We’re heading into the midst of a Canadian winter in the middle of a pandemic lockdown, so it seems a perfect time to bring you another hour of great new music to warm the heart, and hopefully make these challenging times a little easier to bear. Join us on Episode 564 of Folk Roots Radio for some wonderful new releases with a few topical songs and Covid tunes thrown into the mix. This time around we feature music from Darlingside, Aaron Nathans & Michael G Ronstadt, Big Little Lions, Buffalo Gals Band, Andrea Bettger, Jessie & The Leonards, Colleen Kattau, Mark Dvorak, Cosy Sheridan, War & Pierce, Tret Fure, Bill Bourne, Peach & Quiet, Maria Dunn and Francine Honey. Enjoy! Check out the full playlist below.
We’re getting close to the end of 2020, which means it’s time to announce our favourite albums of the year. After the challenging year we’ve all had, it’s tempting to just want to put 2020 behind us and move on to 2021 to what will, hopefully, be a much better year for everyone. And yet, despite everything, 2020 has actually been a great year for recorded music – especially for those us who tend to focus on music that artists release independently, or via small and boutique record labels. Many artists have actually been making excellent use of the lockdown time forced on them by the coronavirus pandemic to record some wonderful ‘Covid Tune’ singles, EPs and in some case, even full albums. We’ve had great fun sharing them with you this year. We’ve also been doing our best to keep up with regularly scheduled releases. It gives us great pleasure each year, once we have put holiday radio episodes to bed, to consider our favourite albums of the year. One of the best things about doing a radio show is getting loads of great music to listen to each week. One of the hardest things to do is to take all that fabulous music and narrow it down to your ten favourite recordings of the year. You can check out The Top 10 on Episode 560 of Folk Roots Radio. We’ll be playing more of our favourite albums on upcoming episodes of Folk Roots Radio. If you don’t see an album you really loved, that’s likely because it didn’t make it up on our radar because we didn’t receive a copy. Please consider sharing your favourite albums in the comments – we might even spin them on a future episode of the show. Listen to The Top 10 on this episode, and check out the full playlist and the rest of our long list below. Enjoy!
Helen Austin and Paul Otten are two fabulous songwriters who make music together as Big Little Lions. 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?”. They join us on a special ‘Covid Times’ edition of our video sister show, the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions, for a fun in-depth conversation about how their lives and their music have been changed by the on-going emergency, while sharing some of the great videos they have been producing in lockdown. Unfortunately because of the ongoing pandemic, we haven’t been able to record any more video sessions, so we’ve switched to a socially distanced interview format similar to Folk Roots Radio. Since we started the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions, we’ve had 50 different artists/bands join us in the studio. Check them out online at sunparloursessions.com. Enjoy!.
We’re holding back the interviews on Episode 553 of Folk Roots Radio to bring you another hour of great new music to help you get through these strange Covid times. This time around we hear from The Bengsons, Gillian Tuite, Moira & Claire, Beppe Gambetta, Big Little Lions, Michael Lane, River North, Reid Jamieson, The Avenoir Project, Flo Perlin & Pilgrims’ Dream, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, iskwē & Tom Wilson (Lee Harvey Osmond), Tomato Tomato, Langhorne Slim and Ricky Green & Danny Traves. Remember, if you like the artists you hear on this show, don’t just stream their music – BUY their music and then you’ll really make a difference to their income during this difficult time when it’s much more challenging to find live shows. Check out the full playlist below.
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.
We’re going all about the music again on Episode 538 of Folk Roots Radio as we hold back the interviews to bring you more great new releases, and this time around we throw some excellent new political songs into the mix. Join us for new music from Big Little Lions, James Lee Baker, Ian Gill, Shaye Zadravec, Westward The Light, Robert Cray Band, Si Kahn, Spook Handy, Richard Garvey, Raye Zaragoza, Melanie Brulée, Isabel Fryszberg, Andrea Nixon, Joe Nolan, Dirk Powell, Midnight Shine and Kari Lynn Hewett (with Roger Hewett). Check out the full playlist below.
We’re all about the music again on Episode 527 of Folk Roots Radio, as we hold back the interviews to bring you another hour of great new music, with some Covid lockdown tunes thrown into the mix. Stay with us as we bring you new releases from Francesca Blanchard, Mattie Leon, Byrd & Street, Big Little Lions, Stéafán & Saskia, The Burying Ground, Skydiggers, Tret Fure, Kris Paul, Twin Flames, Midnight Shine, The Jerry Cans, Logan and Nathan, Mallory Chipman & The Mystics and SONiA disappear fear. Check out the full playlist below.
