Join us on Episode 641 of Folk Roots Radio, for another hour of great new releases, pretty much all of them are by independent artists. This time around we check out new music from bemuzic, Wild Rivers, Stella Prince, Cynthia Hamar, Andrew Collins, Hannah Shira Naiman, Rose-Erin Stokes, Mimi O’Bonsawin, Durham County Poets, Del McCoury Band, Tami Neilson, Marshall Potts, Two Late To The Party, Oysterband and Tia McGraff. Remember, If you like the artists you hear on this show and want to support them, don’t just stream their music – BUY their music, and then you’ll really make a difference to their income at a time when it is becoming much more difficult to make a living as a musician. Check out the full playlist below.
We started off the hour with UK based singer-songwriter and busker Belinda Gent who makes music as bemuzic. As well as performing, Belinda also makes musical instruments out of everyday objects – mainly cigar box guitars, but Belinda has also created sax type instruments out of pvc pipe, kitchen funnels and even a hosepipe! The song we played on this episode, “Forget-Me-Not”, actually features a 2-string guitar made from an old first aid kit tin that belonged to her parents. You can find it on bemuzic’s latest album “Hidden By The Clouds”. bemuzic’s YouTube channel is also worth checking out.
We followed that with Canadian three-piece Wild Rivers, who feature Khalid Hussein, Andrew Oliver and Devan Glover. “Safe Flight” comes from their latest album “Sidelines”, a recording that sees them moving beyond their college roots in Kingston ON and out on to the global music scene.
“Scared” comes from “18”, the latest EP from teenage singer-songwriter Stella Prince, and, yes – that’s her age. Great music from someone so young!
We wrapped the set with Edmonton based Cynthia Hamar letting go of emotional pain on “Shaken”, the first single from her forthcoming collection “Joint & Marrow” which was recorded with Joel Schwartz (Jadea Kelly, Dione Taylor), Paul Johnston (Head of Recording at MacEwan University), keyboardist Chris Andrew and drummer Jamie Cooper.
“My writing is stronger at this stage of my career. I understand my strengths more, and feel less insecurity. I love every song and it took a long time working the kinks out through live performances prior to recording them. The musicianship and production on this new album is world class.”
“Shaken is an internal conversation about trauma; recognizing the deep groaning and the need to let go of the pain to embrace a brighter future. I originally wrote it to myself over the period of a couple years. Processing the change in our family dynamic, then a huge upset in my marriage. It’s written from a point of exhaustion surrendering to a solution and I hope it inspires the listener to process their own pain and see the comfort in choosing to forgive and move on.”
The instrumental this time around comes from Toronto based mandolin maestro Andrew Collins and his take on “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. You can find it on his latest album, “Love Away The Hate”, a solo recording Andrew describes as his most personal to date, which features 10 traditionally inspired original tunes that sees Andrew playing mandolin, mandola, mandocello, guitar and fiddle.
“The Wheels Won’t Go” is the latest single from singer-songwriter, square dance caller and early childhood musician Hannah Shira Naiman. A swampy, driving, old-time song; it was written during the winter of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic started to take hold, and Hannah’s gigs started to disappear. It’s also the title track of Hannah’s third album.
We headed up into Northern Ontario for Rose-Erin Stokes and the beautiful love song “The Same Way” which will be included on Rose-Erin’s upcoming sophomore release, “When The Sun Goes Away”. It comes with a hilarious video that is definitely worth checking out.
Staying in Northern Ontario we also checked out “I Am Alive”, a celebration of life from Mimi O’Bonsawin. It will appear on Mimi’s upcoming album “Willow”.
“I am alive is a vibrant celebration of life. It may be cliché but the journey of life is worth celebrating;” says Mimi. “In my own life, I have experienced so much loss this year. Many people have over the course of the pandemic. I’ve learned that life is a precious gift, and should never be taken for granted. For me, celebrating life is through music, with my family, and on the land, that is where I feel most grounded. I am alive reflects the happiness and love I feel in my spirit and invites the listener or audience to join in the celebration.”
“Together In The Groove” comes from “Out Of The Woods”, the latest album from Ormstown QC blues band Durham County Poets which has much more of a horn filled soulful feel than their previous work.
The Del McCoury Band have released a wonderful bluegrass version of Kris Kristofferson’s “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” which first appeared on “Natural Act”, Kris Kristofferson’s 1978 duet album with Rita Coolidge. You can always depend on Del McCoury coming with some interesting covers.
Canadian country-soul singer-songwriter Tami Neilson now makes her home in NZ. On this episode we played the title track from her latest album “Kingmaker”, a recording project, that according to Tami, was fueled by the world-changing events of the past two years, and features songs that seek to expose and explode the patriarchal structures that pervade the music industry, family life, and society as a whole.
Kamloops BC’s Marshall Potts is awakening to his life’s purpose on the rousing “Heaven Or Home” from his latest release “The Storm”.
“‘Heaven Or Home’ shares the process of taking the time out of my busy life to look inside and see where I’ve been and where I’m going. To take stock of my life and analyze the reason I’m even here and how the experiences have molded my belief systems. My aim was to reconnect to the original child inside before life took control away from the dreamer and fear stole the feeling that all things are possible.”
Adam Corkett and Alessandra Enns make music together as Calgary’s indie-folk duo Two Late To The Party. “Built To Last” which comes from their sophomore release “In The Sunrise”, asks the listener to see that things are not as fragile as they seem, and that even though at the present tim the world may feel like it is falling apart, things are actually more resilient than they appear. Nicely put.
“Born Under The Same Sun” is another track from “Read The Sky”, the great new album from the UK’s Oysterband, their first studio recording in eight years…
We wrapped things up with the latest single from singer-songwriter Tia McGraff and music and life partner Tommy Parham. The uplifting and very danceable “Go Your Own Way” picked up Best Social Justice Song of the Year at the 2021 EmPower Songwriting Awards. You can find it on Tia’s latest EP “With Love”.
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 – 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)
Hidden By The Clouds (2022, Self)
Sidelines (2022, Nettwerk) CDN
18 (2022, Self)
(single) (2022, Neon Moon Records) CDN
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Love Away The Hate (2022, Sytesounds Music) CDN
Hannah Shira Naiman
The Wheels Won’t Go
(single) (2022, Self) CDN
I Am Alive
(single) (2022, Self) CDN
The Same Way
(single) (2022, Self) CDN
Durham County Poets
Together In The Groove
Out Of The Woods (2022, Self) CDN
Del McCoury Band
Love Don’t Live Here Anymore
Almost Proud (2022, McCoury Music)
Kingmaker (2022, Outside Music) CDN
Heaven Or Home
The Storm (2022, Let’s Go Alice Records) CDN
Two Late To The Party
Built To Last
(single) (2022, Self) CDN
Born Under The Same Sun
Read The Sky (2022, Running Man Records / Proper)
Go Your Own Way
With Love (2022, Bandana Records) CDN