Canadian producer, songwriter and composer Jojo Worthington released her latest project “TCYK (The Company You Keep)” earlier this summer. Co-produced with William Crann, the new album sees Jojo Worthington moving further into the world of electronic sounds and looping, on a wonderfully textured exploration of her experience as a woman navigating interpersonal relationships – whether that relationship is with another person or the divine. Despite being small in stature, with only five tracks, this is a fabulous album that gives up secrets every time you listen to it. TCYK is ultimately a celebration of our attempts at connection, or as Worthington asserts: “we need to stabilize”— a rallying cry for mutual support between sexes. To learn more about the project we caught up with Jojo Worthington at home in Waterloo, ON. For more information, visit jojoworthington.com. Music: Jojo Worthington “Argument”, “Small Encounters” and “Stabilize” from “TCYK (The Company You Keep)” (2019, Self).
Liv Cazzola and Braden Phelan join us on Episode 458 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about the sweet music they make together as duo Tragedy Ann. If you recognize the name Cazzola, that’s because Liv and sister Anita, are leaders of Guelph art.folk collective The Lifers – and Braden Phelan is a guitarist in that band. As Tragedy Ann, Liv and Braden have great chemistry and a wonderful gentle humour. They’re now charming listening rooms across Canada with their folky mix of beautiful harmonies, ukulele, accordion and guitar. We hooked up with Tragedy Ann just before they set out on a tour of Northern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. It was a great conversation, and definitely well worth checking out. We also take a look at more of the latest new releases and this time around we hear from Rising Appalachia, James Gordon, Paper Beat Scissors, Our Native Daughters (Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell), James Hill & Anne Janelle, The Rails, Den Of Ashes and Michael McDermott. Check out the full playlist below.
Hamilton ON based singer-songwriter Laura Keating joins us on Episode 457 of Folk Roots Radio. One of the best things about doing this show every week, is giving independent artists a platform for an in-depth conversation about their music. Laura has been making music, in some form, all her life – but only recently was she able to release her own album, “Let Me Tell You”. It’s a really great interview, and I definitely hope you’ll check it out. We also check more of the latest new releases and this time around we hear from Rising Appalachia, The Rough & Tumble, Irish Mythen, Del Barber, Steve Eulberg, David Lum, Duane Steele and Catherine MacLellan. Check out the full playlist below.
Winter Wilson are a folk duo from the UK featuring Kip Winter on vocals, accordion, guitar and flute with Dave Wilson on vocals, guitar and banjo. They describe their music as folk with a splash of blues, and judging by their latest album “Live & Unconventional”, which was recorded on tour with folk rock legends Fairport Convention, that’s a pretty accurate description – except that they’re also pretty funny in concert too. Live & Unconventional, their ninth album – and the follow-up to the excellent studio album “Far Off On The Horizon”, is a perfect introduction to a band who seamlessly deliver beautiful and thoughtful original songs married to strong lead vocals, fabulous harmonies, and fine musicianship with a live show that’s all tied together by a great sense of humour. Winter Wilson will be on tour across Canada this September with dates in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. We caught up with Kit and Dave at home in the UK to chat about their music and the upcoming tour. For more information and tour dates, visit winterwilson.com. Music: Winter Wilson “Orange Trees & Dusty Roads”, “It’ll Take A Long Time”, “Grateful For The Rain (Billy Boy)” and “I’d Rather Be Ashes Than Dust” from “Live & Unconventional” (2019, Self).
Liv Cazzola and Braden Phelan make sweet music together as duo Tragedy Ann. If you recognize the name Cazzola, that’s because Liv and sister Anita, are leaders of Guelph art.folk collective The Lifers – and Braden Phelan is a guitarist in that band. As Tragedy Ann, Liv and Braden have great chemistry and a wonderful gentle humour. They’re now charming listening rooms across Canada with their folky mix of beautiful harmonies, ukulele, accordion and guitar. Tragedy Ann picked up two Songs from the Heart awards at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference – Blues: “Neon & Velour” (Liv Cazzola & Braden Phelan) and Humorous: “Snooze” (Braden Phelan) from their first full length album “Matches”, produced by James Paul, in 2018. Liv Cazzola and Braden Phelan joined us on Folk Roots Radio prior to leaving on a tour of Northern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. For more information, and details about all their upcoming tour dates, visit tragedyannmusic.com. Photo: Alex Lam. Music: Tragedy Ann “One In Two”, “Odysseus” and “The Light We Have” from “Matches” (2018, Self).
