It’s been a while since Tecumseh ON Glen MacNeil has put out an album, which is why the arrival of his wonderful self-titled EP in 2020 was such a pleasant surprise. Glen is a fabulous songwriter. Indeed, his last album, 2015’s “Where The Heart Remains” was included in our favourite albums of that year. Work on the new EP started during the early days of 2020 when Glen hooked up with Belfast Northern Ireland based producer Peter McVeigh – and then continued into the coronavirus lockdown. Alongside Glen MacNeil on voice and guitar, the EP also features John McCullough on keys and Dale Rivard on pedal steel and dobro. Glen MacNeil joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about the new recording. Visit Glen MacNeil online at glenmacneil.bandcamp.com. Music: Glen MacNeil “Car Window”, “The Quiet” and “Just A Memory” from the “Glen MacNeil E.P.” (2020, Self).
Vancouver based singer-songwriter Leah Barley‘s first full-length recording “Bring Out Your Dead” is an album of light and dark that feels right at home within the folk genre. The eight original songs on the album, which were written for both guitar and banjo, range from rousing boot stompers like “I Wish” and “Drinkin’” to the chill-inducing “Rise” and “The Doctor” (which recounts a recent period of severe illness, from which she has thankfully recovered). An accomplished self-taught banjo player, as well as guitarist, Leah Barley is joined on the album by a full band featuring her longtime collaborators violist John Kastelic and multi-instrumentalist Ross Christopher Fairbairn. Because of the on-going coronavirus pandemic, Leah has not been able to tour the new album, or even play a real release show. She hopes that she will be able to remedy that in 2021. Leah Barley joined us on Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about the project. For more information about the music of Leah Barley, visit leahbarleymusic.com. Music: Leah Barley, “Mountains”, “Bring Out Your Dead”, “The Doctor” and “Hush” from “Bring Out Your Dead” (2020, self).
Ontario singer-songwriter and motivational speaker Angie Nussey joins us on Episode 568 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her latest recording “I Have No Idea What I’m Doing”, an album that grew out of an intense focus on her own spiritual well-being. It’s a really engaging project with loads of jumping off points into a wonderful conversation. As always, we also check out more of the new music we’ve received and this time around we hear from Rachel Walker, Jeffrey Straker, Sarah McQuaid, Kim Richey with Linda McRae & Doug Cox and Julie Title. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re pleased to bring you another performance from our sister video show – The Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions on Episode 567 of Folk Roots Radio. Cottam ON singer-songwriter Brad Ouellette joined us in the studio for a session late last year. We have four songs and a short interview to share with you. We also check out more of the latest new releases and this time around we hear from Lizzy Plotkin & Natalie Spears, Maria Dunn, Wes Weddell & Ailisa Newhall, Bet Smith, François Couture & Quatuor 4-30 sous, Richard Garvey, Born On A Wednesday, Norrie MacIver & The Glasgow Barons and Ontarians. Check out the full playlist below.
We included part of our excellent interview with Terra Spencer, discussing her fabulous new album “Chasing Rabbits”, in Episode 557 of Folk Roots Radio. We’re now very pleased to make the full interview available. Enjoy!
Nova Scotian singer-songwriter Terra Spencer had built a career as a funeral director before she ever thought about a parallel life in music. That all changed after she met singer-songwriter and country crooner Ryan Cook at the Kempt Shore Music Festival and was invited to audition as a backing singer for an upcoming tour. After touring and recording with Ryan, Terra released her very well received debut album “Other People’s Lives”, a collection of songs about complicated relationships in 2019. “Chasing Rabbits”, the follow-up, has a lovely storytelling feel to it, and reflects on life, relationships, travel, going away to college and above all… the joy of getting to come home again. The album was recorded during the early part of the coronavirus pandemic at The Sonic Temple in Halifax under the watchful eye of co-producer studio engineer/owner Lil Thomas. Joining Terra Spencer (guitar, piano) on the new recording are The Bombadils Sarah Frank (harmony vocals & fiddle), Luke Fraser (harmony vocals & mandolin), Adam Fine (double bass, electric bass), Lil Thomas (electric guitar), David Campbell (pedal steel), Jordi Comstock (drums), Scott Ferguson (djembe), Kimm Kent (deer spirit drum) and The Kasprzaks (home choir). Terra Spencer joined Jan Hall on Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about the new album. For more information about the music of Terra Spencer visit terraspencer.ca. Music: Terra Spencer “In The City”, “Lunenburg Moon”, “Chasing Rabbits” and “Melt” from “Chasing Rabbits” (2020, Self).
