Folk Roots Radio Episode 622: feat. Matt Patershuk – An Honest Effort & More New Releases

Folk Roots Radio Episode 622: feat. Matt Patershuk - An Honest Effort & More New Releases

Alberta based storytelling singer-songwriter Matt Patershuk joins us on Episode 622 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest album, “An Honest Effort”, which tells stories of people who are trying to make a go of it, despite life’s challenges – and who are not going to give up just because things get difficult. It’s a great album, and a fun conversation with a fine songwriter who writes songs that just can’t help but draw you in. As always, we wrap up the episode with more of the latest new releases and this time around we hear from Grace Morrison, Tim O’Brien, Jackson Grimm, Bryan McPherson, The Accidentals, Jessica Pearson & The East Wind, The Weather Station, Steve Poltz and The Pine Hearts. Check out the full playlist below.

Best 2020


“An Honest Effort” is the fifth album from Matt Patershuk. Like previous releases, Matt worked with Juno award-winning producer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Dawson who also plays guitar, pedal steel and Weissenborn (lap steel guitar). Also joining Matt on the album are Jeremy Holmes (bass, mandolin), Gary Craig (drums/percussion) and Fats Kaplin (fiddle, ukelele, banjo and harmonica) with background vocals from Keri Latimer (Leaf Rapids).

Matt Patershuk lives near the hamlet of La Glace, Alberta, Canada with his wife, two daughters, several dogs, cats, horses and sheep. While not blessed with an abundance of natural ability in his endeavours, he’s always willing to give things a good try, and never lets a lack of experience or formal training get in his way. He applies the same ethic to his self-taught song writing and music as he does to fixing a furnace, installing a stock waterer, building a jewelry box, or taking a picture.

A singer and songwriter first, Matt Patershuk values simplicity – but also loves to incorporate the small details that bring a story to life, and make it relatable. Though his songs aren’t devoid of metaphor, you’ll not be left guessing about what the song is about when you’re done listening.

Matt’s grandad used to say: “God loves a trier”. He didn’t mean it in the way televangelist preachers do; who often say in not so many words: “If you pray the right way (and tithe appropriately), God will open limitless financial, health and career benefits before you.” He meant that there is worth, and value in the trying. The act of making an effort is redemptive, despite the outcome.

An Honest Effort (2021) Black Hen Music
If Wishes Were Horses (2019) Black Hen Music
Same As I Ever Have Been (2017) Black Hen Music
I Was So Fond Of You (2016) Black Hen Music
Outside The Lights Of Town – Matt Patershuk & the Dirty Plaid Orchestra (2013, Self)

For more information about the music of Matt Patershuk, visit

Show Notes

We started of the episode with singer-songwriter Grace Morrison and “Sober”, a song she wrote for someone she has been helping through a battle with addiction.

“I wrote this song for a loved one for whom I’ve been the primary support person during a more than two year long battle with an eating disorder. The song could speak to anyone battling an addiction of any sort. It’s main message is simple, “I hope you know that you can get sober”.

The love song “I Breathe In” comes from Tim O’Brien‘s latest project “He Walked On” which reflects on how we get through tough times and features songs about work, technology and racial strife.

“My latest project ‘He Walked On’ is all about what you need to do to survive in America. We all need a roof over our head and something to eat, of course – but we also need love. I’ve been grateful to have my partner Jan beside me during the pandemic. This song stresses the need to take things one step or one breath at a time, and to keep those you love close as you do so.”

“Sailing Blues” comes from Asheville NC based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jackson Grimm. You can find it on Jackson Grimm’s latest recording “Sober Again”, one of Our Favourite Albums of 2021. As well as playing solo, Jackson Grimm also performs with his band ‘The Bull Moose Party’ and as a side player for his father, Tim Grimm.

California based troubadour singer-songwriter, activist and exhilarating live performer Bryan McPherson is getting ready to release a new album “How to Draw Everything”, the follow up to 2019’s introspective “King’s Corner” and the brilliant “Wedgewood” from 2015. On this episode we play the title track from the new album. We’ll definitely have more from it on a future episode.

The Accidentals are a female fronted trio from Michigan featuring multi-instrumentalists Sav Buist and Katie Larson, with percussionist Michael Dause. The instrumental on this episode “Bird’s Eye’s View” comes from their pandemic delayed album “Vessel” and features Sav Buist on acoustic guitar and electric violin, Katie Larson on cello with guest Mikaela Davis on harp.

“Send Me Down” is another beautiful song from Jessica Pearson & The East Wind‘s excellent album “On The Line”. The story behind the song highlights the fact that songwriters should always be ready for the muse to take hold.

“Usually when I sit down to write a song, I’m in my office with my trusty guitar, either alone or with another songwriter. It can take anywhere from an hour to a couple sessions to have a fully finished song. And still then I’ll usually go back and edit it, to make it the best it can be. This song came out of me like a tidal wave. I was bartending at a comedy show and on a break, these words and lyrics just rushed to me. I grabbed a piece of the receipt roll and a pen and wrote it all down, writing as fast as I could. At the end of the night I made a voice memo of the melody, put the receipt paper in my songwriting journal, and went to sleep. I didn’t look at it again until I was choosing songs for the new album.”

“Separated” comes from “Ignorance”, the critically 2021 acclaimed album from Tamara Lindeman as The Weather Station, another of Our Favourite Albums of 2021.

Steve Poltz is about to release his next album “Stardust + Satellites”. On this episode we play the first single, the radio-friendly “Can O’ Pop”, a song that (in true Steve Poltz style) came to him at the end of one of their recording sessions, with a little prompting from someone else.

“Jano from The Wood Brothers was leaving the studio, and I asked him to give me a beat. I told him I’d write a song with whatever beat he gave me. ‘I want to feel the fizzy rhythm with you’.”

We wrapped things up with The Pine Hearts from Washington State and “Wouldn’t You Know”, a song that band leader Joey Capoccia wrote at the south pole while working as a carpenter. You can find that on their new album, “Lost Love Songs”.

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!

Image credit: Matt Patershuk.


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)

Grace Morrison
(single) (2022, Self)

Tim O’Brien
I Breathe In
He Walked On (2021, Howdy Skies Music)

Jackson Grimm
Sailing Blues
Sober Again (2021, Vault Records)

Bryan McPherson
How to Draw Everything
How To Draw Everything (2022, Self)

The Accidentals
Bird’s Eye View (feat. Mikaela Davis, harp)
Vessel (2021, Self)

Matt Patershuk
Turn The Radio Up
An Honest Effort (2021, Black Hen Music) CDN

Interview: Matt Patershuk chats about his latest album “An Honest Effort”.

Matt Patershuk
Jupiter The Flying Horse
An Honest Effort (2021, Black Hen Music) CDN

Matt Patershuk
An Honest Effort (2021, Black Hen Music) CDN

Jessica Pearson & The East Wind
Send Me Down
On The Line (2020, Willow Sound Records) CDN

The Weather Station
Ignorance (2021, Outside Music) CDN

Steve Poltz
Can O’ Pop
Stardust + Satellites (2022, Red House Records)

The Pine Hearts
Wouldn’t You Know
Lost Love Songs (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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