Folk Roots Radio Episode 628: We’re All About The Music! (There Will Be Light Edition)

Folk Roots Radio Episode 628: We're All About The Music! (There Will Be Light Edition)

We’re holding back the interviews on Episode 628 of Folk Roots Radio to bring you more of the latest new releases – and this time around they are all by Canadian artists. Join us for an hour of great music from 100 mile house, Jane Mathew, Alex Krawczyk, Ken Yates, The McDades, Abigail Lapell, The Bros. Landreth, Ben Sures, Terry Morrison, The Pairs, Lily Frost, Willie Stratton, The Montgomery Street Band, Nelson Sobral and Meredith Lazowski. 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 live show opportunities are harder to come by. Check out the full playlist below.

Best 2020

Show Notes

We started off the episode with Peter Stone and Denis Mackay as Edmonton mellow folk duo 100 mile house and their great version of “Always On My Mind”, the classic song made famous by Willie Nelson and the Pet Shop Boys. You can find it on the deluxe version of their latest album, “Love and Leave You” which came out two years ago, just before the pandemic hit – and for obvious reasons didn’t receive the attention it deserved. It’s a great album and definitely worth checking out.

“This edition is a thank you to anyone who has ever listened to our songs and stories, and hopefully a reminder to always keep hope close at hand.” (Peter Stone)

Jane Mathew started out her music career busking on the subway in Toronto. On this episode we play “Follow The Lights”, another track from her excellent debut album, “Such Perfect Lives”.

“There Will Be Light” comes from Toronto singer-songwriter Alex Krawczyk‘s debut album “Le Olam”, which is Hebrew for ‘forever and ever’. Alex started writing songs for Le Olam as a way of healing from the traumatic loss of her parents. A heartbreaking story. Fortunately, as Alex reminds us there is always light after the darkness.

“I worked with Robbie Roth on this album. We have been writing songs together since 2019 and recorded the album during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. All of the artists recorded individually, yet it has all come together beautifully.’

Acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter Ken Yates is getting ready to release a new album, “Ceruleon”. The beautiful, romantic yet somewhat apocalyptic “The Big One” is the first single from the project. It’s all about spending your last moments with the ones you love while waiting for the you know what. We don’t need to tell you that Ken wrote that song during the pandemic. It also features harmony vocals from Kathleen Edwards.

“A friend kept talking about The Big One, a high-magnitude earthquake expected to strike the Pacific Northwest. In the last couple of years it feels like we have all developed a slight doomsday mentality, myself included; feeling like the world might be ending. Of course, we’re not really sure how, so that song is reckoning with the ‘armageddon’, and a realization of how trivial a lot of our personal relationships or conflicts can be when we are staring face-to-face with the end. The only thing to do is ride out your last few moments with the people you love.”

Check out our interview with Ken Yates discussing his last album – 2020’s excellent “Quiet Talkers”, HERE.

Shannon, Solon and Jeremiah McDade make music as The McDades. On this episode we play the instrumental title track from their latest album “The Empress”, a recording that pushes the boundaries of traditional roots music with the addition of some jazz and even classical and world rhythm elements. The album is actually named after ‘The Empress’, the third card in the Tarot deck.

Toronto’s Abigail Lapell is getting set to release her third album “Stolen Time”, which was produced by Howard Bilerman in Montreal. On this episode we play the folky “Land Of Plenty”.

A theme of recovery runs through Stolen Time, with lyrics about becoming sober or coping with a partner’s sudden illness, exploring the cycle of relapse and rehabilitation. The album’s title comes from the musical term tempo rubato, which Lapell picked up while teaching herself piano. Referring to the expressive push and pull of tempo in musical phrasing, it’s also a fitting metaphor for the fragile rhythm of uncertain times, darkness hand in hand with escapism.

Abigail Lapell picked up Canadian Folk Music Awards for her first two albums; 2020 English Songwriter of the Year for 2019’s “Getaway” and 2017 Contemporary Album of the Year for that year’s “Hide Nor Hair”.

“What In The World” is the latest single from The Bros. Landreth. A love song, it is all about imagining life would be like without the people you love. You’ll be able to find it on their upcoming album “Come Morning”.

“‘What In The World’ is a pretty straightforward love song that tries to answer the question — what would you do without that monumental person in your life? This is one of two tracks that we wrote with Jonathan Singleton on our new record. Jonathan had the chorus and the rest of the song fell into place in about 90 minutes. They don’t always come that easy, but the ones that do tend to be pretty special.” (Dave Landreth)

You can find the tongue-in-cheek ode to aging “Maybe When I’m Older” on Edmonton AB’s Ben Sures‘ latest release “The Story That Lived Here”.

