London ON based singer-songwriter John Muirhead first landed on our radar as a member of the Developing Artist Program (formerly the Youth Program) at the 2016 Folk Music Ontario conference. He has since released two E.P.s and is now working on his first full length record. John Muirhead joins us on Episode 432 of Folk Roots Radio for a great conversation about his music. We also check out new music from Pete Eastmure, Jamie Shea, Lula Wiles, Steve Poltz, Kate Weekes, Outside I’m A Giant, Matt Mays, Dave McEathron and Benjamin Dakota Rogers. Check out the full playlist below.
Logan McKillop is renowned for his work as a guitarist. However, he’s also a pretty fine songwriter in his own right. Logan’s just released “Anchorless” the beautiful follow-up to his debut from 2013, “Prairie Sky”, an album that focused on natural beauty and prairie life. The new album “Anchorless”, rather than focusing on landscapes and wide open spaces, shares heartfelt stories about people, life’s challenges and family members that have touched his own life. Co-produced with Scott Nolan at the Song Shop in Winnipeg, the new recording features support from some of the top players on the Manitoba music scene and a musical palette that includes a string section, piano, drums, bass, pedal steel, vibraphone, clarinet, banjo, mandolin, and some great harmonies. It’s clear that putting this album together was a labour of love. Logan McKillop sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about the new album. For more information about the music of Logan McKillop visit loganmckillop.com. Music: Logan McKillop “Mother’s love”, “Anchorless” and “There He Goes” from “Anchorless” (2019, Self).
Kalon Hart is the singer-songwriter alter-ego of Canadian film/TV composer Rob Teehan, who also played the tuba with both the Lemon Bucket Orkestra and The Boxcar Boys. Currently based in LA, Kalon Hart will release his first album, “Love Is Surrender”, a seven song meditation on love and emotion, in 2019. Kalon Hart sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music. He also played two songs from the new album live. For more information, visit kalonhart.com. Music: Kalon Hart “Song For Bill (Don’t Lose Yourself To My Mistakes)” (Live), “Come On Out Of The Rain” (Live) and “I Think You Know” from “Love Is Surrender” (2019, Self) CDN.
Long Island based folk band Gathering Time joins us on Episode 424 of Folk Roots Radio for a fun conversation about their music. They also play two songs live for us. It’s a great interview and well-worth sticking around for. We also take a look at more of the new releases we’ve received, and this time around we check out new music from Claudia Russell & Bruce Kaplan, Kalyna Rakel, Mike Plume Band, Paul & Trevor Mills, Tomorrow Bird, Ken Dunn and David Storey. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re all about the Folk Music Ontario conference 2018 Developing Artist Program on Episode 423 of Folk Roots Radio. Each year during the annual conference, a group of developing artists – youth performers are paired with mentors from the Ontario folk community to work on a showcase performance and participate in professional development activities. Join us as we chat to participants in this year’s program and check out some of their music. The program is open to residents of Ontario and the National Capital Region, between the ages 15 and 21, who are chosen for their interest, ability and experience. Learn more about the program HERE. This episode features commentary and musical contributions from program coordinator Treasa Levasseur; Mentors: Rae Spoon, Binaeshee-Quae, Amanda Rheaume, Laura C. Bates and Wesli; Youth: Chloe Lukia Pilar, Saffron A., Cassidy Houston, Jessica Wedden and Gabriel Cyr. Photo credit: Mike Bourgeault. 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.
Mara Levine from New Jersey joins us on Episode 419 of Folk Roots Radio for a wonderful conversation about her music. Mara Levine is not a songwriter, but she is a fine, fine singer, and a great interpreter of other people’s songs. She’s just released a fabulous new album “Facets of Folk”, which features 13 tracks that showcase various different faces of folk music, often with a strong social conscience, and including favourites from Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen and Christine Lavin alongside some new discoveries from contemporary songwriters. And while Mara is with us, she also sings a song from Facets of Folk live. We also check out more of the new albums we’ve received including new music from Jesse Parent, T Buckley, Dave McEathron, Jenie Thai, Andrea Bettger, Niall Teague and the Fast Company, Merry Hell, Mike T. Kerr and Ben Heffernan. Check out the full playlist below.