We have another great interview to share with you on Episode 566 of Folk Roots Radio. We’re big fans of multi-instrumentalists Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler, and their self-styled ‘teeny tiny travelling folk band’, The Rough & Tumble. Their fabulous live show features loads of instruments, great songs and more fun than anyone is supposed to have during a house concert. Mallory and Scott join us on this episode to chat about their powerful new album “We’re Only Family If You Say So” which reflects on what it takes to be family… and what it means to lose it. It’s a fabulous recording and an excellent interview, which is why we’ve decided to dedicate the whole of this hour to it. So, settle down and enjoy… The Rough & Tumble in Conversation… on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re holding back the interviews again on Episode 565 of Folk Roots Radio to bring you another hour of great new music with some fine Covid times singles thrown into the mix. Musicians and music industry employees have seen their livelihoods severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. For that reason, we have chosen to use the Canadian Live Music Association awareness campaign slogan For The Love Of LIVE (#fortheloveoflive) to subtitle this episode. Music helps us all get through tough times. It’s time for us to give back and do what we can to help publicize the issues facing artists and the live music industry, generally, during the current crisis. Join us on this episode for new music from Allison Russell, Mati Haskell (with JK Gulley), John Smith, The Treeline, Seamus Egan, Joy Zimmerman, Lizanne Knott, Larry Folk, Jaime Michaels, Francine Honey, Luke Concannon, The Brother Brothers, Jerry Leger, Justin Rutledge and Keith Goodwin. If you like the artists you hear on this show, 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 it’s impossible to play live shows. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re heading into the midst of a Canadian winter in the middle of a pandemic lockdown, so it seems a perfect time to bring you another hour of great new music to warm the heart, and hopefully make these challenging times a little easier to bear. Join us on Episode 564 of Folk Roots Radio for some wonderful new releases with a few topical songs and Covid tunes thrown into the mix. This time around we feature music from Darlingside, Aaron Nathans & Michael G Ronstadt, Big Little Lions, Buffalo Gals Band, Andrea Bettger, Jessie & The Leonards, Colleen Kattau, Mark Dvorak, Cosy Sheridan, War & Pierce, Dan Hill, Tret Fure, Bill Bourne, Peach & Quiet, Maria Dunn and Francine Honey. Enjoy! Check out the full playlist below.
We’re holding back the interviews on Episode 563 of Folk Roots Radio to bring you another hour of great new music – including some wonderful topical songs and Covid tunes, to help you get through these strange times. Join us for new releases from Luka Kuplowsky, Bill Bourne, A.J. Croce, Sue Smith with the Potion Kings, Leahy, Maria Dunn, Bonnie Light Horseman, Raine Hamilton, Alison Brown, The Twangtown Paramours , Karyn Oliver, Scott MacDonald, Madison Cunningham, Scott Wolfson & Other Heroes, Skerryvore and Carolina Story. Remember, if you like the artists you hear on this show, 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 it’s much more challenging to find live shows. Check out the full playlist below.
