We have another hour of great new music to bring you on Episode 583 of Folk Roots Radio as we hold back the interviews to check out more of the latest new releases with some wonderful new Covid Tunes thrown in the mix. Join us for new music from The Slowinks, David Olney & Anana Kaye, Dieter van der Westen & Eric van der Westen, Kelli Trottier, The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, Crys Matthews, Craig Werth, Donovan Woods, Colleen Kattau, The Hello Darlins, Andrea Nixon, Bridget Melody, Dalannah Gail Bowen and Bob Bossin & Friends. Check out the full playlist below.
Montreal’s The Slowinks have a sound that brings together a gorgeous mix of classic country, jazz, and western swing. They feature vocalist Felicity Hamer (formerly of United Steel Workers of Montreal) with lead guitarist Martin Tremblay, rhythm guitarist Olivier Pépin, and double bassist Mathieu Deschenaux.
On this episode, we play the title track from their debut album “Stay With Me Awhile” which was recorded with Quebec singer/songwriter Fred Fortin. Originally a Martin Tremblay demo with French lyrics, Felicity Hamer chose to write new lyrics in English to reflect her own experience of trying to hold onto someone she lost, and in the process gave the song a whole new meaning.
“Just weeks after our return from recording, the pandemic hit Montreal and the song has since taken on even more meaning. This is just one of those songs that feels like a memory: ‘These streets are filled with ghosts, hard to crack a smile. I miss you the most, stay with me awhile.’”
We lost the late great David Olney in January 2020. Prior to his death, David was working on a new album “Whispers and Sighs” – a collaboration with fellow Nashville singer-songwriter Anana Kaye and her partner Irakli Gabriel. Anana and Irakli elected to finish up the album after David’s passing, turning it into a beautiful tribute to a great songwriter. On this episode, we play “My Last Dream Of You” which features lead vocals from Anana Kaye. We’ll have more from the album on a future episode.
“It’s a very bittersweet feeling, considering how excited David was to release this album back in the early 2020 and how much we all miss him. It was a real challenge to rally during 2020 and work on the release of this work that David was very proud of, but we’re glad we were able to pull it off.”
Dieter van der Westen & Eric van der Westen from the Netherlands normally make music in separate musical combos – Dieter with Dutch-Moroccan festival band Kasba (alongside his and Eric with Turkish artist Sezen Aksu. Finding themselves at a bit of a loose end during the pandemic they decided to make a duo album – an Americana/Folk recording “The Sun Will Rise Again” featuring Dieter on acoustic guitar, dobro, and harmonica with brother Eric on double bass. On this episode, we play the hypnotic title track.
Ottawa Valley’s Kelli Trottier brings her fine Celtic fiddle, step dancing, and vocals – and a wonderful groove to her latest single “Moved”. Originally on her 2006 album “Now”, the song has just been re-released. It’s the perfect way to get your day going!
The instrumental on this episode comes from Kevin Henderson (Shetland), Olav Luksen-gård Mjelva (Norway) & Anders Hall (Sweden) who bring three fiddle traditions together as The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc. “Bas Pelles Eriks Brudpolska” comes from their third album together, “Bonfrost” (2020).
“Selfless” comes from Crys Matthews‘ latest release, her hope-filled social justice album “Changemakers” and reflects on the dedication of health care workers during the pandemic – working to keep the rest of us safe, often at great risk to themselves.
“‘Selfless’ was written after reading an article about a doctor in Houston who died from COVID-19 after having saved so many lives. His name was Dr. Carlos Araujo-Preza and although I wrote the song as a thank you to him, it is very much for every single kind of frontline worker who is laying it all on the line for the rest of us.”
Craig Werth‘s latest single “Things That Bring Hope” is a beautiful song of hope during difficult times.
“As a heart-centered songwriter, interfaith chaplain, and teacher-facilitator for folks living with brain injury, it’s a big part of my life’s mission to help others find hope in tough times. A few months into the pandemic, I led an online discussion group centered around where we find hope even in hard times. At the end of the session, my faith in humanity was bolstered through the resilience of spirit and transcendent wisdom in the room. I took the collected sources of hope — nature, friends, family, music, community, sunrises, front line workers and helpers included — and put them into this song. I sing it with the aim of offering comfort and inspiration to others and to myself at the same time. It’s a song that I can readily be fully present with – not one to “perform,” but one for me to reflect on and feel, tangibly and deeply, even in the act of singing it for others.”
