Many of Canada’s summer music festivals have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Join us on Episode 588 of Folk Roots Radio as we relive one of our favourite festival experiences, the 2018 Hillside Festival. Set on the island at beautiful Guelph Lake, just outside Guelph, in Southern Ontario, Hillside has an incredible vibe. Authentic, inclusive, respectful and environmentally sustainable… Hillside is a festival that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Stay tuned as we chat with Frank Evans from The Slocan Ramblers, Martin Harley, the Fortunate Ones and Cécile Doo-Kingué. We also squeeze in music from Hillside 2018 favourites, Rev. Sekou and female Latino vocal group LADAMA. Although there is no in-person Hillside Festival this year, you can still visit Hillside virtually, from the comfort of your own home, as Hillside Homeside 2021. It’s not like being there, but actually, it’s not bad. Live music, spoken word and dance performances, workshops, children’s programming, Hillside archive presentations and more – it’s all there – just like the real thing. And like the real summer festival, the presentations are only available from July 23 – 25. You can check them out from wherever you are on the planet by following the links from hillsidefestival.ca. And guess what, it’s all free, though if you want to make a donation, we’re sure they would love you for it! Check our the full playlist for this episode below.
We’re giving over the whole of Episode 576 of Folk Roots Radio to the 2021 Hillside Festival Girls & Guitars Songwriting Course. We are joined by facilitators: Marie Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Hillside Festival and Guelph-based singer-songwriter Doris Folkens and three of their students: Halley McKeown, Missy Bauman, and Tania Joy who also share their songs with us. Girls & Guitars is a longstanding feature of Hillside Inside and part of an ongoing project designed to address the gender imbalance in the music industry and thus further Hillside’s mission of encouraging inclusion and equality. The songwriting course is a very special part of that initiative. This year because of Covid-19, the course was virtual and took place on four Friday evenings in January. Halley, Missy, and Tania also performed virtually at this year’s Hillside Inside. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re pleased to showcase the 2021 Hillside Festival Girls & Guitars songwriting course on Folk Roots Radio Live. We are joined by facilitators Marie Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Hillside Festival and Guelph based singer-songwriter Doris Folkens, and three of their students: Halley McKeown, Missy Bauman and Tania Joy who will also share their songs with us. Girls & Guitars is a longstanding feature of the summer festival winter counterpart, Hillside Inside, and part of a 10+-year-old project designed to address a gender imbalance in the music industry, furthering the festival’s mission of encouraging inclusion and equality. The songwriting course is a very special part of that initiative. This year because of Covid-19, the course was virtual, and took place on four Friday evenings in January. Halley, Missy and Tania also performed at this year’s Hillside Inside.
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Episode 451 of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Toronto’s Lydia Persaud who joins us to chat about her first full-length solo album “Let Me Show You”. A member of both the wonderful Toronto female vocal trio The O’Pears and renowned cover band, Dwayne Gretzky, you’ll be able to catch Lydia Persaud live this summer at both the Hillside Festival (July 12-14) at Guelph Lake ON and the Home County Music & Arts Festival (July 19-21) in London ON. It’s a great interview – well worth sticking around for. We also check out new music from Bob Sumner, Leaf Rapids, Kevin Breit, David Grier, Dwayne Gretzky, Midnight Shine and Del Barber. Check out the full playlist below.
Khalid Yassein from Toronto’s folk-pop band Wild Rivers is our special guest on Episode 448 of Folk Roots Radio. After two album releases and a couple of singles, the Toronto-based band are really gaining traction, and have already developed a loyal fan base. They’ve just been touring Western Canada with Matt Andersen and his band, and this summer, they’ll be playing the wonderful Hillside Festival (July 12-14), at beautiful Guelph Lake, just outside Guelph ON. We check out their latest single “Moving Target”, plus two tracks from their 2018 E.P. “Eighty Eight”. We also take a look at more of the new releases we’ve received and this time around we include new music from Merival, Geneviève Racette, Our Native Daughters (Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell), Irish Mythen, RUNA, Michelle Rumball, Manx Marriner Mainline (feat. Harry Manx and Steve Marriner), Bryan McPherson and Onion Honey. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re giving over the whole of Episode 441 of Folk Roots Radio to interviews with the participants and facilitators of the 2019 Hillside Festival Girls & Guitars Songwriting Course that took place in Guelph during the winter. The songwriting workshop is specifically designed to help aspiring female songwriters develop effective songwriting skills and strategies while gaining confidence in their own ability, and all within a supportive learning environment. As you will hear during these interviews, the music industry is currently skewed 70:30 in favour of men – not just in terms of performers, but also behind the scenes – in management, booking agents, tech crews, artistic directors, and critics. During the four-week course, participants worked on an original song that was eventually recorded by Nick Zubeck at Arthur North Studios in Guelph. The students also played their song live at a special event during the Hillside Inside winter festival this past February. It’s our privilege to share those songs with you again today. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re giving over the whole of Episode 391 of Folk Roots Radio to some great artist interviews we recorded at the 2018 Hillside Festival. We had an absolutely fabulous time at the festival again this year – it’s hard to put into words how wonderful it is. Set in the beautiful setting of Guelph Lake, just outside Guelph, in Southern Ontario, If you’ve not experienced it yet, you definitely should try and make it there at least once. Hillside has an incredible vibe and musically there really is something for everyone. With all the craziness going on in the world just now, it feels like a respite from all the insanity. Authentic, inclusive, respectful and environmentally sustainable… Hillside you’re just the best! Stay tuned as we chat with Frank Evans from The Slocan Ramblers, Martin Harley, the Fortunate Ones and Cécile Doo-Kingué. We also squeeze in music from Hillside 2018 favourites, Rev. Sekou and female Latino vocal group LADAMA.
