We’re all about the music on Episode 515 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you more Covid-19 lockdown inspired tunes and more great new releases. We’ve actually included a lot more singles on this episode than usual – many written during lockdown, which is why we’ve decided to subtitle this one ‘The Covid Times Edition’ of Folk Roots Radio. Join us for new music from Andy Comley, Melanie Peterson, Fresh Breath, Don Johnston, Hamish Napier, Martyn Joseph, Tomorrow Bird, The Worldwide Shanty Project, Castanea & Rising Appalachia, Becky Buller, Jason Wilber, Chicks With Dip, Jeff Orson and Francine Honey (with Robert Gray). Check out the full playlist below.
Steve Earle joins us on Episode 514 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his critically-acclaimed 20th studio album, “Ghosts of West Virginia”, which tells the story of the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster which took place in West Virginia in 2010, and killed twenty-nine miners – making it one of the worst mining disasters in American history. It’s a great interview. We hope you’ll stick around to check it out. We also include more of the new music we’ve received, and this time around we hear from Evangeline Gentle, Norma MacDonald, Kieran Begbie, Adam Karch, Mike Scott, Julian Taylor, Scott Cook and David Clayton-Thomas. Check out the full playlist below.
We included an excerpt from our great in-depth interview with Lynn Harrison in Episode 498 of Folk Roots Radio. You can now check out the full interview here. Enjoy!
Lynn Harrison is a wonderful storytelling singer-songwriter with a fine turn of phrase. Her sixth recording “Something More”, which was produced by Douglas September and Noah Zacharin, features 12 thoughtful and reflective songs about life, love and the power of the human spirit. It’s a beautiful album, and a joy from beginning to end. As befits the production team behind the project, this album has a wonderful feel to it, and includes some excellent players – Noah Zacharin on electric guitar, Douglas September on lap steel, George Koller on bowed bass, Ian de Souza on electric bass and Adam Warner on drums and percussion with cameos from Ed Michael Roth on a bouncy accordion, Denis Keldie on Hammond organ, and Alexander Brown on trumpet. Lynn Harrison is also an ordained Unitarian Universalist (UU) minister, and currently serving at First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto. She is also the creator and host of The Bridge – a themed open stage that blends music and spirituality in an innovative and inclusive way. In all aspects of her work, Lynn Harrison shares an inspirational message of love, hope and justice. For more information about the music of Lynn Harrison, visit lynnharrison.ca. Music: Lynn Harrison “You Come To Me”, “When I’m On The Water”, “The Protester” and “Something More” from “Something More” (Self, 2020) CDN.
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.
Acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter Jerry Leger was supposed to be on tour in Europe this spring in support of his ninth studio album “Time Out For Tomorrow”, but unfortunately, like the rest of us, he is sheltering at home as we wait out the first wave of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Jerry’s been keeping busy playing some livestream shows, and he’s just released a surprise 10 track lo-fi collection “Songs From The Apartment”, recorded solo at home. These are songs that Jerry had written, quickly demoed but never released. They are out in the world now, and some of them, like a lot of Jerry’s music, are really, really good. Join us on Episode 512 of Folk Roots Radio… as we go In Conversation with Jerry Leger to chat about his music, and both new albums. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re bringing you another hour of great new music on Episode 511 of Folk Roots Radio. This time around we’re including more new Covid-19 tunes, some songs recorded during the coronavirus lockdown, alongside some fine new releases. Join us for new music from Martyn Joseph, Chip Taylor, Crys Matthews & Heather Mae, Gillian Nicola, Shawn Clarke, Bill Bourne, Katie Dahl, Doris Folkens, Pharis & Jason Romero, Claudia Nygaard, Leeroy Stagger, Maggie Duffy, Nelson Sobral, Donovan Woods, Carolyn Anele and Shelley Posen. Stay safe and well everyone! We will get through this… together and apart. Check out the full playlist below.
