Episode 197: Sarah Beatty

This week’s Folk Roots Radio featured an interview with Hamilton-based singer-songwriter Sarah Beatty. Sarah Beatty describes herself as being both a musician and a scientist. While completing a Ph D in environmental science, she found time to release an off the floor debut album, the stripped down girl and a guitar “Black Gramophone” in 2012. Black Gramophone blurs the lines between rootsy blues and the singer-songwriter genre, while Sarah’s playful and imaginative lyrics and soulful and passionate vocal delivery draws comparisons with Regina Spektor, Ani DiFranco and Billie Holiday. Sarah is now hard at work on the follow-up. As usual, we found time to include some new music we’ve received alongside our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.

The week’s mystery theme was all about ‘geese’. I was specifically thinking about Canada geese, those majestic birds you see flying in formation, in the fall, as they head away for the winter. But at this time of year, when they’re breeding and broody, and trying to find a good place to raise their young, they try the patience of urban folk who get frustrated with the fact that they fill up the parks, invade neighborhoods and poop wherever they feel like it. I guess everyone just needs to chill out – the geese are just trying to exist and maybe if we hadn’t invaded all their habitats. Well, I think you know where I’m going with that thought…

There was no guilty pleasure this week as we set aside the time to honour two musicians who left us this week. The first, B.B. King needs no introduction. His music will live on through all the artists who continue to perform his songs. More locally, Rosemary Phelan sadly passed away a few days ago after a long battle with cancer. I have to be honest that I hadn’t really paid enough attention to Rosemary’s music until I heard about her collaboration with Tannis Slimmon and Allison Lupton in The Lucky Sisters project, and their recent release “So Lucky”. Backtracking I started to play her fabulous 2011 album, “What Sings In the Blood” and realized what I had missed. A proportion of the proceeds from the “So Lucky” album, out now on Patio Records will go towards helping create healing gardens at cancer treatment centres in the US and Canada. A fitting way to remember Rosemary is to buy that album. For more information on the The Lucky Sisters project visit patiorecords.com.

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 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! You can listen to this show again on Mixcloud by following the link below.

Folk Roots Radio – Episode 197 by Folk Roots Radio on Mixcloud

Mystery Theme: “Geese”

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

Barenaked Ladies
Here Come the Geese
Snacktime! (2011, Desperation Records) CDN

Joshua James
The Sun Is Always Brighter (2008, Northplatte Records)

M. Ward
Wild Goose
A Wasteland Companion (2012,Bella Union)

Joanna Chapman-Smith
Goose Girl (Demo)
(Folk Tale Teaser EP) (2015, Self) CDN

Kate Rusby
The Wild Goose
Sleepless (1999, Compass)

Bill Fay
The Geese Are Flying Westward
Who Is the Sender? (2015, Dead Oceans)

The Chieftains
The Wild Geese
The Celtic Harp (1993, RCA Victor)

Sarah Jane Scouten
Black Strap Sadie
The Cape (2014, Self) CDN

Jack Tempchin
Room to Run
Room to Run (2015, Blue Elan Records)

Sue Massek
Girl Of Constant Sorrow
Precious Memories (2015, Strictly Country Records)

The John Byrne Band
The Parting Glass
Celtic Folk (2013, Rí Rá Records)

Lee Palmer
Like Elway
Like Elway (2015, Self) CDN

B.B. King
When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer (1954)
Definitive Blues Anthology (2009)

Gayle Ackroyd
Paying The Cost To Be The Boss
Women Be Wise (2007, Self) CDN

Rosemary Phelan
We Never Cry
What Sings In the Blood (2011, Self) CDN

Rosemary Phelan
What Sings In the Blood (2011, Self) CDN

Sarah Beatty
To Be
Black Gramophone (2012, Self) CDN

Interview: Hamilton-based singer-songwriter Sarah Beatty discussing her music. Listen to the interview HERE.

Sarah Beatty
Finer Things
Black Gramophone (2012, Self) CDN

Sarah Beatty
The Right Shoes
Black Gramophone (2012, Self) CDN

Perfect Thing
The Current (2014, Self) CDN

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

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

Boats (Demo)
(Single) (2015, Self)

The Lucky Sisters
Safe Home Sweet Light
So Lucky (2015, Patio Records) 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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