Orillia ON based husband and wife Steve and Marni Van Kessel make music together as VK. They join us on Episode 437 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their heartfelt brand of old-school rock and roll and Canadian style Americana, and their second album “Terms & Conditions”. VK will be playing the 2019 Roots North Music Festival on Saturday April 27. It’s a great interview and definitely worth checking out. And, as always, we take a look at more of the new releases we’ve received – and this time around we check out new music from Cary Morin, Graham Nicholas, Michael McDermott, Sumaia Jackson, Michael Martyn and Hugh Christopher Brown. Check out the full playlist below.
Hamilton based multi-instrumentalist Dave McEathron, the former frontman and principal songwriter of Toronto roots rockers, the much loved and sadly departed The Warped 45s, is back with a wonderful full-length solo album “Abandoned Companions” which is accompanied by a band E.P., appropriately entitled “The Abandoned Companions Companion Piece”. The new albums were mostly produced with Brian Pickett who has worked with both The Strumbellas and Ashley Condon (two tracks “The Other Side and “Luck” were produced by Hill Kourkoutis. “Luck” is a co-write with David Francey). A lovingly recorded project, both of the albums are presented in a hand crafted leather sleeve, made by Dave himself, that comes hand-stamped with the album’s logo. A songbook with lyrics and chord shapes is also included. We caught up with Dave at his cottage in the Ottawa Valley to chat about the new project. For more information about the music of Dave McEathron visit davemceathron.com. Music: Dave McEathron “His Mother Named Him Angel” and “No Better Teacher Than Time” from “Abandoned Companions” (2018, Self), “Midnight For Leadbelly” and “Hell To The Heavens” from “Abandoned Companions Companion Piece” (2018, Self).
Episode 436 of Folk Roots Radio features an in-depth length interview with Tamara Lindeman. You may not recognize the name, but if we tell you that, for music, she goes by the name The Weather Station, we’re sure you’ll know who she is. A fabulous Canadian musician, Tamara Lindeman is already turning heads with the quality of her songwriting. The Weather Station will be headlining the 2019 Roots North Music Festival in Downtown Orillia ON on Saturday April 27. It’s a great interview, and definitely worth sticking around for. We also check out new music from Tomato Tomato, Mother Banjo, Ross Falzone, Michael Jerome Browne and Dave Gunning. Check out the full playlist below.
Amy Mangan joins us on Episode 435 of Folk Roots Radio to talk about the 5th Annual Roots North Music Festival which takes place across Downtown Orillia on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27. This year, a fabulous main stage line-up sees renowned Canadian songsmith Ron Sexsmith take the stage on he Friday evening with Prince Edward Island raised, Halifax NS based Rose Cousins and the ever intriguing Ariana Gillis, while inspirational world music performer Alysha Brilla who blends folk, jazz and world rhythms together and Orillia based Americana duo VK join The Weather Station on the Saturday evening. There will also be a full day of free performances throughout the day on Saturday at a variety of downtown venues. We also take a look at more of the latest new releases and this time around we check out new music from Iain Thomson and Marc Duff, Doug McArthur, Le Vent du Nord, AKA Trio, Ashley Condon, Cathy Hutch and Noah Derksen. Check out the full playlist below.
Self-described “pilgrims of funk, soul ‘n’ roll”, the Julian Taylor Band are back with their latest soulful groove “Avalanche”. Avalanche may be musical revisionist Julian Taylor’s most personal record to date, featuring eight songs written during a period of self-reflection after looking through a treasure trove of life memories stored in his mother’s attic. The new album was recorded with the band, live to tape, at Canterbury Sound in Toronto. The Julian Taylor band will be launching the new album at The Great Hall, 1087 Queen Street West in Toronto on Saturday, March 30, 2019. They’ll also be appearing at this year’s Mariposa Folk Festival. If you love the sound of a funky, soulful rock n’roll band, with some folk, blues, jazz, reggae and calypso thrown into the mix, you’ll love them live. We caught up with Julian in Toronto to chat about the new album. For more information, visit the Julian Taylor Band online at juliantaylorband.com. Music: Julian Taylor Band “Sweeter”, “Gone” and “Back Again” from “Avalanche” (2019, Gypsy Should Records).