Miranda Mulholland joins us on Episode 510 of Folk Roots Radio for a wonderful in-depth conversation about her second solo album, the JUNO-nominated “By Appointment or Chance”. Classically trained on violin and in voice, Miranda is also a member of the roots duo Harrow Fair with Andrew Penner from the Sun Parlour Players. Harrow Fair released their own second album “Sins We Made” a few weeks ago. Outside of her own musical creativity, Miranda Mulholland runs the record label Roaring Girl Records and the Muskoka Music Festival, and continues to travel the world advocating for fair remuneration for creators. Needless to say, there was a lot to talk about, which is why we’ve devoted the whole of this episode to an hour plus of Miranda Mulholland… In Conversation, on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
One of Canada’s finest songwriters, Connie Kaldor joins us on Episode 509 of Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth interview about her career in music. A three time Juno award winner, and a member of the Order of Canada, Connie Kaldor has forged a great career that, alongside some great albums, has also included CD books for children, musicals and music for both film and web-series – and all achieved while remaining proudly independent. Her latest album, her sixteenth, “Everyday Moments” was released in the fall of 2019, however the Covid-19 pandemic has severely limited her ability to tour in support of the new recording. Connie Kaldor joined us from her home in Montreal where she is staying safe with the rest of her family, in what she likes to call the isolation station. A fabulous performer with a very engaging live show, we’re pleased to be able to bring you Connie Kaldor… In Conversation on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re holding back the interviews on Episode 508 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you another hour of great new releases. We may all be continuing to self-isolate in the midst of the on-going Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, but artists are still producing fabulous music. So settle down and enjoy songs from Parkland, Heather Styka, Andrea Ramolo, Jesse Cook, Stuart Markus, Grae J Wall, Michael Logen, Tara Thompson, Rachael Sage, Sara Thomsen, Lara Herscovitch, Deborah Holland, Julian Taylor, Alex Lauzière and Erik Balkey. Stay safe and well everyone. We will get through this… together and apart. Check out the full playlist below.
Jen Bird and Simon Driscoll make music together as acoustic folk duo, Tomorrow Bird. They specialize in heartfelt songs that reflect on the human experience – and sing of hope, love, loss, courage and empowerment. Jen and Simon were due to be Canada this spring but because of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic they’ve had change their plans and are now keeping themselves safe at home. Because they can’t be with us this year, we’re pleased to bring an interview we recorded with them last year to Episode 507 of Folk Roots Radio. We also check out more of the great new music that’s come into the studio, and this time around we hear from Raina Krangle, Forest Sun, Brent Mason, Raye Zaragoza, Ewen Henderson, Jeffrey Straker, Mattie Leon and Ayla Brook & The Sound Men. Stay safe and well everyone! We’ll get through this… together and apart. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re all about the music on Episode 506 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you an all music Covid-19 isolation edition of the show. We’re in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and we’re all social distancing, but artists are still making great music. Join us for new songs written especially for these strange times from Julia Appleton, Tara MacLean & Catherine MacLellan, Shawn Erker and Mark Perry, alongside some great new releases we just had to share from Valerie Smith, David Foley & Jack Smedley, Deborah Holland, Tomo, David Madras and Midnight Vesta. We also include a special four song tribute to the late great John Prine, who sadly passed away after contracting the coronavirus. Stay safe and well everyone! We’ll get through this together… and apart. Check out the full playlist below.
Sara & Ryan Fontaine, who make music together as The Fontaines, join us on Episode 505 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their music and self-titled debut album. Sara and Ryan met while pursuing separate musical careers; Sara in theatre and vocal performance, and Ryan as an upright bass player. With a sound that they describe as ‘folk with a modern twist’, they affectionately call every gig ‘date night’. We’re in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic emergency and so we caught up with Sara & Ryan over Zoom, rather than live in the studio. Stay safe and well everyone – and settle down and enjoy The Fontaines… In Conversation, on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
Jack Pine is the stage persona of Gareth Auden Hole, an Ottawa based singer-songwriter, engineer and producer. Jack is an incredible live performer with a wonderful energy, and a very engaging style on both guitar and mandolin; however he self-deprecatingly describes himself as an anything goes singer-songwriter with a heavy-handed string band. His 2017 album band with his band The Fire “Left To Our Own Devices” picked up a 2018 Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for New/Emerging Artist of the Year and a 2019 Juno nomination for best art work. Jack Pine sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his music. In 2019, we had a follow up conversation at FMO, and this time around he played some songs live for us. Check out the video for the song “You’ll Find Me Waiting” Jack mentions in the interview here. For more information about the music of Jack Pine visit jackpinefire.com. Music: Jack Pine “You’ll Find Me Waiting” (Live), “Rich In Time” (Live) and Jack Pine & The Fire “Desert Island” from “Left To Our Own Devices” (2017, Self). Bonus: Jack Pine “Cabin Fever” (Live).
Miranda Mulholland and Andrew Penner make music together as Harrow Fair, a fabulous Americana roots duo with a huge sound and an exhilarating live show. They join us on Episode 504 of Folk Roots Radio, direct from their Covid-19 emergency self-isolation, for a fun chat about their music and their wonderful sophomore release “Sins We Made”. It’s an excellent interview which reaches far beyond the album, to talk about what it feels like to put everything on hold and stay home while you are supposed to be out touring a great new album. We wrap up the rest of the episode with more great new music from David Shurr, Rob Murphy, David Keenan, David Foley & Jack Smedley and The Rough & Tumble. Stay safe and well everyone! Check out the full playlist below.
