Folk Roots Radio Episode 550: feat. Rick Fines – Solar Powered Too & More New Releases

Folk Roots Radio Episode 550: feat. Rick Fines - Solar Powered Too & More New Releases

Canadian roots and blues artist Rick Fines joins us on Episode 550 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his truly fabulous new folk blues album “Solar Powered Too” which started out as a straightforward guitar and voice album, to be recorded at his solar powered cottage in the Kawartha Highlands, before turning into something rather special. It’s a really great interview – we can only bring part of it to you on this episode, but we do hope you’ll check it out, as we’re sure this album will feature in our favourite albums of 2020. We’ll be releasing the full interview very soon, so stay tuned for that. As always, we wrap up the episode with more new releases and this time around we hear from JJ Shiplett, Maybe Babs, Justin Farren, Kennedy Road, Brian Blain, The Mastersons, David Gillis, Donal Hinely and Dan Tuffy. Check out the full playlist below.


When Rick Fines started work on his new album “Solar Powered Too” he thought he was making a straightforward guitar and voice recording, with Rick playing mostly slide on his National Steel guitar. As he was planning to record the album in a gazebo right next door to his solar powered cottage in the Kawartha Highlands, it was natural to make it the follow-up to his “Solar Powered” album from 2006.

However under the watchful eye of co-producer Alec Fraser Jr, this album has turned into something rather special. Featuring some nicely judged guest appearances from some of Rick’s friends, and a beautifully sympathetic production this recording is truly a joy for the ears. One of those albums you put on, and listen right through to the end. What can we tell you? – we love this album. We believe it’s an album that needs to be heard, and savoured and one that we think will bring comfort to many people during these strange, strange times.

Recording of Solar Powered Too started out in a gazebo at his solo powered cottage in the Kawartha Highlands, before the guest performances were added at studio sessions in Toronto.
Joining Rick Fines (guitar, resonator guitar, Cuban Tres and baritone guitar) on Solar Powered Too are:
Gary Craig (drums/percussion) – Toronto Sessions
Alec Fraser Jr (bass, cigar box bass and vocals) – Kawartha Highlands / Toronto Sessions
Roly Platt (harmonica) – Kawartha Highlands
Jimmy Bowskill (mandola, mandolin, fiddle and pedal steel) – Toronto Sessions
Rob Phillips (piano) – Toronto Sessions
Melissa Payne, Suzie Vinnick (vocals) – Toronto Sessions
Stacie Tabb, Sherie Marshall, Samantha Martin (background vocals) – Toronto Sessions

For more information about the music of Rick Fines visit

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 lots 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!


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)

JJ Shiplett
All Comes Back To You
Fingers Crossed (2020, Red Buffalo Records) CDN

Maybe Babs
Simple Life
(single) (2020, Self) CDN

Justin Farren
A Little Less Time
Pretty Free (2020, Self)

Kennedy Road
Oh Darlin’ Don’t You Know
A Little Fight Left Yet (2020, Self) CDN

Brian Blain
Tai Chi Ten (A Meditation)
I’m Not Fifty Anymore (2020, Self) CDN

Rick Fines
Below The Surface
Solar Powered Too (2020, Self) CDN

Interview: Rick Fines discussing his latest album “Solar Powered Too”.

Rick Fines
Laundry On The Line
Solar Powered Too (2020, Self) CDN

Rick Fines
Worry Be The Death Of Me
Solar Powered Too (2020, Self) CDN

The Mastersons
In The Name Of God
Red White & I Love You Too (2020, Compass Records)

David Gillis
And It Grows
Cooing With The Doves (2020, Self) CDN

Donal Hinely
When Skies Are Grey
Diary Of A Snowflake (2020, Scuffletown Records / Atom Records)

Dan Tuffy
No Sleep Until The Work Is Done
Letters Of Gold (2020, Self)

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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