Episode 154: Sweet Alibi / Ian Foster

Folk Roots Radio on June 14 2014 (Episode 154) featured interviews with Amber Quesnel from Winnipeg’s Sweet Alibi and St. John’s singer-songwriter Ian Foster. As usual, we wrapped it all up with lots of great music.

Sweet Alibi were in Guelph for two shows at Magnolia Café, on June 13/14. If you missed them, too bad – try to catch them the next time you see their name on a poster, you’ll not be disappointed.

Having had a chance to catch a short set from Sweet Alibi at last fall’s Folk Music Ontario I knew they were good, I just didn’t realize how good. It’s not often that you go to a show where every song, and I mean every song, is an absolute killer. Beautiful harmonies, great musicianship and thought-provoking lyrics. If you listened to our interview with Amber Quesnel you’ll know that Sweet Alibi do not shy away from writing about difficult subjects such as sobriety and terminal illness. A great show. One that will remain long in my memory.

St. John’s NF singer-songwriter Ian Foster visits Guelph on Thursday June 19 2014 as part of the CD release tour for his exciting new album “The Great Wave”. The show takes place at the ANAF Club, 32 Gordon Street, Guelph. Joining Ian on the bill will be Graydon James & Laura Spink from Toronto based folksters Graydon James and the Young Novelists. Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are just $10. “The Great Wave” is another fine album. If you love singer-songwriters who tell stories in their songs, Ian is definitely someone to check out. For more information, visit ianfoster.ca.

This week’s mystery-themed set was predictably about “Father’s Day”. It was a pleasure to be able to start off with a song by the late Alex Glasgow, who wrote songs about life in the North East of England, where I grew up. An interesting piece of trivia… I had my first radio appearance with Alex, when I was nine. If I remember rightly, a group of “the chatty ones” in my primary school class were asked to tell him what things they’d done but never told their parents. Needless to say, I made up my answer. As if I would tell the truth when my parents might be listening!

Anyway, back to the song, we played “My Dad” which always reminds me of my a river pilot Dad, who passed away in 2012. He didn’t really do many of the things mentioned in the song… rarely if ever did he come home tight (drunk), he never slept in his vest or sucked a smelly (cigar). He did have a stubbly chin though, and he tucked me in at night. Needless to say, I get goosebumps whenever I hear that song.

The set also allowed me to play gems by Matthew Barber, Linda Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III (singing with daughter Martha), Steve Raiken, Irish Mythen and the late, great Richie Havens. I hope you enjoyed it. And I hope all the fathers out there, had a great Father’s Day weekend.

This week’s Guilty Pleasure continued the Father’s Day theme with “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens. The song is most memorable for listener Georgie because her father (on more that one occasion) came home singing it after a drunken night in the pub. As he didn’t have a son (that she knew of) it always struck her as an odd song for him to be singing!

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.

As usual there was quite a lot of new music in the show. For the record, Jason Wilson and Dave Swarbrick’s Lion Rampant is now officially one of my favourite albums of 2014 so far, and Red Molly’s The Red Album is the latest new find, an album we’re very excited about. As Red Molly are named after the character in a Richard Thompson song, Vincent Black Lightning 1952, it was rather appropriate that the first track we picked to play was their version of that great song. We’ll be playing more tracks from their album in the coming weeks.

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: “Father’s Day”

Alex Glasgow
My Dad
Now And Then / The Songs Of Alex Glasgow (1997, MWM Records)

Matthew Barber
Father And Son
Songs For The Haunted Hillbilly (2012, Self) CDN

Linda Thompson
Father Son Ballad (feat. John Doyle & Dave Swarbrick)
Won’t Be Long Now (2014, Topic)

Loudon Wainwright III
Father / Daughter Dialogue (feat. Martha Wainwright)
Grown Man (1995, Virgin) CDN

Steve Raiken
A Father’s Song
Stages (2010, Self) CDN

Irish Mythen
Fathers Song
Sweet Necessity (2007, Myth Records) CDN

Richie Havens
My Father’s Shoes
Cuts To The Chase (1994, Forward)

Sweet Alibi
I’ll Wait
We’ve Got to… (2013, Self) CDN

Interview: Sweet Alibi’s Amber Quesnel joined us to chat about their Guelph shows at Magnolia Café, Guelph on June 13/14.

Sweet Alibi
Get It Right
We’ve Got To… (2013, Self) CDN

This week’s Guilty Pleasure:
Cat Stevens
Father And Son (1970)
The Very Best Of Cat Stevens (2000, A&M Records)

Poor Angus
Slow Song
Gathering (2014, Self) CDN

Paul Sachs
Still Life
Survival Is The New Success (2014, Self) CDN

Wilson & Swarbrick
The Ballad Of Jack McLaren
Lion Rampart (2014, Shirty Records) CDN

Durham County Poets
Glow On
Chikkaboodah Stew (2014, Self) CDN

Hannah Shira Naiman
I’m Going To Find My Joy
Tether My Heart (2013, Self) CDN

Linda McRae
Rough Edges & Ragged Hearts
Fifty Shades Of Red (2014, Borealis) CDN

Red Molly
Vincent Black Lightning 1952
The Red Album (2014, Self)

The Wailin’ Jennys
Glory Bound
Live At The Mauch Chunk Opera House (2009, Red House Records) CDN

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

Interview: NF Singer-songwriter Ian Foster. “The Great Wave” CD release show June 19 at the ANAFin Guelph.

Ian Foster
The Great Wave (2014, Self) CDN

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

Background Music:
Bob MacLean
Rose Of Allendale
Six Strings North Of The Border Volume 2 (Borealis, 2005) CDN

Jayme Stone
Andrea Berget
Room of Wonders (2005, Self) CDN

Lawrence Blatt
Into the Abyss/Infra Red
The Colour of Sunshine (2009, LMB Music)

Dave Clarke
Six Strings North Of The Border Volume 1 (Borealis, 2005) 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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