Playlist – Episode 175

Episode 175 of Folk Roots Radio (the weekend of November 15 2014) featured interviews with folky funksters Shore Thing, London Ontario singer-songwriter Carly Thomas and Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace-Smith who together form The Hello Strangers. As usual, there was lots of new music as well as the obligatory mystery theme and guilty pleasure.

Niagara based Shore Thing have just released their E.P. “Outside Voices”.  Shore Thing feature Jordan Nicolaides on guitar, Wilson Hadfield on guitar, Ben Goerzen on cello and Jarod Cardas on percussion. Their music transcends folk, soul, funk and indie… they describe it as ‘funky’as’folk’! Check out our interview with Jordan Nicolaides here.

London Ontario based singer-songwriter Carly Thomas has just released her new EP “Explode”. Carly makes and her band will be making their Guelph debut at Van Gogh’s Ear on Saturday, November 22. Check out our interview with Carly here. Also, check out “I Remember You”, a very touching song with a beautiful video for the Canadian Mental Health Association‘s youth suicide “How We Survive” awareness campaign.

The Hello Strangers are sisters Larissa Chace-Smith and Brechyn Chace. They come from rural Pennsylvania and write wonderful roots songs with an earthy Appalachian feel and fabulous harmonies that can chill you to the bone. They released an absolutely stunning self-titled debut album earlier this year. It will definitely feature on our best of the year list. Check out our interview with Brechyn & Larissa here.

This week’s mystery theme was all about “telephones”. There are lots of telephone songs out there; I especially love the ones that include line noise and dial tones. Which is quite funny, because whenever I do a phone interview I spend all my time trying to take out the extra noises that come from using telephones and telephone lines.

We started off with Nick Lowe from 1979 with “Switchboard Susan”. You can find that on the “Labour Of Lust” album which was re-released by Yep Roc in 2011. We followed that with Pee Wee Crayton from 1956 with “The Telephone Is Ringing” and, then, Rusty Ford and “If The Phone Don’t Ring (You’ll Know It’s Me)” featuring Emily Fennell on lead vocals from his 2012 album “My Truck, My Dog, And You”. Much of that album is decidedly tongue-in-check but worth a listen, especially because of the stellar line-up of Canadian folk and roots musicians involved in the project.

We followed that with Mary Gauthier with “March 11 1962” from the autobiographical album “The Foundling” which came out in 2010 on Razor & Tie. It’s hard to imagine what it must be like to get it together enough to call the mother that gave you away as a baby, and then find that they don’t give you the response you’d hoped for. We followed that with a song for the NSA (hello there!), Old Man Luedecke & Lake Of Stew with “Phone Is Tapped (& I Don’t Care)” from “Sing All About It”, his Noise Trade E.P. from 2011.

And finally, and I really wanted to slip this one in, even if we were getting dangerously close to commercial territory… the Electric Light Orchestra from 1976 with “Telephone Line” from their album “A New World Record”. I still remember excitedly listening to that in my bedroom the day it was released – and I’ve just aged myself again.

I had considered playing Meri Wilson‘s novelty song “Telephone Man” but decided that it was too heavy on the innuendo, and Blondie‘s “Hanging On The Telephone” which was perhaps too obvious, and, after playing Nick Lowe (from his pop period) and ELO would have taken the set too far in a pop direction. The decisions we have to make when putting a show together…

I was very pleased to play the very beautiful title track from the Banjo Mechanics new CD, “JLP”. The Banjo Mechanics are Ian Pattison & Lewis Melville. JLP was written by Ian Pattison for his Mom, who he describes as ‘a very special person who always asks him to play his banjo when she visits’. Way to go Ian… its important to stay in with those important people in your life. And what better way to do that, than to name your new album after them!

This week’s guilty pleasure was Dr. Hook or, more correctly, Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show (as they were known then) from 1972 and “Sylvia’s Mother”.  Sylvia’s Mother was written by Shel Silverstein and reached #5 on the Billboard singles chart, and #2 in the United Kingdom and Canada. “Sylvia’s Mother” is autobiographical, with songwriter Silverstein attempting to revive a relationship with a woman named Sylvia who sadly went off with another man. C’est la vie… and also a great story for a huge and enduring song by Dr. Hook. And that went out to Sylvia who was teased constantly about the song while growing up because her boyfriends sometimes had to talk to her mother on the phone… if Sylvia wasn’t home and they needed to find out where, on earth, she was.

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.

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

Folk Roots Radio – Episode 175 by Folk Roots Radio on Mixcloud

Mystery Theme: “Telephones”

Nick Lowe
Switchboard Susan (1979)
Labour Of Lust (2011, Yep Roc)

Pee Wee Crayton
Telephone Is Ringing (1956)
Blues After Hours: The Essential Pee Wee Crayton (2002, Indigo Import)

Rusty Ford
If The Phone Don’t Ring (You’ll Know It’s Me)
My Truck, My Dog, And You (2012, Self) CDN

Mary Gauthier
March 11 1962
The Foundling (2010, Razor & Tie)

Old Man Luedecke & Lake Of Stew
Phone Is Tapped (& I Don’t Care)
Sing All About It (2011, Noise Trade) CDN

Electric Light Orchestra
Telephone Line
A New World Record (1976, Epic Records)

Banjo Mechanics
JLP (2014, Self) CDN

Shore Thing
Woods & Water
Outside Voices EP (2014, Self) CDN

Interview: Jordan Nicolaides from Niagara-based folksters Shore Thing discussing new EP, “Outside Voices”.

Shore Thing
Some People
Outside Voices EP (2014, Self) CDN

This week’s Guilty Pleasure:
Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
Sylvia’s Mother (1972)
Completely Hooked: The Best Of Dr. Hook (1992, EMI)

Shawn William Clarke
Some Nerve (feat. Sarah Beatty)
Shawn William Clarke (2014, Self) CDN

Joe Crookston
Out On The Run (for Josie Rae)
Georgia I’m Here (2014, Milagrito Records)

Carly Thomas
Lightning Bolts
Explode EP (2014, Self) CDN

Interview: London Ontario singer-songwriter Carly Thomas discussing new EP, “Explode”.

Carly Thomas
Explode EP (2014, Self) CDN

The Hello Strangers
The World Knows Far Better
The Hello Strangers (2014, IMI)

Interview: Brechyn Chace & Larissa Chace-Smith (The Hello Strangers) discussing debut album “The Hello Strangers”.

The Hello StrangersWhat It Takes To Break A Heart
The Hello Strangers (2014, IMI)

The Hello Strangers
The Hello Strangers (2014, IMI)

The Old Crow Medicine Show
Sweet Home
Remedy (2014, ATO)

E.B. Anderson & The Resolutes
Broken Down Horse
End Of The Road (2013, Let’s Riot) 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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