Canadian roots and blues artist Rick Fines joins us on Episode 550 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his truly fabulous new folk blues album “Solar Powered Too” which started out as a straightforward guitar and voice album, to be recorded at his solar powered cottage in the Kawartha Highlands, before turning into something rather special. It’s a really great interview – we can only bring part of it to you on this episode, but we do hope you’ll check it out, as we’re sure this album will feature in our favourite albums of 2020. We’ll be releasing the full interview very soon, so stay tuned for that. As always, we wrap up the episode with more new releases and this time around we hear from JJ Shiplett, Maybe Babs, Justin Farren, Kennedy Road, Brian Blain, The Mastersons, David Gillis, Donal Hinely and Dan Tuffy. Check out the full playlist below.
Vancouver based folk collective The Fugitives have just released a fabulous new album “Trench Songs” which takes as its source material, lyrics from songs written by frontline soldiers during the First World War – set to new music from the band. The album is based on “Ridge”, a new stage show by The Fugitives’ Brendan McLeod which was due to be performed in front of a live audience at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver this past March. Unfortunately, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, those live shows had to be cancelled – however Ridge has now been re-imagined as a feature film, using a variety of locations throughout the Chan Centre to tell the story. Co-leaders of the Fugitives Brendan McLeod and Adrian Glynn joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about the new project. Watch the feature film version of Ridge HERE. For more information about The Fugitives, visit fugitives.ca. Music: The Fugitives “Thirteen Pence”, “Hymn 43”, “If I Could Turn The Clock Back”, “After Loos”, “The Next Man Who Dies”, “Where Do We Go, Boys” and “Take Me Back To Old Ontario” from “Trench Songs” (2020, Borealis Records).
We have a very special interview to bring you on Episode 549 of Folk Roots Radio. Aaron Jensen, the composer and arranger for Toronto based a cappella group Countermeasure joins us to chat about their new concept album “Guest Sessions” which features collaborations with world class instrumentalists like Kevin Fox, Christian Roberge, Randy Brecker, Evelyn Glennie and Natalie McMaster; each piece on the new recording being specifically tailored to compliment the sound and aesthetic of the guest artist. It’s a great album and an excellent interview – we hope you’ll check it out. We wrap up the episode with new songs inspired by Canadian icon Leonard Cohen (who left us four years ago) from Lynn Jackson, Imogen Joy and Shawn William Clarke; alongside two of the tracks that the great man was working on prior to his death, that are included on his posthumous album “Thanks For The Dance” – the sublime “The Goal” and the beautiful title track. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re holding back the interviews again on Episode 548 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you an hour of the latest new releases including more Covid tunes, and some great new protest songs. Join us for new music from Paul Snider, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Philip Scott Poli, The Roxton Rambles with Ken Whiteley & Ceilidh Wood, Valeri Dimchev with Anton Apostolov & Valeri Pastarmadzhiev, Justin Farren, Brian Blain, Adam Wendler, Moira Smiley & Seamus Egan (with Sam Amidon), HuDost and Gabriel Campagne. We also include special tributes to outlaw country pioneers Jerry Jeff Walker and Billy Joe Shaver who both sadly passed away recently. Remember, if you like what you hear on this show… don’t just stream the music – BUY the music and then you’ll really make a difference to artists income during this difficult time when it’s much more challenging to find live shows. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re pleased to bring you another one of our Covid Times interviews on Episode 547 of Folk Roots Radio. As you know, the coronavirus pandemic has completely upended the lives of people who make their living through music. This time around we catch up with zany singer-songwriter and humorist Steve Poltz to learn more about his life during these strange, strange times – while checking out a wonderful new lockdown single, appropriately entitled “Quarantine Blues”. As always, it’s a great conversation. We wrap up the episode with new music from Rick Fines, Rube & Rake, Clare Follett, Carmanah, Hamish Napier, Aoife Scott, Terra Lightfoot and Dione Taylor. If you like the music you hear on Folk Roots Radio, don’t just stream the music – BUY the music, and then you’ll really make a difference to artists income during a period when live shows are hard to find. Check out the full playlist below.