Episode 390 of Folk Roots Radio features one of our favourite singer-songwriters Dana Sipos who joined us at the 2018 Hillside Festival for a surprise chat about her great fourth album “Trick Of the Light”. It’s a great interview, and well worth checking out. We also check out new music from Lucy Ward, Jupiter Owls, Jory Nash, The Ennis Sisters, Steve Dawson, Fink Marxer Gleaves, David Davis & The Warrior River Boys, Ronnie Bowman & Lou Reid, The Jeremiahs, Laurie MacAllister, Emerald Rae and Saor Patrol. Check out the full playlist below.
A fabulous live performer, Cameroonian Canadian guitarist and singer-songwriter Cécile Doo-Kingué blends together blues, afro-roots and soul with some jazzy overtones, to create a sound that is very much her own. Cécile Doo-Kingué is two thirds of the way through a trilogy “Anybody Listening”. “Part 1: Monologues” (2015), was a solo acoustic recording exploring the blues and roots of everyday life while “Part 2: Dialogues” (2016) featured a full band and special guests on a similar set of songs. Cécile will compete the project with “Part 3: Communion” (expected 2019-20), a live recording showcasing her exceptional guitar playing, soulful vocals, and powerful songwriting. Cécile Doo-Kingué sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio to chat about her music after an exhilarating show at the 2018 Hillside Festival. Check out Cécile Doo-Kingué online at cdkmusik.com. Music: Cécile Doo-Kingué “Thankful” from “Anybody Listening: The Dialogues” (2016, Self).
Newfoundland’s Fortunate Ones feature the fine musicianship and close harmonies of Catherine Allan and Andrew James O’Brien. Known for their fabulous live performances, their critically acclaimed 2015 album “The Bliss” earned them a Juno nomination, and took home the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year. They describe their new album “Hold Fast” (2018) as a study in resilience and partnership in the face of adversity, and features songwriting collaborations with Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea), Tim Baker (Hey Rosetta!), and Meg Warren (Repartee) alongside in studio support from Jim Bryson, Good Lovelies, Alexa Dirks (Begonia) and Kinley Dowling (Hey Rosetta!). The new album was recorded in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia with Daniel Ledwell. Catherine and Andrew joined Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Hillside Festival to chat about their music, and the new album. Check out the Fortunate Ones online at fortunateones.ca. Music: Fortunate Ones, “Hold Fast” from “Hold Fast” (2018, Old Farm Pony Records).
Not everyone we interviewed at the 2018 Hillside Festival was actually playing there this year. Highly regarded Canadian singer-songwriter Dana Sipos was enjoying the festival as a patron when we bumped into her, and decided we had the perfect opportunity for an interview. Dana recently released her fourth album “Trick Of the Light” on Miranda Mulholland’s boutique record label Roaring Girl Records. Dana Sipos grew up in Hamilton ON, and spent her formative years in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, before heading out for a life on the open road in pursuit of her art. Trick of the Light features ten songs that were developed during extensive travels across North America and Europe in support of her very well-received 2015 album “Roll Up The Night Sky”, which received a nomination for the Canadian Folk Music Awards in the Pushing the Boundaries category. In making Trick of the Light, Sipos worked with experimental Toronto producer Sandro Perri. The album also features Mary Margaret O’Hara, Jesse Zubot and Doug Tielli. Check out Dana Sipos online at danasipos.com. Music: Dana Sipos “When The Body Breaks” and “Blue Ridge” from “Trick Of The Light” (2018, Roaring Girl Records).
