Folk Roots Radio Episode 569: We’re All About The Music! (International Women’s Day)

Folk Roots Radio Episode 569: We're All About The Music! (International Women's Day)

We’re celebrating International Women’s Day on Episode 569 of Folk Roots Radio with an hour of great new music by female artists. Join us for new releases from The Weather Station, Rosier, Brigid O’Neill, Becky Buller, Katie McNally Trio, Lyn Koonce, Sara Thomsen, Colleen Kattau, Allison Russell, La Légende de Calamity Jane, Bobby Dove, Lisa Jeanette, Jaspar Lepak, Susan Ellenton and Liz Simmons. Check out the full playlist below.

Best 2020

Show Notes

We started off the episode with “Trust”, a song about the end of love from “Ignorance”, Tamara Lindeman’s critically acclaimed new album as The Weather Station. It’s an album that is sure to make a lot of year end lists.

Montreal’s bilingual indie folk band Rosier have released an atmospheric new album “Légèrement”. They get intensely reflective on the existential on the beautiful first single “Mad River”.

Northern Irish singer-songwriter Brigid O’Neill has released “Leaving”, a powerful song about the destructive impact of domestic violence. It’s the first single from her forthcoming album which is being recorded remotely with Neilson Hubbard in Nashville, and expected later this year.

“During the COVID lockdown, I became more and more aware of the heartbreaking plight of so many victims of domestic abuse trapped in their own homes and the song, though written a while ago, just kept coming to me again and again. It was as though it was just asking to be sung.”

“Don’t Look Back” is a song about letting go and leaving your regrets behind from Nashville bluegrass fiddle virtuoso Becky Buller. It comes from her latest “Distance And Time”.

“Whatever our regrets may be, there is no way we can un-live them. We can only move forward and make the most of each new day. The pursuit of happiness sometimes involves letting go of what was in favour of what will be. It was inspired by an actual greeting card, that encourages folks not to “take their mistakes up around the bend.”

Wise words.

This episode’s instrumental comes from the Katie McNally Trio who describe themselves as three Americans playing Scottish and Cape Breton traditional music. They feature Katie McNally on fiddle, Shauncey Ali on viola and Neil Pearlman on piano. On this episode we play “John And Maurizio’s Wedding March”, a tune written by Katie from their sophomore release “Now More Than Ever” which features a mix of traditional and original tunes.

Greensboro NC singer-songwriter Lyn Koonce‘s latest single “We Are The Girls” is a powerful anthem for International Women’s Day.

“I run a small non-profit organization which provides free music lessons and instruments to underserved youth. I wrote my first draft of “We Are the Girls” in 2018 specifically thinking about the girls involved in the non profit (Harmony Music School in Greensboro NC). More and more strong women leaders were becoming visible in the world — politically, socially and otherwise. I wanted to come up with a way for the young girls in my organization to understand, feel and see themselves in these women, to set their sights high, regardless of what immediate opportunities were or were not in front of them.”

Sara Thomsen‘s song “A Woman’s Place” was commissioned by the Director of Student Activities and Leadership at the College of St. Benedict, a women’s college in St. Joseph, MN, to honour the celebration of Women’s History Month.

“Weaving together images and metaphors of ancient traditions with contemporary realities of women’s lives, “A Woman’s Place” vibrantly expresses the dynamic rhythms of women’s lives across space and time. So much of our work in Women’s Studies is spent addressing the oppression that women have faced and continue to face in the world. This uplifting and inspiring piece provides a vehicle for an empowering conclusion to any Women’s Studies class.”

“Dangerous Women” is a call to take back power from singer-songwriter Colleen Kattau. You can find it on her excellent recent album “Besos Kisses” which is informed by both the English and Latin-American folk traditions.

“Dangerous Women is largely based on the incredible work of Sally Roesch Wagner – she’s a friend and amazing historian who unearthed the “written out of history” feminist thinker Matilda Joslyn Gage. Such a fascinating history – it was really Gage’s friendship and allyships with the Haudenosaunee that shaped her feminst thinking.”

Birds of Chicago’s Allison Russell, who was brought up in Montreal, and now lives in Nashville with her music life partner JT Nero (and their young daughter), is releasing some great covers for a new solo project. Her latest is a hauntingly beautiful bilingual version of Billie Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted”.