Shawn William Clarke is a wonderfully quirky and engaging singer-songwriter who really deserves a wider audience. His last two solo albums “William” (2014) and “Topaz” (2017) were very well-received, and both made our long list for favourite albums of the year. A second trip to Europe on tour, another visit to Iceland for some off-venue gigs at the Iceland Airwaves festival, alongside picking up Folk Music Ontario‘s 2018 Songs from the Heart award for best instrumental for “Bellwoods Park” (from the William album) and a very well-received official showcase at the FMO conference, made 2018 a year to remember. It’s always fun to chat to Shawn about his music. We sat down with him at FMO for a great conversation and a couple of live songs, including another new song. Visit Shawn William Clarke online at shawnwilliamclarke.com. Music: Shawn William Clarke “Young In Love (At The End Of The World)” (Live), “Everybody Gets Sad Sometimes” (Live) and “The Tourists” from “Topaz” (2017, Self) CDN.
Long Island based folk band Gathering Time are an excellent harmony trio in the tradition of Peter, Paul & Mary, with a little bit of Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Byrds and Joni Mitchell thrown into the mix. The band features Stuart Markus and Gerry McKeveny on guitars and vocals, with Hillary Foxsong on percussion and vocals. Their latest album is the very well-received “Keepsake” from 2016. Gathering Time joined us in the mobile studio at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference for a fun conversation about their music and a couple of live songs, with vocal support from Mara Levine. Visit Gathering Time online at gathering-time.com. Music: Gathering Time “Too Far To Turn Back Now” (Live), “You Were Always On My Mind” (Live) and “Westerly” from “Keepsake” (2016, Treble G Records).
New Jersey based Mara Levine is a fabulous singer, and a great interpreter of other people’s songs. She’s just released a lovely third album “Facets Of Folk” the follow up to “Jewels and Harmony” (2013) and her debut “Mara’s Gems” (2009) which were both well-received. A very well curated collection, Facets of Folk features 13 tracks that showcase various different faces of folk music, often with a strong social conscience, and including favourites from Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen and Christine Lavin alongside some new discoveries from contemporary songwriters. Mara Levine tours across the US, often with Gathering Time (Stuart Markus, Hillary Foxsong, and Gerry McKeveny). She also performs as a duo with both Terry Kitchen, and Caroline Cutroneo. Mara Levine sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music, and shared a live version of Tommy Sands “Daughters and Sons”, which appears on the new album. For more information visit maralevine.com. Music: Mara Levine “You Reap What You Sow” from “Facets of Folk” (2019, Self), “Daughters and Sons” (live) and “By My Silence” (with Gathering Time) from “Facets of Folk” (2019, Self).
Multi-instrumentalist Ellen Froese grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan, and describes herself as a young hip-swinger who is not Joan Baez or a sheep, but the vibrato in her voice may suggest otherwise – which provides a big hint as to how much fun she is on stage. Ellen, who is also a member of folk trio In With The Old (currently on hiatus), released her second solo album “Ellen Froese” in Fall 2017. She’s now working on the follow-up with her backing band ‘The Hot Toddies’. Ellen Froese sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about her music. Visit Ellen Froese online at ellenfroese.com. Music: Ellen Froese “New Year’s”, “Oh Alice” and “I Wish I Had A Foot Long Cigarette” from “Ellen Froese” (2017, Self) CDN.
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.
Moonfruits are a bilingual folk duo featuring the beautiful harmonies Kaitlin Milroy and Alex Millaire, who captivate audiences with their songs and stories, often accompanied by just a banjo or parlour guitar. Moonfruits released their sophomore recording “Ste-Quequepart” in 2016, a French language folk concept album about a magical little town – that celebrates the lives of its inhabitants in song, and through those souls, the lives of everyday people living in small towns or communities the world over. Moonfruits bring an emotional passion and authenticity to their music that truly makes their music come alive, especially when they are telling stories about Ste-Quequepart. Kaitlin Milroy and Alex Millaire sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference. For more information about Moonfruits and their upcoming tour dates, visit moonfruits.ca. Music: Moonfruits “Les Marins”, “Ste-Quequepart”, “La Légende De Roustabout” and “Roustabout” from “Ste-Quequepart” (2017, Self) CDN
Gathering Sparks are the graceful collision of Jane Lewis and Eve Goldberg – musical friends who bonded over finely tuned harmonies and the craft of songwriting. Their inclusive approach embraces folk, pop, blues and gospel influences tastefully played on acoustic guitar, piano, accordion, and ukulele. Eve and Jane join us on Episode 407 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their music. They also play three live songs for us. It’s a great interview, and definitely worth checking out. We also check out new music from Belle Plaine, Zoe Speaks, Rachel Baiman, Kate Campbell, Childsplay and Lucy Wainwright Roche. Check out the full playlist below.