*TRIGGER WARNING | Saffron A is an alt.folk musician and poet who describes her music as sitting where emotion and intellect intersect. Distinct from every other young musician who starts out on guitar or piano, Saffron A creates her music on octave mandolin, mandocello and other members of the mandolin family. Saffron A. first came to our notice as part of the Developing Artist Program at the 2018 Folk Music Ontario conference. She’s about to release her powerful new single “Resilience” which will be followed by a full E.P., of the same name, on May 4. Resilience documents the emotional fallout from a sexual assault that occurred last summer. This fall, Saffron A will release a second E.P., “Resistance” which will further document her progress since the assault. That will be followed by the release of more new songs as part of a full concept album. Saffron A will be touring Ontario and further afield this spring and summer. Saffron A joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio for an in-depth conversation about the project. For more information, visit saffronamusic.com. Music: Saffron A. “Resilience”, “No Words”, “Mind Over Mania”, “Where The Truth Lies” and “Give Me A Minute” from “Resilience” E.P. (2019, Self).
*TRIGGER WARNING: We are pleased to support this project knowing that sexual assault is an important societal topic that needs our attention and public discussion. However, we also appreciate that some listeners may be triggered by such conversations.
Canadian Folk Music Award nominee and Folk Music Ontario Songs from the Heart winner Allison Lupton is getting ready to release her fourth full length album “Words Of Love”, a fabulous recording that features Allison and her band – including some of the best musicians on the Southern Ontario folk scene, on a mix of self-written songs and traditional material with romantic love as a central theme, while also telling stories about Canada, the immigrant experience and the travails of itinerant labour. Words of Love, which was produced by Allison Lupton, features Jess Arrowsmith (backing vocals), Richard Arrowsmith (melodeon), Andrew Collins (mandolin, backing vocals), Shane Cook (fiddle, mandolin, feet), Tony McManus (guitar), Joe Phillips (bass, backing vocals), Ivan Rosenberg (dobro) and Craig Werth (backing vocals). Allison Lupton will be launching the album with a release show at Hugh’s Room Live on March 30 featuring Tony McManus, Shane Cook, Joe Phillips, Ivan Rosenberg, and Andrew Collins. Allison will also be playing shows in Kingston (May 24), Almonte (May 25), Goderich (May 31) and Cambridge (June 1). For more information, visit Allison Lupton online at allisonlupton.com. Music: Allison Lupton “Away”, “Words Of Love” and “What Will I Dream” from “Words Of Love” (2019, Self).
Acclaimed singer-songwriter and vocalist Allison Lupton joins us on Episode 434 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her fourth album “Words of Love”. Words of Love is a fabulous recording that features Allison and her band – including some of the best musicians on the Southern Ontario folk scene, on a mix of self-written songs and traditional material with romantic love as a central theme, while also telling stories about Canada, the immigrant experience and the travails of itinerant labour. It’s a great interview, and definitely worth checking out. We also take a look at new music from Jane Yolen & 3 Ravens, Michael Jerome Browne, Noah Derksen, Tomato Tomato, Fist & Chips, Kelly and Woolley, Thom Ashworth, and John Duhan. Check out the full playlist below.
Hamilton ON singer-songwriter Jamie Shea has just released his first album “Come Down To The Water”. Well known on the Hamilton music scene as a band guitarist playing rock, pop, blues and jazz, Jamie’s solo debut is long overdue. Come Down To The Water features 11 well-crafted songs about personal experiences, love and loss – and the triumph of the human spirit, that really draw you in. Produced by Michael Birthelmer at Pine Street Studio in Hamilton with some fine musical support, the new album has a really nice feel to it. We caught up with Jamie at home in Hamilton to chat about the solo project. For more information about the music of Jamie Shea, visit jamiesheamusic.com. Music: Jamie Shea “Think Again”, “Mercy Of The Wind” and “Come Down To The Water” from “Come Down To The Water” (2018, Self) CDN.
