The Red River Ramblers are an Ontario based trio dedicated to the revival of Manitoba Métis Fiddle music – which brings together the rhythmic spirit of the First Nations peoples, with a blend of both the Scottish and French fiddle traditions. Douglas Richard Sinclair, a Métis musician with roots in the Red River Settlement, joins us on Episode 492 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about the band and their music. We also take a look at more of the latest new releases, and this time around we hear from 100 Mile House, Grace Potter, Lynne Hanson, Rod Abernethy, Artists for Peace & Justice (feat. Jackson Browne), Rumour Mill and Forest Sun. 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.
The Pairs are a fantastic female fronted folk/pop group from London ON featuring classically trained vocalists Hillary Watson, Renée Coughlin and Noelle Coughlin with a wonderful sound driven by sweet harmonies, and joyful rhythms. With support from their other band member, former punk rock drummer, Steve Plimmer, they really put on a great show – they’ll have you up on your feet dancing before you realize what’s happening! The Pairs have just released their second album “Noise” which features twelve self-written songs that tell stories about this beautiful, and, at times, crazy and chaotic journey we call life, and all its conflicting emotions… the joy, the sadness – the comedy and the tragedy. The Pairs sat down with Folk Roots Radio at Folk Music Ontario for a fun conversation about their music and three live songs from the new album. For more information about The Pairs, visit thepairsmusic.com. Music: The Pairs “Wrong Side Of Life” (Live), “Everything I Call Home” (Live) and “Put The Gun Down” (Live).
Our interview with Keri Latimer from Leaf Rapids went so much further than what we were able to include in Episode 489 of Folk Roots Radio. Check out our full in-depth conversation here.
Keri Latimer and her partner Devin Latimer, formerly of Juno Award-winning alt-country quartet Nathan, released “Citizen Alien”, their second album as Leaf Rapids in May 2019. Citizen Alien is a wonderful recording, that uses Keri and Devin’s own family history to tell stories about the nature of identity and reflect on what it means to belong, in a world where more and more politicians are using populist nationalistic rhetoric to separate the ‘us’ from the ‘them’. According to Keri Latimer, “Every family has stories of people who crossed oceans, who survived, who struggled and tried. People who knew injustice. And though some of those stories now fade into the haze of time, the truth of them remains vivid. On Citizen Alien, the album’s title track, love declared by ancestors leads to separation through the travesty of Canada’s Second World War-era Japanese internment camps; if the same thing happened today, Devin and I would be split up, our children taken away.” The 10 songs on the new album were co-produced with acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and composer Rusty Matyas (Imaginary Cities, The Sheepdogs) at Paintbox Recording and feature Keri Latimer (vocals, guitar and theremin), Devin Latimer (bass), Rusty Matyas (piano/keyboards/trumpet), Joanna Miller (drums) and Bill Western (pedal steel) with special guests: Alexa Dirks (Begonia), Madeleine Roger, Grant Davidson (Slow Leaves), Myron Schultz, Chris Dunn and JP Hoe. Keri Latimer sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2019 Folk Music Ontario conference for an in-depth conversation about her music and the new album. Citizen Alien was included on our long list of Our Favourite Albums of 2019. Check them all out HERE. For more information about the music of Leaf Rapids, visit leafrapids.org. Music: Leaf Rapids “Dear Sister”, “Citizen Alien”, Barbershop Shears” and “There They Go” from “Citizen Alien” (2019, Coax Records) CDN.
Keri Latimer joins us on Episode 489 of Folk Roots Radio to talk about “Citizen Alien”, the second album from Leaf Rapids, the Winnipeg band she leads with her partner, Devin Latimer – and one of our favourite albums of 2019. Citizen Alien is a wonderful recording that uses Keri and Devin’s own family history to talk about the nature of identity and reflect on what it means to belong, in a world where more and more politicians are using populist nationalistic rhetoric to separate the ‘us’ from the ‘them’. It’s a really great interview – and definitely worth checking out. We can actually only share part of our conversation with you on this episode, but we’ll be bringing the full interview to the website and on demand listening very shortly. We wrap up the episode with more of Our Favourite Albums of 2019 and this time we hear from The MacQueens, Lizanne Knott, Geneviève Racette, Justin Rutledge, The Red River Ramblers, Leanne Hoffman, The East Pointers, Catherine MacLellan and Lee Harvey Osmond (Tom Wilson). Check out the full playlist below.
London ON based female fronted folk/pop vocal group The Pairs join us on Episode 479 of Folk Roots Radio for a wonderful conversation about their music and new album “Noise”. They also sing three songs live for us. It’s a fun interview, and definitely worth sticking around for. We also check out more of the new music we’ve received, and this time around we hear from Sam Weber, Jane Eamon, Martha Renaud, Katie Dahl, Searson, Deni Gauthier and The Marrieds. Check out the full playlist below.
