Dayna Manning has just released a fabulous chamber folk album “Morning Light”, recorded with Stratford Festival alumnus Ben Bolt-Martin – who arranged all of the songs for a chamber quartet featuring violin, cello, flute and French horn. Morning Light is a fabulous album, with a sumptuous feel – Dayna’s beautiful voice gliding over a lovely instrumental accompaniment, on a great selection of original and traditional songs. Dayna has also released a fine memoir about songwriting entitled “Many Moons: A Songwriter’s Memoir” which tells the story of her three decade career in music using twelve of her own songs to guide the way. As well as being a founding member of Trent Severn (who are currently on hiatus), Dayna Manning also runs Folk Army, a private music instruction academy in Stratford Ontario focused on nurturing human potential through the love of music. For more information about the music of Dayna Manning, visit daynamanningmusic.com. Photo: Dave Brosha. Music: Dayna Manning “Charlie Lake”, “You You You”, “Peter Amberley” and “I Get Closer” from “Morning Light” (2019, Self) CDN.
Big Little Lions, the wonderfully prolific folk pop duo featuring Helen Austin from Vancouver Island, and Paul Otten from Cincinnati, have just released their sixth album “Inside Voice” – fourteen new songs that take their theme from issues in relation to our mental health, that while thoughtful and reflective, still leave the listener feeling optimistic and hopeful for the future. Helen and Paul consistently crank out amazingly addictive folk pop songs – jam-packed with emotion and tight harmonies, that really sound like they are produced by two people working closely side-by-side, rather than thousands of miles apart. Big Little Lions picked up a JUNO for their music in 2014, and the Canadian Folk Music Award for Ensemble of the Year in 2015. They also have a fabulous live show, that always sounds much bigger than the two multi-instrumentalists on stage – Paul on drums, bass, keyboard and vocals; Helen on guitar, foot percussion and vocals. For more information about the Big Little Lions and upcoming tour dates, visit biglittlelions.com. Music: Big Little Lions “Here We Go Again”, “Lonely Blue” and “I Can Have It All” from “Inside Voice” (2019, AntiFragile).
Every artist needs a holiday album – South West Ontario singer-songwriter Francine Honey has just released hers. Eight songs, including some well chosen Christmas classics, and two originals, the title track “Take Me To The North Pole” and “Christmas Round My Tree”. As a child, the idea of being taken to the North Pole to visit Santa, seemed to young Francine, like the best thing ever; which makes the playful title track the perfect way to share that sentiment. “Christmas Round My Tree”, was written for those who will be alone at Christmas. “When I was in my teens, I would go to nursing homes and sing Christmas carols for the elderly. My heart always sank when I would see some of them had no family. As I got older and saw my own family members deal with a first Christmas after a loved one passed away. I witnessed their determination to still find a sense of Christmas tradition and the knowledge of what truly matters is being together and not the gifts you buy”. The album wraps with Francine’s version of Verlon Thompson’s “My Heart Is There With You”, a song she wanted to record from the first time she heard Verlon sing it at a workshop. “When he played it, I immediately felt tears running down my cheeks, because of its honesty, and how I feel about my family and friends who I don’t get to see over the holidays and at other times.” The new album was recorded in Nashville with Neilson Hubbard who also produced Francine’s 2018 album “To Be Continued”. Joining them in the studio were a great group of support players, including guitarist Will Kimbrough, pianist Dan Mitchell, and bassist Dean Marold – and Verlon Thompson himself. Francine Honey and her band The Stingers will be releasing the new album at a special release party at The Bank Theatre in Leamington ON on Saturday, December 7 (Doors 6:30 pm, Show 7:30 pm). Tickets are $25 per person and are available online HERE. For more information about the music of Francine Honey, visit francinehoney.com. Music: Francine Honey “Christmas Round My Tree”, “Take Me To The North Pole” and “My Heart Is There With You” from “Take Me To The North Pole” (2019, Self).