Edmonton Alberta’s globetrotting troubadour singer-songwriter Scott Cook joins us on Episode 562 of Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth discussion about his music and wonderful seventh album “Tangle Of Souls” – one of our favourite albums of 2020. A fabulous recording, it comes with a 240-page, cloth-bound, hardcover book of stories from the road written around the album’s songs while also reflecting on Scott’s own life-changing health crisis which he uses to draw parallels to some of the challenges we face as a society. So, settle down and enjoy… Scott Cook in Conversation – Tangle Of Souls… on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re all about the music again on Episode 561 of Folk Roots Radio as we hold back the interviews for another hour of a great new releases. Actually, we should say we’re mostly about the music on this episode, as we’re also including a short audio piece from Quebec folk musician Guillaume Jabbour, artist in residence for the ELAN ACE Sound Experience Programme at Sainte Agathe Academy in Sainte Agathe QC, focusing on how his students are coping with the coronavirus pandemic. It’s really well done, so we’re very pleased to be able to include it in this episode. We have some wonderful new music to bring you, including some excellent Covid tunes, and a very special song to wrap up the hour. Join us for music from VISSIA, Courtney Marie Andrews, The Rough & Tumble, Floyds Row, Rylan Brooks, Merry Hell, Beano & Steve Pledger, Colleen Brown, Mister K, The Strange Valentines, Lisa Redfern and Sing Me A River. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re getting close to the end of 2020, which means it’s time to announce our favourite albums of the year. After the challenging year we’ve all had, it’s tempting to just want to put 2020 behind us and move on to 2021 to what will, hopefully, be a much better year for everyone. And yet, despite everything, 2020 has actually been a great year for recorded music – especially for those us who tend to focus on music that artists release independently, or via small and boutique record labels. Many artists have actually been making excellent use of the lockdown time forced on them by the coronavirus pandemic to record some wonderful ‘Covid Tune’ singles, EPs and in some case, even full albums. We’ve had great fun sharing them with you this year. We’ve also been doing our best to keep up with regularly scheduled releases. It gives us great pleasure each year, once we have put holiday radio episodes to bed, to consider our favourite albums of the year. One of the best things about doing a radio show is getting loads of great music to listen to each week. One of the hardest things to do is to take all that fabulous music and narrow it down to your ten favourite recordings of the year. You can check out The Top 10 on Episode 560 of Folk Roots Radio. We’ll be playing more of our favourite albums on upcoming episodes of Folk Roots Radio. If you don’t see an album you really loved, that’s likely because it didn’t make it up on our radar because we didn’t receive a copy. Please consider sharing your favourite albums in the comments – we might even spin them on a future episode of the show. Listen to The Top 10 on this episode, and check out the full playlist and the rest of our long list below. Enjoy!
We included an excerpt from our excellent interview with Rick Fines, discussing his wonderful new album “Solar Powered Too”, in Episode 550 of Folk Roots Radio. We’re now very pleased to make the full conversation available. Enjoy!
When Canadian roots and blues artist Rick Fines started work on his new project “Solar Powered Too”, his intent was simple – to make a new recording at his solar powered cottage in the Kawartha Highlands as a follow-up to his very well received “Solar Powered” album from 2006. Initially intended to be just a guitar and voice solo recording, this album has grown into something rather special with some nicely judged guest appearances from some of his friends and a beautifully sympathetic production from Rick with Alec Fraser. Truly a joy for the ears, this is one of those albums you put on, and listen right through to the end. An album that needs to be heard and one that we think will bring comfort to many during these strange, strange Covid times. Solar Powered Too deservedly found a place in Our Favourite Albums of 2020. To learn more about the music of Rick Fines, visit rickfines.ca. Music: Rick Fines “Below The Surface”, “Laundry On The Line”, “Worry Be The Death Of Me” and “Never Let Go” from “Solar Powered Too” (2020, Self).
The holidays are here! Join us on Episode 559 as we celebrate the season with another special blend of Folk Roots Radio for the Holidays, with mostly new, independent songs that are definitely not your typical holiday fare. This year we’ve even thrown some Covid Christmas tunes into the mix! So, throw another log on the fire, settle down in your favourite chair and enjoy music from Good Lovelies, Fresh Breath, Abbie Gardner & Matt Nakoa, Colleen Brown, RUNA, Hal Cannon, Lisa Jeanette, Dion, Brett Perkins & Tamra Rosanes, Skinner & T’witch, Fortunate Ones, Skye Zentz, Screaming Orphans, Eoin Glackin, Céleste Lévis, Philip Scott Poli, Ed Sweeney and Connie Kaldor. Check out the full playlist below.