We’re changing things up on Episode 456 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you London ON singer-songwriter Sarah Smith and her band live from an under renovation Bank Theatre in Leamington ON, as part of a wonderful session recorded for our video series, the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions. Four songs from a fabulous live performer and her band, and an opportunity to chat to Sarah while on stage. We also check out new music from Jon Brooks, Logan and Nathan, Jessica Heine, Leaf Rapids, Vishtèn, Mark Martyre and Hugo Alley. Check out the full playlist below.
Mattie Leon is a Toronto based singer/songwriter with a catchy and soulful folk/pop style. Mattie released his well-received debut “Terrace” in 2015, followed by a couple of small releases in 2016, and the release of the album that really elevated his profile “Signal Hill” in 2017 – a seven song collection that earned him a nomination for Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Mattie has recently released two new singles “When Love Is Strong” and “Caught Up”. Mattie Leon joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about his music and played a few songs live with support from Mike Leon and Nelson Sobral on backing vocals. For more information visit mattieleon.com. Photo: Left to Right – Mike Leon, Jan Hall, Mattie Leon and Nelson Sobral (Jan Hall). Music: Mattie Leon “When Love Is Strong” (Live), “Caught Up” (Live) and “Annalyne” (Live).
Episode 455 of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with London Ontario based singer-songwriter Carly Thomas recorded especially for our video series, the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions. Carly plays two songs live from her latest album “Versions”, and also shares a new song with us in the studio. We also check out new music from Sarah Harmer, Twas Now, Winter Wilson, Sofia Talvik, Casey Johnson, James Gordon, VK & Legends Of THE DEEP and Shari Ulrich. Check out the full playlist below.
Mary Newland and Richard Baker have been involved in the music business for over thirty years. After living and working in LA, and recording and performing with the likes of the Beach Boys, Gino Vannelli, Gary Wright and Santana. In 2000, they opened a Music/Post Production Studio, Filmcue in Los Angeles providing Post Production services for TV and independent film. After returning to Canada in 2006, Richard Baker continues to compose for film and television, and together they now make music as Mary & Richard – interpreting songs from the Great American Songbook and more. In their latest endeavour, they share their passion for the music of the 70s as performed by Linda Ronstadt, as the leaders of tribute band Mary Newland & The Blue Bayou Band. Mary Newland and Richard Baker joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about their new project. Mary Newland & the Blue Bayou Band play the Best Western Plus in Leamington ON on Thursday August 8 at 7:30 p.m. (Doors at 7 p.m.) For their latest show, Mary (vocals) and Richard (keyboards) will be joined by John Knapp (drums), Bob Souliere (guitar), Steve Knox (guitar), Robert (Bob) Feldman (bass) and Ken Cullen (backing vocals, keyboards). For more information and to get tickets visit bluebayouband.com. Music: Mary Newland & the Blue Bayou Band “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” (Live) and “Blue Bayou” (Live), Santana “Black Magic Woman” (excerpt) from “Abraxas” (1970, Columbia) and Mary Newland & the Blue Bayou Band “Desperado” (Live).
Montreal singer-songwriter Geneviève Racette joins us on Episode 454 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her thoughtful and introspective folk-pop release, and first bilingual effort “No Water, No Flowers”. It’s a great album, and an interview you’ll definitely want to stick around for. We also check our new music from James Hill & Anne Janelle, The Marrieds, The Small Glories, Mike Klein, Tim Moxam, Innes Wilson, Noah Derksen and Shari Ulrich. Check out the full playlist below.
Laura Keating is a Hamilton ON based singer-songwriter, whose songs come straight from the heart and loves to tell stories about her hometown, life and relationships and the underlying mysteries that tie everything together – and all delivered in a passionate, and honest, yet also matter of fact, way. Starting out on guitar at the age of seven and writing her first song at fifteen, music was very much at the heart of Laura Keating’s family life, providing an outlet when she badly wanted to share her feelings. These days, Laura lives to write and play, bringing her passion for performance to concert series, festivals, patios and house concerts across Southern Ontario. We caught up with Laura Keating in Hamilton to chat about her music and debut album “Let Me Tell You”. For more information visit laurakeatingmusic.com. Music: Laura Keating “Blue Water”, “Soldier On” and “Mercy Me” from “Let Me Tell You” (2017, Self) CDN.