London ON based female fronted folk/pop vocal group The Pairs join us on Episode 479 of Folk Roots Radio for a wonderful conversation about their music and new album “Noise”. They also sing three songs live for us. It’s a fun interview, and definitely worth sticking around for. We also check out more of the new music we’ve received, and this time around we hear from Sam Weber, Jane Eamon, Martha Renaud, Katie Dahl, Searson, Deni Gauthier and The Marrieds. Check out the full playlist below.
Multi-instrumentalists Mallory Graham & Scott Tyler make music together as The Rough & Tumble. If you’re a regular listener to this show you’ll know that we’re big fans of this folky rootsy Americana duo who gave up their permanent home in 2015 for a life on the road with their dogs; traveling from gig to gig in their small RV. They join us on Episode 478 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their latest album “Howling Back At The Wounded Dog” which feels like a bit of a game changer as far as their career is concerned. Alongside some great songs from the new album, it’s a really fun interview. We also include new music from Jason Wilson, Jane Eamon, Coco Love Alcorn, Miranda Mulholland and a special musical tribute to the late great John Mann, leader of iconic Canadian folk rock band Spirit Of The West. An amazing singer, songwriter, performer, actor and activist, John touched many lives, especially so after being diagnosed with colon cancer, and fighting back and then being diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease several years ago, and still trying to fight back. He will be missed. Check out the full playlist below.
Mattie Leon, the fantastic Toronto based singer-songwriter with a wonderful catchy and soulful folk/pop style joins us in the studio on Episode 477 of Folk Roots Radio for a chat about his music and three live songs. Later in the hour, we also squeeze in his fabulous new single “Silver Line”. As usual, we wrap up the episode with more of the great new music we’ve received, and this time we hear from Bobtown, Dori Freeman, Ellen Froese, The Dreadnoughts, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Jerry Leger, The Hearts and Miranda Mulholland. 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).
Toronto based singer-songwriter Jeremy Voltz has been writing music, recording, and performing for 18 years. As well as his solo career, Jeremy is also a member of fantastic thirteen voice a cappella group Countermeasure, under the direction of musical director Aaron Jensen. Known for his contemporary soul sound and huge voice, Jeremy’s songs bridge the gap between folk, rock, and soul. He sat down with Folk Roots Radio at the 2019 Folk Music Ontario conference for three live songs and an in-depth conversation about his music. For more information about the music of Jeremy Voltz visit jeremyvoltzmusic.com. Music: Jeremy Voltz “One Day At A Time” (Live), “Running Away” (Live) and “I’ll Follow” (Live)
After a hectic year supporting The LYNNeS – her collaboration with Lynn Miles, and their very well-received release “Heartbreak Song For The Radio” (2018), Canada’s own queen of Americana, Lynne Hanson, is getting ready to release her next solo album “Just Words” – the follow up to “Uneven Ground” from 2017. The new album, produced by Jim Bryson at Fixed Hinge Recording in Ottawa, is slated for release in February 2020. Two singles have been released so far; the first, “True Blue Moon”, is a tongue-in-cheek response to the Jacques Brel classic “Ne Me Quitte Pas”, and the perils of falling for a poet. The second single, and title track “Just Words”, focuses on verbal bullying and why we should choose our words more carefully – especially on social media. The new project has some great support players. Canadian guitar virtuoso Kevin Breit lends his skills on electric guitar, and Jim Bryson plays guitar, keyboards and piano. Prince Edward Island singer-songwriter Catherine MacLellan also guests on four tracks. Lynne Hanson is also releasing a book of poetry featuring poems, haikus and lyrics, to tie in with the album. Lynne Hanson joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about the new project. For more information and upcoming tour dates, visit lynnehanson.com. Music: Lynne Hanson “True Blue Moon” (single) and “Just Words” (single) (2019, Self) CDN.
