We’re all about love on Episode 621 of Folk Roots Radio. We have some straight up love songs in there, alongside looking for love songs and break-up songs – and some songs that take you on a different path all together. The good news is that they are all guaranteed to be schmaltz free! The Rough & Tumble and The Treeline also stop by to tell us about their latest releases. We also feature new music from Bahamas, Clever Hopes, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Quote The Raven, Simon Mayor & Hilary James, Mo Kenney, John Pippus, Steve Dawson, Billy Strings and The Bombadils. It’s a fun episode – you won’t want to miss it! Remember, if you like what you hear on Folk Roots Radio… and want to support the artists… don’t just stream their music, BUY their music and then you’ll really make a difference to their income during this difficult time, when it’s really hard to find live show opportunities. Check out the full playlist below.
The Rough & Tumble are just about to release a new album, the intriguingly titled “Love is Gross (but it looks good on you)”, an EP that reflects on the sometimes challenging, messy and unpredictable thing we call ‘love’.
No strangers to Folk Roots Radio, the folk/pop/Americana duo, who feature music and life partners Mallory Graham and Scott Taylor, are renowned for the fact that they spend most of every year on the road, living out of their 16ft camping van, with just their two dogs for company. Travelling from town to town, and gig to gig, they put on a show that uses more instruments than you can ever possibly imagine, and never ever ceases to entertain.
Prior to the pandemic they would have told you that they don’t do love songs, however when lockdowns stopped their touring in its tracks, and their performing income dropped to close to zero, fans and friends encouraged them to start writing songs on commission – with love being a popular subject for that special song. In fact, they enjoyed the challenge so much they not only decided to make an EP, they even decided to write a love song for themselves.
“We were getting all of these love song commissions, and suddenly Mallory looks at me and says, ‘That’s it. I’m commissioning a love song from you to me. I’ll need it in two weeks. So between that song (“As Tight As I Can”) and the commissions, we had a full EP on our hands.”
The EP was recorded with good friend and regular producer Dave Coleman in Nashville. Alongside their original songs, it also includes their version of one of their favourite covers, the classic Chilton Price, Pee Wee King, and Redd Stewart song, “You Belong To Me”, made famous by Jo Stafford in 1952.
Visit The Rough and Tumble online at theroughandtumble.com.
The Treeline are a fun six-piece group from Norfolk County ON. They have popped up on our radar a few times over the last year or so with a series of engaging singles – including “Little Bit Of Love”, which we replay on this episode. It’s just been re-recorded in readiness for the release of their, as yet untitled, debut album. They have also just released a new single “Valentine”, the exact title (as you’ll hear in the interview) being the cause of some confusion within the band.
“We love making music together whether we are performing to five people in a county library (true story), or in front of hundreds of people at an outdoor summer festival.”
The Treeline’s love of music and friendship is magnetic and inviting for audiences of all ages. Influenced by many Canadian artists and genres, they use thoughtful arrangements, intelligent lyrics and graceful melodies to capture the personalities and changing landscapes of rural Canadian life.
The Treeline feature Chris Rait (vocals and guitar), Jeannine Bouw (vocals), Matt Rait (electric guitar), John Rogers (bass), John Saccicioli (drums) and Steve Glowala (keys).
Catch up with The Treeline online HERE
We starting off the episode with Afie Jurvanen, as Bahamas, and a new version of “Half Your Love” which was originally on his 2020 album “Sad Hunk”. Now, with harmonies from the Secret Sisters (Laura Rogers and Lydia Slagle), it’s part of Volume 1 of the Bahamas pandemic collaboration series “Live To Tape”, which in this instance sees Afie performing remotely in session with guest players from Nashville.
“The Secret Sisters sing so effortlessly together you would think they were actually sisters [that’s a joke – they are sisters]. They really elevated the whole session.”
Actors Andrew Shaver and Eva Foote also make music together as Clever Hopes. “Shadow Waltz” is a song that Andrew Shaver wrote while in Australia that recounts a romantic fling in Tasmania during wildfire season, with ash from the fire falling down on them like snow as they were swimming at the beach. You can find it on their debut album “Artefact”.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have recorded a great version of Bobby Moore’s “Searching For My Love” for their wonderful new covers album “Raise The Roof”, the follow-up to the classic “Raising Sand” from 2006.
Raise The Roof includes deep cuts by Merle Haggard, Allen Toussaint, The Everly Brothers, Anne Briggs, Geeshie Wiley, Bert Jansch, Calexico and more.
“It’s such a far cry from everything I’ve done before,” says Robert Plant. “I love the whole kaleidoscope of music that I’ve explored, but this is a place where you can think within the song, you can decide how to bring home an emotion. It’s another blend that we’ve got, and long may we have more of them.”
