We’re getting close to the end of 2020, which means it’s time to announce our favourite albums of the year. After the challenging year we’ve all had, it’s tempting to just want to put 2020 behind us and move on to 2021 to what will, hopefully, be a much better year for everyone. And yet, despite everything, 2020 has actually been a great year for recorded music – especially for those us who tend to focus on music that artists release independently, or via small and boutique record labels. Many artists have actually been making excellent use of the lockdown time forced on them by the coronavirus pandemic to record some wonderful ‘Covid Tune’ singles, EPs and in some case, even full albums. We’ve had great fun sharing them with you this year. We’ve also been doing our best to keep up with regularly scheduled releases. It gives us great pleasure each year, once we have put holiday radio episodes to bed, to consider our favourite albums of the year. One of the best things about doing a radio show is getting loads of great music to listen to each week. One of the hardest things to do is to take all that fabulous music and narrow it down to your ten favourite recordings of the year. You can check out The Top 10 on Episode 560 of Folk Roots Radio. We’ll be playing more of our favourite albums on upcoming episodes of Folk Roots Radio. If you don’t see an album you really loved, that’s likely because it didn’t make it up on our radar because we didn’t receive a copy. Please consider sharing your favourite albums in the comments – we might even spin them on a future episode of the show. Listen to The Top 10 on this episode, and check out the full playlist and the rest of our long list below. Enjoy!
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.
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.
Join us on Episode 529 of Folk Roots Radio for another all music edition of the show, with a few more Covid-19 lockdown songs thrown into the mix. There is loads of great music out there at the moment, and it’s our absolute pleasure to share more of it with you on this episode. This time around we feature new music from Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards, Kristen Grainger & True North, Ray Cardwell, Graham Lindsey, The Small Glories (Cara Luft & JD Edwards), April Verch, Joe Phillips, Ian Foster, James Lee Stanley, Michael Logen and Jennifer Hanson, Buddy & Julie Miller, Eliza Gilkyson, Silver Wolf Band, Crooked Weather, Elliott BROOD, Tragedy Ann, Death Party Playground and Sherman Downey. Check out the full playlist below.
Toronto based singer-songwriter Ken Yates picked up a couple of Canadian Folk Music Awards for his critically acclaimed 2016 album “Huntsville”. He’s just released the follow-up, “Quiet Talkers” – an album Ken describes as his most personal to date, which is equally as wonderful and already picking up some critical buzz. Ken Yates joins us on Episode 521 of Folk Roots Radio for a great in-depth conversation about the new album, and life in lockdown – as we all continue to weather the coronavirus pandemic. We also hear from some other great songwriters as we check out new music from Glen MacNeil, Michael Logen, Barbara Jo Kammer, John Moreland, Graham Lindsey, Jason Wilber, John Prine and Gretchen Peters. 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).
Manitoba singer-songwriter Del Barber joins us on Episode 468 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his fabulous new Americana flavoured album “Easy Keeper”. Easy Keeper may be the best thing Del Barber has ever done, although we are talking about an artist who has already been nominated for two Junos. A fine album, from a performer at the top of his game, and a great interview – we do hope you’ll stay with us to check it out. As usual, we wrap up the episode with some more of the latest new releases and this time we include great songs from Zachary Lucky, Ian & Sylvia, Don Brownrigg, Madison Galloway, Graham Lindsey, Caroline Spence, Susan Gibson and Lynne Hanson. Check out the full playlist below.
Episode 207 of Folk Roots Radio features an excerpt from a live interview and session recorded with singer-songwriter Clela Errington for Folk Roots Radio Overtime. Clela will be part of Erin Roots, a new monthly live roots music series taking place in Erin ON. This week’s show also featured lots of new music including an extended set from a fabulous new album of protest songs from the UK, Land of Hope & Fury.