December is here, and winter is upon us – so it’s time to bring out the Christmas music. We know a lot of people are not fans of holiday tunes which is why on this show we like to focus on new songs about the season rather than just the same old songs and tunes given a quick makeover. And if we play something that’s not a new song, well that’s because the artist has taken it somewhere rather special indeed. So, join us for Episode 558 of Folk Roots Radio – the first of two episodes of Folk Roots Radio for the Holidays, which features solstice songs, winter songs, Hanukkah songs and Christmas songs from RUNA, Sara Thomsen & Paula Pedersen, Connie Kaldor, Ed Sweeney, The Honey Larks, Jackie Washington, MacMaster Leahy Family, Finest Kind, SONiA disappear fear, Aaron Nathans & Michael G Ronstadt, Kelly’s Lot, Tony Turner, Céleste Lévis, Ken Tizzard & Music For Goats, Josh Kimbrough and Jeffrey Straker. Check out the full playlist below.
Nova Scotian funeral director turned songwriter Terra Spencer joins us on Episode 557 of Folk Roots Radio for a very engaging conversation about her wonderful wintery themed second album “Chasing Rabbits”, that reflects on many aspects of life – relationships, travel, going away to college, and, above all, the joy of getting to come home again. It’s a great interview – and settling into an album that reflects on the important things in life is just what we need after the year we’ve all experienced. We continue the winter theme throughout the rest of the episode, and feature music from Ian Gill, Colleen Kattau, Reid Jamieson, Stephan Moccio, Kathleen Healy and Grant-Lee Phillips. Check out the full playlist below.
Vancouver based singer-songwriter Leah Barley joins us on Episode 556 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her first full length album “Bring Out Your Dead” which features eight original songs for both guitar and banjo – ranging from foot stomping love songs to others that are dark and broody, and, clearly, quite personal. It’s a great listen, and an excellent interview – we hope you’ll stay with us to check it out. As always, we wrap up the episode with more of the new music we’ve received and this time around we hear from Braden Gates, Julie Title, Tré Burt, Gwenifer Raymond, Ordinary Elephant, Chris Pierce and Cidny Bullens. Check out the full playlist below.
Folk trio Boreal, who feature singer-songwriters Katherine Wheatley, Tannis Slimmon, and Angie Nussey, join us on Episode 555 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their holiday show, Songs For The Snowy Season. In early December, each year, Boreal heads out on the road for a series of shows that celebrate winter and the upcoming Christmas season. Things are going to be a bit different this year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Instead of a whole series of shows, there will be just one performance – a FREE live-streamed performance direct from the River Run Centre in Guelph ON on December 11 at 8 p.m. It’s a fun interview, and it’s always great to be able to chat with Katherine, Tannis, and Angie about their Christmas show, especially as this year everyone, wherever they are, can enjoy one of the highlights of our holiday season. We continue the snow song theme through the rest of the episode and also feature music by Ellis Delaney, The Hello Darlins, Dayna Manning, RUNA, Ted Yoder, Tara MacLean & Adam Brazier, and Melissa Ferrick. Check out the full playlist below.
Sultans of String, released a fabulous new recording “Refuge” earlier this year – an album that highlights the extraordinary contributions that indigenous people, immigrants and refugees make to culture and life in North America. Refuge features collaborations with over 30 musicians including Béla Fleck, Robi Botos, Ifrah Mansour, Demetrios Petsalakis, Imad Al Taha, Amir Amiri, Duke Redbird and Twin Flames. Sultans of String were supposed to be out on tour across both North America and the UK this year but because of the on-going pandemic none of that has been able to happen. Chris McKhool violinist and leader of the band joins us on a very special Covid Times edition of our video sister show, the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions to chat about the new album, and how the band has been impacted by the on-going emergency while sharing some of the fabulous videos they have prepared to support what is truly a fantastic project. Unfortunately because of the ongoing pandemic, we haven’t been able to record any more video sessions, so we’ve switched to a socially distanced interview format similar to Folk Roots Radio. Since we started the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions, we’ve had 50 different artists/bands join us in the studio. Check them out online at sunparloursessions.com. Enjoy!.