Yukon based folk-roots singer-songwriter Gordie Tentrees joins us on Episode 546 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about the life, music and legacy of Aylie Sparkes, a Manitoba born singer-songwriter who arrived in the Yukon in 2001 with a truck full of guitars and barely a penny to his name. Finding his community, Aylie Sparkes built such a fabulous reputation for his live performances and slide guitar play that he had people queuing around the block to get into his shows. Passing away from cancer in 2005 and close to his 39th birthday, Aylie Sparkes recorded only one full length album, the recently re-released “Beautiful & Deranged” from 2003 which was nominated for Blues Album of the Year at the 2004 Western Canadian Music Awards. Beautiful & Deranged is a truly awesome album, and this is a great interview. So, settle down and enjoy Gordie Tentrees in Conversation – a tribute to Aylie Sparkes, on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
Singer-songwriter and humorist Steve Poltz is an absolutely fabulous live performer. There is just no two ways about it. See one show, you’ll become a fan for life – and like everyone else, you’ll be revelling in the power of being in the moment for a performance where anything can happen, and often does. Steve Poltz was born in Canada (Halifax NS) and raised in San Diego where he spent much of his life before he moved to Nashville in 2016. After a series of well-received albums, the release of “Shine On” in 2019 really started to move Steve’s career up to another level – and then COVID hit. As a touring artist, Steve works exceptionally hard and plays more than 150 dates a year across North America, Europe and Australia. To see all his 2020 plans evaporate almost overnight was disappointing to say the least. Steve Poltz joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about how he has been spending his time off the road, including the release of a wonderful new lockdown single, appropriately entitled “Quarantine Blues”. Watch the video version of this interview on our sister show the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions HERE. For more information about the music of Steve Poltz visit poltz.com. Music: Steve Poltz “Quarantine Blues” (single) (2020, 98 Pounder Records / Compass Records), “Ballin’ On A Wednesday” from “Shine On” (2019, 98 Pounder Records / Red House Records) and Hey God I’ll Trade You Donald Trump For Leonard Cohen (single) (2017, 98 Pounder Records)
We included a portion of our interview with Shaye Zadravec in Episode 523 of Folk Roots Radio. We’re now pleased to be able to bring you the full conversation. It’s definitely worth checking out. Enjoy!
Shaye Zadravec, a young vocalist from Calgary Alberta, has been creating quite a buzz for her ability to interpret other people’s songs. Shaye, who describes herself as a singer and only occasionally a songwriter, started out her career in dance before moving into musical theatre and then on to a full music career. Her first full-length album, “Now & Then”, features ten tracks, and includes fine versions of songs by Jay Farrar (Windfall), Jesse Winchester (Biloxi), Paul Westerberg (Skyway), Lawrence Russell Brown & Pat McLaughlin (The Whispering Wind), Lynn Miles (Night Drive), Roy Forbes (The Slider), Joan Besen (Did You Fall In Love With Me) and Ian Tyson (Summer’s Gone, Silver Bell) alongside a beautiful instrumental by (her producer) Goran Grini (East Longview Serenade) that uses samples from four songs on the album. Now & Then was recorded over five days at OCL Studios (just outside Calgary) and produced by Norwegian musician Goran Grini (who also plays some acoustic guitar / Wurlitzer piano) with support from Mike Lent (bass), Chris Nordquist (drums), Tim Leacock (guitars / mandolin), Russell Broom – guitars, Bruce Bouton (steel guitar), Denis Dufresne (fiddle) and Sydney Zadravec (background vocals). Shaye Zadravec’s first EP “Norway” (also produced by Goran Grini) is also worth checking out. It features an absolutely gorgeous cover of Chip Taylor’s “I’ll Carry For You” alongside spine-tingling versions of “Lilac Wine”, made famous by Nina Simone and Elkie Brooks and Cris Cuddy’s “Dear Elvis”, as well as an excellent version of Shelby Lynne’s “If I Were Smart”. Although Shaye Zadravec has not really been able to perform live since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, in the past she has opened shows for William Prince, Dan Mangan, David Francey, Chip Taylor, and pop opera sensations Il Divo. If you want to check out Shaye Zadravec’s live work, take a look at this fantastic performance of Mary Margaret O’Hara’s “To Cry About” (with support from Tim Leacock) at the Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg, Manitoba, in March 2019 while she was on the Il Divo tour. For more information about the music of Shaye Zadravec, visit shayezadravec.com. Music: Shaye Zadravec “Biloxi”, “Skyway”, “Summers Gone” and “Night Drive” from “Now & Then” (2020, Indelible Music) CDN.