Join us on Episode 524 of Folk Roots Radio for more of the latest new releases, with some great Covid tunes thrown into the mix. There is just so much great music being produced at the moment, and much of it from lockdown – it’s great to be able to share it with you on this show. Coming up on this episode we’re featuring new music from Big Little Lions, T Bear, The Promise Is Hope, John McCutcheon, David Foley & Jack Smedley, Lucinda Williams, Scott Cook, Kim Moberg, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Dead South, Lee Harvey Osmond, Dawn Tyler Watson, Kathleen Edwards, Sherman Downey, Keats Conlon and Dennis Ellsworth. Check out the full playlist below.
We have another hour of great new music to bring you on Episode 516 of Folk Roots Radio. We’ve heard people say that new releases have slowed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. That may very well be the case for the major labels, but fantastic independent music just keeps on coming – including many brand spanking new songs recorded in lockdown. Join us for great new music from Big Little Lions, David Berkeley (from Son of Town Hall), Richard Garvey, Cheshire Carr, Project Smok, Michael McDermott, Kim Moberg, Lynn Harrison, John & Sheila Ludgate, SONiA disappear fear, Lynn Jackson, Joshua Wood Orchestra and Eliza Gilkyson alongside a great spoken word piece from poet Bob Jensen. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re holding back the interviews on Episode 513 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you another hour of great new music. We’re including more Covid-19 tunes and songs from isolation alongside some great new releases. Live performances may have been curtailed by the current crisis, but the new music just keeps on coming. Join us for great new songs from Big Little Lions, Sofia Talvik, Stan Simon, Liona Boyd, Westward The Light, Sherman Downey, Kristen Martell, 100 Mile House, Peter Rowan & Don Edwards, The Hello Darlins, Christina Hutt, Elles Bailey, Danny Schmidt and Noah Reid. Check out the full playlist below.
It’s that time of year… we’re holding back the interviews on Episode 486 of Folk Roots Radio as we check out our ten favourite albums of 2019. One of the best things about doing a radio show is getting loads of great music to listen to each week. One of the hardest things to do is to take all that fabulous music and narrow it down to your ten favourite recordings of the year. You can check out The Top 10 on this episode. We’ll be playing more of our favourite albums on upcoming episodes of Folk Roots Radio. If you don’t see an album you really loved, maybe it didn’t make it up on to our radar, or perhaps we never received a copy. Please consider sharing your favourite albums in the comments – we might even spin them on a future episode of the show. Listen to The Top 10 and check out the full playlist below. Enjoy!
Big Little Lions, the wonderfully prolific folk pop duo featuring Helen Austin from Vancouver Island, and Paul Otten from Cincinnati, have just released their sixth album “Inside Voice” – fourteen new songs that take their theme from issues in relation to our mental health, that while thoughtful and reflective, still leave the listener feeling optimistic and hopeful for the future. Helen and Paul consistently crank out amazingly addictive folk pop songs – jam-packed with emotion and tight harmonies, that really sound like they are produced by two people working closely side-by-side, rather than thousands of miles apart. Big Little Lions picked up a JUNO for their music in 2014, and the Canadian Folk Music Award for Ensemble of the Year in 2015. They also have a fabulous live show, that always sounds much bigger than the two multi-instrumentalists on stage – Paul on drums, bass, keyboard and vocals; Helen on guitar, foot percussion and vocals. For more information about the Big Little Lions and upcoming tour dates, visit biglittlelions.com. Music: Big Little Lions “Here We Go Again”, “Lonely Blue” and “I Can Have It All” from “Inside Voice” (2019, AntiFragile).
Helen Austin and Paul Otten make music together as Big Little Lions. They join us on Episode 469 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their sixth album “Inside Voice” – fourteen songs that take as their theme the issue of mental health with songs about dementia, depression and anxiety. It’s a great album, and Helen and Paul are always a great interview. We also check out new music from Hannah Connolly, Lizanne Knott, Lori Lynne Johnson, Anna Ludlow, The Fitzgeralds and Don Brownrigg. Check out the full playlist below.
Toronto singer-songwriter and carpenter Tim Moxam joins us on Episode 463 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his music, latest album “Marlborough Hall” and the StopGap on Tour initiative – building and delivering StopGap wooden accessibility ramps to inaccessible music venues he visits while on tour. It’s a very inspirational interview, and definitely worth checking out. We also take a look at more of the new music we’ve received, and this time around we hear from Big Little Lions, Daniel Norgren, Jeremy Voltz, Linda McRae, Darling Cora, Rising Appalachia, Kevin Mitchell, Ian Reid, Peter Light and Gathering Sparks. Check out the full playlist below.
