Episode 198: Jon Brooks

This week’s Folk Roots Radio featured an interview with singer-songwriter Jon Brooks who released his fifth record, an album of murder ballads, “The Smiling & Beautiful Countryside” late last year. Jon makes his first trip to Guelph for show at Silence on Friday June 5. And, as usual we have lots of new music alongside our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.

This week’s mystery theme featured six songs about motorcycles and motorcycling. Special thanks go out to friend Kevin who was telling me all about the joys of heading out into the country for a motorcycle ride with his girlfriend. All very “Easy Rider” apparently… well not quite. Special thanks to Karyn Ellis for providing us with her matter of fact “how to” song about women and motorcycles “Motorcycle Ride” from her 2009 album “Even Though The Sky Was Falling”, and Andy White for producing one of my favourite summer songs with his whimsical “Italian Girls on Mopeds”.

Summer music festival season is just round the corner. The Mariposa Folk Festival, our first of the summer takes place from July 3-5 in beautiful Tudhope Park in Orillia. Over the coming weeks we’re going to profile some of the artists playing this year’s Mariposa and we’ll also have an interview with artistic director Mike Hill.

This week’s guilty pleasure featured Genesis with “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” from their 1973 album “Selling England By The Pound”. I Know What I Like was their first charting single, in the days when most of their fans were sure they weren’t a singles band, reaching No. 15 in the UK. A song written about a young man employed as a groundsman who decides that he does not want to grow up and do great things, being perfectly happy where he is, pushing a lawn mower all day. It’s clearly an ode to the benefits of simple task-oriented life activities.

Thanks to Sheri who suggested that we give it a spin. Apparently she likes nothing better than being up on her (seated) power mower cutting the grass during the summer months – being “at one with the mower” as she calls it. You’ll notice I used the term “power mower”. Not too many people would love pushing a lawn mower around on a hot humid summer’s day when the mosquitoes are out! And me? I’m certainly not a lawn mower and I’m quite happy to content myself by watching others do the work.

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 198 by Folk Roots Radio on Mixcloud

Mystery Theme: “Motorcycling”

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

Richard Hawley
The Motorcycle Song
Lowedges (2003, XL Recordings)

Arlo Guthrie
The Motorcycle Song
Alice’s Restaurant (1967, Reprise)

Lord Bateman’s Motorbike
The Boy Bands Have Won (2008, No Masters)

Neil Young
Motorcycle Mama
Comes A Time (1977, Reprise) CDN

Karyn Ellis
Motorcycle Ride
Even Though The Sky Was Falling (2009, Self) CDN

Andy White
Italian Girls
Boy 40 (2004, Alt Recordings)

Le Vent du Nord
Entre ciel et terre
Tetu (2015, Borealis Records) CDN

Mary Chapin Carpenter
I Have a Need for Solitude
The Age Of Miracles (2010, Rounder Records)

Irish Mythen
Sheila Doran
Irish Mythen (2014, Self) CDN

Ruth Moody
These Wilder Things (Radio Edit)
These Wilder Things (2013, Red House Records) CDN

Adam Cohen
What Other Guy
Like A Man (2011, Rezolute Music) CDN

I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
Selling England By The Pound (1973, Charisma)

The John Byrne Band
Various Verses
After The Wake (2010, Rí Rá Records)

Bill Fay
War Machine
Who Is the Sender? (2015, Dead Oceans)

Pharis & Jason Romero
The Dying Soldier
A Wanderer I’ll Stay (2015, Borealis Records) CDN

Jon Brooks
Gun Dealer
The Smiling & Beautiful Countryside (2014, Borealis Records) CDN

Interview: Jon Brooks discussing his music and latest album “The Smiling & Beautiful Countryside”.

Jon Brooks
Highway 16
The Smiling & Beautiful Countryside (2014, Borealis Records) CDN

Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
Le Danse de la Joie
The Traveling Kind (2015, Nonesuch)

Lee Palmer
Life’s A Mess
Like Elway (2015, Self) CDN

The Good Lovelies
Into The Dark
Burn the Plan (2015, Six Shooter Records) CDN

Sam Outlaw
Old Fashioned
Angeleno (2014, Six Shooter Records)

Annie Sumi
Oak Tree
Reflections (2015, Self)

Elaine Romanelli
The Hour Before (2015, Self)

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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