Alberta Métis singer-songwriter Terry Morrison reflects on how people come in and out of our lives as we age on “Pass Away” from her sixth album… “Wolf Willow & Alberta Rose”.

“Monsters” is the latest single from London ON’s The Pairs are developing a great reputation for powerful and thought-provoking songs, and fine live performance.

“Monsters, weaves a tale of both literal and metaphorical shadows. This song is about the untold stories that shape us but stay hidden until their inevitable journey to the surface. As adults, we have a desire to look away from what we can’t quite make sense of. This song beckons us to stop ignoring and welcome the shadows.”

Monsters come with a great video that the band produced, recorded, and edited themselves.

“Lay Low” comes from the 60s and 70s pastiche “Retro-Moderne”, the 2019 album from Toronto singer-songwriter Lily Frost. We’re expecting new music from Lily later in 2022.

Willie Stratton‘s new single “Caroline” provides a bit of a history lesson for us. It tells the story of William Lyon MacKenzie and the political crisis he caused in the early days of Canada, that became known as The Caroline Affair.

In 1837, William Lyon MacKenzie started a rebellion against the British government in the province of Upper Canada. He was provided with a steamboat The Caroline by the Americana to help his efforts. However, in the ensuing struggle, the Upper Canada militia seized the land back, the burning steamboat eventually sinking just before it reached Niagara Falls.

“It’s a ridiculous story. MacKenzie knew it was never going to work out for him; he was just kind of throwing a tantrum. This is not a political song, it’s really about finding beauty in failure and moving on, taking what you can get from the experience.””

You’ll be able to find Caroline on Willie Stratton’s new album Drugstore Dreamin’.

“You’re Up All Night” comes from “For The Time Being”, the latest album from New Brunswick bluegrass quartet The Montgomery Street Band Patrick Gushue (mandolin/fiddle), Liam Keith-Jacques (guitar/dobro), Jason Flores (upright bass) and Scott Michaud (Banjo) and have dedicated themselves to carrying on the folk music traditions of the Maritimes.

“Dancing Fool” comes from “Second Arrow”, the latest album from Toronto-based singer-songwriter Nelson Sobral.

“If someone does you harm, that’s the first arrow; but dwelling on it, that’s you causing yourself the next wave of suffering. The second arrow is the arrow that you fire upon yourself. It’s all about how you deal with things.”

Dancing Fool actually started out life as more of a folk song, before Nelson pitched it up and let it rock out a bit. Considering that Jan Hall is a bit of a dancing fool herself, this song is definitely close to her heart.

You dance like the wind, moving round the floor.
You never give in, so you dance with me once more,
and we dance right out the door

We wrapped up this special all-Canadian edition of Folk Roots Radio with Toronto’s Meredith Lazowski finding power in moving forward – in life and relationships, on her new single “Other Way Home” which was produced by Justin Rutledge.

I hope you’re riding the other way home, Cuz you ain’t riding next to me no more…

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: Kareni from Pixabay.


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)

100 mile house
Always On My Mind
Love and Leave You (Deluxe) (2022, Fallen Tree Records) CDN

Jane Mathew
Follow The Lights
Such Perfect Lives (2021, Self) CDN

Alex Krawczyk
There Will Be Light
(single) (from Le Olam) (2022, Self) CDN

Ken Yates
The Big One (feat. Kathleen Edwards)
(single) (from Cerulean) (2022, Self) CDN

The McDades
The Empress
The Empress (2021, Self) CDN

Abigail Lapell
Land Of Plenty
Stolen Time (2022, Outside Music) CDN

The Bros. Landreth
What In The World
(single) (from Come Morning) (2022, Birthday Cake) CDN

Ben Sures
Maybe When I’m Older
The Story That Lived Here (2021, Self) CDN

Terry Morrison
Pass Away
Wolf Willow & Alberta Rose (2021, Self) CDN

The Pairs
(single) (2022, Self) CDN

Lily Frost
Lay Low
Retro-Moderne (2019, Self) CDN

Willie Stratton
(single) (from forthcoming album Drugstore Dreamin’) (2022, Turtlemusik) CDN

The Montgomery Street Band
You’re Up All Night
For The Time Being (2021, Self) CDN

Nelson Sobral
Dancing Fool
Second Arrow (2022, Self) CDN

Meredith Lazowski
Other Way Home
(single) (2022, Self) CDN

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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