Episode 186: Jonathan Byrd

This week’s Folk Roots Radio features an excerpt of an interview with North Carolina singer-songwriter Jonathan Byrd discussing his forthcoming album “Mother Tongue” (recorded recently in Denmark) and upcoming Ontario tour with The Pickup Cowboys. You can listen to the full interview here. Jonathan Byrd will be in Guelph on Friday March 20 for a show at the great listening venue Silence with another fabulous songwriter, Atlanta’s Eliot Bronson. Check out the event details here. As always, the show also contains a lot of new music and our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.

This week, our mystery theme was all about ‘Time’. We’re into March, spring is coming… and if it’s not quite in the air you can definitely feel it’s not far away, even in the frigid experience of the Canadian winter.

In Canada we’ve just adopted Daylight Savings TimeDaylight savings time is a great idea – providing more light in the evenings for outdoor activities but for a few days it can really put your body clock out of whack. I know it does that to me. And it can also create confusion for radio listeners from across the world who are used to listening to a show like Folk Roots Radio at a certain time each week, but now it seems to be starting an hour earlier – or worse, you’ve just missed the first hour. Here’s hoping that you work out when we’re on, and good luck sorting things out when Daylight Savings Time kicks in for you. Hopefully we’ll be back in our regular time slot for you, then!

This week’s guilty pleasure was “American Pie” by singer-songwriter Don McLean. American Pie was released on the “American Pie” album in 1971 and as a single (split into two parts on both sides of a 45’) it reached No. 1 in the US and No. 2 in the UK in 1972.

Don McLean has resolutely refused to explain what the lyrics in American Pie are all about – saying that they are just poetry – although others believe that they represent an allegorical history of Rock n’ Roll.

Quite clearly Buddy Holly is a big part of the song. Don McLean has said that he was delivering newspapers when he first heard of Holly‘s death on February 3, 1959. That’s where the line “February made me shiver/with every paper I’d deliver” comes from. He also dedicated the American Pie album to Buddy Holly.

Interestingly Don McLean has stated that he plans to reveal the meaning of the lyrics to American Pie when the original manuscript goes up for auction in New York City this April. We’ll have to wait and see if that actually happens.

Thanks to Roger who suggested we consider American Pie for the guilty pleasure segment.

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 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’ll be able to listen to this show again on Mixcloud in a few days.

Folk Roots Radio: Episode 186 by Folk Roots Radio on Mixcloud

Mystery Theme: “Time”

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

Stitch In Time
A History Of Ghosts (2014, Self)

Robert Earl Keen
Walls Of Time
Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions (2014, Dualtone Music Group)

Elizabeth Cook
All The Time
Welder (2010, 31 Tigers)

Andrea Smith
This Time
Sweet Embrace (2006, Red House Publishing) CDN

Steve Earle and The Dukes
The Usual Time
Terraplane (2015, New West)

Corin Raymond
There Will Always Be A Small Time
There Will Always Be A Small Time (2009, Self) CDN

Terry Easton
Claremont 2:05 p.m.
Claremont 2:05 p.m. (2014, Self)

Jez Lowe
Austerity Alphabet
The Ballad Beyond (2014, Tantobie Records)

Pete Davies
Don’t Come Back Here On Monday
Long Way Home (2014, Home Routes Music)

Moors & McCumber
All Great Tragedy
Pandemonium (2014, Self)

Jacquie Drew and The Crew
Superficial World
The Boss Is A Woman (2015, Self) CDN

Don McLean
American Pie (1971)
American Pie (1988, Capitol / EMI)

Phil Henry
Old Joe’s Chair
Aberdeen (2014, Self)

Jamie’s Song
Dayfoot (2014, Self) CDN

Connie Kaldor
Love Sask
Love Sask (2014, Coyote Entertainment / Outside Music) CDN

Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboys, Do You Dream (Live Demo) (2015, Self)

Interview: Singer-songwriter Jonathan Byrd discussing his forthcoming album “Mother Tongue” (recorded recently in Denmark) and upcoming Ontario tour with The Pickup Cowboys. You can listen to the full interview here.

Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboys, Pick-up Cowboy (Live Demo) (2015, Self)

Jonathan Byrd and The Sentimentals
Can’t Outrun The Radio (Live)
Jonathan Byrd and The Sentimentals Live At Verkadefabriek (2015, Self)

Cécile Doo-Kingué
Anybody Listening
Anybody Listening Pt. 1: Monologues (2015, Self) CDN

Qristina & Quinn Bachand
What You Do With What You’ve Got
Little Hinges (2015, Beacon Ridge) CDN

Anne Lindsay
Amazing Grace
Soloworks (2014, Self) CDN

The Early Mays
The Early Mays (2014, Self)

Jory Nash
Ain’t Going Home
The Many Hats Of Jory Nash (2015, Thin Man 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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