“I’ve been meditating on the imbalances of celebrity culture – how unfortunate our society’s tendency to first put people on impossible pedestals and then knock them down, particularly women…Billie’s grace under the magnifying glass of unsolicited public opinion has been remarkable and heroic. Her artistic output – stunning. For anyone – let alone one still so young. This song hurt my heart when I first heard it – perhaps reading too much into it – but I connected with it on a visceral level – it brought back memories of my own tormented teen years, when death was always a whisper away…It reminds me to be grateful for those rare and precious ones who see you and who love you – just as you are – and you do the same for them – we carry each other. Empathy is our currency. It gets better. You’re not alone.”

La Légende de Calamity Jane are a new band from Saskatchewan featuring francophone singer-songwriter Annette Campagne
and her sister Michelle, who is a member of Hart Rouge and guitarist André Lavergne from Gaspésie. On this episode we check out “Giddy Up” from their fun self-titled E.P., which has a wonderful feel to it.

“The Legend of Calamity Jane was born of a desire to celebrate our cowboy country roots in a unique and authentic way. Growing up in Western Canada immersed in prairie folklore, we developed a passion for the Wild West, an era that evokes perilous tribulations, tough men and women, whiskey and tumbleweeds. We’re fired up by our collaboration with award-winning guitarist and producer André Lavergne: an outstanding addition! ”

Montreal based singer-songwriter Bobby Dove has been riding out the coronarivus pandemic in Manitoba. She’s just released a great new wonderful new 11-track Americana Country album “Hopeless Romantic” which was co-produced with Bazil Donovan (Blue Rodeo) and Tim Vesely (Rheostatics) at The Woodshed studio in Toronto and features Jimmy Bowskill (The Sheepdogs, Blue Rodeo), Burke Carroll (Kathleen Edwards) as well as guest vocalists Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo) and Jenny Whiteley. On this episode we play the title track which is, of course, all about the highs and lows of… being… a hopeless romantic.

“Aging Like A Son Of A B” is a fun song about not only aging gracefully… but also aging… BOLDLY! It comes from “Jellyfish On The Moon”, the new album from Lisa Jeanette. We’re sending that one out to everyone who finally decided to give up colouring, and celebrate the grey.

“Ever Gonna Fly” is another song about aging… this time reflecting on the definitions of worth and success. It’s the first single from Seattle singer-songwriter Jaspar Lepak‘s new album “Desert Ghosts”.

Susan Ellenton from Victoria BC is back making music again after a period away to deal with some health challenges. On this episode we play the truly beautiful “All Is Well” from her latest album “Learning To Listen”. We defy that song not to give you goosebumps.

We wrap the episode with Liz Simmons, lead singer of folk/roots band Low Lily, with her stunning cover of Sandy Denny’s “Who Knows Where The Time Goes” from her Liz’s first solo album “Poets”.

Image credit: Gert Altmann on Pixabay.

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)

The Weather Station
Ignorance (2021, Next Door Records) CDN

Mad River
Légèrement (2021, Genison Musique) CDN

Brigid O’Neill
(single) (2020, Self)

Becky Buller
Don’t Look Back
Distance And Time (2020, Dark Shadow Recording)

Katie McNally Trio
John And Maurizio’s Wedding March/Dr. Macinnes’ Fancy
Now More Than Ever (2020, Self)

Lyn Koonce
We Are The Girls
(single) (2021, Self)

Sara Thomsen
A Woman’s Place
Everything Changes (2021, Harmony Works)

Colleen Kattau
Dangerous Women
Besos Kisses (2020, Windlight Studio)

Allison Russell
Everything I Wanted
(single) (2021, Fantasy Records) CDN

La Légende de Calamity Jane
Giddy Up
La Légende de Calamity Jane E.P. (2021, Self) CDN

Bobby Dove
Hopeless Romantic
Hopeless Romantic (2021, Self) CDN

Lisa Jeanette
Aging Like A Son Of A B
Jellyfish On The Moon (2021, Self)

Jaspar Lepak
Ever Gonna Fly
(single) Desert Ghosts (2021, Self)

Susan Ellenton
All Is Well
Learning To Listen (2020, Self) CDN

Liz Simmons
Who Knows Where The Time Goes
Poets (2021, 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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