Michelle Plum and Nick Hall are from Bradford in England and make music together as Plumhall. They join us on Episode 503 of Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about their second album, “The Ghost Of Noise”, a wonderful Americana / Folk recording that also includes a little electronica and some found sounds. It’s a great album, and the follow up to the very well received “Thundercloud” from 2014 – one of our favourite albums of that year. Michelle and Nick are always a great interview, so kick back and enjoy Plumhall in conversation on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
We have a very special coronavirus isolation edition of Folk Roots Radio to bring you on Episode 502. We’re featuring a great interview we taped a few weeks ago with Kelowna BC based Kerrville Folk finalist Jane Eamon. Jane is a fantastic songwriter, but one who had almost fallen out of love with the music business. That all changed when her husband had a stroke and then was diagnosed with cancer, and her father died suddenly. That would be enough to break many people – but all this family turmoil pushed Jane back into songwriting and led to her fabulous 2019 album “Pieces of Me”. We’re obviously biased but it’s a truly wonderful and inspirational interview, and perhaps a bit of an antidote for all of us who are struggling in the strange social distancing times we’re now living in. We’re continuing the Covid-19 emergency theme on the rest of the show as we include brand spanking new songs about social distancing from John & Sheila Ludgate and Jesse Parent, a song about unheralded essential workers from Dale Boyle, a wonderful comic creation from Heather Pierson alongside some great new music from both The Lonesome Ace Stringband and Ken Yates. We will get through this… together and apart. Check out the full playlist below.
Before there was Folk Roots Radio there was Royal City Rag, a mixed music and spoken word magazine style show focusing on Guelph community issues, music and the arts that went out on CFRU 93.3fm Guelph’s campus & community radio station from 2005-2011. On April Fool’s Day 2009, Sya Van Guest and Brad Woods, and singer-songwriter Sam Turton joined us on the show for a very special Tall Tales themed show apparently being broadcast live from an undisclosed and, at the time, quite controversial Guelph location. We’re not going to let you know where the show was supposed to be coming from – you’ll have to listen to the episode to find out. Let’s just say that a lot of our Guelph activist friends we’re quite shocked that we would be broadcasting from there. This was certainly one of our favourite Royal City Rag episodes. Enjoy!
Quebec based singer-songwriter Doug McArthur joins us on Episode 501 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest project “The Horses of the Sea”, a beautiful collection of songs and stories about Ireland. It’s a wonderful album, and one that has become a fast favourite on this radio show. This is another of our in-depth conversations recorded during the coronavirus Covid-19 emergency. Stay safe and healthy everyone – we’ll get through this together! Check out the full playlist below.
It is always a pleasure to sit down with Nashville based singer-songwriter Steve Poltz to chat about his music – especially so, when you’re in the middle of the Caribbean on the Cayamo roots music cruise. His third time on Cayamo, Steve was joined by partner Sharon, sister Kathy and Dad Joe; Steve and Sharon actually tied the knot on the boat, surrounded by 500 of their closest friends! A brilliant live performer, Steve Poltz is scheduled to be back in Canada to play the 6th Roots North Music Festival in Orillia ON on Saturday April 25 2020. The Roots North Music Festival takes place at a variety of venues across Downtown Orillia from Thursday – Sunday, April 23-26. For more information about the music of Steve Poltz, visit poltz.com. Photo: Susan Wheeler-Hall. You can also check out our full Cayamo radio episode HERE. Music: Steve Poltz “Silver Lining” from “One Left Shoe” (1998, UMG Recordings), “Sewing Machine” (Live) (2014, Live At Oasis House Concerts, San Diego CA, YouTube) and “Pharmacist” from “Shine On” (2019, Compass Records).
Canadian folk legend Ken Whiteley joins us on Episode 500 of Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about “Calm In The Eye of The Storm”, his first recording in four years and a project that looks at the personal, political and spiritual dimensions of finding peace in these turbulent times. The follow up to 2016’s Freedom Blues, the new album has a fabulous bluesy, folky and gospel sound, and a wonderful message to share with the world. Recorded during the coronavirus Covid-19 emergency, we chat about the album, Ken’s production work, live show and gospel matinees. It was a very enjoyable conversation, and hopefully it will be of great comfort to listeners during a period of uncertainty for many people. Stay safe and healthy – we’ll get through this together. Check out the full playlist below.