We catch up with Big Little Lions on Episode 421 of Folk Roots Radio. It’s at least a couple of years since we last sat down with Helen Austin and Paul Otten from the band to chat about their music. Always a great conversation, Big Little Lions released their very well-received third full length album “Alive And Well” earlier in 2018. Full of clever hooks and great harmonies, and, in some cases, a distinct message – it’s definitely worth checking out. We also check out more of the latest new releases and this time round we include new music from Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage, Lennie Gallant, Jane Yolen & 3 Ravens, Bob MacLean and Caribou Run. Check out the full playlist below.
There are no interviews on Episode 418 of Folk Roots Radio as we check out more of our favourite albums of the year. We’ve already released The Top 10 on Episode 417 of Folk Roots Radio. This time around we check out The Next 15, featuring some of our favourite tracks from those albums. It’s a great privilege to bring lots of great music and interviews to you each week on Folk Roots Radio, something we’re looking forward to continuing throughout the next year. Listen to tracks from The Next 15 and check out the full playlist below.
The Big Little Lions are Helen Austin and Paul Otten. A remarkable songwriting duo, they actually live in two different places – Helen on Vancouver Island, and Paul in Cincinnati OH, and send song ideas back and forward as they work on them, individually and together. Big Little Lions released their latest album “Alive And Well” in February 2018 – a very well received folk pop recording chock full of poppy songs with clever hooks and great harmonies, and, in some cases, a distinct message. Helen and Paul from Big Little Lions sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about their music. Visit Big Little Lions online at biglittlelions.com. Music: Big Little Lions “Against The Wall”, “Static” and “Find Your Tribe” from “Alive And Well” (2018, Self) CDN.
Alberta based Canadian roots/swing duo Over The Moon join us in the studio on Episode 385 of Folk Roots Radio for a very enjoyable conversation about their music, and debut album “Moondancer” and a few live songs. We also feature new music from Noah Zacharin, Birds of Chicago, Big Little Lions, Stéphanie Labbé & Francois Couture, The Lonesome Ace Stringband, Christina Martin and the Andrew Collins Trio. Check out the full playlist below.
The Kelly Song Collective join us in the studio on Episode 371 of Folk Roots Radio. The Kelly Song Collective are a folk roots duo from Sudbury and Toronto featuring the brothers John and Joe Kelly. They released a fabulous debut album “Unless & Until” in 2017. Although they weren’t even on our radar at the time, we’ve since gotten to know them and love their music. It was a great pleasure to have John and Joe join us in the studio for an in-depth conversation and some live songs. We also check out more of the new releases, including new music from Niall Teague & The Fast Company, Kyle Carey, John Flanagan Trio, Banjo Mechanics, Big Little Lions, Christina Martin and Amelia Coburn. Check out the full playlist below.
Brian Blain, self-described semi-retired blues guy, “Blainsletter” blogger and managing editor of the Toronto Blues Society‘s Maple Blues newsletter joins us on this episode to chat about his music. Brian stopped by our mobile studio at the 2016 Folk Music Ontario conference for an immensely enjoyable conversation about his 40 plus years in the music business. We also take a look at the nominees for Vocal Group Of The Year at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Singer/songwriter Sharon Goldman from New Jersey joins us on this episode to chat about her latest album, “Kol Isha (A Woman’s Voice)”, an album that it takes as its theme, Sharon’s own life experience – growing up in an orthodox Jewish family on Long Island, New York. We also take our first look at the nominees for the Canadian Folk Music Awards starting off with the category of Contemporary Album of the Year.
The nominations for the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards have been announced. PEI bilingual trio Ten Strings And A Goat Skin lead the nominations this year with 4 nominations for their album “Auprès du Poêle”, Double nominees include: The Strumbellas, Whitehorse, Donovan Woods, Royal Wood, Danny Michel, David Francey, Big Little Lions, The Small Glories, William Prince, Nadia Gaudet & Jason Burnstick, Corin Raymond, Megan Bonnell, The Andrew Collins Trio, Beppe Gambetta & Tony McManus, Fásta, The Yves Lambert Trio, Hillsburn and Shannon Quinn.
Check out the full list of nominees here. We’ll be previewing the nominee categories on upcoming editions of Folk Roots Radio.
