Playlist: Episode 167

Folk Roots Radio on September 13 (Episode 167) featured interviews with British Americana duo Plumhall, who’ve just release a great album of moody British Americana, “Thundercloud” and Guelph-based singer-songwriter Jane Lewis, who releases her new album “Stay With Me” on September 26. We wrapped it all up in lots of great music including a highly topical mystery theme and this week’s guilty pleasure.

We’re been singing the praises of Plumhall a lot on this show since we heard about their new album “Thundercloud’, so we were very pleased to include an interview with them on this week’s show. Actually, it was just part of the interview we recorded. If you want to listen to the full interview, and, it’s definitely worth listening to, you can find it online here. Here’s hoping we can help bring them to Canada one day!

We’ve been fans of Jane Lewis since we first heard her sing. She has an absolutely beautiful voice. It has a lovely crystal clear quality, and, from the gorgeous vocals in a variety of styles on her new pop-roots album “Stay With Me”, she is very adept at using it to best effect.

As Jane mentioned in the extended interview on this week’s show, she’s a bit of a late developer as far as recording her own music is concerned. Stay with Me is just her first solo long-player, however, she has been singing back-up for others for a long time now. It’s nice to see her finally stepping into the limelight.

We felt fortunate that she was able to join us in the studio for a feature-length conversation about her music and a chance to play six tracks from the new album. We’d have included more, there just wasn’t the time! The interview is well worth checking out and if you missed it on CFRU, you can find it online, in its entirety, here or as part of this weeks show’s Mixcloud. Jane releases the album on September 26 at Dublin St United Church in Guelph.

This week’s Mystery Theme was very topical as we chose “The Scottish Referendum on Independence”. Scotland goes to the polls on Thursday September 18 and after more than 300 years of union with England, it’s quite the decision to make. Needless to say, it’s also no surprise that the Yes and No sides are very close in the recent polls. Whatever else, it’s going to be interesting!

I was pleased to play a set featuring the great Fife-based singer-songwriter Kenny Anderson who goes by the stage name King Creosote. The song we played… “Something To Believe In” is from his documentary soundtrack “From Scotland With Love” created for the 2014 Commonweath Games that took place this past summer in Glasgow. His music is great. Definitely check it out.

If I have time to play songs about Scotland, you’re going to find one of my all-time favourite bands, The Proclaimers in there. I love their wonderfully matter ode to the real Scotland, “Scotland’s Story” which first appeared on the “Persevere” album (2001). You can also find it on “The Proclaimers – The Very Best”; a double album of their best that came out in 2013 on Chrysalis. It’s a great introduction to the band, and highly recommended.

Dougie Maclean’s Caledonia, from 1977, is a little too tartan and shortbread tin to be the real Scotland but it is still a great song. We made up for playing that by including “Iron Sky”, from Paolo Nutini‘s new album “Caustic Love”, a song whose inspiring lyrics and stirring accompaniment suggest it could even be an anthem for a new country… dare I say it, an independent Scotland. Following that with The Waterboys‘s version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Independence Day” just seemed the right thing to do.

We wrapped the set with the somewhat ‘tartan and shortbread tin’, but, at the same time, incredible stirring “Loch Lomond” by Scottish band Runrig (who now feature Cape Breton native Bruce Guthro on lead vocals). This version was recorded live in Scotland in 1988. You can find it on their fabulous live album “Once In A Lifetime”, essential listening for anyone who loves Celtic rock.

So, after playing all of those songs, and having spent a fair bit of my life in Scotland, can you work out what side of the fence, I’m on?

This week’s Guilty Pleasure was “State of Independence” by Donna Summer, a song that became a top twenty single in UK for Donna Summer in 1982. Unfortunately the song didn’t chart at all in the US. The song was written by Jon Anderson and Vangelis in 1981. The wonderful Donna Summer version was produced by Quincy Jones and appeared on the Donna Summer album. And, it featured an all star choir with Michael Jackson, Brenda Russell, James Ingram, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Loggins, Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder among others, and Eric Clapton on guitar. Thanks to Whitney for the suggestion!

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.

We continued that set with another track from Drew McIvor‘s great new album “Porchlight”. This week we played “Go Freely” a song that also features Coco Lover Alcorn on vocals. Last weekend we decided to take a road trip to Owen Sound for the “Porchlight” CD release. It was a great night. And, Porchlight is a great album, especially if you love a bit of funky reggae-tinged pop that really grooves!

We finished that set with The late great Jesse Winchester with “She Make’s It Easy Now” from his final album “A Reasonable Amount Of Trouble”, just released on Appleseed Recordings. It’s a very solid effort, very Jesse, and a real grower. We’ll definitely be dipping into that several times over the coming weeks.

Well, that’s about all we have time for this week. Next week, DJ MacDee will be sitting in, as we’ll be off to Florida for a few days. Thanks again, MacDee!

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!

You can listen to the show again on Mixcloud.

Folk Roots Radio – September 13 2014 by Folk Roots Radio on Mixcloud

Mystery Theme: “The Scottish Independence Referendum”

King Creosote
Something To Believe In
From Scotland With Love (2014, Domino)

Dougie MacLean
Caledonia (1977)
The Dougie MacLean Collection (1996, Putamayo)

The Proclaimers
Scotland’s Story (2001)
The Proclaimers – The Very Best (2013, Chrysalis)

Paolo Nutini
Iron Sky
Caustic Love (2014, Atlantic)

The Waterboys
Independence Day
Born To Run 2003 Vol 2 (2003, Lightworks)

Loch Lomond (Live)
Once In A Lifetime (Live) (1988, Chrysalis)

Jackie Leven
The Bars Of Dundee
The Mystery Of Love Than The Mystery Of Death (1995, True North)

Let Me Sleep
Thundercloud (2014, Proper Distribution)

Interview: Interview with Michelle Plum and Nick Hall from Plumhall about new album “Thundercloud”

Exit Into The Light
Thundercloud (2014, Proper Distribution)

Donna Summer
State Of Independence
Donna Summer (1982, Driven By The Music)

Drew McIvor
Go Freely (feat. Coco Love Alcorn)
Porchlight (2014, Self)

Jesse Winchester
She Makes It Easy Now
A Reasonable Amount Of Trouble (2014, Appleseed)

Jane Lewis
Stay With Me
Stay With Me (2014, Self)

Interview with Guelph-based singer-songwriter Jane Lewis about new album “Stay With Me”

Jane Lewis
As Deep As Love
Stay With Me (2014, Self)

Jane Lewis
Stay With Me (2014, Self)

Jane Lewis
Carry You Home
Stay With Me (2014, Self)

Jane Lewis
Come Together
Stay With Me (2014, Self)

Jane Lewis
Driving Home
Stay With Me (2014, 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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