British acoustic roots and blues guitarist Martin Harley, who plays a 100 year old Weissenborn Hawaiian acoustic lap guitar, released one of our favourite albums of 2017, “Static In The Wires”. Static in the Wires was his second album recorded with Nashville based stand-up bassist Daniel Kimbro who also joined Martin on the fabulous “Live From Southern Ground” (from 2015). Martin Harley sat down with Jan Hall from Folk Roots Radio at the 2018 Hillside Festival to chat about his music. Check out Martin Harley online at martinharley.com. Music: Martin Harley “Gold” from “Static In The Wires” (2017, Del Mundo Records).
Toronto’s Slocan Ramblers are one of Canada’s finest bluegrass bands. Rooted in the tradition, they’re as comfortable with their own songs as they are with the bluegrass canon. They’ve just released a great new album “Queen City Jubilee”. The Slocan Ramblers are Frank Evans on banjo, Adrian Gross on mandolin, Darryl Poulsen on acoustic guitar and Alastair Whitehead on bass. Frank Evans joined Folk Roots Radio while at the 2018 Hillside Festival to chat about the band, and their new album. Check out The Slocan Ramblers online at slocanramblers.com. Music: The Slocan Ramblers, “Mississippi Heavy Water Blues” from “Queen City Jubilee” (2018, Slomusic).
We’re getting set for the 2018 Hillside Festival on Episode 389 of Folk Roots Radio. This year’s festival takes place the weekend of July 13-15 at beautiful Guelph Lake, just outside Guelph, in Southern Ontario. Each year, Hillside – a true community festival, brings together a line-up that promises something for everyone, and this year is no exception. This episode features some of the artists we’re looking forward to catching at the festival including A Tribe Called Red, Jeremy Dutcher, Iskwé, Cris Derksen, nêhiyawak, Cécile Doo-Kingué, Martin Harley, Les Tireux d’Roches, Poor Man’s Whiskey, The Slocan Ramblers, Ken Whiteley, Fortunate Ones, Jeremy Fisher, Sarah MacDougall and Annie Sumi. Check out the full playlist below.
Episode 329 of Folk Roots Radio is all about the 2017 Hillside Festival taking place the weekend of July 14-16 at beautiful Guelph Lake, just outside Guelph, in Southern Ontario. Each year, Hillside – a true community festival, brings together a line-up that promises something for every taste, and constantly surprises. To learn more about this year’s festival, we caught up with festival artistic director Sam Baijal. We also feature a chat and a couple of live songs from Irish Mythen – an absolutely fabulous live performer, who’ll be making her Hillside debut this year – alongside music from other artists heading to the festival this time around. Listen to the episode and check out the playlist below.
The 34th Hillside Festival takes place the weekend of July 14-16 2017, at beautiful Guelph Lake just outside Guelph in Southern Ontario. With more than 60 different acts in this year’s lineup, Hillside brings together a list of performers that promises something for every taste and this year an acknowledgement of how the artistic and activist communities intersect. “In keeping with the strong spirit Hillside has cultivated, we have programmed a line up of artists who are gifted and ambitious. Our 2017 line-up is packed with enablers and disrupters, enabling new ideas to come into consciousness and culture and disrupting the worn channels of thought and feeling upon which we rely. In one-way or another, so many of these artists challenge the status quo, whether through their musical or literary experimentation or their activism, be it political, environmental, race- or gender-based.” To learn more about this year’s festival and the musical line-up, we caught up with artistic director Sam Baijal. Check out the full line-up HERE. Learn more about Hillside and buy tickets HERE. For more information visit hillsidefestival.ca. Music: Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, “Gentle On My Mind” from “Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad” (2016, Cooking Vinyl).
The Hillside Festival is getting ready to bring Hillside Inside. The summer festival’s wintery cousin, will delight music lovers at a variety of venues in Downtown Guelph. They’re celebrating ten years of winter programming, and, as usual, they’ve put together a wonderfully diverse programme. Concerts, workshops and community activities, there is something for everyone.
We love the banjo on Folk Roots Radio which is a very good thing, as this edition has more than the usual amount included. We talk to Ian Molesworth about Banjofest – a one day festival taking place in Guelph in March and listen to some of the artists who will be taking part. We also check in on some of the artists who will be performing at the 10th annual Hillside Inside which takes place in Downtown Guelph from February 9-12. Among the new releases, we get to hear some great musical commentary about the recent political upheaval south of the border.
