We have more great new releases to share with you on Episode 632 of Folk Roots Radio. This time around we check out new music from Pretty Archie, Amanda Rheaume, Willie Stratton, Niteworks, Mama’s Broke, Buck’s Moonlight Revival, Caribou Run, John Craigie, Don Brownrigg, Forest Sun, John Michael Ferrari, Steve Forbert, Colin Hay, Michael McDermott and Barney Bentall. 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.
We started the episode off with roots quintet Pretty Archie (who are celebrating their 10th anniversary) and “Maritime” from their self-titled sixth album which was recorded at a lakeside cottage in Cape Breton with producer and engineer, Mark Howard (The Tragically Hip, Tom Waits, Willie Nelson).
”Each of our other records was a step ahead of the previous one, but this one is six steps ahead. We are proud of everything we’ve put out, but this is at a different level. The album was basically recorded live off the floor, with minimal overdubs. That’s something we had always wanted, and Mark was able to do that. There’s a certain ambiance and energy in recording that way.” (Colin Gillis)
“As a band, we wear our East Coast hearts on our sleeves. We are very proud of where we are from, but our focus now is exposing people internationally to our part of the world.” (Brian Cathcart)
“All Sides Of Me” comes from “The Spaces In Between”, the new album from Amanda Rheaume. A song of vulnerability, Amanda hopes that it will inspire more self-love, while encouraging people to express their true aspirations and hopes for the future.
“All Sides Of Me is a song about vulnerability and the practice of allowing oneself and others to see, love, and respect all aspects of our identity and being. I want this song to inspire more self-love and discourage hiding of any dreams, beliefs, questions and true desires. This song highlights the concerns we can all have at times, surrounding “enough-ness” and “lovability”. I encourage everyone to consider all of the gifts that come with letting your true self shine.”
Singer-songwriter Caroline Spence duets with The National’s Matt Berninger on the thoughtful ballad “I Know You Know Me”. You can find it on Caroline’s fourth album “True North”.
“‘I Know You Know Me’ is a song about the complex beauty of being truly known by someone, especially during times when you are feeling lost. We all have times when we want to hide away, and it is a powerful thing to have someone who won’t let you forget yourself. That’s where this song came from.”
“I’m still beside myself that Matt agreed to be a part of this song. I recorded my own solo version for my upcoming record, but always saw potential for it as a duet. Matt’s voice brought a new depth to the narrative and the sonic palette of this song.”
“The Way She Holds Me” comes from ‘Drugstore Dreamin'”, the new album from Halifax NS based singer-songwriter Willie Stratton – a recording that brings all his influences together in one package… folk, surf, rockabilly, electronic, blues… it’s all in there! It’s an excellent album. We’ll definitely be dipping into it again.
“I hope these songs get played on road trips this summer and some memories are made jamming out to them. If people wanna dig into it more, the album is about overcoming defeat and moving on from things, which I think is a good thing for everyone to meditate on sometimes.”
This episode’s instrumental, “Bumpth”, comes from “A’ Ghrian”, the latest album from Scottish folk-electronica powerhouse Niteworks. A’ Ghrian, which means ‘the sun’ in Scots Gaelic, features a mix of Gaelic, Scots and English folk songs with a wonderful cinematic electronica feel.
“With this album we’ve sought to create a more expansive sound that’s cinematic in its nature. We were partly inspired by our work writing the music for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Fare Well film that reflected on what 2020 had been like for many during the pandemic. The nature of the project required broad expansive sounds, and that led to us going further in that direction through the writing and recording of the album.”
It may not be close to New Year any more, and 2020 may be slowly receding into memory but Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2020 film “Fare Well” is just so good, in so many ways – and includes a soundtrack from Niteworks, that we’re pleased to share. Enjoy!
Lisa Maria and Amy Lou Keeler make music together as Canadian folk duo Mama’s Broke. “How It Ends” comes from their second recording “Narrow Line”, an album that reflects on the constant cycle of life… the beginnings and ends… and the comfort provided by living in the moment.
Alternative folk duo Buck’s Moonlight Revival from Kingston ON pride themselves on doings things differently. Their very engaging self-titled album blends together folk songs, tape loops, singing saws and synths, and was recorded directly to analog tape using a Tascam Portastudio 488 multitrack cassette recorder.
“Believer In You” is the latest single from six piece indie folk band Caribou Run from Mahone Bay NS. Believer In You tells the story of a couple who want to move from the busy city life to a cozy country home. That’s a sentiment we can all get behind, especially if it’s on Nova Scotia’s beautiful south shore.
Portland OR’s John Craigie‘s latest album “Mermaid Salt” developed out of the solitude and loneliness of lockdown in the Pacific North-West – and time spent reading and in introspection, while exploring the environment around him, from the Oregon coasts to the waterfalls.
