Episode 232: Chris Coole

This episode features an interview with Chris Coole from bluegrass – old time band, The Foggy Hogtown Boys who will be bringing their show based on the music of The Carter Family and Johnny Cash to Toronto, Peterborough and Guelph. And as the holiday season is just about upon us, we’re including songs to welcome in the Winter Solstice, and some seasonal music that’s a little bit different from the usual fare.

We started off the hour with a beautiful a cappella Christmas carol from Ange Hardy, the title track from her 2014 Chistmas E.P. “The Little Holly Tree”, and followed it with three songs to celebrate the Winter Solstice, from Mary Chapin Carpenter with “The Longest Night of the Year” from her Christmas album from “Come Darkness, Come Light – Twelve Songs of Christmas” (2008, Rounder Records), Jesse Palidofsky with the title track from his Ken Whitely produced album “Dancing Toward The Light” and Jethro Tull, with a prominent flute from Ian Anderson on “Ring Out Solstice Bells”.

We also included “Bella Sera” from young Canadian fiddler Adrianna Ciccone who won the Solo Instrumental Artist of the Year at this year’s Canadian Folk Music Awards for the excellent “The Back Of Winter” album.

Barnstorming bluegrass and old time band, the legendary Foggy Hogtown Boys are heading out on tour in January as they celebrate the music of The Carter Family and Johnny Cash. They’ll be making stops in Toronto and Peterborough before arriving in Guelph for a show at the ANAF Club 344, 32 Gordon St on January 9 at 8 p.m. Advance tickets for the Guelph show are $20 and available online HERE. The Foggy Hogtown Boys are a Canadian bluegrass and roots music institution that’s been together for over 17 years – since the start of their famed “Lonesome Wednesdays” residency at the Silver Dollar Room in Toronto, with a membership that reads like a who’s who of Canadian roots music. Chris Coole (banjo/acoustic guitar), John Showman (fiddle), Andrew Collins (mandolin/fiddle), Chris Quinn (banjo, rhythm guitar) have all been with the band from the start while Max Heineman (bass) joined the band eight years ago. Discovered in 1927 at the legendary “Bristol Sessions” in Bristol TN, the music of The Carter Family has been a huge influence on the development of American music, in particular, in the bluegrass, country, folk and Gospel genres. Johnny Cash, of course, needs no introduction – and when he tied the knot with June Carter in 1968, he married into this “First Family of Country Music”. The rest, as they say is history. To learn more about the Foggys mini-tour we caught up with Chris Coole at home in Toronto.

To celebrate Christmas we went with a set that focused on thinking about others less fortunate this holiday season starting off with Dave Gunning with “When The Cold Weather Comes” from his 2012 album “No More Pennies”. It’s not a Christmas song, but it definitely fitting the theme and as the song was written with Jim Dorie, it’s a fitting tribute to another songsmith who passed away too early. We followed that with Sofia Talvik from Sweden with “Cold Cold Feet”, and her new holiday song about a single mother struggling through the holiday season, and David Rovics with “Christmas in a Tent”, a fabulous song about those who don’t even have a place to call home this holiday season, from his latest album “The Other Side”. And then, Heath & Molly with their version of Phil Ochs “No Christmas in Kentucky” before wrapping it all up with James Gordon and “There Is No Silent Night” from his compilation on Borealis Records, “Mining for Gold”.

We wrapped the show with a couple more “holiday” tunes. The first… a romantic Christmas song from London Ontario singer-songwriter Carly Thomas called “Hold You (On Christmas Eve)”, and finally the holiday song that shouldn’t offend anyone, Christine Lavin & The Mistletones with “A Christmas/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Chanukah/Ramadan/Boxing Day Song”.

Well, that’s all we have time for. 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 have a lot of great music to bring you on future shows. I hope you’ll join us! You can listen to this show again on Mixcloud by following the link below. Have a great holiday season, everyone!

Folk Roots Radio: Episode 232 – Foggy Hogtown Boys and the Holidays by Folk Roots Radio on Mixcloud

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

Ange Hardy
The Little Holly Tree
The Little Holly Tree (2014, Story Records)

Mary Chapin Carpenter
The Longest Night of the Year
Come Darkness, Come Light – Twelve Songs of Christmas (2008, Rounder Records)

Jesse Palidofsky
Dancing Toward The Light (Solstice Song)
Dancing Toward The Light (2014, Azalea City Recordings) CDN

Jethro Tull
Ring Out Solstice Bells
Christmas Album (2000, Fuel 2000)

Adrianna Ciccone
Bella Sera
The Back Of Winter (2015, Self) CDN

The Foggy Hogtown Boys
Kitten & The Cat
Animals Insects & People (2014, Self) CDN

Interview: Chris Coole from The Foggy Hogtown Boys joins us to chat about their The Carter Family and Johnny Cash tribute show. Listen again HERE.

The Foggy Hogtown Boys
John Henry
Animals Insects & People (2014, Self) CDN

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

Sofia Talvik
Cold Cold Feet
(Single) (2015, Makaki Music)

David Rovics
Christmas in a Tent
The Other Side (2015, Self)

Heath & Molly
No Christmas in Kentucky
No Christmas in Kentucky, A Holiday Roots EP (2015, Rumsey Records)

James Gordon
There Is No Silent Night
Mining for Gold (1999, Borealis Records) CDN

Leroy Anderson
Sleigh Ride
100% Christmas (1982, Telstar)

Carly Thomas
Hold You
(Single) (2015, Self) CDN

Christine Lavin & The Mistletones
A Christmas/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Chanukah/Ramadan/Boxing Day Song
The Runaway Christmas Tree (2003, Appleseed)

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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