Calgary AB based singer-songwriter T. Buckley joins us on Episode 606 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about “Frame By Frame”, the follow up to the very well received “Miles We Put Behind” from 2018, and a recording T. Buckley describes as guided by the loved ones that have shaped his life. It’s a great album, and a fabulous conversation. As always, we wrap up the episode with more of the latest new releases and this time around they are all by female artists. Join us for new music from Janis Ian, Efrat, Ana Egge, Charlotte Cornfield, Laurel Premo, Annie Sumi, AV (Ann Vriend) and Andrea Ramolo. Check out the full playlist below.
“Frame By Frame” is the second solo recording from Calgary AB singer-songwriter T. Buckley and the follow up to 2018’s “Miles We Put Behind” which was nominated for a 2020 Canadian Folk Music Award in the New/Emerging Artist Of The Year category.
Frame By Frame was recorded at Studio Bell in Calgary’s National Music Centre with producer/engineer Jeff Kynoch and features T. Buckley (vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica), Stephen Fletcher (Hammond organ, Wurlitzer, piano, synths), Mitch Jay (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, pedal steel, mandolin, dobro, banjo), Jesse Dollimont (vocals, mandolin, acoustic guitar, piano, tambourine, Jeff Kynoch (Omnichord, percussion, high-strung guitar, synths, mellotron), Keith Rempel (bass, vocals) and Dan Stadnicki (drums, percussion).
“The players were stellar and I was working with a team that I was close with on a musical and personal level. Everyone was really invested in the project and cared about the tunes and the stories behind them, and I think that comes through when listening back to the body of work. The meat of the record was recorded live. We did some overdubbing, but the majority of the tracks are live – with the band all in the same room together.”
The Songs We Played On Folk Roots Radio (in T. Buckley’s own words)
Frame by Frame: “I started writing this tune thinking about my Grampie, Bob Buckley. He is a larger than life kind of character, a sharp wit with a great sense of humour and an incredible work ethic. He grew up during the great depression which instilled in him the importance of reusing, saving and fixing. He can fix anything and build anything. He calls all the girls in the family ‘Lucy’ and all the boys ‘George’. He calls my grandmother, Muriel, anything but her actual name – most commonly, ‘Baby Doll’ and ‘Hazel’. When he hugs you, he slaps your back so hard you think you’re going to break in half. He’s a great man and a great grandfather – and he’s still going strong at 92.”
Father’s Child: “This tune was co-written with John Wort Hannam during a short writing retreat at the Coutts Centre in Nanton AB. I had the verses scratched out and read them aloud as I was going through my journal looking for something we could dig into. John stopped me as soon as he heard them and said, “What’s that? That’s a song man!” I had written it thinking about a friend of mine and his relationship with his dad, but I think it resonated a lot with John and his relationship with his dad. John came up with the chorus.”
Before I Get To Turn Around: “A song about how it can be tough to outrun the choices we make. I started writing this right after a late phone call from an old friend who was literally driving to another town to try and start over. The band is on full display here, and includes a killer electric guitar hook from Mitch Jay. Producer Jeff Kynoch pulled out all the toys on this one, too – guitars, synths and space echos. It was amazing to see where a song can go when such creative talent gets behind it.”
For more information about the music of T. Buckley, visit tbuckley.ca.
Janis Ian released her self-titled debut in 1967. It was the start of a storied career with many highlights – one of our favourites being the release of “At Seventeen”, her reflection on teenage angst and popularity, in 1975. That song really put her on the musical map.
Now 70 years old, Janis is starting to wind down her career and will be releasing what is likely to be her last studio album “The Light At The End Of The Line” in January 2022. It will be her first album of new material in 15 years.
“I love this album. There is an element of ‘This is the absolute best I can do’ over the span of 58 years as a writer. This is what I’ve learned. I also realized that this album has an arc, and I’ve never really done anything like that before.”
The first single from the new project has just been released, “I’m Still Standing”. An update on “At Seventeen”, it’s a song that’s all about standing firm despite the passing of time, while embracing the reality of aging.
The release of The Light at the End of the Line will set the stage for a 2022 North American tour that Janis Ian expects will be her last.
“Tony King (from Beautifully Mad) was a big part of my pandemic Better Times Project. When I asked a few friends if they had time to help with a video, he immediately sent this. I love the inclusiveness of it, and the message he sends with the visuals.”
New Jersey, singer-songwriter and violinist Efrat wrote “Let Go” during the pandemic, right after her son had received much needed treatment for a rare heart condition. It’s a reminder that sometimes you have to let go, hold back on your expectations and just be comfortable with the way that things are unfolding. You can find it on her new EP “We Just Need Love”.
