It’s getting close to ‘that time of year’. We know that because wonderful vocal trio Good Lovelies, that’s Caroline Brooks, Kerry Ough and Sue Passmore are about to hit the road on their 16th Christmas tour. After appearing virtually last year because of the COVID pandemic, this time around they’ll be taking their songs, harmonies and a kick ass band around Ontario for some in person shows. They join us on Episode 610 of Folk Roots Radio to talk about the tour, and some interesting future plans – and spoiler alert, it sounds like they are already hard at work on a new album. Although it feels a little too early to go into full holiday mode, we also include some wintery songs and Hanukkah songs to ease you into the holiday season, and feature music from Joni Mitchell, Bruce Cockburn, Garth Hudson with Kevin Hearn and Thin Buckle, The McDades, Haley K Turner, Rachael Sage, Deborah Holland and Catherine MacLellan. Check out the full playlist below.
Good Lovelies will be back on the road again this year with their wonderful Christmas show that features classic holiday songs and wintery selections, alongside their own original material.
They’ll be staying close to home this time around and playing 11 shows across Ontario including their first headline show at Massey Hall. Joining them on all of the dates will be a top class band featuring their ‘merry men’… Mark Mariash (drums), Steve Zsirai (bass) and Robbie Grunwald (keys).
“We are so proud that we kept this tradition alive last year with a virtual tour but you can’t imagine what it will mean to us to see your faces in person, visit your communities and celebrate the return to live shows with an actual tour. To wrap up the tour with our first-ever headline show at the brand new Massey Hall feels like the most perfect Christmas gift!”
Good Lovelies 2021 Christmas Tour
Wednesday, December 8 – Knox United Church – Kenora, ON
Thursday, December 9 – Red Lake High School – Red Lake, ON
Friday, December 10 – Dryden Performing Arts Centre – Dryden, ON
Saturday, December 11- Port Arthur Polish Hall – Thunder Bay, ON – SOLD OUT
Tuesday, December 14 – Aeolian Hall – London, ON – SOLD OUT
Wednesday, December 15 – Dublin Street United Church – Guelph, ON
Thursday, December 16 – Algonquin Theatre – Huntsville, ON
Friday, December 17 – National Arts Centre – Ottawa, ON
Saturday, December 18 – Port Hope United Church – Port Hope, ON
Monday, December 20 – Massey Hall – Toronto, ON
Wednesday, December 22 – The Spire – Kingston ON
The Good Lovelies first got together in 2006 for a one-off performance. They have since gone on to create five studio albums and a live album, and have three Christmas collections: “Evergreen (2019), “Winter’s Calling” (2015) and “Under The Mistletoe (2009). Along the way they have toured extensively across Canada, the US, Europe, UK, and Australia and picked up a JUNO Award (2010), a Juno Nomination (2012) and four Canadian Folk Music Awards.
For more information about the music of Good Lovelies, visit goodlovelies.com.
We started off the episode with Joni Mitchell and a version of her holiday classic “River” that you may not have heard before. This one was recorded during the sessions for her 1971 album “Blue”, and rather than just piano, also includes a beautiful French horn accompaniment. You can find it on the second volume of the “Archives series: The Reprise Years (1968-1971)”.
Bruce Cockburn wrote the “The Coldest Night Of The Year” in 1981. It’s one of 30 songs you can now find on his new “Greatest Hits (1970-2020)” two CD package which features all the singles that he has released. Bruce is getting ready for his re-scheduled 50th Anniversary tour which had to be postponed last year because of COVID. The tour now kicks off in December in California and arrives in Canada in April 2022. We just taped a fabulous interview with Bruce, which we’ll be bringing to Folk Roots Radio very shortly. Stay tuned.
A 10th anniversary edition of “Garth Hudson Presents A Canadian Celebration Of The Band” has just been released. The album now comes with new packaging, additional artwork and a 44-page booklet written by Alan Cross – plus two previously unreleased bonus tracks “Whispering Pines” (Garth Hudson with Doug Paisley) and “Million Dollar Bash” (Garth Hudson with Steve Leckie, Kevin Hearn & Thin Buckle).
