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 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.