Kelowna BC’s Jane Eamon started writing the songs for her beautiful seventh album “Pieces of Me” after her husband had a stroke on Christmas Day and the sudden death of her father. At the time, Eamon, a 2011 Kerrville New Folk finalist, actually thought she was done with the music business – but the songs wouldn’t rest, they just kept coming. Yet, after helping her husband recover from his stroke, he was then diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer which lead to further family turmoil. Fortunately Jane’s songwriting helped her pull her through this incredibly difficult period in her life. What developed from all this was the stripped down, honest and completely authentic nine track album album Pieces of Me which speaks to the emotions of that challenging period, but also brings with it a sense of hope – storms can be weathered. Pieces of Me was produced by her long-time collaborator Andrew Smith from Lake Studios, Kelowna BC, and has been critically acclaimed despite flying under many radars. It deservedly became one of Our Favourite Albums of 2019. Jane Eamon’s husband is now in recovery from cancer and she’s working on a new album. For more information about the music of Jane Eamon visit janeeamon.net. Music: Jane Eamon “Pieces Of Me”, “Broken Things”, “Stuck” and “Not Today” from “Pieces Of Me” (2019, Self) CDN.
Kevin Harvey, front man and lead vocalist of the Durham County Poets joins us on Episode 499 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their latest album, a full on blues recording, “Hand Me Down Blues” which has earned nominations for both the 2020 JUNO Blues Album of the Year & the 2019 Maple Blues Awards New Artist/Group of the Year. It’s a wonderful tribute to some of their influences, and Kevin Harvey is always a great interview. We also check out more of the new music we’ve received, and this time around we hear from Little Misty, The Lonesome Ace Stringband, Frank & Allie Lee and Frank Birtwistle. We wrap up the episode with a special three song tribute to Nova Scotia based folk singer Laura Smith who sadly left us this week. Laura Smith had an absolutely fabulous singing voice, and though, because of some health challenges she did not leave a large body of recorded music, the excellent albums she created deserve to be shared and savoured. Her spirit will live on. Safe Home, Sweet Light! Check out the full playlist below.
The Durham County Poets are having an absolutely fabulous year. They released the wonderful “Hand Me Down Blues” in 2019 – a celebration of all things blues and the artists that have inspired their music. Since then, they have received nominations for both the 2020 JUNO Blues Album of the Year & the 2019 Maple Blues Awards New Artist/Group of the Year. According to band front man and lead vocalist Kevin Harvey, the decision to make a full-on blues album brought back memories of catching the great Muddy Waters live in Montreal in 1981, when – front row and centre, a young Kevin Harvey was able to touch the great man’s shoe. “Muddy looked at me and winked, as if to say ‘welcome to the blues, son’. I didn’t know then, that I would have a life-altering spinal cord injury three months later that would place me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. That experience made the blues come alive to me. The band and I – we have our own experiences and inspirations that lead to the creation of a dedicated ‘blues album’, paying homage to our favourite blues artists. Muddy Waters was just one of many who handed the genre down to us, and now we want to continue in that tradition by putting our own stamp on it and “Hand” the blues to the next generation.” Hand Me Down Blues which was produced by Bill Garrett, features compositions written by all four long-time members of the band: David Whyte, Neil Elsmore, Carl Rufh and Kevin Harvey alongside some well chosen covers. New boy Rob Couture joins them in the drum chair. The Durham County Poets continue to tour on a regular basis, and upcoming dates include Sharbot Lake ON (March 21, Sharbot Lake Inn), Oakville (March 26, The Moonshine Cafe), Kingsville ON (March 27, Road to Kingsville Folk Fest), Wallaceburg ON (March 28, Jeanne Gordon Theatre) and Wakefield QC (May 16, The Blacksheep Inn). For more information, visit durhamcountypoets.com. Music: Durham County Poets, “Hand Me Down Blues”, “Can’t Be Satisfied”, “If The Lid Don’t Fit” and “Evil In The Heart Of Man” from “Hand Me Down Blues” (2019, Self).
Toronto singer-songwriter and Unitarian Universalist minster Lynn Harrison joins us on Episode 498 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her wonderful new album “Something More”. It’s a great interview and really inspiring – you definitely don’t want to miss it. We also continue to celebrate International Women’s Day with more new music from female artists and this time around we feature Lunar Bloom, Kristen Martell, Minuscule, Wu Fei & Abigail Washburn, Della Mae, Rose Cousins, The Haden Triplets and Lynne Hanson. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re celebrating International Women’s Day on Episode 497 of Folk Roots Radio with an hour of special programming featuring female artists. Join us for new music from Sarah Harmer, Claudia Nygaard, Sarah Morris, Frazey Ford, Natalie MacMaster, Grace Morrison, Moira & Claire, The Pairs, Rory Block, Katie Dahl, Heather Pierson, 100 Mile House, The Lone Canary, Harrow Fair and The Small Glories. Check out the full playlist below.