Helen Austin and Paul Otten are two fabulous songwriters who make music together as Big Little Lions, even though they are actually based over two thousand miles apart. They were on tour as the coronavirus pandemic hit, and despite having to head home and into lockdown, they have continued to make great music – including the release of a pandemic inspired album “Are We there Yet?”. Big Little Lions join us on Episode 543 of Folk Roots Radio for a fun in-depth conversation about how their lives and their music have been changed by the on-going emergency. The pandemic has hit the artistic community hard, which is why we all need to do what we can to ensure it is supported during these strange Covid Times – and why we encourage our listeners to… buy the music, don’t just stream it! As always, we wrap up the episode with more new releases, and this time around we hear from Emily Barker, Lizzy Hardingham, Gillian Welch, Mo Kenney, Hauler and Mike Plume. Check out the full playlist below.
Kevin Roy Kratsch spent five years on the road as country folk singer-songwriter Kevin Roy before re-inventing himself as cosmic balladeer Mister K, and starting work on “In Event Of Moon Disaster”, a musical journey through the highs and lows of a mental health struggle – what Kevin describes as those Darker Days. In Event Of Moon Disaster was created with producer and collaborator Rusty Matyas (The Sheepdogs, The Weakerthans, Imaginary Cities) who opened up about his own struggles with alcoholism prior starting work on the project. The two found support, inspiration, and empowerment while breathing life into these songs; a testament to the strength of healing through music and art. Musically this is very much a folk-pop album. “I basically told producer Rusty Matyas I wanted to make an album that sounds like Neil Young produced by George Martin – kind of like Neil Young meets Abbey Road, but done in a modern way. I almost feel kind of like I’ve come full circle. When I started writing music and playing music, it was the music of Neil Young and Tom Petty – and some of those songs I grew up on, and then I went off into this whole country thing, for a while.” There have been three singles released from the album, so far: “Hundreds Of Dollars”, “Lonely One” and the latest, “Darker Days” – Kevin’s personal story and a song he hopes will be a conversation starter with respect to the importance of discussing mental health. The new single is being released on January 29 to coincide with Bell Let’s Talk Day. The full album will arrive later in 2020. Mister K sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2019 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about the new project. For more information about the music of Mister K, visit heyheymisterk.com. Music: Mister K “Hundreds of Dollars” and “Lonely One” from “In Event of Moon Disaster” (2020, Self) and “Darker Days” (Live).
On Episode 491 of Folk Roots Radio we chat to Kevin Roy from Manitoba about his new music project as cosmic balladeer Mister K, and upcoming album “In Event of Moon Disaster” – a musical journey through the highs and lows of a mental health struggle. In Event of Moon Disaster is a wonderful album and this is a great interview. We wrap up the hour with more of the new music that we’ve received, and this time around we hear from The Marrieds, William Kuklis, Harrow Fair, Simon Mayor and Jay Aymar. We also include a special tribute to the fabulous Nashville songwriter David Olney, who passed away suddenly last week during an in the round live performance at a showcasing event in Florida. Check out the full playlist below.
Jim Bryson is about to release his new album, “The Depression Dance”. Jim joined us for an interview and impromptu session at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October and talked openly about his music, his work as a sideman with Kathleen Edwards and Oh Susanna, and the new album as well as his own struggle with depression. We think it’s one of our best interviews ever and definitely worth checking out. Photo credit: Jamie Kronick. Music: Jim Bryson, “The Depression Dance” from “The Depression Dance” (demo), “Change In Scenery” (live), “Ontario” (Live), “Stuck In The Middle” (Live) and “Fire Watch” from “Where The Bungalows Roam” (2007, Kelp Records).