Leader of the world rhythms folk combo Sultans of String, Chris McKhool joins us on Episode 476 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about the band’s forthcoming album “Refuge”, a project that is all about highlighting the extraordinary contributions that indigenous people, immigrants and refugees make to our culture and life, and showcases some of the amazing people who are sharing their musical gifts with us in Canada and the United States. It’s a very inspiring interview, and well worth checking out. We also include new music from Bobtown, Kristen Martell, Durham County Poets, Dayna Manning, Jason Wilson and Kyp Harness. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re giving over the whole of Episode 475 of Folk Roots Radio to a very inspiring audio documentary created with the participants in the 2019 Folk Music Ontario (FMO) Developing Artist Program. Each year at the conference, young performers are paired with mentors from the Ontario folk community to work on a showcase performance and participate in professional development activities in a nurturing and supportive environment. This episode features commentary and musical contributions from program coordinator Treasa Levasseur; peer mentors: Braden Phelan & Liv Cazzola (Tragedy Ann); mentors: Leela Gilday, Janice Jo Lee, Irish Mythen, Alexis Normand and Nick Sherman; developing artists: Emily Gilbart, Amy Brady & Liam Roesch (Hill & Landing), Mia Kelly, Yasmine Shelton & Sam Clark (Basset) and Voimaa. Photo credit: Mike Bourgeault. Check out the full playlist below.
We don’t often dip into pop/rock on Folk Roots Radio but when it comes to a new album from Sarah Smith we know that is something we just have to do. Sarah Smith is a fabulous live performer, and, quite the road warrior – she performs well over 200 shows a year. Her latest album, the deep and personal “Unveiling” is the perfect complement to a live show that feels like Sarah Smith in communion with her adoring fans, with an amazingly tight band along for the ride. Pretty much recorded live off the floor in London ON, the new album features 15 songs that focus on love, and loss and the courage to trust your own instincts. To learn more about the new album, we’re pleased to welcome Sarah Smith back to Folk Roots Radio. Sarah Smith has release shows planned for Leamington (Nov 20, The Bank Theatre), Collingwood (Nov 21, Harbour Street Fish Bar), London (Nov 22, Eastside Bar & Grill) and Kitchener (Nov 23, Rhapsody Barrel Bar). For more information about the music of Sarah Smith, and all upcoming tour dates visit sarahsmithmusic.com. Photo: Frank Oppitz. Music: Sarah Smith “You Don’t Get My Love”, “Sink” and “The Great Reveal” from “Unveiling” (2019, Self) CDN
Dayna Manning joins us on Episode 474 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her latest album, “Morning Light”. Morning Light is a fabulous chamber folk recording with a wonderful and sumptuous feel – and a great selection of original and traditional songs. Dayna Manning has also released a fine book about songwriting entitled “Many Moons: A Songwriter’s Memoir” which tells the story of her three decade career in music using twelve of her own songs to guide the way. It’s a great interview – we hope you’ll stay with us to check it out. We also include new music from Casati, Matt Zaddy, Unfaithful Servants, The Sweet Lowdown and Matt Patershuk. Check out the full playlist below.
Canadian songwriter, composer and producer Jojo Worthington joins us on Episode 473 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her latest project “TCYK (The Company You Keep)” which finds Jojo moving further into the world of electronic sounds and looping on a beautiful recording that really tests the boundaries of what we think of as folk. It’s a great album – we hope you’ll stick around to check out our interview. We also take a look at more of the new releases we’ve received, and this time around we hear from Miriam Backhouse-Erasmus, Dirty Dishes, The Whispering Tree, Kolonien, Poor Man’s Gambit, Samson Wrote, The Dustbowl Daddies and The Luckies. Check out the full playlist below.