“We spent the first night of the pandemic in post-op at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. During that previous year and a half I met so many other heart warrior families and realized how many of us MUST let go of our plans and embrace what life gives us, to move forward and thrive. It was supposed to be the time to move on, but the pandemic was upon us and everything had shut down. When it seems like life gets in the way of life we must let go of expectations, of anger, and, sometimes, of the unwillingness to fail. Failure teaches us – and often leads to future success.”
Brooklyn based singer-songwriter Ana Egge is doing her bit to combat the polarization that seems to be pervading our society – both online and in real life, on her new album (her twelfth),“Between Us”. “Wait A Minute” is all about encouraging people to pause, listen and think about what others are saying before launching into what you’d like to say. Sounds like sensible advice.
“Lockdown allowed me to get out of my head and avail myself of different perspectives on the same issue. My daughter Roxy is a perfect example: any possible thing could be happening, and you can bet that she’ll have a totally different view of what’s going on.”
Charlotte Cornfield wrote her latest album “Highs In The Minuses” while in lockdown, and in near total solitude. The song we play on this episode, “Headlines”, is very much about pandemic isolation and spending hours doom-scrolling through the news – something that we have all probably done way too much of during these strange times.
Although some of the songs on the new recording (which was produced with Howard Bilerman in Montreal) reflect on feelings of isolation, heartache and helplessness, Charlotte also makes room for songs about new discovery and new love.
Traditional song “Hop High” (also known as Roustabout) is covered by Michigan based instrumentalist Laurel Premo on her second solo recording, the finger-style electric guitar and lap steel, and mostly instrumental album “Golden Loam”. It’s one of the few tracks she sings on. It also features some nifty percussive dance from Nic Gareiss.
We can’t get enough of watching Laurel Premo play (and sing). You should definitely check out this video.
The beautifully fragile “Over The Hills” comes from Annie Sumi‘s environmentally conscious new album “Solastalgia”.
“‘Over The Hills’ is a love song to the wonder & whimsy of the wild world; a joyous dance with the melodies that float by on a high wind. Special thanks go out to my darling friends Alisa Amador, April Lavine, Frankie the pup, and Travis Knapp for dancing with me during a time of physical separation.”
“Solastalgia is the ‘homesickness you have when you are still at home’. In a lot of ways, this word shattered me: to be a human and feel a deep connection to the Earth as ‘Home’ and simultaneously participate in the structures we have created to destroy it. Now, it seems like we are slowly remembering to listen to the land and follow the lead of people that have been living traditions of connection and conservation. That space of humility, gratitude, and deep listening is where these songs have come from.”
Edmonton AB’s Ann Vriend, who now makes music under the moniker AV, has released a great new single, “Anything I Know”. It’s a vintage soul, gospel style love song inspired by her community in Edmonton AB. You’ll be able to find it on her forthcoming album “Everything Matters”.
‘Anything I Know’ is a song about love – without much in the way of money or possessions, and inspired by a couple AV saw while on a bike ride in her hometown in view of Edmonton’s “Shelter District”, which is mainly known for various women’s shelters and a jail. After spotting a couple who had their few possessions in the shopping cart beside them having a romantic picnic at the top of the hill overlooking the city skyscrapers below, AV penned this tune about the perseverance of love in any circumstance.
We wrapped the episode with “End Of Time”, Andrea Ramolo‘s pandemic wish from her lockdown album “Quarantine Dream”, which was produced by Sarah MacDougall.
Quarantine Dream is an all female recording project… from the writing to the recording to the visuals, and one that Andrea describes as a direct response to a heavily male dominated music industry – where women find it hard to get work.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love men – but I made the decision that you need to be the change. The music industry is a man’s world. There aren’t hundreds of women coming out of the woodwork because we haven’t been given the opportunities. I have worked with really good men, but this is an opportunity to start the shift. It has to start with women hiring women.”
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!
Image credit: T. Buckley.
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)
I’m Still Standing
The Light At The End Of The Line (2021, Rude Girl Records)
We Just Need Love (2021, Self)
Wait A Minute
Between Us (2021, StorySound Records)
Highs In The Minuses (2021, Next Door Records) CDN
Golden Loam (2021, Self)
Frame By Frame
Frame By Frame (2021, Fallen Tree Records) CDN
Interview: T. Buckley discussing his latest album “Frame By Frame”
Frame By Frame (2021, Fallen Tree Records) CDN
Before I Get To Turn Around
Frame By Frame (2021, Fallen Tree Records) CDN
Over The Hills
Solastalgia (2021, Self) CDN
AV (Ann Vriend)
Anything I Know
(single) (2021, Self) CDN
End Of Time
Quarantine Dream (2021, Self) CDN