Donovan Woods has released a new version of his song “Whatever Keeps You Going” featuring students from the JP Robarts Public School Music Project from London ON. You can find it on the deluxe version of his latest album “Without People”. A beautiful song, with a lovely video and a great message, it naturally became the subtitle for this Covid Times episode. Hang in there! We will get through this.
“The school’s choir sang with me in 2019 at one of my concerts in London. I always knew I wanted to feature them again. During the pandemic, I found out that while the schools had reopened, the children were only allowed to hum during choir practice due to the nature of health and safety protocols. I realized I had to make something happen. With the help of their parents and choir director, Jane Kennedy, we had all the children individually submit homemade cell phone videos of themselves singing the song. All 19 students were then able to share the “stage” again with me in virtual performance.”
You can find that track on the deluxe version of Donovan Woods’ latest album “Without People”.
Colleen Kattau‘s latest single “Come With Me, Climb” is a song about resilience. In this case, the amazing resilience of a sister Campesino community that she has been involved with for many years in rural Colombia – and who are determined to remain on the land despite corporate incursion and violence to push them out.
Edmonton AB country/Americana singer-songwriter Andrea Nixon has released a wonderful acoustic version of her latest single “Outskirts” which will appear on her forthcoming album “Barbed Wire Dreams”.
“’Outskirts’ explores the distance between two people, set against the backdrop of broken-down love and the chill left behind.”
And staying in Alberta, Calgary roots collective The Hello Darlins are getting ready to release their debut album “Go Feel”. On this episode, we play their latest single “Prayer For A Sparrow”. The band started out when studio veterans – vocalist/producer Candace Lacina keyboardist/producer Mike Little crossed paths again.
They soon found themselves making music together in between their studio work for other artists. It wasn’t long before they invited Murray Pulver (Crash Test Dummies), Clayton Bellamy (The Road Hammers), Matt Andersen, Dave and Joey Landreth (aka The Bros. Landreth), Russell Broom (Jann Arden), and ace fiddler Shane Guse to join them in the studio. They’re dubbing themselves ‘the Broken Social Scene of Americana’.
Toronto indigenous indie-folk singer-songwriter Bridget Melody has just released her debut album “Spirit Dance” which she produced in collaboration with producer/arranger Chris Birkett.
“The inspiration for this collective body of work comes from the realization of a cry rising forth from the depths of our collective spirit to see love, truth, justice, and redemption established in our society and land. These themes prevail throughout each song carrying a message of hope and inciting a call to action for the healing and restoration of humanity and nature.”
Blues matriarch Dalannah Gail Bowen‘s latest single “Lullaby For The Missing And Murdered Women” highlights the ongoing injustice facing Canada’s indigenous women and its native peoples generally.
“I was inspired to write the song after working for the Missing and Murdered Women’s March. I had witnessed the devastation and the impact that this experience has had on the many communities, individuals and families, and women. It has been devastating and has heightened the witnessed injustice towards Indigenous women.”
We wrapped things up with Bob Bossin & Friends and a very special version of Scott Cook’s “Pass It Along” they released for Earth Day. The song and video feature 24 musical friends from six different countries including Peggy Seeger, Connie Kaldor, Pharis and Jason Romero, Leon Rosselson, Veda Hille, and Scott Cook himself.
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)
Stay With Me Awhile
Stay With Me Awhile (2021, Weewerk) CDN
Dieter van der Westen & Eric van der Westen
The Sun Will Rise Again
The Sun Will Rise Again (2021, Self)
Kelli Trottier and The Mushy Peas
Now (2006, Self) CDN
The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc
Bas Pelles Eriks Brudpolska
Bonfrost (2020, Self)
Changemakers (2021, Self)
Things That Bring Hope
(single) (2021, Self)
Whatever Keeps You Going (feat. JP Robarts Public School Music Project)
Without People (Bonus Tracks) (2021, Meant Well) CDN
Come With Me, Climb
(single) (2021, Windlight Studio)
The Hello Darlins
Prayer For A Sparrow
(single) (2021, Self) CDN
(single) (2021, Self) CDN
Spirit Dance (2021, Self) CDN
Dalannah Gail Bowen
Lullaby For The Missing And Murdered Women
(single) (2021, Self) CDN
Bob Bossin & Friends
Pass It Along
(single) (2021, Self) CDN