Folk Roots Radio Episode 640: We’re All About The Music! (Charmed Life Edition)

Folk Roots Radio Episode 640: We’re All About The Music! (Charmed Life Edition)

Join us on Episode 640 of Folk Roots Radio for another fine selection of songs that sound just so good together. This time around we check out new music from Michael Logen & Amy Stroup, Durham County Poets, The Divine Comedy, The Montgomery Street Band, Basset, Moonfruits, Jasmine (feat. Victor Hern​á​ndez), The Woods, Madison Violet, woe11er, Sons Of The Never Wrong, Oysterband and Pat Chessell. We wrap things up with a fabulous live version of “’til It’s Gone” from Allison Russell and her music and life partner JT Nero as fabulous folk/Americana duo Birds of Chicago. 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 singer-songwriters Michael Logen and Amy Stroup who came together to write and record their latest single, the feel good “Something Good”.

We followed that with Ormstown QC’s Juno nominated blues band, Durham County Poets with “That’s What Makes Me Smile”, a song that reminds us to cherish the simple things in life. You can find it on their latest album “Out Of The Woods”, a fun recording that, courtesy of an excellent horn section, has more of a soulful R & B feel than their previous work.

The sub-title for this episode comes from the ever-engaging Irish songwriter Neil Hannon and his band The Divine Comedy. “Charmed Life” is the title track of their 24-track best of compilation.

“I’ve been luckier than most. I get to sing songs to people and they almost always applaud. I have a lot of dogs – the ultimate benchmark of success. So when asked what to call this collection I thought of Charmed Life. I like the song and it rather sums up how I feel about my life.” (Neil Hannon)

That’s a sentiment we completed agree with. Despite all the challenges we’ve experienced, we feel blessed. We hope you feel something like that yourself.

The instrumental on this episode, the original tune “Toss It In The Stew” comes from Fredericton New Brunswick based bluegrass quartet The Montgomery Street Band. You can fine it on their 2021 album “For The Time Being”.

Sam Clark and Yasmine Shelton make music together as Toronto based indie-folk duo Basset. The meditative “In the Clay” is the first single and title track of their debut album, a collection of songs built around the time they spent in isolation during the pandemic, and the resilience they developed to make it through some challenging times.

“This album was conceived in isolation. We couldn’t go anywhere aside from the long, long walks we took through the west end of the city. It was easy to feel trapped in the monotony, the rhythms we repeated each day; especially in our basement apartment, where the lack of sunlight was crushing. Maybe to distract ourselves, we fell into some rhythms of really intense work, trying to shape ourselves into the musicians – and humans – we wanted to be, to create this album.”

Music and life partners Kaitlin Milroy and Alex Millaire, the creative force behind bilingual folk duo Moonfruits are gazing at the moon on “Moon Cradle”, the third single from their new album “Salt”.

“I stopped to gaze at the moon one night on the way to my soccer game and the general idea for the song came to me. A few weeks later – late one night, when I had a serious fever coming on, Alex patiently played a riff on his guitalele on repeat and I wrote the poetic lyric in a stream-of-consciousness kind of way. We worked on the song for about four hours, until we had a working version.”

“I feel less alone when I look at the moon. We partake of the common when we look out at her, for she is, among other things, a receiver of common questions, a giver of common comforts. To gaze upon the moon fills my cup with reassurance, with wonder, with magic.” (Kaitlin Milroy)

“A Tu Lado” by Brazilian American singer-songwriter Jasmine (which also features guitarist Victor Hern​á​ndez comes from the lovely Putamayo Discovery EP “Acoustic World”.

Nashville based trio The Woods feature singer-songwriters Dan O’Rourke and (Canadian) Raquel Cole, with guitarist Leland Rooney. Their first single is the old school country rock style song, “World’s On Fire”.

“World’s On Fire can be interpreted in two different ways. The first is from a more personal standpoint as though there’s a relationship where maybe things aren’t as amazing as they could be. The bigger picture though is the sort of thing that you see with humanity all the time. Every generation thinks the world’s on the brink of ending. We’re not the first to have some global catastrophes happen and I’m sure we won’t be the last, but every time, humanity’s true colours kind of show.” (Dan O’Rourke)

“Jackson” comes from the eleventh studio album from Madison Violet‘s Lisa MacIsaac and Brenley MacEachern. Appropriately entitled “Eleven”, the album reflects on the hardships and beauty of life and all of its experiences.

We had a wonderful chat with Lion’s Head Georgian Bay ON based Stephen Woeller, who makes music the artist woe11er, a few months ago. “Halfway To Hepworth” comes from his pandemic inspired debut solo recording “try it up here”. You can find part of that interview on Episode 635 of Folk Roots Radio. We hope to bring the full interview (which is well worth a listen) to the website and on demand listening, in the not too distant future.

Sue Demel, Bruce Roper and Deborah Lader are the Chicago based folk trio Sons Of The Never Wrong. “Shore Bird” is a Bruce Roper song that reflects on how different life on the prairie is from that by the sea. It comes from their latest album “Undertaker’s Songbook”.

“The Time Is Now” comes from “Read The Sky”, the Oysterband‘s first studio recording in eight years.

Vancouver’s Pat Chessell specializes in both East Coast style Celtic music and Folk/Americana. His version of Tom Paxton’s “Last Thing On My Mind” comes from his new EP, “Ghosts Of Yesterday”.

We wrapped the episode up with Allison Russell and her music and life partner JT Nero as Birds Of Chicago, and a live version of the gorgeous “til It’s Gone” from their 2014 album, “Live From Space”.

Composed by JT Nero, ’til It’s Gone originally appeared on Allison Russell’s former band Po’ Girl’s 2007 album “Home To You”. It was also the final song in one of Allison’s solo sets at the 2022 Hillside Festival. It brought the house down. A beautiful way to wrap up the episode.

Life has its challenges, certainly, but try to enjoy as many moments as you can, because… well, it’s short, and the journey can be quite unpredictable.

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: kranich17 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)

Michael Logen & Amy Stroup
Something Good
(single) (2022, Self)

Durham County Poets
That’s What Makes Me Smile
Out Of The Woods (2022, Self) CDN

The Divine Comedy
Charmed Life
Charmed Life: Best of The Divine Comedy (2022, Divine Comedy)

The Montgomery Street Band
Toss It In The Stew
For The Time Being (2021, Self) CDN

In the Clay
(single)(2022, Self) CDN

Moon Cradle
(single) (2022, Self) CDN

Jasmine (feat. Victor Hern​á​ndez)
A Tu Lado
Acoustic World EP (2022, Putumayo)

The Woods
World’s On Fire
(single) (2022, BSG Records)

Madison Violet
Eleven (2022, Passenger Sounds) CDN

Halfway To Hepworth
try it up here (2022, Wiretone Records) CDN

Sons Of The Never Wrong
Shore Bird
Undertaker’s Songbook (2021, Sons 3 Records)

The Time Is Now
Read The Sky (2022, Running Man Records / Proper)

Pat Chessell
Last Thing On My Mind
Ghosts Of Yesterday (2022, Self) CDN

Birds Of Chicago
’til It’s Gone
Live From Space (2014, 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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