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!
We recently showcased Julian Taylor’s new singer-songwriter album “The Ridge” with an interview on Episode 517 of Folk Roots Radio. We’re now pleased to be able to share our full in-depth conversation which focused on the making of the new album, and some of the early life experiences that provided source material for the recording. Julian also shares his perspective as a Canadian of West Indian and indigenous heritage to the on-going protests against racial injustice and police brutality.
Originally intended for a fall release, the release of “The Ridge” was brought forward in the hope that it might bring joy to listeners in troubled times – as we all cope with the on-going coronavirus pandemic. Enjoy!
While clearly at the top of his game fronting the Julian Taylor band, Julian Taylor also loves the opportunity to showcase the singer-songwriter side of his music, as he does to great affect on his new eight song Americana album “The Ridge”. “I’d really like the heart of this record and the stories to connect with people. These are letters to members of my family. It’s something that everyone has – family (whether chosen or not) and memories.” The title track is based on the true story of summers that Taylor spent with his aunt and grandparents at their farm in British Columbia – telling the story of the young boy’s life, in snapshots, before they had to sell the farm and move on. Check out the great video mentioned during the interview HERE. For more information about the music of Julian Taylor, visit juliantaylormusic.ca. Music: Julian Taylor “The Ridge”, “Human Race”, “Ballad Of The Young Troubadour” and “Ola Let’s Dance” from “The Ridge” (2020, Howling Turtle inc.).
Julian Taylor joins us on Episode 517 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his wonderful new singer-songwriter recording “The Ridge”, an album which has a quite lovely Americana sound to it. Originally intended for a fall release, the eight-song recording was brought forward in the hope that it might bring joy to listeners in troubled times – as we all cope with the on-going coronavirus pandemic. The Ridge is a fantastic album, and, it’s always a pleasure to chat to Julian Taylor about his music. We wrap up the episode with more of the great new music we’ve received, and this time around we hear from Birds From Paradise, Kylie Fox, Elisa Peimer, For Lua, Sultans Of String, Forest Sun, Woody Woodburn and Mike McKenna Jr. Check out the full playlist below.
Steve Earle joins us on Episode 514 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his critically-acclaimed 20th studio album, “Ghosts of West Virginia”, which tells the story of the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster which took place in West Virginia in 2010, and killed twenty-nine miners – making it one of the worst mining disasters in American history. It’s a great interview. We hope you’ll stick around to check it out. We also include more of the new music we’ve received, and this time around we hear from Evangeline Gentle, Norma MacDonald, Kieran Begbie, Adam Karch, Mike Scott, Julian Taylor, Scott Cook and David Clayton-Thomas. Check out the full playlist below.
We’re holding back the interviews on Episode 508 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you another hour of great new releases. We may all be continuing to self-isolate in the midst of the on-going Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, but artists are still producing fabulous music. So settle down and enjoy songs from Parkland, Heather Styka, Andrea Ramolo, Jesse Cook, Stuart Markus, Grae J Wall, Michael Logen, Tara Thompson, Rachael Sage, Sara Thomsen, Lara Herscovitch, Deborah Holland, Julian Taylor, Alex Lauzière and Erik Balkey. Stay safe and well everyone. We will get through this… together and apart. 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).
Episode 304 of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Julian Taylor, leader of self-described “pilgrims of funk, soul ‘n’ roll” – the Julian Taylor Band, recorded at the Folk Music Ontario conference. We also feature music from the band’s great 2016 double album “Desert Star”. And, as always, we take a look at some of the latest new releases. Check out the full playlist online at https://folkrootsradio.com.