A much sought after collaborator and guest vocalist, Toronto’s Lydia Persaud released her first full-length solo album “Let Me Show You” earlier this year. Recorded at The Hive in Toronto with producer Robbie Grunwald (Donovan Woods, Jill Barber) with support from Dean Droulliard (Guitar), James Robertson (Guitar), Mike Ardagh (Drums), Josh Van Tassel (Drums), Joanna Mohammed (Bg vox), Claire Doyle (Bg vox), Anh Phung (Flute) and Drew Jureka (Strings), the new album features a group of songs that move from love and heartbreak, to social activism and Lydia’s own encounters with race and gender issues. A member of both the wonderful Toronto female vocal trio The O’Pears and renowned cover band, Dwayne Gretzky, you’ll be able to catch Lydia Persaud fronting her own band this summer at both the Hillside Festival (July 12-14) at Guelph Lake ON and the Home County Music & Arts Festival (July 19-21) in London ON. We caught up with Lydia Persaud at home in Toronto to chat about the new album. For more information about the music of Lydia Persaud visit lydiapersaud.com. Music: Lydia Persaud “Honey Child”, “Let Me Show You” and “More Of Me” from “Let Me Show You” (2019, Next Door Records) CDN.
Halifax based singer-songwriter Leanne Hoffman has just released a great new album “What Remains”. Her debut as a solo performer, the new album was produced by Erin Costelo who also co-wrote a couple of the songs for the new recording. Leanne Hoffman is originally from Exeter ON, but moved to Halifax to study marine biology. That plan changed when Leanne realized that the pull to make music her career was just too much, leading to a switch to a music arts program with a focus on voice at Nova Scotia Community College. It was there she met up with Erin Costelo, who turned out to be her voice instructor. Prior to setting out on a solo career, Leanne was part of the duo Magnolia, with Scott MacLean on guitar, who released a self-titled E.P. in 2013, that was also produced by Erin Costelo. What Remains is a fabulous album, crammed full of poppy songs that cover a whole range of different subjects from romance to family to gender equality and baring your soul. Saying I LIKE this album really doesn’t cover how good it is. I LOVE it! Everybody needs to hear it. We caught up with Leanne Hoffman at home in Halifax to chat about the new album. For more information visit leannehoffman.com. Music: Leanne Hoffman “What Remains”, “Blind & Broken”, “If My Parents Die” and “Redirect Your Sails” from “What Remains” (2019, Venue Records).
Montreal’s Geneviève Racette has just released a wonderful sophomore album “No Water, No Flowers”. A thoughtful and introspective folk-pop release, it’s her first bilingual effort, and effortlessly moves back and forward between songs in English and French. “This new album means so much to me. It truly represents who I am, coming from such a long line of bilingual families,” says Geneviève. “My vision with this record is to bring positivity to bilingualism. My whole life I was careful not to offend anyone with my bilingualism, in concerts and in day to day life. I am done hiding that part of myself. I will embrace it instead.” There’s almost a concept feel to No Water, No Flowers as Geneviève takes us through songs about life, death, grief, love and travel almost as if its exploring the ‘circle of life’. It’s a truly beautiful recording, and definitely worth checking out. Work on the new album was started at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity in October 2018 with François-Pierre Lue and Luc Herrmann, with the final production occurring at Hotel 2 Tango Montreal with musicians Luc Herrmann (guitar and mandolin), Philippe Fleury (drums), Jeanne Corpataux-Blache (upright bass), Francis Veillette (pedal steel and banjo), Ariane Vaillancourt (piano), producer François-Pierre Lue and engineer Shae Brossard. Geneviève Racette joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about the new album. For more information and upcoming tour dates, visit genevieveracette.com. Music: Geneviève Racette “Les Lignes De Ma Main”, “Margo’s Song” and “Magnetic Love” from “No Water, No Flowers” (2019, Self) CDN.
Singer-songwriter and humourist Steve Poltz is back on Folk Roots Radio. Steve joins us on Episode 453 to chat about his latest album “Shine On”, which was recorded in Nashville with Will Kimbrough. He’s also back out on the festival circuit again this summer, including some dates in Canada. A fabulous live performer, you’ll be entranced, even if you’re not completely familiar with his music. Steve Poltz is always great fun to talk to you – we’re fairly sure you’re really going to enjoy this one. Alongside the interview, we also check out more new releases, and this time round it’s new music from Bob Sumner, Meg Tennant, The Gloaming, Jean-Paul De Roover, Gabrielle Papillon, Irish Mythen and JW-Jones. Check out the full playlist below.
