Episode 195: Sarah Jane Scouten

This week’s Folk Roots Radio featured interviews with both Gordie Tentrees and Sarah Jane Scouten. Yukon-based Gordie took time out from touring in Alberta for an in-depth conversation about his new album “Less Is More”. And, Sarah Jane Scouten is bringing her unique blend of roots music back to Guelph on Saturday May 23 for a show at Silence, Guelph’s premier listening venue with support from bluegrass band The Chesterfield Trio. You can purchase advance tickets here. As usual we also found time to include a lot of new music alongside our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.

This week’s mystery theme was all about ‘Life’ and making the most of it… whatever your challenges. My partner and I have this little thing we call “tick tock”… Life is moving on, and time is passing away in front of your eyes. Best not to waste it. Because you never know when the sands of time will finally run out.

This week’s guilty pleasure segment featured two artists who recently passed away, though neither of the songs we played to honour them are particularly guilty.

The first came from British soul band Hot Chocolate from 1974 with “Emma”. Errol Brown, lead singer of the band passed away a few days ago. Hot Chocolate were a fixture on the BBC Top of the Pops while I was growing up and produced a steady stream of hit singles in the 70s and early 80s. In fact, they had at least one hit every year between 1970 and 1984, which still stands as a UK music business record. “Emma”, also known as “Emma, Emmaline” was one of their best songs and a favourite of mine. Written by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson, it reached number 3 in the UK and number 8 in the US.

The best thing about Hot Chocolate was although they had lots of hits, and clearly had a sound, there was also a tremendous variety in the singles they produced. You never got bored listening to them or felt you’d heard a song before. Lots of happy memories there for me.

We followed Hot Chocolate with the Ben E. King classic “Stand By Me”, written by King with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and inspired by words from biblical scripture. It also featured prominently in Rob Reiner’s iconic coming of age drama of the same name. Ben E. King’s version of the song was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress just a few weeks before his passing.

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.

A couple of new albums are worthy of extra mention this week… Bill Fay has just released “Who Is The Sender?”, the follow up to the outstanding “Life is People” from 2012. It was a pleasure to play tracks from both albums this week. Bill Fay developed cult status based on a couple of late 60s, early 70s albums before disappearing without trace only to experience a late career resurgence. His music is highly recommended and definitely worth checking out.

And Cape Breton’s Jordan Musycsyn has just released his debut CD, “The Pitch” – a wonderful rootsy album stuffed with stories and lots of humour. This week we played the epic title track, all eight minutes of it – which tells the story of a young guy trying to convince his girlfriend that it may be time to leave Cape Breton. I’m not sure if it’s autobiographical or not, though it’s quite clearly tongue in cheek.

And finally, our good friends Plumhall (Michelle Plum & Nick Hall) from Bradford in the UK have just released their new single “Learning How To Talk” from 2014’s “Thundercloud”. And guess what? They’re already working on its follow-up. Something to look forward to. We’ll keep you posted as to when that is expected.

Well, that’s all we have time for this week. 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!

Mystery Theme: “Life”

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

The Avett Brothers
The Carpenter (2012, American)

Marianne Faithfull
When I Find My Life
Blazing Away (1989, Island)

The Marigolds
May Your Life Be Ever Blessed
That’s The State I’m In (2009, Self) CDN

Bruce Cockburn
Life Short Call Now
Life Short Call Now (2006, True North) CDN

Colin Hay
Waiting for My Real Life to Begin
Going Somewhere (2001, Lazy Eye)

Bill Fay
Be At Peace With Yourself
Life Is People (2012, Dead Oceans)

Bob MacLean
Rose Of Allendale
Six Strings North Of The Border Volume 2 (2005, Borealis Records) CDN

Interview: Sarah Jane Scouten discussing her return to Guelph for a Folk Roots Radio presents… show at Silence.

Sarah Jane Scouten
The Cape
The Cape (2014, Self) CDN

Kaia Kater
Southern Girl
Sorrow Bound (2014, Self) CDN

John McCutcheon
Joe Hill’s Last Will
Joe Hill’s Last Will (2015, Appalsongs)

Poor Angus
Never Come Back
Gathering (2014, Self) CDN

Hot Chocolate
Emma (1974)
Their Greatest Hits (1997, Parlophone Records)

Ben E. King
Stand By Me
Stand By Me: The Ultimate Collection (2005, Atlantic)

Lucinda Williams
Stand Right By Each Other
Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone (2014, Highway 20 / Thirty Tigers)

Bill Fay
How Little
Who Is the Sender? (2015, Dead Oceans)

Gordie Tentrees
Less Is More
Less Is More (2015, Buckaroo Records) CDN

Interview: Gordie Tentrees discussing his new album “Less Is More”.

Gordie Tentrees
Somebody’s Child
Less Is More (2015, Buckaroo Records) CDN

Gordie Tentrees
Love In Ink
Less Is More (2015, Buckaroo Records) CDN

Jordan Musycsyn
The Pitch
The Pitch (2014, Self) CDN

Learning How To Talk
Thundercloud (2014, Proper Records)

Dan Weber
What I’m Lookin’ For
What I’m Lookin’ For (2015, Highway 142 Music)

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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