Folk Roots Radio Episode 551: feat. The Fugitives – Trench Songs & More New Releases

Folk Roots Radio Episode 551: feat. The Fugitives - Trench Songs & More New Releases

Brendan McLeod and Adrian Glynn from Vancouver based folk collective The Fugitives join us on Episode 551 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their wonderful new album “Trench Songs”, which takes as its source material, lyrics from songs written by frontline soldiers during the First World War – set to new music from the band. It’s a great interview. We hope you’ll stay with us to check it out. As always, we wrap up the episode with more new releases, and this time around we hear from Christa Couture, Emily Rockarts, Karl Mullen, Ian Foster, The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc and James Gates. Check out the full playlist below.


The Fugitives new album Trench Songs features lyrics from WW1 soldiers, with new melodies and music composed by the band. Trench songs were essentially protest songs, and often parodies of well-known tunes. It’s actually based on “Ridge”, a new stage show by The Fugitives’ Brendan McLeod which was due to be performed at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver this past March. Unfortunately, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, those shows had to be cancelled, however Ridge has now been re-imagined as a feature film that uses a variety of locations throughout the Chan Centre to tell it’s story.

BUY a ticket to watch the feature film version of Ridge on the Chan Centre website HERE.

Trench Songs, which was produced by Tom Dobrzanski, was recorded at Monarch Studios in Vancouver during the pandemic.

“It’s the most stripped down album we’ve done. Other than percussion, the recording was performed by our 4 current touring members, a lot of it live off the floor. We’ve rewritten new melodies and music for these words, in order to more readily access the emotional content of the lyrics, and to continue folk music’s long tradition of reshaping songs over time — the same way soldiers reshaped these songs in the trenches. During the pandemic, where war metaphors abound, these songs have given us much-needed perspective around hardship, the sacrifice of previous generations, and, mostly, what vulnerable communities can be forced to endure at the hands of the government and military in a crisis. We think about these soldiers when we sing, and hope you will too.”

The new album features Brendan McLeod on vocals, acoustic guitar, ukelele with Adrian Glynn (vocals, acoustic/electric guitar, bass, harmonica, malalaika) alongside regular touring band members Carly Frey (The Coal Porters) on vocals, violin and Chris Suen (Viper Central) (vocals, banjo and ukelele).

Trench Songs is The Fugitives fifth record. Their most recent album, “The Promise of Strangers” was nominated for both Canadian Folk and Western Canadian Music Awards, and picked up ‘Best Folk Album of 2019’ from the German Music Critic’s Association. Their previous album, “Everything Will Happen”, spent ten weeks on the top ten Canadian folk charts, and earned them a support slot across Western Canada with Buffy Sainte-Marie and an appearance at UK’s Glastonbury Festival.

For more information about the Fugitives 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)

Christa Couture
Like Water, Like Earth
Safe Harbour (2020, Coax Records) CDN

Emily Rockarts
Little Flower
Little Flower (2020, Self) CDN

Karl Mullen
I Don’t Know Why But I Do
f ear les s (2020, Self)

Ian Foster
Voyager (feat. Nancy Hynes)
(single) (2020, Self) CDN

The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc
Bonfrost (2020, Self)

The Fugitives
Thirteen Pence
Trench Songs (2020, Borealis Records) CDN

Interview: Brendan McLeod & Adrian Glynn from The Fugitives discussing their latest album “Trench Songs”.

The Fugitives
Hymn 43
Trench Songs (2020, Borealis Records) CDN

The Fugitives
If I Could Turn The Clock Back
Trench Songs (2020, Borealis Records) CDN

The Fugitives
After Loos
Trench Songs (2020, Borealis Records) CDN

The Fugitives
The Next Man Who Dies
Trench Songs (2020, Borealis Records) CDN

The Fugitives
Where Do We Go, Boys
Trench Songs (2020, Borealis Records) CDN

James Gates
Keep It In The Sky
(single) (2020, Self) 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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