We’re all about the music again on Episode 545 of Folk Roots Radio as we hold back the interviews to bring you a great selection of new releases. Join us for new music from Last Birds, Shaye Zadravec, Suzzy Roche & Lucy Wainwright Roche, Jesse Brint, Chairmen Of The Boards, Allison Lupton & Craig Werth, Sinead O’Connor, Laura Mulcahy, Rachel Garlin, Tim Grimm, Harry Shearer, Loudon Wainwright III, Max Marshall and Caribou Run. Remember, if you like what you hear on this show… don’t just stream the music – BUY the music and the you’ll really make a difference to artists income during this difficult time when it’s much more challenging to find live shows. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re bringing another of our Covid Times interviews to Episode 544 of Folk Roots Radio – an opportunity for artists to chat about how the coronavirus pandemic has upended their music careers. This time around we are joined by Chris McKhool, violinist and band leader of world folk combo, Sultans of String, who released a fabulous new recording “Refuge” earlier this year – an album that highlights the extraordinary contributions that indigenous people, immigrants and refugees make to culture and life in North America. Sultans of String were supposed to be out on tour across both North America and the UK this year. None of that has been able to happen which is why we encourage all our listeners – if you like the music you hear on this show, buy the music, don’t just stream it! That way, you can really make a difference in artists lives during a period that they can’t be out on the road. We also check out more of the latest new releases, and this time around we hear from Ruston Kelly, Will Kimbrough, The Bodarks and Vi Wickam and Paul Anastasio. 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 pleased to bring you a great interview with another artist who is new to our radar – Shaye Zadravec from Calgary Alberta, who has been creating quite a buzz for her ability to interpret other people’s songs. Shaye joins us to chat about her brilliant first full length album “Now & Then”, which covers songs by fabulous songwriters like Jesse Winchester, Ian Tyson, Lynn Miles & more. As always, we also take a look at more of the latest new releases, and this time around we hear from Piper & Carson, Ian Gill, Bill Bourne, Jeremy Gignoux and Joe Nolan. It’s a great episode. We hope you’ll take a listen. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re all about the music on Episode 541 of Folk Roots Radio as we step back from the interviews once again to bring you another hour of great new releases. We’re subtitling this one the “Be Grateful Edition”, because despite everything – an on-going pandemic and a lunatic in the White House, there is still much to be thankful for. Join us for new music from Brennen Leigh, Piper & Carson, Andrea Bettger, 100 mile house, Simone Romei, Twin Flames, David Leask, Kevin California, Ian Reid, Gillian Welch, Bruce T. Carroll, Chris Smither, Dione Taylor and Laila Biali. Check out the full playlist below.
Join us on Episode 540 of Folk Roots Radio for another great all music hour, as we hold back the interviews to check out more of the latest new releases. We’re subtitling this one the ‘Be Here Now’ edition as a reminder to try and live ‘in the moment’ as the best way to help us get through these difficult Covid times. Stay with us for music from Heather Pierson, Black Schwartz, Jack Ingram, Kathleen Edwards, Graham Lindsey, Leahy, Lennie Gallant, Gurf Morlix, Haley K Turner, Lynn Miles, Jeffrey Straker, Mike Plume, Billy Strings, Ivor Game and Rufus Wainwright with Choir! Choir! Choir! Check out the full playlist below.
Fresh Breath are a wonderful Cottam ON based duo, featuring Josh and Katie Pascoe, who are known for their upbeat attitude and a sound that blends together folk-rock, blues, pop, and country with a lot of heart and soul. They join us on Episode 539 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about how they spent their Covid-19 lockdown time – writing and releasing some great new singles, with accompanying videos, that really speak to the energy of the current moment. It’s a fun and uplifting conversation. As always, we wrap up the episode with more of the latest new releases, and this time around we include new music from The Gilberts, Rich Burnett, The Ebbs, Project Smok, Michael Lane, Loudon Wainwright III, and Darrell Scott. 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 537 of Folk Roots Radio, as we hold back the interviews for another hour of great new releases with more fun Covid lockdown songs thrown into the mix. We’re calling this one the ‘Choose Joy Edition’ because during these Covid Times not only do we have to remain positive, but we need to celebrate the joy in life – wherever we can find it. Join us for new music from Crowes Pasture, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kronos Quartet & Friends, Josh Kimbrough, Moira & Claire, Haley K Turner, Kelly’s Lot, Quote The Raven, The Wilds & Family, Glenn McFarlane, Carla Ulbrich, Buddy & Julie Miller, Jamie Anderson, Josie Bello, Cootes Paradise and Byrd & Street. Check out the full playlist below.