Self-described “pilgrims of funk, soul ‘n’ roll”, the fabulous Julian Taylor Band are heading out on an eleven date tour of Southern Ontario in support of their double vinyl release “Desert Star” (2016, Aporia Records) during February and March. Desert Star – one of our favourite albums of 2016, was originally released on four E.P.s before the vinyl version made its appearance last fall. If you love the sound of a funk, soul and rock n’roll band, with some folk, blues, jazz, reggae and calypso thrown into the mix, you definitely need to check them out – they’re wonderful live. The tour starts in Windsor at The Rondo on March 16, they’re at Aeolian Hall in London ON on March 25, with a Hamilton date at The Casbah on April 2. You can check out all the tour dates online at juliantaylorband.com. Julian Taylor sat down with us at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October to chat about his music, and the new album. Music: Julian Taylor Band “Just A Little Bit”, “One Time”, Get Loud” and “Set Me Free” from “Desert Star” (2016, Aporia Records).
On this episode we take a look at more of our favourite albums of 2016. One of the best things about doing a radio show is getting loads of fabulous music to audition each week. Narrowing all that great music down to our favourite twenty-five albums of the year was quite the challenge. It’s never an easy thing to do, but we managed it. You can check out our “Top Ten” albums of 2016 on Episode 291 HERE. This time around we tackle ‘The Next Fifteen’, bringing you some of our favourite tracks from those albums. It’s a great privilege to bring lots of great music and interviews to you each week on Folk Roots Radio, something we’re looking forward to continuing to do throughout 2017.
We’re giving Episode 260 of Folk Roots Radio over to the Youth Program at the 2015 Folk Music Ontario (FMO) Conference. The program is open to residents of Ontario and the National Capital Region, between ages 15 and 21, who are chosen for their interest, ability and experience. The selected youth members are paired with experienced mentors from the Ontario folk music community for the duration of the weekend conference, while developing a showcase performance and participating in professional development activities. This documentary features commentary and musical contributions from programme coordinator Treasa Levasseur; Mentors: Quique Escamilla, Rosina Kazi, Amélie Lefebvre, James Keelaghan and Julian Taylor and Youth: Sydney Delong, Jillian Kerr, Mira Meikle, Braden Phelan and Joelle Villeneuve. For more information about the Folk Music Ontario Youth Program visit folkmusicontario.ca. Photo credit: Mike Bourgeault. Music: Treasa Levasseur “Feel Good Time” from “Broad” (2011, Self), Amélie & Les Singes Bleus “La Rua Madureira” from “À l’étage des funambules” (Self, 2012), Joelle Villeneuve “En vert” (Demo), Quique Escamilla “Nuevo Dia, Hombre Libre” from “500 Years of Night” (2014, Lulaworld Records), Braden Phelan “With You” (with Vale Abbott) from “379 Evert Street” (2015, Self), Lal “Stand In My Way” from “Find Safety” (2016, Coax Records), Mira Meikle “Coming Home” from “Mira” (2015, Self), Julian Taylor Band “Just A Little Bit” from “Desert Star EP” (2015, Aporia Records), Sydney Delong “Cruel, Adore” from “My Vow To You EP” (2014, Self), James Keelaghan “Glory Bound” from “History: The First 25 Years” (2013, Borealis Records) and Jillian Kerr “Cold Winter” from “Dreams” (2015, Self).
The 14th Annnual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival takes place on the Danforth in Toronto from February 12-14 2016. Featuring some of the best blues and roots artists on the Canadian music scene, playing on five stages in four venues, it promises to be a fabulous weekend of live music. This year’s featured performers include Old Man Luedecke, Nashville’s Mean Mary, David Storey (of Corner Gas fame), Sudbury bloodgrass band Murder Murder, Toronto soul rockers Julian Taylor and blues great Jack De Keyzer, among many others. We caught up with Festival Director Brian Gladstone in Toronto to chat about this year’s festival. Buy tickets online HERE. For more information about Winterfolk, visit winterfolk.com. Music: Old Man Luedecke “The Early Days” from “Domestic Eccentric” (2015, High Romance/True North) and Jack de Keyzer “Electric Love” from “Electric Love” (2012, Self).