The 41st Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival takes place August 19-21, in Kelso Park, on the shores of Georgian Bay, in Owen Sound ON. The festival features more than 40 musical acts from across Canada and across the world representing genres from folk, country and bluegrass, to blues, to hip-hop and funk. And, like any great folk festival they also have lots of children’s activities, community workshops, artisan booths, dozens of food vendors… and two licensed areas. James Keelaghan, Artistic Director at Summerfolk, joins us on this episode to chat about the fabulous musical line-up. We also include music from some of the artists who’ll be at Summerfolk alongside a selection of the latest new releases.
The 41st annual Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival takes place August 19-21, in Kelso Park, on the shores of Georgian Bay, in Owen Sound. The festival features more than 40 musical acts from across Canada and across the world representing genres from folk, country and bluegrass, to blues, to hip-hop and funk. Like any great folk festival they also have lots of children’s activities, community workshops, artisan booths, dozens of food vendors… and two licensed areas. This year’s line-up features Anne Beverly Foster * Ben Spencer * Ben Turcotte and Carter Rolland * Beppe Gambetta/Tony McManus * Big Little Lions * Blackburn * Bobby Dean Blackburn * Bruce Cockburn * Cassie and Maggie MacDonald * Coco Love Alcorn * David Newland * Durham County Poets * Frank Francalanza * Good for Grapes * Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra * Ian Tamblyn * Irish Mythen * Ken Whiteley & The Beulah Band * Leonard Sumner * Les Poules a Colin * Lindi Ortega * The Lifers * LookUp Theatre * Magoo * Maneli Jamal * Matt Gordon and Leonard Podolak * Mel Parsons * Michael Jerome Browne * My Son the Hurricane * Natalie MacMaster * Notre Dame de Grass * Old Man Luedecke * Olivia and The Creepy Crawlies * Richard Garvey and Celidh Barker * Roger Roger * Sarah Beatty * Scarlett Jane * Scatter The Cats * The Small Glories * The East Pointers * The Krueger Band * The Mae Trio * The O’Pears * Todd Crowley’s Musical Petting Zoo * Treasa Levasseur …alongside Youth Discoveries Jimmy Pearson * Cassie DaSilva * Jake Feeney * Brontae Hunter * Marshall Veroni. We caught up with James Keelaghan, Artistic Director at Summerfolk to chat about this year’s line-up. For more information and to buy tickets visit summerfolk.org. Music: The Small Glories with “Had I Paid” from “Wondrous Traveller” (2016, Self) and Big Little Lions “Fill Me Up” from “Just Keep Moving” (2016, Riptide Music Group).
The grande dame of Canadian Folk Festivals, the Mariposa Folk Festival is getting set for it’s 56th edition which takes place the weekend of July 8-10 2016, in beautiful Tudhope Park in Orillia, on the shores of Lake Couchiching. Performers announced so far include Ahmed Knowmadic Ali, Benjamin Dakota Rogers, Beth McKean, Big Little Lions, Brother Sun, Campfire Crew, Cat Clyde, Catherine MacLellan, Colin Linden, Dave Gunning, David Amram, Dirty Dishes, Fortunate Ones, Gathering Sparks, Georgian Bay, Hunter’s Corners, Ivan Coyote, James Hill, Jeffrey Foucault, Jen Schaffer and the Shiners, Jon Brooks, Josh White Jr., Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham, Ken Whiteley and the Beulah Band, Leonard Sumner, Lori Yates, Lorraine Sutton, Meredith Moon and the Oldest Man I Know, Melanie Brûlée and Anique Grianger, Moulettes, Murder Murder, Next Generation Leahy, Notre Dame de Grass, Quique Escamilla, Rita Coolidge, Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar, Sheesham and Lotus & ‘Son, Shred Kelly, Slow Leaves, Sussex featuring Rob Lutes, Ten Strings & a Goat Skin , Terry Savage and the Wonky Honkees, The Fitzgerald Family Band, The Good Family, The Imbayakunas, The Laws, The Milk Carton Kids, Rita Cox, Three Women and the Truth (Eliza Gilkyson, Gretchen Peters and Mary Gauthier) and Vance Gilbert. To learn more about this year’s festival, we caught up with artistic director, Mike Hill at work in Orillia. Mariposa Folk Festival 2016 Passes are now on sale. Children 12 & under are admitted FREE if accompanied by a ticket-bearing adult. You can buy your tickets online HERE. Music: Brother Sun “So Far To Come” from “Weights & Wings” (2016, Self) and Milk Carton Kids “Wish You Were Here” (2016, Anti).