Playlist: Episode 172

Folk Roots Radio on October 25 2014 (Episode 172) was built around a feature-length interview with Tara MacKenzie, Trevor MacKenzie and Mike Weir from the MacKenzie Blues Band at the Folk Music Ontario (FMO) conference. The interview also included five songs from their great new album, “Slam Bam!”. The first of many interviews we recorded at this year’s conference, I think it is also one of our best. Check it out here as part of this weekend’s show or elsewhere on this site.

This week’s mystery theme was “letters”. It’s a theme I’d been thinking about using for a while and there was no shortage of songs to consider. I tried to stay away from songs about love, especially ‘lost love’ because that’s really a topic in its own right, but even then there were at least a couple of tracks we played that still speak to that emotional time that I know we’ve all experienced.

We started off with Amanda Rheaume with “Write You A Letter” from her 2013 album “Keep A Fire” and followed that with songs by Iris DeMent, Nashville’s Della Mae and then a couple of classics, “Your Letter” from Joan Armatrading‘s 1978 album “To The Limit” followed by some classic Stompin’ Tom with “Don’t Write Me No Letters” from his 2002 album “An Ode For The Road”. We wrapped it all up with Wilco, and the rather appropriate “Box Full Of Letters” from their great debut album A.M. (1995, Sire).

This week’s Guilty Pleasure was Labelle from 1978 with the wonderful “Lady Marmalade”. The song reached Number 1 for just one week on both the US billboard and Canadian RPM charts and only Number 17 in the UK. However, it is also ranked at 479 in Rolling Stone’s top 500 songs of all time. Patti LaBelle sang lead vocals on “Lady Marmalade” with backing vocals from Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash. And, an interesting bit of trivia… the song’s chorus, “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?” was previously uttered seductively by Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

That song went out to Doug who brought up the title in a Facebook conversation about cats named “Marmalade”. It’s true. We have a cat named Marmalade, and I was on Facebook having a conversation about how our cats had faired while we were away at the FMO conference. Friend Doug piped up, as people often do when discussing cats on the internet, to say that his cat’s name was “Lady Marmalade”. That’s when we got into a conversation about why his cat was called Lady Marmalade… and was it named after that song? Unfortunately, it wasn’t – his kids named the cat Lady Marmalade without any song help whatsoever. However, it was the perfect opportunity to reminisce about what a wonderful song it was… and wouldn’t it be great to play it on the radio again. So there you are, it’s this week’s Guilty Pleasure.

If you have a guilty pleasure you’d like to share – that song you still love though you think other people would find it unfashionable (believe me, they won’t), get in touch. We’d love to play it for you! And, if you have a good story about why you love that song, so much the better.

After Lady Marmalade we listened to music from three artists we caught at the FMO starting off with Catherine MacLellan with the title rack of her new album “The Raven’s Son” and followed by Joanna Chapman-Smith with “Get In Line” from 2013’s “Love Me Deeply” and Jill Zmud with “Victoria Tucker” from her great new album “Small Matters Of Life & Death”. We’ll have interviews with Joanna Chapman-Smith and Jill Zmud in the coming weeks.

Later in the show we played a set of music from artists who will be heading into our part of Southern Ontario on tour in the coming weeks. We started off with John Mann with “Thank You” from his 2014 album “The Waiting Room”. John’s at the Elora Centre for the Arts on Saturday November 8. The Waiting Room features a set of heartfelt songs written about his experience battling rectal cancer, a disease he successfully overcame. Tragically, however, John announced in Spetember that he has now been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. John’s response to this turn of events has been very positive and inspiring with no indication that he will allow this new diagnosis to shape his life more than it needs to.

After that we played “Lonely Resonator” by Fish & Bird wwho will be at Silence in Guelph for a Folk Roots Radio promoted show on Wednesday November 12. I had the privilege of introducing Fish & Bird at the Kingsville Folk Music Festival this summer, and they put on a fabulous show. We hope that you’ll consider coming out to join us.

We finished the set with href=”” target=”_blank”>Shane Cook & Jake Charron, and “40 Years Ago Waltz” from their new album “Head To Head”. They’re appearing with the Guelph Celtic Orchestra at the Guelph Little Theatre on November 8.

Well, that’s just about all the time we have for today. You can find the full playlist for the show below. Thanks to all the artists who share their music with us, and thank you for listening. We’ll see you next week!

You can listen to the show again on Mixcloud.

Folk Roots Radio – Episode 172 by Folk Roots Radio on Mixcloud

Mystery theme: “Letters”

Ronnie Lane
Ooh La La
Ooh La La: An Island Harvest (2014, Island)

Amanda Rheaume
Write You A Letter
Keep A Fire (2013, Self) CDN

Iris DeMent
Letter To Mom
The Way I Should (1996, Warner Bros)

Della Mae
Letter From Down The Road / Other Things
This World Can Oft Be (2013, Rounder Records)

Joan Armatrading
Your Letter
To The Limit (1978, A&M)

Stompin’ Tom Connors
Don’t Write Me No Letters
An Ode For The Road (2002, EMI Canada) CDN

Box Full Of Letters
A.M. (1995, Sire)

Ian Molesworth
Strangetown (2001, Woodhall Music) CDN

John Mann
Thank You
The Waiting Room (2014, Self) CDN

Fish & Bird
Lonely Resonator
Something In The Ether (2014, Self) CDN

Shane Cook & Jake Charron
40 Years Ago Waltz
Head To Head (2014, Self) CDN

Lady Marmalade
Nightbirds (1974, Epic)

Catherine MacLellan
The Raven’s Son
The Raven’s Son (2014, Self) CDN

Joanna Chapman-Smith
Get In Line
Love Me Deeply (2013, WoundUp Records) CDN

Jill Zmud
Victoria Tucker
Small Matters Of Life & Death (2014, Self) CDN

Interview: The MacKenzie Blues Band. We sat down with Tara MacKenzie, Trevor MacKenzie and Mike Weir from the band at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference for a feature-length conversation that also includes five songs from their fabulous new album, “Slam Bam!”.

The MacKenzie Blues Band.
Down With Love (Slam Bam!)
Slam Bam! (2014, Self) CDN

The MacKenzie Blues Band.
Move On
Slam Bam! (2014, Self) CDN

The MacKenzie Blues Band.
Bone Cage
Slam Bam! (2014, Self) CDN

The MacKenzie Blues Band.
Spiritual Power
Slam Bam! (2014, Self) CDN

The MacKenzie Blues Band.
Higher Road
Slam Bam! (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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