Episode 263 of Folk Roots Radio is dedicated to the 33rd edition of the Hillside Festival taking place at beautiful Guelph Lake Conservation Area, just north of Guelph, on the weekend of July 22-24, and featuring music from some of the performers we’re looking forward to catching. And Sam Baijal, Artistic Director at the Hillside Festival also joins us to chat about the line-up and the artists he’s excited to bring to the festival. To learn more about Hillside and to pick up tickets – and, amazingly there are still some available, visit hillsidefestival.ca.
The 33rd Hillside Festival takes place on the island in beautiful Guelph Lake Conservation Area, just north of Guelph, on the weekend of July 22 to 24. Consistently voted one of the best summer festivals in Canada, Hillside has developed a strong reputation for not just serving up a wonderful variety of music, but also producing festival highlights that are often not the artists you came to the festival to see. To learn more about this year’s festival we caught up with Artistic Director Sam Baijal. For more information about Hillside and to pick up tickets visit hillsidefestival.ca. Music: Buffy Sainte-Marie “It’s My Way” from “Power In The Blood” (2015, True North Records), Rose Cousins “Let The Light Come In” (single) (2015, Old Farm Pony Records/Makeout Music).
The musical lineup for the 33rd edition of the Hillside Festival has just been announced so it’s clear that summer can’t be too far away. A genre diverse musical delight, as always there is something for everyone. The festival runs from July 22 to 24 at Guelph Lake Conservation Area. Check out the artists scheduled to play below.
This edition of Folk Roots Radio features music from performers at this year’s Hillside Inside, the winter version of the Hillside Festival. Hillside Inside takes place from January 29 – 31 at a variety of venues in downtown Guelph, and includes some great community activities alongside some fabulous musical performances.
The winter version of the Hillside Festival, Hillside Inside is just about here. It runs from January 29 – 31 at a variety of venues in downtown Guelph. As usual the festival features some great community activities alongside some fabulous musical performances. Artists performing at this year’s festival include Basia Bulat, Casey Mecjia (from indie faves Ohbijou), Dakhabrakha, The Strumbellas, The Elwins, Geoff Berner and the Grand River Ramblers. Anna and Jane McGarrigle, sisters to Kate McGarrigle and aunts of Rufus and Martha Wainwright, will also be reading from their family memoir Mountain City Girls in the afternoon of Saturday, January 30 in the gorgeous sanctuary of St. George’s Church. A Q & A will follow. There’s also a Sunday Gospel Session, youth showcase and the winter festival favourite, Girls and Guitars – taking place in six downtown storefronts (cafes, stores, and a gallery), showcasing six female singer-songwriters for half-hour shows that you can take in on the street or in the store. Individual show tickets and weekend passes are available online or at The Bookshelf, 41 Quebec Street, downtown Guelph. Buy tickets online HERE. Check out hillsidefestival.ca for all performance and community event details.
This week’s Folk Roots Radio features two interviews – Stephen Fearing joins us to chat about his songwriting workshop and concert, taking place on Friday September 25 in Waterloo ON. And later, we catch up with Newfoundland band The Once at this summer’s Hillside Festival. As always, there’s a lot of new music on the show, and we continue our run down of the nominations for the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Perch Creek are an Australian five-piece multi-instrumental, harmony-driven roots group featuring four siblings who put on an amazing live show and are quite clearly lots of fun in their off-stage life, too. They were on tour in Canada this summer while promoting their new single “Mama Sings”. The band features Christi Hodgkins – harmonica, trombone, saw, vocals, Lear Hodgkins – drums, washboard, vocals, Eileen Hodgkins – guitar, banjo-uke, tap dancing, vocals, Camilla Hodgkins – keys, banjo, vocals and the only non-Hodgkins (or perhaps, now an honorary Hodgkins) James Chandler on double bass, electric bass, vocals. Perch Creek got together as the Perch Creek Family Jugband in 2006, recording two full-length albums “Tall Tales” (2011) and “Jumping on the Highwire” (2014), which was nominated for Best Independent Country Album for the Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards). They’ve since moved to Melbourne and will be working on a new album in the near future. Perch Creek have toured extensively across Australia, Europe, the UK and now Canada and deliver unforgettable, high-energy live performances. Christi, Eileen, Camilla and James from the band joined us for a chat and a live song just prior to this year’s Hillside Festival. For more information, visit perchcreek.com. Music: Perch Creek “Mama Sings” (Single) (2015, MGM Distribution), Perch Creek “Where You Been” from “Jumping On The High Wire” (2014, Self) and “Something In The Valley” (Live).