Renowned Canadian songsmith Ron Sexsmith and alt. folk rising star The Weather Station are headlining this year’s Roots North Music Festival which takes place across Downtown Orillia on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27. A particular strong main stage line-up features another couple of fabulous songwriters, Prince Edward Island raised, Halifax NS based Rose Cousins and the ever intriguing Ariana Gillis who join Sexsmith on the Friday evening, while inspirational world music performer Alysha Brilla who blends folk, jazz and world rhythms together and VK, an Orillia based Americana duo featuring Steve and Marni Van Kessel joining The Weather Station on the Saturday evening. There will also be a full day of free performances throughout the day on Saturday at a variety of downtown venues. To learn more about this year’s line-up we caught up with Amy Mangan, one of the festival organizers. Check out the full schedule on the Roots North Music Festival website. Weekend passes can be picked up at Alleycats Music in Orillia or online at rootsnorthmusic.ca. The early bird price is currently just $45! (The cost of a weekend pass goes up to $55 on April 12. Don’t miss out!) Photo: Deb Halbot. Music: Ron Sexsmith “Evergreen” from “The Last Rider” (2017, Ronboy Rhymes), Rose Cousins “Chosen” from “Natural Conclusion” (2017, Outside Music) and The Weather Station “You and I on the Other Side Of The World” from “The Weather Station” (2017, Outside Music).
We’re celebrating International Women’s Day on Episode 433 of Folk Roots Radio as we sit down with Canadian singer-songwriter Emily Jean Flack to chat about her music and new E.P. “Throwing Shapes”. We also check out more music from female artists including new releases from Carly Thomas, Madison Violet, Our Native Daughters (Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell), Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage, Jen & John, Tret Fure and Kat Danser. It’s a great episode. We hope you’ll take a listen. 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).
We’re giving over the whole of Episode 431 of Folk Roots Radio to an in-depth conversation with singer-songwriter David Storey. David Storey is probably best known as the executive producer and director of iconic Canadian comedy series and movie Corner Gas, but he’s also a pretty good songwriter. He’s just released his new album “made in Canada”, the follow-up to 2015’s “Coming Home”, one of our favourite albums of that year. David also plays four songs from the new album live in the studio. It’s a great interview – well-worth sticking around for. Check out the full playlist below.
Canadian Singer-songwriter Emily Jean Flack weaves together elements of pop and jazz and her celtic folk roots to produce a piano driven sound that is all her own. The daughter of Denise Flack from Canadian sibling Celtic folk band Leahy, Emily splits her time between Dorchester ON and Limerick in Ireland where she has been studying Traditional Irish Music, with a specialization in song. Emily is just about to release her first E.P. of original songs “Throwing Shapes”. The new album was recorded in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with producer Peter Wallace and a group of Irish musicians that included whistle and flute player Brian Finnegan from the band Flook and Limerick based guitarist Marty Barry. Emily Jean Flack joined Jan Hall in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about the new album. For more information, visit emilyjeanflack.com. MUSIC: Emily Jean Flack “Another Year Gone By”, “Tread Softly” and “Throwing Shapes” from “Throwing Shapes” (2019, Self) CDN.
Musician, music arranger and producer/engineer Paul Mills joins us on Episode 430 of Folk Roots Radio for the second half of our in-depth conversation about his career in music. (Find Part 1 of this conversation on Episode 429 of Folk Roots Radio). After 45 years in the music business, and working on more than 200 albums, Paul has decided that it’s time to close down his production studio. Stay with us for more great conversation about the art of production, alongside music from more of the great artists who joined him in the recording studio including, on this episode, Ron Hynes, Irish Mythen, Shelley Posen, Laura Smith, Chris Hadfield & the Barenaked Ladies, The Lucky Sisters and Paul Mills himself. Check out the full playlist below.