Long Island based folk-rock harmony trio Gathering Time join us on Episode 536 of Folk Roots Radio to chat their wonderful new album “Old Friends”, which features covers of classic songs from the 60s and 70s by artists like The Byrds, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Gordon Lightfoot and more. As always, we also check out more of the latest new releases and this time around we hear from S.K. Wellington, Norma MacDonald, Annette Wasilik, Hauler, JR Moore, Jeremy Drury and Adam Karch. Check out the full playlist below.
Long Island based folk-rock harmony trio Gathering Time have just released a wonderful new album “Old Friends”, which features covers of classic songs from the 60s and early 70s by artists like The Byrds, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Gordon Lightfoot and more. Old Friends also includes some socially conscious songs that have gained renewed relevance as the United States, riven by street protests against police brutality and racial injustice – and contentious and divisive politics, moves towards what may be the most important presidential election of modern times. Gathering Time’s Stuart Markus, Hillary Foxsong and Gerry McKeveny joined us on Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about the new album. For more information about Gathering Time, visit gathering-time.com. Photo: Alison Hartwell. Music: Gathering Time “Turn Turn Turn” (written by Pete Seeger), “Abraham, Martin & John” (Richard Holler), “Get Together” (Chet Powers) and “Carry On” (Stephen Stills) from “Old Friends” (2020, Treble G Records).
Newfoundland storytelling singer-songwriter Sherman Downey joins us on Episode 535 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest recording, “New Beautiful”, a very engaging album that’s chock full of character driven songs. With a hint of escapism and a hope for a brighter future, it’s sure to bring a smile to your face – the perfect antidote to these Covid times. As usual, we also check out more of the latest new releases and this time around we hear from Marin Patenaude, Lara Taubman, Gurf Morlix, Graham Lindsey, Keats Conlon and Kathleen Edwards alongside celebrating Toronto’s The Slocan Ramblers who picked up a Momentum Award nomination for Band of the Year, from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re pleased to bring you a very special interview on Episode 534 of Folk Roots Radio. We’re giving over the whole of the episode to an in-depth conversation with Jayme Stone about his wonderful new recording “AWake”, an album written in the aftermath of the sudden and tragic loss of his brother, Michael. It’s quite the departure for the double Juno award winning artist, who has built some fabulous roots and world music albums around his banjo playing. This time around, Jayme sets down the banjo and embraces ambient electropop and sonic landscapes on a collection of songs that reflect on the experience of losing such an important part of his life. So, settle down and enjoy Jayme Stone… In Conversation on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re going all about the music again on Episode 533 of Folk Roots Radio as we check out more of the latest new releases with more wonderful Covid lockdown tunes thrown into the mix. Join us for new music from Lynn Miles, Marin Patenaude, William Prince, Rachael Sage, Emilyn Stam & John David Williams, Alex Cuba, Countermeasure, Ian Foster & Nancy Hynes, Jayme Stone, Fred Lessman & the Backroad Warriors (feat. Brett Levick), Tommy Byrd and Greg Tressel alongside tributes to Canada’s Queen of the Blues Salome Bey, renowned Chicago based singer-songwriter Michael Peter Smith, and Fleetwood Mac founding member and fine blues guitarist Peter Green, who all sadly left us recently. Check out the full playlist below.
Singer-songwriter William Kuklis joins us on Episode 532 of Folk Roots Radio for a wonderful conversation about his latest album “I’ll Be Alright”, the follow up to his very well-received 2017 album “Save Me”. As well as his music career, William Kuklis is also an actor. In fact, he recently appeared in the animated TV series, LEGO Jurassic World – The Legend of Isla Nublar as the voice of Dennis Nedry. As always, we wrap up the hour with more new music, and this time around we hear from Thomas Hine, A Choir Of Ghosts, Malcolm McWatt, CW Ayon, Hauler, John Moreland, Penne Sandbeck and Crystal Shawanda. Check out the full playlist below.
We have another wonderful hour of music to share with you on Episode 531 of Folk Roots Radio. More great new releases with some excellent Covid-19 lockdown songs thrown into the mix. Join us for new music from Beth Anne Cole, Alastair Moock, Amanda Colleen Williams, Craig Cardiff, Steel Rail, The Songs and Stories of Francis Gardner, The Hello Darlins, The Burying Ground, Robert Guess, Grant Peeples, Andrew Bird, Buddy & Julie Miller, Michael Logen and Jennifer Hanson, Stacey McNeill & Jonathan Smith, Rachel Beck and Jake Ian. Check out the full playlist below.