Playlist: Episode 182

This week’s Folk Roots Radio featured an interview with Ottawa area singer-songwriter Jim Bryson who chats about his music, his struggle with depression and upcoming album “The Depression Dance”, alongside a new mystery theme, guilty pleasure, and lots of new music.

Our mystery theme was all about staying ‘cosy and warm’ by the fire during the coldest part of the winter. Which lets be honest is fairly important if you’re going to survive the long cold Canadian winter. I’m not sure how your winter’s going but mine has been a little bit up and down. I was doing pretty well until mid-January – keeping busy with my outside chores… snow-clearing and more snow-clearing (fortunately I actually enjoy it), my morning walks with my dog friend Abby, and then another thirty minutes on my new treadmill.

In early January we headed off to the sun for an amazing week on the Cayamo roots music cruise (more on that later). Coming home, however, I managed to get sick which laid me low for a couple of weeks, and has left me feeling a bit below par, and low in energy. I’m hoping to bounce back and, as I’m finally getting this playlist written up, I must be on the mend. Anyway, enough of my trials and tribulations, there’s a lot of good music to keep us all entertained during the dark days of winter so let’s get back to that.

This week’s guilty pleasure was Terry Jacks with “Seasons in the Sun”. Now this song really divides opinion. Some people love it, and some… not so much. That’s mainly down to the English lyrics, which let’s be honest, don’t have a lot of depth. Seasons in the Sun is actually the English version of the song “Le Moribond” by Jacques Brel – the English lyrics written by recently departed poet and singer-songwriter Rod McKuen.

The song was written from the point of view of a dying man saying goodbye to friends and family. In the original French version by Brel, the protagonist cuttingly says goodbye to an unfaithful wife and her lover. However in Terry Jacks’s sentimental version with the Rod McKeon English lyric, he says goodbye to his daughter “Michelle”, who he knows he won’t see grow up. So there you are, not a dry eye in the house… and I suspect is one of the reasons why it was such a huge hit.

A worldwide hit for Terry Jacks, Seasons in the Sun sold more than 10 million physical copies which is astounding when you think of how things have changed in the music business.

Another interesting bit of trivia – Seasons in the Sun was originally slated to be recorded by The Beach Boys with Terry Jacks producing. They passed on this opportunity thereby allowing Jacks to put out his own version. And the rest as they say, is history.

The song was suggested by Beatrice who remembers it as her favourite song when she was growing up in the 1970s. I kind of like it too, but then that’s probably because I am a sucker for a sentimental lyric.

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.

I was very pleased to include an interview with Ottawa area singer-songwriter Jim Bryson on this week’s show. Jim joined us for an interview and impromptu session at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October and talked openly about his music, his work as a sideman with Kathleen Edwards and Oh Susanna, and his new album, as well as his own struggle with depression. We think it’s one of our best interviews ever and it’s definitely worth checking out. You can find the full-length interview here.

Later in the show we played a set of music from artists who were on the 2015 Cayamo roots music cruise. We finally made it on to the boat and have just come back from one of the most amazing musical experiences of our lives. Cayamo is a week long floating music festival that heads out into the Caribbean from Miami each year. What better way to spend a week during the height of the winter?

This year Cayamo featured performances by Lyle Lovett, Richard Thompson, Lucinda Williams, Rodney Crowell, Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, Brandi Carlile, Shawn Colvin and many more. We’ve played some of those artists before on this show, so this week we played some of the lesser-known names that made our trip oh so special. Step forward… The Lone Bellow, John Fullbright, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors and Folk Roots Radio favourites Birds Of Chicago.

An absolutely amazing experience. We can’t wait for next year. If you want to check out the cruise, and join the waiting list (it’s the only way to get on the boat) head to

Well, that’s just about all the time we have for today. Check out the full playlist with artist links 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 182 by Folk Roots Radio on Mixcloud

Mystery Theme: “Cosy by the Fire”

Nicolas & The Iceni (Theme)
Lucy She Rises (Demo)
Roll Right (expected 2015)

A Fire Is Burning
Holy Bandits (1993, Rykodisc)

Rita Chiarelli
Light The Fire
Sweet Paradise (2009, Mad Iris Records) CDN

Warm Feeling
Back And Forth (1978, Essential / Castle)

Sarah Jarosz
Fuel The Fire
Build Me Up From Bones (2013, Universal)

Katherine Nelson
Most Requested: Katherine Nelson (2009, Shadow Mountain Records)

Tom Russell
I’m On Fire
All Around These Northern Towns (2000, Norske Gram AS)

Shawna Caspi
Apartments For Lovers (2014, Self) CDN

Jon Brooks
People Don’t Think Of Others
The Smiling & Beautiful Countryside (2014, Borealis) CDN

Amy & Rachel Beck
At First Glance
Run (2014, Self) CDN

Jubilee Riots
Penny Black (2013, Northwood Records) CDN

This week’s Guilty Pleasure:
Terry Jacks
Seasons In The Sun (1974)
Seasons In The Sun (2008, 7T’S Records) CDN

Across The River
A History Of Ghosts (2014, Self)

Isabel & The Uncommons
New Love
Hearts & Arrows (2014, Self) CDN

Allison Lupton
Love Song
Half My Heart (2014, Self) CDN

Jim Bryson
The Depression Dance
The Depression Dance (2015, Demo) CDN

Interview: Jim Bryson, recorded at the Folk Ontario Conference, October 2014. Check out the full interview here.

Jim Bryson
Change In Scenery (Live)

Jim Bryson
Ontario (Live)

The Lone Bellow
Green Eyes & A Heart Of Gold
The Lone Bellow
(2013, Descendant Records)

John Fullbright
All That You Know
Songs (2014, Blue Dirt Records)

Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
American Beauty
Medicine (2015, Magnolia Music)

Birds Of Chicago
Till It’s Gone
Live From Space (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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