“I got time to silence all the noise and chaos of touring and look inward.”
“Same Time” is the latest single from Newfoundland-raised, Halifax-based singer-songwriter Don Brownrigg. It’s a song that explores how to take the next step in a relationship.
Prolific San Francisco based singer-songwriter Forest Sun continues to put out some great music. “Follow The Love” is the title track from his 10th album and a song that Forest wrote on a firefly-laden midsummer evening in Madison WI after a thunderstorm. It also features a guest appearance by The Wailin’ Jennys’ Heather Masse.
American singer-songwriter John Michael Ferrari wrote the beautiful “Nowhere To L.A.” after losing his long time dog companion, RJ. You can find it on his 2020 album “Be The Smile On Your Face”. That’s the second time we’ve played music from John on Folk Roots Radio. His well-crafted songwriting style and delivery really reminds us of the late great Glen Campbell.
“Buffalo Nickel” comes from “Moving Through America”, the latest album from Steve Forbert and a recording that does actually take you across the country in song.
“Now And The Evermore” is the title track from the latest album from L.A. based Colin Hay, the former leader of Australian band “Men At Work”. It’s a song written during the pandemic about people getting together with loved ones to celebrate those they have lost while appreciating the time we still have together.
“This first track opens with a drum fill from Ringo. What a perfect way to start a record. I had the music for this song floating round my head for some time. I always imagined Ringo playing on it. The words came at the start of 2020, as the virus took hold. You drew close the people around you, those you cared for the most. The first time I became aware of my own mortality was skipping over the gravestones as I cut through the cemetery on my way home from school when I was 6 years old. For some reason, Covid made me think of those days, when the Salvation Army would play morbid songs every Sunday morning outside my window. This tune also takes inspiration from Mexico’s Día de los Muertos, where people get together with loved ones and celebrate those departed, while appreciating the here and now, each moment as it arrives and departs… too often unnoticed. Oh, and the track ends with Ringo too.”
Chicago based singer-songwriter Michael McDermott‘s latest recording “St. Paul’s Boulevard”, a concept album of sorts that introduces characters from a fictional street that could exist anywhere. On this episode we play “Where The Light Gets In”.
“Everyone has their own St. Paul’s Boulevard, the place where we left pieces of our hearts, our innocence, where we suffered heartbreak, came to learn about shame, where we struggled to find our place in this world. It’s a place where we struggled to nurture love and light in a darkened world. It’s where some of us were permanently arrested in our development and our social and emotional intelligence.”
We wrapped up the episode with Barney Bentall and his version of Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” from his seventh solo release “Cosmic Dreamer”. Cosmic Dreamer which also features a duet with Valentino Trapani comes with a lovely video. A rather appropriate way to finish this episode off.
“I first met Valentino Trapani about 10 or 12 years ago on a beautiful road in Tuscany. We were both on bikes. Valentino was helping guide the group we were with. He asked what I did and I told him that I was a musician. He asked who I liked and when Leonard Cohen’s name was mentioned, we both spontaneously sang “Famous Blue Raincoat” from start to finish! I was trying to catch my breath a little more than Valentino… but it was a wonderful moment. Over the years we have sang together but it’s that first time that really sticks with me.”
“When I was recording Cosmic Dreamer, I was looking for one more track and I reached out to Valentino about this particular track and he was all in. He did his parts in Siena and I did mine on the West Coast of Canada. A beautiful thing. The video is shot on iPhones in the ranching country of BC and the vineyards of Tuscany. Happy birthday to Bob. My older sister used to tuck me in as a kid by playing “Sad Eyed Lady of The Lowlands”. It left an indelible impression that continues to this day.”
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)
Pretty Archie (2022, Curve Music / Warner Music) CDN
All Sides Of Me
(single) (2022, Ishkōdé Records) CDN
I Know You Know Me (feat. Matt Berninger)
True North (2022, Rounder Records)
The Way She Holds Me
Drugstore Dreamin’ (2022, Turtlemusik) CDN
A’ Ghrian (2022, Comann Music)
How It Ends
Narrow Line (2022, Free Dirt Records) CDN
Buck’s Moonlight Revival
Buck’s Moonlight Revival (2021, Self) CDN
Believer in You
(single) (2021, Self) CDN
Mermaid Salt (2022, Zabriskie Point Records)
(single) (2022, Turtlemusik) CDN
Follow The Love
Follow The Love (2022, Self)
John Michael Ferrari
Nowhere To L.A.
Be The Smile On Your Face (2020, Cappy Records)
Moving Through America (2022, Blue Rose Records)
Now And The Evermore
Now And The Evermore (2022, Compass Records)
Where The Light Gets In
St. Paul’s Boulevard (2022, Pauper Sky Records)
You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go (feat. Valentino Trapani)
Cosmic Dreamer (2022, True North Records)