Folk Roots Radio Episode 650: feat. Lynn Miles – TumbleWeedyWorld & More New Releases

Folk Roots Radio Episode 650: feat. Lynn Miles - TumbleWeedyWorld & More New Releases

Ottawa based singer-songwriter Lynn Miles joins us on Episode 650 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about “TumbleWeedyWorld”, her sixteenth album in a career that has to date yielded more than 900 songs and numerous awards including a Juno, and multiple Canadian Folk Music Awards. One of Canada’s finest songwriters, recordings by Lynn Miles consistently feature prominently in Best of the Year lists and readers polls. It’s a fabulous conversation and although we can only share part of the interview with you on this episode, it is definitely worth checking out – especially to hear what Lynn has to say about songwriting and the challenges of making a living as a musician in post pandemic times. As always, we wrap up the rest of the episode with more of the latest new releases. This time around they are all by Canadian artists, and we feature new music from Claire Coupland, Dave Gunning, Jason Wilson, Steve Dawson, Colleen Brown and Jessica Rhaye. 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.

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“TumbleWeedyWorld”, the sixteenth album from Lynn Miles was co-produced with keyboardist Dave Draves. The new recording features ten songs reflecting on the uncertainty and fragility of life, and the bumps in the road (the tumbleweeds) that can destabilize and destroy intimate relationships.

TumbleWeedyWorld, like many Lynn Miles records, sounds the way a warm blanket feels. Her emotive, empathetic vocals are situated in acoustic arrangements with nods to pop, country and bluegrass, without percussion. She’s surrounded by ace instrumentalists, but her voice is always central. There are songs about navigating life’s hurdles, about dodging tumbleweeds, about leaving stuck situations. On the surface, they’re hurtin’ songs about two people who can’t make things work. Dig deeper, however – as Lynn Miles does – and they’re about every kind of relationship where “Sorry’s Just Not Good Enough”.

Lynn Miles picked up a Juno award in 2003 for Traditional Roots Album of the Year, and went on to be nominated again in the same category in 2006 and 2011. She is also the recipient of six Canadian Folk Music Awards including three for Songwriter of the Year. Her two most recent awards, Songwriter of the Year, and Ensemble of the Year (at the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards) were given to her duo THE LYNNeS (with Lynne Hanson) for the album “Heartbreak Song For The Radio”. In 2016, Americana artist Clair Lynch recorded a version of Lynn’s song “Black Flowers” for her Grammy nominated album “North By South”.

In addition to being a fine songwriter, Lynn Miles is also a vocal coach, producer, and public speaker. In fact, Lynn spoke movingly on the issue of Musicians and Mental Health at Folk Alliance in 2019.

TumbleWeedyWorld comes out on True North Records on March 17, 2023. For more information about the music of Lynn Miles,

You can listen to our full interview with Lynn Miles HERE.

Show Notes

We started off the episode with Toronto based singer-songwriter Claire Coupland and “Love Song”, a spritely fingerstyle driven love letter with a lovely bluegrassy feel from Claire’s sophomore release “New Light”, which was recorded in LA with JUNO award-winning musician and producer Sam Weber (Bahamas, Terra Lightfoot, Madison Cunningham).

“Scalehouse Road” comes from “The Same Storm”, the latest album from masterful Nova Scotian singer-songwriter Dave Gunning, a collaboration with songwriter and producer Jamie Robinson. The Same Storm features 12 new songs that Dave worked on while off the road during the pandemic. As typical of Dave’s songwriting, the focus is very much on social justice and environmental issues.

“Leading up to the pandemic I was doing a lot of writing but then stopped when the world came to a halt. With the sudden loss of work that so many of us experienced, my survival instincts kicked in and the focus shifted to my family and on how we were going to get through this thing. We made some adjustments and settled in to a new normal. Once I knew that we were going to be ok, I turned back to writing. It was suddenly quiet which gave me the time to finish songs that were started years ago and to write some new ones. This recording will always bring me back to the highs and lows of what we all weathered together.”

Scottish Canadian two-time Juno nominee, the ever creative Jason Wilson and his new band ASHARA weave together Scottish folk, global roots and reggae on the lovely “My Love Sings Like A Lintie”. We fell in love with this song the first time we heard it. We’re looking forward to hearing more from Jason and his new band, and hopefully one of these days we’ll also get to chat with him.

“A lintie is a Scottish word for a small linnet bird (finch). The song is ostensibly about chasing fleeting youth. I ‘see’ this chase occurring down the Lugar Water, by the dam in Ochiltree, Ayrshire, Scotland, where my mom was born.”

“The Waters Rise”, the instrumental on this episode comes from singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Steve Dawson‘s pedal steel driven instrumental album “Phantom Threshold” – the follow up to Telescope from 2008. “The Waters Rise” is a co-write with Fats Kaplin who also plays accordion and features support from ‘The Telescope Three’, that’s Jeremy Holmes (bass), Chris Gestrin (keyboards) with Jay Bellerose on drums and percussion.

The piano-driven “The Practice” comes from “Winging It” the latest album from Toronto based singer-songwriter Colleen Brown. A beautiful but mournful song, The Practice reflects on the frustrations, the early optimism and then the heartbreak that can all impact finding that special person. It’s a song that wraps up with the message that the desire for love is inevitable. We will always strive to find it.

“Sunshine Baby” is the title track from the seventh album from New Brunswick based singer-songwriter Jessica Rhaye, and her second with backing band ‘The Ramshackle Parade’.

“I loved the big sound the Ramshackle Parade created for the ‘Just Like A Woman – Songs Of Bob Dylan’ album. We wanted Sunshine Baby to have that live, wild sound, with a focus on authentic performances, not worrying about perfection. I wanted it to be bigger, build more layers, to walk away from safety, and light a fire.”

“We all shared the same desire to make Sunshine Baby the best it could be. I can’t wait for people to hear this album. I want everyone who hears it to feel the same energy we put into making it”.

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: Balfour Photo.


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)

Claire Coupland
Love Song
(single) (2022, Self) CDN

Dave Gunning
Scalehouse Road
The Same Storm (2022, Wee House Of Music) CDN

ASHARA (feat. Jason Wilson)
My Love Sings Like A Lintie
(single) (2023, Wheel Records) CDN

Steve Dawson & The Telescope 3 (feat. Fats Kaplin)
The Waters Rise
Phantom Threshold (2022, Black Hen Music) CDN

Lynn Miles
Night Owl
TumbleWeedyWorld (2022, True North Records) CDN

Lynn Miles
Highway 105
TumbleWeedyWorld (2022, True North Records) CDN

Lynn Miles
Johnny Without June
TumbleWeedyWorld (2022, True North Records) CDN

Lynn Miles
Gold In The Middle
TumbleWeedyWorld (2022, True North Records) CDN

Colleen Brown
The Practice
Winging It (2022, Flatcar Records / Fontana North) CDN

Jessica Rhaye & The Ramshackle Parade
Sunshine Baby (Radio Edit)
(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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