Episode 429 of Folk Roots Radio features the first half of a very special two-hour conversation with musician, music arranger and producer Paul Mills. (Find Part 2 of this conversation on Episode 430 of Folk Roots Radio). Paul Mills has been part of the Canadian folk music scene and recording industry for over forty five years, and produced or engineered over 200 albums including recording all but one of the albums by folk icon Stan Rogers. As the time has come to hang up the headphones and shut down his production studio, it’s the perfect opportunity to look back at his career. So settle down and enjoy Paul Mills in conversation on Folk Roots Radio, alongside music from some of the great artists who joined him in the studio including, on this episode Stan Rogers, John Allan Cameron, Sharon, Lois & Bram, J. P. Cormier, April Verch, Cathy Miller and Paul Mills himself. Check out the full playlist below.
Episode 428 of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Juno nominated Métis singer-songwriter Amanda Rheaume who joins us to chat about her fifth album “The Skin I’m In”, the follow up to her very well received 2016 album “Holding Patterns”. The Skin I’m In is an upbeat Americana-pop roots recording with a central message, most powerfully stated on the title track (and first single), that it’s really okay to just be you! It’s a great interview – and definitely worth sticking around for. As usual, we also take a look at more of the new releases we’ve received, and this time around we listen to new music from Kate Weekes, Christian Howse, Earle and Coffin, John McCutcheon, BackWest, Rich Krueger and Adam Baxter. Check out the full playlist below.
We really are all about the music and the people that make it on Folk Roots Radio. We’re giving over the whole of Episode 427 to an interview with Toronto based singer-songwriter Suzanne Jarvie who released her second album “In The Clear” earlier this year. In The Clear is a fabulous recording, and, as far as I’m concerned, the best album of 2019 so far. It’s great interview – so good that I decided it would be a perfect way to kick off a new feature on the radio version of Folk Roots Radio, we’re calling… In Conversation. Check out the full playlist below.
Winnipeg singer-songwriter Monika Wall started out singing opera before moving into a career as a singer-songwriter. Her second album, the E.P. “Earth” was released late in 2018, the first of four albums in a series (Earth, Wind, Water, Fire) exploring true happiness. With influences that range from folk to jazz to gospel blues, the new recording has an inspirational quality. Reflecting on the fact that life can feel short, and individual moments often fleeting, the songs on the album focus on the need for us all to develop a deeper and more sustainable connection to the world around us, and the earth beneath our feet – in the hope that we can leave behind a meaningful legacy for the generations to come. Earth was recorded with Juno-awarding producer Murray Pulver (Crash Test Dummies, Doc Walker). Monika Wall will be touring the new E.P. in Ontario in February with London vocal trio The Pairs and including stops in Guelph (Red Brick Cafe, Feb 8 with Mikalyn Hay), London (London Music Club Feb 9 with Marty Kolls), Toronto (The Painted Lady, Feb 10 with Darling Cora) and Ottawa (The Avant Garde, Feb 11 with Laura Gagnon). We caught up with Monika Wall at home in Winnipeg to chat about her music. For more information visit monikawall.com. Photo Credit: Luna Lily Photography. Music: Monika Wall “Let It Flow”, “Moments” and “We Will Rise” from “Earth” (2018, Self).
Episode 426 of Folk Roots Radio features a great interview with Peter Boyer, from Same Latitude As Rome, who joins us in the studio to chat about their latest album “Stay The Course”, which features Sean McCann, formerly of Great Big Sea, on the title track. We also take a look at more of the new releases we’ve received, and this time around we check out new music from Claire Coupland, Benjamin William Pike, The Pairs, Judy Brown, Emilyn Stam & Filippo Gambetta, Andy Hughes, Matt Andersen and Naming The Twins. Check out the full playlist below.
Toronto based singer-songwriter Jay Aymar joins us on Episode 425 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest recording “My Perfect Matador”, an album that is surely his most complete artistic statement to date. Drawing comparison to no less than Canadian icon Leonard Cohen, with a nod to the groundbreaking work of Tom Waits, “Your Perfect Matador” sets out to explore love and yearning, and the place of art in our society. It’s a great album, and an excellent interview – and definitely worth checking out. We also take a look at more of the new music we’ve received, including releases from Kat Danser, Kalyna Rakel, Suzanne Jarvie, Cathy Hutch, Matt Tighe, Colm Gavin, Abby Zotz and The Sturgeons. Check out the full playlist below.
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.