Episode 196: Suzie Vinnick

This week’s Folk Roots Radio featured another great interview recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October. Blues and roots songstress Suzie Vinnick joined us to chat about her music and played a couple of songs live. She also gave us a great primer on kick-starting your folk-roots career. You can find the interview here. As usual we included lots of new music alongside our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.

This week’s mystery theme was all about the weather, that topic we love to complain about, and featured seven songs instead of the usual six. I don’t know if its just me, but the weather never seems to be quite right… well not for more than a day or so at a time. First it’s not hot enough, then it’s too hot, then it’s too wet and then it just isn’t much of anything. And you’d think that after surviving another Canadian winter, we’d all be happy with whatever we got!

This week’s guilty pleasure was “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens. Morning Has Broken started life as a Christian hymn by English author Eleanor Farjeon in 1931 before becoming a popular song by Cat Stevens in 1971. The piano accompaniment which made the song so distinctive and memorable was composed and performed by former Yes keyboard maestro Rick Wakeman who had been working on a similar theme for “Catherine Howard” from his first solo album “The Six Wives Of Henry VIII”. Cat liked the theme of the piece so much he encouraged Rick to write something similar for Morning Has Broken. Rick Wakeman earned just 10 pounds for his work on the song and remained uncredited until a few years ago, when Cat Stevens by now, performing as Yusuf Islam apologized for the oversight and made restitution. Not the only case of a session musician being taken for granted, unfortunately.

Thanks to Rick for suggesting we play Morning Has Broken today (not that Rick, though it would have been cool if he’d asked us to play it!). 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.

Among the new music we played was a track from the new album by The Young Novelists (formerly Graydon James & The Young Novelists). This week we played “Palindrome”, the first track from their great new album “Made Us Strangers”. A palindrome is a word that reads the same from front to back… words like “madam” at its simplest or this phrase – “A man, a plan, a canal: Panama.” at its more complex. They both read same from front to back. And palindromes are everywhere — even in the calendar… every date from May 10-19 this year is a palindrome if written in month-day-year format. So there you are, palindromes – this week’s interesting bit of trivia and it just goes to show how smart The Young Novelists were to write a song about them. And guess what… The Young Novelists are in Guelph on Friday June 26 for a show at Silence with fellow Toronto-based singer-songwriter Shawn William Clarke.  It’s a double CD release and it should be a great night. You can buy tickets here.

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: “Weather”

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

Tannis Slimmon
Lucky Blue (2007, Self) CDN

Teal & Joyce
Bad Weather
Has It All Been Said (2013, Early Iris Music) CDN

Frazey Ford
Weather Pattern
Indian Ocean (2014, Nettwerk) CDN

Sarah Jane Scouten
Bad Weather
Magpie Waltz (2011, Self) CDN

Good Old War
Better Weather
Come Back As Rain (2012, Sargent House)

Ian Foster
How The Weather Rolls In
The Great Wave (2014, Self) CDN

Dave Gunning
When The Cold Weather Comes
No More Pennies (2012, Wee House Of Music) CDN

Lynn Patrick
On The Wind
On The Wind (2007, Dakota Ridge Records)

The Young Novelists
Made Us Strangers (2015, Self) CDN

Joel Plaskett
On A Dime
Joel Plaskett and the Park Avenue Sobriety Test (2015, New Scotland Records) CDN

The Demon Barbers
Ranzo (The Wild Goose Shanty)
Disco at the Tavern (2015, Self)

Poor Angus
Slow Song
Gathering (2014, Self) CDN

Cat Stevens
Morning Has Broken (1971)
The Very Best Of Cat Stevens (2000, Universal UTV Records)

Beth Moore
Am I Awake
Five Out Of Ten (2015, Self) CDN

Love It Up
Love It Up (2014, Moxymusic)

Suzie Vinnick
Calling Out Your Name
Live At Bluesville (2012, Self) CDN

Interview: Suzie Vinnick recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference. Listen to the interview here.

Suzie Vinnick
Beautiful Little Fool (Live)

Suzie Vinnick
Drift Away (Live)

Suzie Vinnick
Oreo Cookie Blues
Me ‘n’ Mabel (2011, Self) CDN

The John Byrne Band
Boys Forget the Whale
After The Wake (2010, Ri-Ra Records)

Jordan Musycsyn
The Pitch (2014, Self) CDN

The Weather Station
Way It Is, Way It Could Be
Loyalty (2015, Outside Music) 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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