Graham Lindsey is an Ottawa-based multi-instrumentalist who currently plays mandolin and banjo, percussion (bodhran, cajon, shakers and more), as well as flutes and whistles. Already developing a great reputation as a composer, his inventive tunes have been praised for their feel and flare, while also acknowledging their traditional Irish, Scottish or other Celtic heritage. Graham plays in folk combos From Away (with fiddler, guitarist and singer Kristan Couture and guitarist Kyle Jordan), The Trads (with Kristan Couture and Peter Taylor), McGregor & Lindsey (with Arthur McGregor) and the Sarah Burnell Band. In June 2019, Graham Lindsey released the first album of his own compositions, “Tradhead”. The new album features thirteen tracks (25 original tunes) set as twelve instrumentals alongside a version of the traditional song “Wild Mountain Thyme” that also includes Graham’s tune “From Away”. Graham’s tunes have been played on the Carillon in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, as well as in Sweden, cruising in international waters and at festivals and venues across Canada. His creativity and hard work has resulted in his recent nomination for a 2020 Canadian Folk Music Award for Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year for debut album Tradhead. Folk Roots Radio had the pleasure of sitting down with Graham at the 2019 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music. He also played his tune “From Away” live for us, on his ten string Laskin tenor mandolin. For more information about the music of Graham Lindsey, visit grahamlindsey.com. Graham Lindsey is also a video director, videographer and web designer with Wavelength Media. Music: Graham Lindsey “Leaving Goderich Set” (with From Away), “From Away” (Live) and “Folk At Heart Set” (with Ten Strings & a Goat Skin) (2019, Wavelength Media).
Toronto based singer-songwriter Jeremy Voltz has been writing music, recording, and performing for 18 years. As well as his solo career, Jeremy is also a member of fantastic thirteen voice a cappella group Countermeasure, under the direction of musical director Aaron Jensen. Known for his contemporary soul sound and huge voice, Jeremy’s songs bridge the gap between folk, rock, and soul. He sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2019 Folk Music Ontario conference for three live songs and an in-depth conversation about his music. For more information about the music of Jeremy Voltz visit jeremyvoltzmusic.com. Music: Jeremy Voltz “One Day At A Time” (Live), “Running Away” (Live) and “I’ll Follow” (Live)
We’re giving over the whole of Episode 475 of Folk Roots Radio to a very inspiring audio documentary created with the participants in the 2019 Folk Music Ontario (FMO) Developing Artist Program. Each year at the conference, young performers are paired with mentors from the Ontario folk community to work on a showcase performance and participate in professional development activities in a nurturing and supportive environment. This episode features commentary and musical contributions from program coordinator Treasa Levasseur; peer mentors: Braden Phelan & Liv Cazzola (Tragedy Ann); mentors: Leela Gilday, Janice Jo Lee, Irish Mythen, Alexis Normand and Nick Sherman; developing artists: Emily Gilbart, Amy Brady & Liam Roesch (Hill & Landing), Mia Kelly, Yasmine Shelton & Sam Clark (Basset) and Voimaa. Photo credit: Mike Bourgeault. Check out the full playlist below.
Australian acoustic blues legend Lloyd Spiegel has been performing his hard-hitting, cutting edge brand of blues for more than 30 years. While on tour in Canada, Lloyd Spiegel sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the Folk Music Ontario conference for a chat about his music and three live songs. Believe it or not, Lloyd Spiegel first picking up a guitar at the age of four, played his first professional show at age ten and was touring the east coast of Australia at 12! Lloyd Spiegel’s tenth album “Cut and Run”, is the final part of a trilogy about personal redemption that he didn’t even realize he was writing until it was finished. Whereas his previous albums “Backroads” and “This Time Tomorrow” had Lloyd reflecting on the sins of the past and begging for forgiveness, Cut And Run finds him facing the next chapter of his life with optimism and determination. Check out the video of Lloyd Spiegel playing three songs at Folk Music Ontario HERE. You can SUBSCRIBE to Folk Roots Radio’s new Youtube channel HERE. For more information about the music of Lloyd Spiegel and upcoming tour dates, visit lloydspiegel.com. Music: Lloyd Spiegel “Life Is A Gamble” (Live), “Old Wounds” (Live) and “Mississippi Sun” (Live).
Singer-songwriter Jean-Paul De Roover is renowned for his innovative and original approach to music, using live looping with guitars and voice as part of his performance. Although Jean-Paul was born in Thunder Bay, ON, he was raised overseas in Africa, Asia and South America before returning to Canada in 2001 – an upbringing that led him to create a post-pop style that is decidedly his own, blending ideas from rock, pop, a cappella and electronica together in his music. Jean-Paul De Roover released a great new acoustic album “Love” earlier this year. It’s actually part of a two album set, Love & Loss, with “Loss” to be released in 2020. As well as being a singer-songwriter, Jean-Paul De Roover is also a composer for film and TV, and currently artistic director at the Live from the Rock Folk Festival. Jean-Paul De Roover sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2019 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music. For more information about the music of Jean-Paul De Roover, and upcoming tour dates, visit jeanpaulderoover.com. Music: Jean-Paul De Roover “My Heart and My Head”, “I’ll Do Anything”, “I Can’t Sleep” and “Ragged Angel” from “Love” (2019, Self) CDN.
Australian acoustic blues great Lloyd Spiegel joins us on Episode 464 of Folk Roots Radio for a chat about his music and three live songs. A fantastic live performer, Lloyd Spiegel has been performing his hard-hitting, cutting edge brand of blues for more than 30 years. Lloyd Spiegel released his tenth album, “Cut & Run”, earlier this year. It’s a great interview – we hope you’ll check it out. And as always we wrap up the hour with more new releases, and this time we hear from I’m With Her, Annie & Rod Capps, Zachary Lucky, Dale Boyle, The Lifers, Jennis, Durham County Poets and Kae Shelby. Check out the full playlist below.
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.