Multi-instrumentalists Mallory Graham & Scott Tyler make music together as The Rough & Tumble. They released “Howling Back At The Wounded Dog” this past September – the follow up to the very well-received “We Made Ourselves A Home When We Didn’t Know” from 2018. The new recording is already picking up some critical buzz, and feels like a bit of a game changer as far as their career is concerned. It has a wonderful, immediate, and almost live, feel to it, and was recorded in just five days in East Nashville with Dave Coalman, who also produced We Made Ourselves A Home When We Didn’t Know. Ten new songs that see them proudly moving forward after what they describe as a year of honesty; time to reflect on some of the challenges they have faced in their lives. If you’re a regular listener to this show you’ll know that we’re big fans of this folky rootsy Americana duo who gave up their permanent home in 2015 for a life on the road with their dogs; traveling from gig to gig in their small RV. We caught up with Mallory & Scott in Grand Rapids MI to talk about the new album. For more information about The Rough & Tumble, visit theroughandtumble.com. Music: The Rough & Tumble “Howl At The Moon”, “The Hardest Part”, “Call Mercy” and “High Fly (Didn’t I Wait?)” from “Howling Back At The Wounded Dog” (2019, Rock Candy Records).
Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Linda McRae joins us on Episode 472 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her latest solo album “Going To The Well”, a stripped down affair that features new versions of some Linda McRae songs alongside some really great covers. As usual, we also check out more of the latest new releases, and this time around we hear from Tim Grimm, Dirty Dishes, Nigel Wearne, Kolonien, Anna Ludlow and Matt Patershuk. Check out the full playlist below.
Steve and Marni Van Kessel, who make music together as VK, join us on Episode 471 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their new album – album number three, “Charm”, a wonderful bluesy Americana folk-rock recorded with their new band Legends of THE DEEP. We also check out more of the latest new releases, and this time around we hear from Catherine MacLellan, Connie Kaldor, Jake Morley, Unfaithful Servants, Kevin K Gagnon, Adrian Sutherland, Kete Bowers, Lizanne Knott and Stephen Fearing. Check out the full playlist below.
Abe Drennan is a Canadian folk singer, educator and social / environmental activist based in the beautiful town of Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories, and over 100 miles into the Arctic circle. Abe released the single “Spirits Soared” earlier this summer – a song written to commemorate the lives of Daniel, 9, Harrison, 5 and Milly, 2, as well as their grandfather, Gary Neville, who were all killed in a car crash, caused by a drunk driver, on September 27 2015, in Vaughan ON. Proceeds from the release of the single go to support the work of the not-for-profit Many Hands, Doing Good, a charity born out of the tragedy, which supports arts programmes for children who have experienced trauma and also provides a radio broadcasting scholarship in honour of grandfather Gary. Spirits Soared is included on Abe Drennan’s second album “Iglu Sessions”, which was recorded and produced with Jason Manns in the iconic Igloo Church in Inuvik. Folk Roots Radio caught up with Abe Drennan in Inuvik to learn more about his music. For more information about the music of Abe Drennan, visit abedrennan.com. Music: Abe Drennan “Spirits Soared”, “Way Up North”, “There For You” and “Moments In Time” from “Iglu Sessions” (2019, Self) CDN.
Tomorrow Bird are an acoustic folk duo from the UK featuring Jen Bird and Simon Driscoll, who specialize in heartfelt songs that reflect on the human experience. They sing of hope, love, loss, courage and empowerment – creating stories and melodies that are complimented by the duo’s rich vocals and seamless harmonies. Jen and Simon met while Jen was pursuing a solo career, and Simon leading the folk-rock band Burnt Tomorrow. Tomorrow Bird released their self-titled debut album in 2018. Jen and Simon have also co-written and produced four full-length musicals together; “The Island of Lost Children”, “The Best Murder Mystery Party Ever”, “The Box” and “Imagine That”. Tomorrow Bird recently released a new single “Love Is Love”, which was written to coincide with Pride celebrations in the UK. Proceeds from the sale of the single will go to support the Stonewall UK charity. Folk Roots Radio caught up with Jen and Simon at home in Reading to chat about their music. For more information about the music of Tomorrow Bird visit tomorrowbird.com. Music: Tomorrow Bird “Love Is Love” (single) (2019, Self) and “Beyond The Storm”, “Heaven Forbid” and “Get Gone” from “Tomorrow Bird” (2018, Self).