“Love You The Best” comes from Newfoundland’s Quote The Raven‘s sophomore release “Can’t Hold The Light”. A pretty direct statement to make. Not schmaltzy, though.
The instrumental on this episode, the lovely tunes “The Kissing Gate & The Strawberry Tree” were written for The Classical Mandolin Society Of America‘s annual convention in 2020, which was held online because of Covid 19. It features mandolin maestro Simon Mayor on mandolin, mandola and mandocello with Hilary James on mandobass and comes from “When Summer Comes Again”, Simon’s latest album with vocalist and bass player Hilary James – which they worked on during lockdown while gigs were scarce. An opportunity to journey back to their roots, they revisit some of their favourite songs and tunes while working on new material. Check out the great live performance below.
“With You” is the latest single from Nova Scotia’s Mo Kenney. All about being okay with heartbreak it’s the first time Mo had been in the studio without longtime collaborator and mentor, Joel Plaskett. Not only did she write the song, but she also produced and played everything on it. Way to go, Mo!
“In real life, heartbreak rarely sounds or feels like the grand earthquake its name suggests. “With You,” is a track about my own messy, true-to-life experience with loss, reflecting on dashed dreams, miscommunications, and moments of quiet connection. I wasn’t feeling depressed about my heartbreak, more-so optimistic. It’s meant to capture that vibe with a hopeful feeling despite the darkness in some of the lyrics. It’s about accepting something is painful and being okay with that.”
“Without Your Loving” comes from Vancouver singer-songwriter John Pippus‘ fifth album, “Hermosa Star – Family Album” which also features harmonies from his wife Pam Searle, with his son Jacob Pippus on drums.
Nashville based singer-songwriter Steve Dawson has been very busy during the pandemic producing albums remotely for other artists, including recent interviewees John Wort Hannam, Matt Patershuk and Christa Couture.
Steve Dawson is now getting ready to release his own album, “Gone, Long Gone” which he again recorded remotely with member of his Hen House Express band, including Gary Craig on drums and percussion, Jeremy Holmes on bass and Chris Gestrin on Mellotronand pump organ
The song we play on this episode, “Time Has Made A Fool Out Of Me”, a co-write with Matt Patershuk, features Steve Dawson on slide guitar and vocals with harmony vocals from Allison Russell.
“This is just a little ballad I started messing around with and then had my friend Allison Russell sing it with me. I wanted the band to enter only in the last 8 bars of the song, just as a crazy texture rather than to drive it. I just liked how my old Silvertone guitar sounded that day and wanted to keep it very sparse.”
“Show Me The Door” sees Billy Strings reflecting on a struggling relationship. It comes from his critically acclaimed album “Renewal”.
We wrapped things up with new music from Sarah Frank and Luke Fraser as The Bombadils. “Losing Track Of Time” is the first single from their forthcoming album “Dear Friend”, which is due later this year.
“Sometimes, the stars align, our guards come down, and we connect more deeply with someone than we knew we could. The spark of light within another’s heart is seen even if only for a moment, be it a phone call, or a couple of hours on an airplane or a bus. These moments catch us by surprise – somehow, it’s been a while since we’ve been so present to another person and them to us. Maybe we needed this bus ride on the nighttime highway to put away our phones and be carried along for a moment, to take our heads out of our work and day-to-day responsibilities. The moment is fleeting and we want to hang onto it before it slips away… we want to cherish the warmth, vulnerability, and gentle attentiveness.”
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!
Stay safe and well everyone!
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)
Half Your Love
Live To Tape – Volume 1 (2021, Brushfire Records / Republic Records) CDN
Artefact (2021, Self) CDN
Quote The Raven
Love You The Best
Can’t Hold The Light (2021, Self) CDN
Simon Mayor & Hilary James
The Kissing Gate & The Strawberry Tree
When Summer Comes Again (2021, Acoustic Records)
The Rough & Tumble
Love is Gross (but it looks good on you) (2022, Self)
Interview: The Rough & Tumble discussing their new EP “Love is Gross (but it looks good on you)”.
The Rough & Tumble
As Tight As I Can
Love is Gross (but it looks good on you) (2022, Self)
(single) (2022, Turtlemusik) CDN
Without Your Loving
Hermosa Star Family Album (2021, Self) CDN
Little Bit Of Love
(Single) (2022, Self) CDN
Interview: The Treeline discussing their new single “Valentine” and upcoming debut album.
(single) (2022, Self) CDN
Time Has Made A Fool Out Of Me
Gone, Long Gone (2022, Black Hen Music) CDN
Show Me The Door
Renewal (2021, Rounder Records)
Losing Track Of Time
(single) (2022, Self) CDN