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).
On this episode we talk to one of Canada’s finest singer-songwriters James Keelaghan. James will be in Guelph on January 15 for a show at the River Run Centre. James is also the Artistic Director of Summerfolk and during this week’s interview he announces the first artists who will be performing at the summer 2016 festival. We also have THREE pairs of tickets to give away for the James Keelaghan show. If you’d like to get in the draw, send an e-mail to jan[at]folkrootsradio.com.
Big Little Lions started out as a long-distance songwriting partnership between two established songwriters, Juno award winning Helen Austin from Vancouver Island and Cincinnati-based Paul Otten. In their two-year collaborative career they have produced two E.P.s and a very well-received long-player “A Little Frayed, A Little Torn”, that has been nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award for Ensemble of the Year. Helen, Paul and Helen’s daughter Daisy Squires, a member of the Big Little Lions band, joined us at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about their music. For more information visit biglittlelions.com. Music: Big Little Lions “The Road With You” and “Watered Down” from “A Little Frayed, A Little Torn” (2015, Riptide Music Group) and Big Little Lions “The Way Home” from “Paper Cage E.P.” (2014, Riptide Music Group).
Episode 211 of Folk Roots Radio features two interviews. South-western Ontario singer-songwriter Glen MacNeil joins us to chat about his debut album “Where The Heart Remains” and we also talk to Linda McRae about her latest release “Shadow Trails”. Linda’s in Guelph for a CD release show on October 9. Among the new music on this week’s show we take a look at a new tribute album to the godfather of the first British folk revival, Ewan McColl out now on Cooking Vinyl.
The nominations for the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards have been announced. Pharis and Jason Romero lead the pack with four nominations for their album “A Wanderer I’ll Stay”. Their nominations include Traditional Album of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Traditional Singer of the Year (Pharis Romero), and Producer of the Year (Pharis and Jason Romero with David Travers-Smith). Amelia Curran (St John’s, NL), Fortunate Ones (St John’s, NL), Jenn Grant (Lake Echo, NS), Whitehorse (Toronto, ON) and Catherine MacLellan (Charlottetown, PEI) each received three nominations.
This year’s youngest nominee is nine year old Vancouver Island artist Stella Swanson for the album “I’m Not A Bunny” in the Children’s Album of the Year category. Inspired by Stella’s pet bunny Romeo, the album was produced by Comox’s Helen Austin, a previous Canadian Folk Music Award and Juno Award recipient and a nominee this year with her group Big Little Lions.
Check out the full list of nominees here. We’ll be previewing the nominees on upcoming editions of Folk Roots Radio.