Playlist: Episode 185

This week’s Folk Roots Radio features an excerpt of an interview with singer-songwriter and poet Miss Emily Brown recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October. Emily lives on the beautiful Quadra Island off the eastern coast of Vancouver Island in B.C. Emily chats with us about her home and her music and sings a couple of new songs live accompanying herself on tenor guitar. You can listen to the full interview here. Like last week, the show also contains a lot of new music and, as usual, a new mystery theme and guilty pleasure.

I decided to make this week’s mystery theme all about “miracles” – those completely unexplainable events and happenings. As usual there were lots of good songs to choose from, so it was not too much of a miracle that I managed to put that together, then!

This week’s guilty pleasure was “Romeo’s Tune” by Steve Forbert from 1979 – and this week, it went out to me (it’s my show, so I get to do that – occasionally). I was prompted to play it after watching a Youtube demo from Ron Sexsmith on Twitter last week. Ron’s getting set to release his new album “Carousel One”. The album is named after the luggage carousel for passengers arriving from Toronto at LAX (the airport in Los Angeles). Apparently it will contain 14 new songs including two bonus tracks on the CD and digital versions. The vinyl version doesn’t get the extra tracks, I suppose because they ran out of space. One of the benefits of CDs then. I’m sure we’ll play a track or two when we get it.

Anyway, back to “Romeo’s Tune”… When Steve Forbert arrived on the music scene in 1978 with a guitar and a great bunch of songs, he was touted as the next Dylan when his stellar debut “Alive on Arrival” was released. His second album Jackrabbit Slim released in 1979 further reinforced his reputation as a singer-songwriter though thankfully, by then, the new Dylan comparisons had started to fade – the production, with the addition of horns and a bit more of an R&B feel to the tunes added more of a commercial sheen to his sound.

Jackrabbit Slim featured the hit Romeo’s Tune, a song that went on to reach No. 11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1980. Romeo’s Tune was written by Steve Forbert about a girl from his home town of Meridian, Mississippi although the song was also dedicated to the memory of Supremes singer Florence Ballard who died of heart failure in 1976 after struggling with alcoholism, depression, and poverty and who, Forbert felt, was treated very badly by the music business. I should also mention that the signature piano part on Romeo’s Tune was played by former Elvis Presley pianist Bobby Ogdin.

Though Steve Forbert never again hit the heights he reached with those first two albums, and after spending years in the wilderness after a falling out with his record company he continues to tour and record, and released a 2CD deluxe version of those wonderful first two albums in 2013.

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.

There was a lot of great music on this week’s show. I can’t really highlight all the great artists we played, but I want to highlight a couple of performers who’ve just released albums you should check out. Anne Lindsay is very much the session player extraordinaire, having played the fiddle for Led Zeppelin, Blue Rodeo, James Taylor and The Chieftains to name just a few. She’s just released her new solo album “Soloworks” featuring songs and tunes composed by Anne for violin, nyckelharpa (a Swedish keyed violin – you learn something new every day), piano and voice, and a cello tune played by Amy Laing. It’s worth checking out.

Also, Jory Nash is just about to release his eighth album “The Many Hats Of Jory Nash” (2015, Thin Man Records). The Many Hats Of Jory Nash pays homage to Jory’s extensive hat collection (apparently he owns more than 200 hats – I see a hat rental business in his future). It’s a beautifully textured album of folk and folk-pop, in the classic singer-songwriter mould featuring excellent songs with a wonderfully warm and playful sound, and clever lyrical hooks. The musicianship is also outstanding. We’ll definitely be playing more songs from that album on upcoming shows and we’ll hopefully have an interview with Jory on a future show.

Well, that’s just about all the time we have for today. Check out the full playlist with artist links below and share your love for all the great folk and roots music out there. 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 this show again on Mixcloud.

Folk Roots Radio – Episode 185 by Folk Roots Radio on Mixcloud

Mystery Theme: “Miracles”

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

Miracles (1979)
The News (1996, Essential / Castle)

Bruce Cockburn
Waiting For A Miracle (1987)
Anything Anytime Anywhere (Singles 1979 – 2002) (2002, True North) CDN

Leonard Cohen
Waiting For The Miracle
The Future (1992, Columbia) CDN

Josh Rouse
Under Cold Blue Stars (2002, Slow River/ Rykodisc)

Pete Davies
Long Way Home (2014, Home Routes Music)

Ron Sexsmith
Long Player Late Bloomer (2011, Ronboy Rhymes / Thirty Tigers) CDN

Lou DeAdder
Personal Best (2015, Self) CDN

Jayme Stone
Lazy John
Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project (2015, Borealis Records) CDN

Ken Whiteley And The Beulah Band
The Moment We’ve Been Waiting For
Ken Whiteley and the Beulah Band (2015, Borealis Records) CDN

Anne Lindsay
Seas Will Rise
Soloworks (2014, Self) CDN

Chris Rawlings
Song Of The Old Bush Pilot
Northern Spirits (2014, Self) CDN

Steve Forbert
Romeo’s Tune
Jackrabbit Slim (1979, Nemperor Records)

Neptune’s Car
The 45th Parallel
The 45th Parallel (2014, Self)

Douglas Eldon McLean
After All This Time (Pre-Release) (2015, Self) CDN

Interview: Singer-songwriter and poet Miss Emily Brown joined us to chat about her music and play a couple of songs recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October. Listen to the full interview here

Miss Emily Brown
Hunter (Live)

Miss Emily Brown
Paradise (Live)

Miss Emily Brown
Man On Wire
Wire Wood Wind E.P. (2012, Self) CDN

Eliot Bronson
You Wouldn’t Want Me If You Had Me
Eliot Bronson (2014, Saturn 5 Records)

Jory Nash
A Night With You
The Many Hats Of Jory Nash (2015, Thin Man Records) CDN

Kurt Shaye
Where We Belong
These Illusions (2014, Self) CDN

Qristina & Quinn Bachand
Crooked Jack
Little Hinges (2015, Beacon Ridge) CDN

Amy & Rachel Beck
From Where You Are (feat. Tim Chaisson)
Run (2014, Self) CDN

Rachael Sage
Helpless (feat. Judy Collins)
Blue Roses (2014, Mpress Records)

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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