Jackson
The Sound Of Everything (For Leonard Cohen)
Lionheart (2020, Busted Flat Records) CDN

Imogen Joy
My Marianne
(single) (2020, Self) CDN

Shawn William Clarke
Leonard Cohen
Spectral Acoustics Vol 1 (2020, Self) CDN

Irish Slides: Star Above the Garter/Where is the Cat?
Blue Fiddle (2020, Self) CDN

Carry Away (feat. Kevin Fox)
Guest Sessions (2020, Self) CDN

Interview: Countermeasure Composer and Arranger Aaron Jensen discussing their music and new album “Guest Sessions”.

Wanna Make You Happy (feat. Christian Roberge)
Guest Sessions (2020, Self) CDN

For Alice (feat. Evelyn Glennie)
Guest Sessions (2020, Self) CDN

Takin’ It Home
Made To Measure (2016, Self) CDN

Leonard Cohen
The Goal
Thanks For The Dance (2019, Sony Music Entertainment) CDN

Leonard Cohen
Thanks For The Dance
Thanks For The Dance (2019, Sony Music Entertainment) 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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