Whiskey Jack have been making music together for over 40 years. Band leader and banjo player, Duncan Fremlin, joins us on Episode 452 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about the band, and their experience on the road with Stompin’ Tom Connors, as his tour band. Since Stompin’ Tom’s death in 2013, Whiskey Jack have been keeping his songs and legacy alive with a tribute show “Stories & Songs of Stompin’ Tom”. Chatting with Duncan was great fun, and it’s a great interview – and definitely worth sticking around for. As usual, we also check out more of the latest new releases, and this time around it’s new music from Villages, The Maes, Jay Gavin And The Tired Sunday Choir, Mike Klein, Jean-Paul De Roover and David Kaufman. Check out the full playlist below.
Episode 451 of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Toronto’s Lydia Persaud who joins us to chat about her first full-length solo album “Let Me Show You”. A member of both the wonderful Toronto female vocal trio The O’Pears and renowned cover band, Dwayne Gretzky, you’ll be able to catch Lydia Persaud live this summer at both the Hillside Festival (July 12-14) at Guelph Lake ON and the Home County Music & Arts Festival (July 19-21) in London ON. It’s a great interview – well worth sticking around for. We also check out new music from Bob Sumner, Leaf Rapids, Kevin Breit, David Grier, Dwayne Gretzky, Midnight Shine and Del Barber. Check out the full playlist below.
New Brunswick’s Cathy Hutch joins us in the studio on Episode 450 of Folk Roots Radio for a wonderful in-depth conversation about her music and some live songs. A wonderful bluesy singer-songwriter, she’s also comfortable in folk, country and rock. So settle down and enjoy Cathy Hutch live in the studio on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
Halifax based singer-songwriter Leanne Hoffman has just released a fabulous new folk/pop album “What Remains”. Her debut as a solo performer, the new album was produced by Erin Costelo, who also co-wrote a couple of the songs on the new recording. Leanne joins us on Episode 449 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her music, alongside four tracks from the new album. We also check out new releases from Steve Murphy, Tim Moxam, Mattie Leon, Lucas Choi Zimbel, April Verch and Pretty Archie. Check out the full playlist below.
Khalid Yassein from Toronto’s folk-pop band Wild Rivers is our special guest on Episode 448 of Folk Roots Radio. After two album releases and a couple of singles, the Toronto-based band are really gaining traction, and have already developed a loyal fan base. They’ve just been touring Western Canada with Matt Andersen and his band, and this summer, they’ll be playing the wonderful Hillside Festival (July 12-14), at beautiful Guelph Lake, just outside Guelph ON. We check out their latest single “Moving Target”, plus two tracks from their 2018 E.P. “Eighty Eight”. We also take a look at more of the new releases we’ve received and this time around we include new music from Merival, Geneviève Racette, Our Native Daughters (Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell), Irish Mythen, RUNA, Michelle Rumball, Manx Marriner Mainline (feat. Harry Manx and Steve Marriner), Bryan McPherson and Onion Honey. Check out the full playlist below.
Halifax-born, San Diego raised and now Nashville based singer/songwriter and humourist Steve Poltz returns to Canada on tour again this May. A fantastic live performer – you’ll be entranced, even if you’re not completely familiar with his music. Steve Poltz will also be stopping by the Ottawa Bluesfest (July 4), Mariposa Folk Festival (July 5), Calgary Folk Festival (July 26) and Trout Forest Music Festival (August 9) this summer. Steve Poltz released his latest album “Shine On” earlier this year. The new album was recorded in Nashville with Will Kimbrough and features 10 new songs, including co-writes with Scot Sax, Molly Tuttle and Anthony Da Costa. As usual for a Steve Poltz recording, the album is replete with whimsy and quirky humour but also some beautiful songwriting, with songs about hope, love, contemplation, a celebration of Wednesdays, pharmacists and what windows would say to each other if they could actually talk. To learn more about the new album, we’re pleased to welcome Steve Poltz back to Folk Roots Radio. For more information on all Steve Poltz upcoming tour dates, visit poltz.com. Music: Steve Poltz “Pharmacist”, “4th July”, “Windows of Halifax”, “Shine On” from “Shine On” (2019, Red House Records / Compass Records).