Boreal are a fabulous folk trio featuring three great singer-songwriters: Guelph ON’s Katherine Wheatley and Tannis Slimmon and Orillia ON’s Angie Nussey . They get together in early December each year for a series of shows that celebrate ‘the snowy season’ with some wonderful original songs and holiday classics. This year however is going to be a bit different because we’re in the midst of the Covid pandemic – so instead of a whole series of shows, there will be just one performance. But guess what… this time around they’ll be live-streaming a FREE ‘virtual performance’ from the River Run Centre in Guelph on Friday December 11 at 8 p.m. Everyone, no matter where they are, can enjoy a show that has become a highlight of our holiday season. Alongside the upcoming live-streamed show, Boreal have also released a great new single, a Katherine Wheatley song, “Snow Falls Down”. Folk Roots Radio caught up with Katherine, Tannis, and Angie for a fun chat about the upcoming livestream and the new single. If you’d like to register for the livestream – remember it’s FREE, you can do so by signing up for the River Run Centre newsletter HERE. For more information about Boreal, visit borealsongs.ca. Music: Boreal “Snow Falls Down” (single), “Warm Hands” (single) and “Carol Of The Bells” & “Gotta Go” from “Winter’s Welcome” (2014, Self).
Helen Austin and Paul Otten are two fabulous songwriters who make music together as Big Little Lions. They were on tour as the coronavirus pandemic hit, and despite having to head home and into lockdown, they have continued to make great music – including the release of a pandemic inspired album “Are We there Yet?”. They join us on a special ‘Covid Times’ edition of our video sister show, the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions, for a fun in-depth conversation about how their lives and their music have been changed by the on-going emergency, while sharing some of the great videos they have been producing in lockdown. Unfortunately because of the ongoing pandemic, we haven’t been able to record any more video sessions, so we’ve switched to a socially distanced interview format similar to Folk Roots Radio. Since we started the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions, we’ve had 50 different artists/bands join us in the studio. Check them out online at sunparloursessions.com. Enjoy!.
We have another very special interview to bring you on Episode 554 of Folk Roots Radio. Hamilton ON based duo Piper Hayes & Carson Ritcey Thorpe who make music together as Piper & Carson, join us to chat about their wonderful new recording “Edgewalker’s Remedy” – a concept album specifically designed to provoke reflection about our lives and what we all take for granted. Piper & Carson definitely walk the talk, and firmly believe that folk music can change the world. They describe their work as deeply rooted in intention and both have a strong desire to use their platform to promote social change and self-awareness. So, settle down and enjoy Piper & Carson in Conversation – Edgewalker’s Remedy on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
Singer-songwriter and humorist Steve Poltz joins us on a special ‘Covid Times’ edition of our video sister show, the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions, to chat about how he has been spending his time off the road during these strange, strange times – including the release of a wonderful lockdown single, appropriately entitled “Quarantine Blues”. Unfortunately because of the ongoing pandemic, we haven’t been able to record any more video sessions, so we’ve switched to a socially distanced interview format similar to Folk Roots Radio. Since we started the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions, we’ve had 50 different artists/bands join us in the studio. Check them out online at sunparloursessions.com. Enjoy!
We’re holding back the interviews on Episode 553 of Folk Roots Radio to bring you another hour of great new music to help you get through these strange Covid times. This time around we hear from The Bengsons, Gillian Tuite, Moira & Claire, Beppe Gambetta, Big Little Lions, Michael Lane, River North, Reid Jamieson, The Avenoir Project, Flo Perlin & Pilgrims’ Dream, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, iskwē & Tom Wilson (Lee Harvey Osmond), Tomato Tomato, Langhorne Slim and Ricky Green & Danny Traves. Remember, if you like the artists you hear on this show, 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 it’s much more challenging to find live shows. Check out the full playlist below.
Fresh Breath‘s Josh & Katie Pascoe are probably two of the most positive people you’ll ever meet. In fact, they really walk the talk – proudly describing themselves as artists whose attitude is gratitude. They join us on a special ‘Covid Times’ edition of our video sister show, the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions, to chat about the great singles, with accompanying videos, they recorded during Covid-19 lockdown. Unfortunately because of the ongoing pandemic, we haven’t been able to record any more video sessions, so we’ve switched to a socially distanced interview format similar to Folk Roots Radio. Since we started the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions, we’ve had 50 different artists/bands join us in the studio. Check them out online at sunparloursessions.com. Enjoy!