Jory Nash joins us on Episode 405 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest album “Wilderness Years”, and the challenges of making a living as a singer-songwriter in a world where online streaming is rapidly becoming the primary way people listen to music. He also plays two songs from the new album live for us. It’s a great interview and definitely worth sticking around for. We also hear from Guelph based singer-songwriter Doris Folkens who has just released a new single for Remembrance Day, “All Our Roses”, and check out more of the new music we’ve received including new releases from Kaia Kater, Missy Raines, Kathy Kallick Band, Kittel & Co. and Jenie Thai. Check you the full playlist below.
London based singer-songwriter John Muirhead first landed on our radar as a member of the Developing Artist Program (formerly the Youth Program) at the 2016 Folk Music Ontario conference. John released his second solo EP “Foundational” (the follow up to “Yesterday’s Smile”) earlier this year. John will be releasing a series of singles throughout the winter, with the first, “I Can Sleep Anywhere” due November 8. John Muirhead sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music. For more information, visit johnpmuirhead.com. Music: John Muirhead “Ambition”, “Foundational” and “Passenger’s Side” from “Foundational” (2018, Self).
Bilingual folk duo Moonfruits join us on Episode 403 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their music and latest album “Ste-Quequepart”. Kaitlin Milroy and Alex Millaire are a tremendous live act, captivating audiences with their beautiful harmonies while using their ideals and imagination to tell stories in song, often accompanied by just a banjo or parlour guitar. It’s a great interview, and well worth checking out. We also take a look at more of the new releases we’ve received, including new music from Mike T. Kerr, Jonathan Byrd, Twas Now, Ivan Rosenberg, Shauit, Carolyn Fe and the Red Dirt Skinners. Check out the playlist below.
Windsor ON based singer-songwriter Karen Morand has been pretty busy lately. After announcing the arrival of Even The Bird Was Free, her new rootsy, bluesy, gospel, Americana duo with Ukulele Bluesman Manitoba Hal (check out our great interview with Karen and Hal recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference HERE), the Canada South Songwriting Competition winner is about to release her fourth album since 2012. The new recording, a solo E.P., “Every Flash Of Light” was recorded in St.Thomas, ON with Deni Gauthier and features five new Karen Morand songs (including co-writes with Linda McRae, Steve Hindalong, and others) and a cover of Corin Raymond‘s “That’s Life”. While retaining that warm gospel infused style we associate with Karen Morand’s music, the new songs come with powerhouse vocals, and a musical accompaniment from Deni Gauthier (acoustic/electric guitars, bass, keys, programming and percussion) and Broomsticks & Hammers‘ Paul Aitken on lead guitar and slide guitar that really makes you feel that this is Karen Morand unleashed. Karen Morand joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about the new album. Visit Karen Morand online at karenmorand.com. Music: Karen Morand “When The Smoke Clears”, “That’s Life” and “Homeward Bound” from “Every Flash Of Light” (2018, Self).
Banjo toting roots singer-songwriter Carly Dow has just released her second album “Comet”. More celestial in tone than her earthy debut “Ingrained”, Carly is still deeply connected to nature and the wildness that lives amongst us – and within us, on ten new songs written at her, mostly off the grid, backwoods retreat in the wilds of Manitoba. The new album, co-produced with Matt Filopoulus, features Carly Dow on her signature clawhammer banjo and acoustic guitar with support from some fine Winnipeg based musicians including Matt Filopoulus on electric guitar, pedal steel and dobro; Murray Jewett and Julian Bradford (strings) and Jeremy Rusu (accordion) with harmony vocals from Madeleine Roger and Logan McKillop. Carly Dow sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at Folk Music Ontario to chat about the new album. For more information about the music of Carly Dow, visit carlydowmusic.com. Music: Carly Dow “Sunlight Remembers”, “Tiger’s Eye” and “Cut & Run” from “Comet” (2018, Self)
Winnipeg singer-songwriter Madeleine Roger released a fabulous album “Fairweather” in 2015 with her twin brother Lucas as part of the contemporary folk duo Roger Roger. Since that time, Lucas has decided to take a break from writing and performing to focus on his work as a luthier with Beardsell Guitars, allowing Madeleine to develop her own career as a solo artist. Madeleine Roger’s debut solo album “Cottonwood” features songs, written at home in Winnipeg and while on retreat at the family backwoods cottage, that reflect a female perspective on life and music. The album was produced with Lloyd Peterson (The Wailin’ Jenny’s, The Weakerthans, James Keelaghan) at Paintbox Recording in Winnipeg with true gender parity and equality a focus of the recording process. Madeleine Roger sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about the new album. For more information about Madeleine Roger, visit madeleineroger.com. Music: Madeleine Roger “60 Years More”, “Cottonwood” and “Soldier Song” from “Cottonwood” (2018, Self).