We have a very special interview on Episode 470 of Folk Roots Radio. Coco Love Alcorn joins us to chat about her new album “Rebirth”, the follow-up to the very well-received 2016 album “Wonderland”. Like Wonderland, the new album is spiritual, but with a distinctly non-denominational message, it’s not at all preachy. Twelve new tracks that blend together Coco’s pop, jazz and gospel influences, while some of the tracks also have a lovely R&B feel to them. It’s a great album – and we know we’re biased, but it’s a fabulous interview. As usual, we wrap the episode with more of the new music we’ve received and this time around we hear from Katie Dahl, Tim Grimm, Dayna Manning, Bruce Cockburn and Robbie Smith, from Naming the Twins – who sadly passed away earlier this year. Check out the full playlist below.
Helen Austin and Paul Otten make music together as Big Little Lions. They join us on Episode 469 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about their sixth album “Inside Voice” – fourteen songs that take as their theme the issue of mental health with songs about dementia, depression and anxiety. It’s a great album, and Helen and Paul are always a great interview. We also check out new music from Hannah Connolly, Lizanne Knott, Lori Lynne Johnson, Anna Ludlow, The Fitzgeralds and Don Brownrigg. Check out the full playlist below.
Coco Love Alcorn is getting ready to release “Rebirth”, the follow-up to her very well-received 2016 album “Wonderland”. With a spiritual, but distinctly non-denominational message, Rebirth – like Wonderland, makes great use of Coco’s pop, jazz and gospel stylings, but with more of an R&B feel this time around. It’s a collection of songs that exhibit bravery and vulnerability with, in some cases, almost a spine-tingling fragility, as they document Coco’s own journey to spiritual growth. It’s a great recording, and one that really speaks to the importance of discovering and nurturing your own true self; and it’s an album that is sure to appeal to a growing fanbase. Coco Love Alcorn joined us on Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about the new project. Coco Love Alcorn will be on tour this fall with Ontario stops in Toronto, London, Perth, Kingston, Newmarket, and Owen Sound; Chelsea (Quebec), three concerts in Nova Scotia (Mahone Bay, Wolfville, Halifax), and then on to Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg. To learn more about the music of Coco Love Alcorn and to check out all upcoming tour dates, visit cocolovealcorn.com. Music: Coco Love Alcorn “Rebirth”, “What I Need”, “The Keeper” and “A Song To Sing” from “Rebirth” (2019, Self).
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.
We’re pleased to bring you another episode of all female artists on Episode 467 of Folk Roots Radio. New York City based singer-songwriter Emily Mure joins us to chat about “Sad Songs and Waltzes”, her wonderful E.P. of reimagined cover songs. We’re big fans of Emily’s music, and it was a real pleasure to welcome her to Folk Roots Radio. We also check out more of the latest new releases and this time around we hear from Coco Love Alcorn, Jordana Talsky, Annie & Rod Capps, The Sweet Lowdown, Anna Ludlow, Katherine Fischer, West My Friend, Dayna Manning and Sharon Goldman. Check out the full playlist below.
Toronto roots rockers Skydiggers have just released “Let’s Get Friendship Right” – the follow up to the very well-received “Warmth Of The Sun” from 2017. Josh Finlayson and Andy Maize have been making music together as Skydiggers, with a variety of musical compadres, for nearly 30 years. The new project came out of a desire to use music as therapy to cope with the passing of several friends and family members – the majority of the songs on the new recording, which was originally intended to reflect on the five stages of grief, coming out of a songwriting retreat at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity. Let’s Get Friendship Right, which features nine new songs, was recorded at The Tragically Hip’s The Bathouse Studio with engineer/producer Nyles Spencer, with support from Peter von Althen (percussion) and Aaron Comeau (guitar/bass/keyboards). Josh Finlayson joined us on Folk Roots Radio to chat about the new album. For more information about Skydiggers and their upcoming tour dates, visit skydiggers.com. Photo: Heather Pollock. Music: “If I’m Spared”, “Ineligible” and “Questions of Love” from “Let’s Get Friendship Right” (2019, Latent Recordings) CDN.