Episode 149: The Bombadils

Folk Roots Radio on May 10 2014 (Episode 149) featured an in studio appearance by Montreal-based progressive celtic/bluegrass band The Bombadils and lots of great new music.

As always, we started off the show with our mystery-themed first set; six songs we put together without announcing them in advance and then let you work out what they have in common. This week I made a conscious decision to, from now on, take the road less travelled.

It dawned on me last week, when I decided to do a “May” theme, that it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch, and if I wasn’t careful I could be heading off into well-trodden territory each week and worse, could be repeating myself, at least on an annual basis. Hence the reason we ended up with last week’s theme of “May Mornings” and this week “Swans”.

So why “Swans” you ask? Well, we have two Mute swans on the farm where we live – Swanson (boy) and Shirley (girl). Swanson arrived first, in March last year as he needed to find a new home with a larger pond. Shirley came later in the year, as a companion for Swanson. We like to think they are a couple. Indeed up until a week ago they appeared to be so; they’re very bonded – sharing the same pond throughout the year and being very close in the barn when they move to their winter accommodation.

Well, we’re not sure what happened but last week they stopped being a couple, Swanson moved out and they ended up in separate ponds for a few days. The separation may have been precipitated by the arrival of a tagged female Trumpeter swan “981”. Now, initially we thought that Swanson had taken a shine to the new girl, and dumped Shirley. However we’re pleased to report that wasn’t the case – he just left his own pond to try and chase the new arrival away. She eventually got the message and left (apparently she has her own mate a few miles away) and Swanson and Shirley are back together again, so everything is alright in the world once again. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this week’s mystery theme. As always, your feedback would be appreciated.

As usual, we were pleased to be able to bring a great selection of new music to the show. Rodney Crowell‘s Tarpaper Sky and Kerri Powers self-titled album are excellent and well-worth checking out. We were also pleased to receive a copy of Gathering Sparks self-titled album featuring Eve Goldberg, Jane Lewis and Sam Turton. Rest assured, we’ll be dipping into that album again over the coming weeks.

It was great to have The Bombadils join us in the studio on Folk Roots Radio. The Bombadils describe themselves as a charismatic bunch of kind-hearted rascals. Having spent an hour in the studio with them that is an apt description – they have a wonderful playful energy. Their music draws from Québecois, Irish, and bluegrass folk influences but as a whole it’s pure Bombadils; a decidedly contemporary sound that combines soaring melodic lines, tight rhythmic energy, and virtuosity.

Formed in 2009 at McGill University, the band has performed regularly since then around Montreal in pubs and cafés while completing their studies in jazz and classical music. They released their debut CD “Fill Your Boots!” in 2012 and will release their new album, tentatively called Grassy Roads, Wandering Feet (after a Yeats poem that forms that basis for a song on the new album) later this year.

For more information, visit thebombadils.com.

There was no Guilty Pleasure again, as we had a live band in the studio. I’m sure it will come back soon enough, so please keep sending your requests in. Remember, a Guilty Pleasure is that song you still love even though you think others may find it unfashionable. You’ll be surprised how many other people love it too!

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 just about everything I need to mention this week. You’ll find the full playlist for the show below. Thanks to all the artists who are sharing their music with us, and thank you for listening. We’ll see you next week!

Mystery theme: “Swans”

Iron & Wine
Swans & The Swimming
Around The Well (2009, Sub Pop)

Jenna Reid
The Wild White Swan
Laughing Girl (2008, Foot Stompin’ Records)

The Bellamy Brothers and Gölä
The Greatest Hits Session (2010, Decca/Universal)

Neko Case
City Swan
The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You (2013, Anti)

T. Rex
Ride A White Swan
Classic Hits – A Celebration of Marc and Mickey (2008, Angel Air)

Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers
Swan Song (Live)
Bride of the Noisemakers (Live) (2008, 429 Records)

Gathering Sparks
I Ain’t Finished This Journey Yet
Gathering Sparks (2014, Self) CDN

Linda Ronstadt
Adieu False Heart (feat. Ann Savoy) (2006)
Duets (2014, Rhino)

Rodney Crowell
God I’m Missing You
Tarpaper Sky (2014, New West)

Craig Cardiff
Father Daughter Dance
Love Is Louder (Than All This Noise) Part 2 (2014, Self) CDN

Johnny Cash
Call Your Mother
Out Among The Stars (Unreleased Songs 1981 – 1984) (2014, Columbia/Legacy)

Mo Kenney
The Great Escape
Mo Kenney (2012, New Scotland Records) CDN

Grant Peeples and the Peeples Republik
You’re A Slave To Your Imagination (feat. Sarah Mac)
Punishing The Myth (2014, Gatorbone Records)

Kerri Powers
Tallulah Send Me A Car
Kerri Powers (2014, Self)

Glen Campbell
Ghost On The Canvas
Ghost On The Canvas (2011, Surfdog Records)

Live in the Studio: The Bombadils

The Bombadils
Rakish Paddy
Fill Your Boots (2012, Self) CDN

The Bombadils
Black Is The Colour Of My True Love’s Hair
Live In The Studio

The Bombadils
Morning In The Mountains
Live In The Studio

The Bombadils
Nova Scotia Goodbye
Live In The Studio

The Bombadils
Live In The Studio

The Bombadils
Noah’s Wine
Fill Your Boots (2012, Self) CDN

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

Background Music:
Pierre Montreux: LSO
Swan Lake Opus 20 (Anna Karenina OST)
Movie Classics (1962, Eloquence/Universal)

Bob Ardern
Nova Scotia New Age Blues
Craftsman (Self, 2014) CDN

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

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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