Pete Eastmure joins us on Episode 447 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest album “Keep Your Love Steady”, a pedal steel drenched vintage Americana recording with a wonderful Texas swing that is sure to bring a smile to your face and get your toes tapping. Also check out our new music from Geneviève Racette, Abigail Lapell, Còig, RUNA, Richard Garvey, The Co-Conspirators, Ken Dunn and Kete Bowers. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re giving the whole of Episode 446 of Folk Roots Radio to an in-depth conversation with singer-songwriter, severe weather scientist and social activist Dave Sills, who has just released a wonderful debut album, “Fifty”. Dave Sills was a musical guest on my Guelph focused show Royal City Rag several times over the years. Dave joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about the weather, storm-chasing, climate change and making his first album at the age of fifty – alongside a selection of tracks from the new album. Check out the full playlist below.
Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage came together as a duo after a chance meeting at their local folk club, the Black Fen Folk Club, in Cambridge, England. Their music is deceptively simple, just two beautiful voices with accompaniment from mountain dulcimer, dobro and guitar – intimate duets around a single microphone, that draw you in and open you up. Since arriving as a duo on the folk scene in 2016, they have released two critically acclaimed studio albums, “Before the Sun” (2016) and “Awake” (2018), both recorded in Toronto with highly regarded producer David Travers-Smith. They’ve just released a new single “Hidden Things”, the first of three written on the road and inspired by their relationship to the spirit of place. In fact “Hidden Things” was inspired by time spent in northern Sweden. According to Hannah… “I was sitting on the coast of Stockholm’s Archipelago reading my friend Francesco Dimitri’s novel ‘Book of Hidden Things’ which is set in Southern Italy. I was moved by the idea that landscapes hold dreams – love, mystery, loss… Dimitri’s book is about how stories become part of our connection to landscape. Like stories, songs can be a way of bringing the land’s dreams to life.” Hidden Things is accompanied by a lovely and moving video that reflects on the differences between the urban and rural landscapes and the stories that they may lie concealed. You can check out that video HERE. For more information about the music of Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage, visit hannahbenmusic.com. Music: Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage “Way Over Yonder In A Minor Key”, “A Thousand New Moons” and “7” from “Awake” (2018, Sungrazing Records / Proper) and “Hidden Things” (single) (2019, Sungrazing Records / Proper).
Whiskey Jack have been making music together for over 40 years. In the 1980’s, they were featured weekly on The Ol’ Back Porch of the CBC’s Tommy Hunter Show. In 1993, Whiskey Jack joined Stompin’ Tom in the studio to make the album “Dr. Stompin’ Tom… Eh?” – the title referring to the fact that Tom had been awarded an honorary doctorate by St. Thomas University in Fredericton. They then became his tour band and continued to perform with Tom until his death in 2013. Since then, they have developed and toured “Stories & Songs of Stompin’ Tom” – a show dedicated to Stompin’ Tom’s songs and legacy. Touring across Canada, they often include special guests such as Russell de Carle (Prairie Oyster), Cindy Church (Quartette), Canadian country singer Marie Bottrell and The Good Brothers. Whiskey Jack have just released their second tribute album “Rhymes and Good Times with Stompin’ Tom” which was recorded at Canterbury Sound in Toronto with four time Juno Award winning producer, Danny Greenspoon (Sylvia Tyson). The performers on the album include members of Whiskey Jack: Duncan Fremlin (banjo, banjola, vocals), Douglas John Cameron (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Randy Morrison (fiddle), Eric Jackson (bass) and Al Cross (drums), with guests John Sheard (piano), Sean O’Connor (clarinet), Howard Willett (harmonica), Burke Carroll (steel guitar), Denis Keldie (accordion), Danny Greenspoon (guitar), Cindy Church (vocals) and Tom Mifflin (vocals). Whiskey Jack leader and banjo player Duncan Fremlin has also just released a great new book “My Good Times with Stompin’ Tom”. Duncan Fremlin joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about the new album, book and live show. For more information about Whiskey Jack and upcoming tour dates, visit whiskeyjackmusic.com. Music: Whiskey Jack “Better Things To Do Than Miss You”, “My Last Farewell”, “Around The Bay And Back Again” and “Stories and Songs” from “Rhymes & Good Times with Stompin’ Tom” (2019, Self).