Episode 159: Union Duke, Matt Andersen & Andy White

Folk Roots Radio on July 19 2014 (Episode 159) featured interviews with Union Duke, Matt Andersen and Andy White. As usual we found time to play some great, new – and not so new, music plus the obligatory mystery theme and guilty pleasure.

For this week’s mystery theme I decided to go seasonal again with six songs about camping. And guess what? – its not that easy to find good songs about camping. I did okay in the end, but lets just say it took longer than I expected to find the ones I wanted to play.

That most of the songs seemed to focus on the negative aspects of this summer recreational activity, and, the fact that two were comedy songs, leads me to suspect that most people actually don’t like camping. In fact, listening to them might just reinforce your reservations about it, and perhaps even encourage camping types to start questioning their decision. If you’re wavering – as someone who now lives close to nature, though not in a tent or trailer, I’d encourage you to stick with it. It is worth it.

We started off with a song by Minnesota songwriter Peter Mayer. I cheated a little bit as the song isn’t really about life under canvas but rather its an environmental song about… camping by the sun. So there you are… it doesn’t matter if you don’t like it – you’re doing it.

We also had the opportunity to play a Children’s song by Emilie Mover that works perfectly well for adults, and, from 1953, some hillbilly country from Werly Fairburn. Talking of seasonal songs, we also dipped into John McCutcheon‘s seasonal music album: Summersongs. The aforementioned comedy songs were from Ray Stevens and Christine Lavin. Ray Stevens is in guilty pleasure territory for me , courtesy of  ”The Streak”. His story about a “Camping Trip” is pretty good too. And Christine Lavin is always worth listening to, check her out in concert if you ever get the chance. Her songs are very funny.

This week’s guilty pleasure was also in camping territory as we went with Allan Sherman‘s “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter From Camp)” from 1963. It’s a song I remember from growing up in the UK. I used to listen to Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart on the kids show Junior Choice every Saturday and Sunday morning on Radio 1. At least this song leaves you with a favourable impression of time spent at camp. Thanks to Dorothy for the suggestion. And thanks to RG for the e-mail that while applauding the choice of guilty pleasure also described it as all being a bit too ‘camp’!

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.

I mentioned earlier that we had three interviews on the show. I was really pleased to interview Ethan and Matt from Union Duke at Mariposa. Union Duke had to audition to get into Mariposa in 2013, then put on such a good performance that they get invited back in 2014. It’s a great story, and they are great in concert and on disc. They should go far. Check them out if you can.

Later in the show we interviewed Matt Andersen and Andy White about the upcoming Hillside Festival. Matt plays the main stage on Friday evening and you may still be able to grab a ticket if you don’t have one.

Andy will be playing with Stephen Fearing (as Fearing & White) at Hillside. It’s actually the first time they’ve done that although they have shared the stage for a few songs many times. They’ll be playing songs from their excellent new album Tea & Confidences. It should be a good show. And as I couldn’t talk to Andy about his solo stuff (contractual obligations) I’ll get to do it all again when he returns to Australia. If you’ve already listend to the interview you may have gleaned the fact that I’m a bit of a fan.

In the new music category, check out Ernest Troost‘s “O Love” and Dennis Johnson‘s “Slide Avenue”. They’re among my favourite albums of the year – so far. I should also mention that Tia McGraff will be joining us on the show for a few songs and a chat on August 2. She’s also playing the inaugural Kingsville Folk Festival August 8-10.

Well, that’s about all we have time for this week. You can find the full playlist for the show below. Thanks to all the artists who share their music with us, and thank you for listening. We’ll see you next week!

Mystery Theme: “Camping”

Peter Mayer
Camping By The Sun
Bountiful (2000, Blue Boat Records)

Emilie Mover
Camping Out
The Stella And Sam Album (2012, Silent Joe / Radical Sheep)

Ray Stevens
The Camping Trip
Hurricane (2008, Clyde Records)

Werly Fairburn
Camping With Marie (1953)
My Heart Is On Fire (2011, El Toro Records)

John McCutcheon
Camping In The Wilderness
John McCutcheon’s Four Seasons: Summersongs (1995, Rounder Records)

Christine Lavin
The Bellevue Years (2000, Rounder Records)

Steve Walsh
Backyard Camping
Daily Specials (2012, Animal Music)

Union Duke
That Old Feeling
Cash & Carry (2014, Self) CDN

Interview: Ethan Smith and Matt Warry-Smith from Union Duke at Mariposa Folk Festival (2014) discussing new album “Cash & Carry”.

Union Duke
A Little More
Cash and Carry (2014, Self) CDN

Ernest Troost
Pray Real Hard
O Love (2014, Travelling Shoes Records)

Allan Sherman
Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter From Camp) (1963)
My Son The Greatest – The Best Of Allan Sherman (1988, Rhino Records)

Tia McGraff
Break These Chains (2014, Bandana Records) CDN

Jackie Morris
Come And Gone
Can’t Fix Crazy (2014, Button Box Records)

Matt Andersen
Weightless (2014, True North Records) CDN

Interview: Matt Andersen discussing his appearance at Hillside Festival 2014 and new album, “Weightless”.

Matt Andersen
Let You Down
Weightless (2014, True North Records) CDN

Johnny Winter
Shame Shame Shame
The Best Blues Album In The World… Ever (2000, EMI Music Canada)

Dennis Johnson
Ain’t Nobody’s Fool
Slide Avenue (2014, Self)

Fearing & White
We Came Together
Tea & Confidences (2014, Lowdenproud Records) CDN

Interview: Andy White discussing his appearance with Stephen Fearing (as Fearing & White) at the Hillside Festival 2014 and their new album Tea & Confidences.

Fearing & White
Think Of Me Like Summer
Tea & Confidences (2014, Lowdenproud Records) CDN

Mary Margaret O’Hara
Anew Day
Miss America (1988, Virgin) 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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