Recorded between 2008 and 2010, Garth Hudson Presents A Canadian Celebration Of The Band was produced and performed by Garth Hudson, with co-producer/engineer Peter J. Moore at his side (Cowboy Junkies, Lucinda Williams), and features guest appearances by some of Canada’s most talented musicians, including Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, Blue Rodeo, Cowboy Junkies, The Trews, The Sadies, Great Big Sea, Hawksley Workman, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Chantal Kreviazuk, Raine Maida, and Ian Thornley, and more.
As we decided to make this a winter themed episode, we chose to play Garth Hudson with Kevin Hearn And Thin Buckle, and their version of The Band’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”. We’ll hopefully dig back into it again on a future episode.
The instrumental on this episode “November 8th” comes from “The Empress”, the latest album from Edmonton Celtic folk band The McDades, who feature siblings Shannon Johnson (violin and vocals), Solon McDade (bass and vocals), and Jeremiah McDade (multi-instrumentalist and vocals). Performers from an early age, they were playing folk music with their parents, Terry and Danielle McDade, in the McDade Family Band from 1974–1994. November 8th was written by Shannon Johnson to celebrate her brother Jeremiah’s wedding anniversary, which falls on… you guessed it, November 8th!
Vancouver’s Haley K Turner wrote her Hanukkah song “Intangible Things” as a direct response to comedian Adam Sandler’s plea for people to write a new Hanukkah song so they could stop playing his own, which he famously debuted on Saturday Night Live (1994) as a response to a lack of songs to celebrate the festival of lights.
Haley got so far into the Adam Sandler thing that she ended up creating a fun parody version of her own song which we decided to slip into this episode too. She also went as far as creating a Happy Gilmore parody video which featured her wrestling an alligator. We think she might be a little obsessed, but she’s definitely having fun.
Rachael Sage‘s playful “Hanukkah In The Village” comes from her 2017 holiday album “Joy!” which not only celebrates the Jewish holiday but also gives us a glimpse into the life of Manhattan NYC’s East Village around the holidays.
“I’ve lived in the East Village most of my life, and have a special fondness for the eclectic way that my creative peers celebrate the holidays downtown. It was fun to be able to feature not only my favourite festive designer Patricia Field in the lyrics, but to also highlight various aspects of my ever-evolving neighbourhood in a tongue-in-cheek way.”
Our final Hanukkah song came from American expat singer-songwriter Deborah Holland, who is now based in Vancouver. Deborah wrote the fun “Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah” for “Do You Hear What I Hear: A Holiday Folk Tour”, hosted by Judy Collins on National Public Radio in 2000. We suspect she may also have been under Adam Sandler’s influence.
We wrapped the episode up with Prince Edward Island’s Catherine MacLellan and “Calling You Home (For The Holidays)” from her first ever holiday album “Holiday”. It’s also the first time that Catherine has engineered and produced her own project while playing most of the instruments on the album. Way to go, Catherine!
“I’ve always wanted to make a record to celebrate the holiday season and I hope to make a series of these small, bite-sized collections.” Although Catherine grew up in studios and has made eight records, this marks the first time that she’s played the role of engineer, producer, and side musician, performing most instruments on the EP. “It was such a joy to make this record; I hope that Holiday can accompany you during the coming festive season.”
Image credit: Jen Squires.
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)
River (With French Horns)
Archives Vol 2: The Reprise Years (1968-1971) (2021, Rhino Entertainment) CDN
The Coldest Night Of The Year
Greatest Hits (1970-2020) (Disc 1) (2021, True North Records) CDN
The Empress (2021, Self) CDN
Christmas Time’s A Comin’
(single) (2020, Self) CDN
Interview: Good Lovelies discussing their 2021 Christmas Tour.
Under The Mistletoe (2009, Self) CDN
What Could It Be
Evergreen (2019, Self) CDN
These Christmas Nights
Evergreen (2019, Self) CDN
Haley K Turner
Intangible Things (A Hanukkah Song)
(single) (2021, One Stop Shop) CDN
Hanukkah In The Village
Joy! (2017, Mpress Records)
Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah
(single) (2000, Self)
Calling You Home (For The Holidays)
Holiday (2021, Self) CDN