It’s that time of year… we’re holding back the interviews on Folk Roots Radio as we check out our ten favourite albums of 2018. 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, though, is to take all that fabulous music and narrow it down to your ten favourite recordings of the year. To make the selection process go as smoothly as possible, I actually start off with about 40 albums that I’ve really enjoyed, and narrow that down to a 25 album long list, and then select what I consider my ten favourite albums. You can check out The Top 10 on this episode, and The Next 15 on Episode 418 of Folk Roots Radio. So here they are… in reverse order, Folk Roots Radio’s favourite albums of 2018. Listen to The Top 10 and check out the full playlist below.
Episode 409 of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Guelph singer-songwriter Tannis Slimmon who has been making music for over thirty years. Amazingly, she has done so while holding down a career in research at the University of Guelph. Over the years, Tannis Slimmon has been involved in The Bird Sisters, The Lucky Sisters, Boreal, Ondine Chorus, Essentia and more – while producing three wonderful solo albums including the Canadian Folk Music Award winning “Lucky Blue” from 2007. The good news is that Tannis is now making music full-time which makes it a very good time to catch up. We also take a look at more of the latest new releases, including new music from Kaia Kater, The HillBenders, Craig Robertson, Vishtèn, Rachel Baiman, Childsplay, Andrea Ramolo, and Jay Aymar. Check out the full playlist below.
Jory Nash joins us on Episode 405 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about his latest album “Wilderness Years”, and the challenges of making a living as a singer-songwriter in a world where online streaming is rapidly becoming the primary way people listen to music. He also plays two songs from the new album live for us. It’s a great interview and definitely worth sticking around for. We also hear from Guelph based singer-songwriter Doris Folkens who has just released a new single for Remembrance Day, “All Our Roses”, and check out more of the new music we’ve received including new releases from Kaia Kater, Missy Raines, Kathy Kallick Band, Kittel & Co. and Jenie Thai. Check you the full playlist below.
We’re all about the Folk Music Ontario conference 2017 Developing Artist Program on Episode 350 of Folk Roots Radio. Each year during the annual conference, a group of developing artists – youth performers are paired with mentors from the Ontario folk community to work on a showcase performance and participate in professional development activities. Join us as we chat to participants in this year’s program and check out some of their music. The program is open to residents of Ontario and the National Capital Region, between the ages 15 and 21, who are chosen for their interest, ability and experience. This episode features commentary and musical contributions from program coordinator and mentor Treasa Levasseur; Mentors: Kaia Kater, Cindy Doire, AHI, Yao and Leonard Sumner; Youth: Madison Galloway, Sara Gougeon, Moscow Apartment, Ben Heffernan, Rachel Barber and Greg Smith. Learn more about the program HERE. Photo credit: Mike Bourgeault. Check out the full playlist below.
On this episode of Folk Roots Radio we take a look at the Roots North Music Festival. Now in it’s third year, this year’s festival takes place on Friday and Saturday April 21-22 in a variety of venues in Downtown Orillia, Ontario. Amy Mangan, one of the festival organizers, joins us on this episode to chat about the line-up and how you can get tickets. We also talk to Raven from festival headliners Digging Roots, about their music and fabulous live show. We fill up the rest of the hour with music from some of the other performers heading to Roots North this time around. For more information about the festival and to buy tickets, visit rootsnorthmusic.ca. Check out the full playlist below.
Danny Michel, fresh from a very successful launch of his new album “Khlebnikov”, recorded while traversing the arctic ocean on a Russian icebreaker and phenomenal live act Digging Roots, featuring the wonderful husband and wife duo Raven Kanetakta and Shoshona Kish, are the headliners at this year’s Roots North Music Festival taking place in Downtown Orillia from April 21-22. Also on the main stage bill this year are Jim Bryson, Birds of Bellwoods, Kaia Kater & Cassie Dasilva. The main stage shows take place in the beautifully restored St Paul’s Centre in Downtown Orillia. A late night programme will also take place at the Geneva Event Centre. Further shows are planned for other performance spaces within Orillia. We caught up with Amy Mangan, one of the organizers of the festival to chat about the 2017 line-up. Stay tuned for more artist announcements. For more information about the Roots North Music Festival and to pick up tickets, visit rootsnorthmusic.ca.
Time to run down our favourite albums of 2016. One of the best things about doing a radio show is getting loads of great music to audition each week. Like every year, I’ve enjoyed some wonderful recordings – much of it by independent artists with little backing to support their music, and careers. One of the hardest things to do though, is to narrow down all the fabulous music that we received to our ten favourite recordings of the year. It’s never an easy thing to do, but do it I must, if I’m to bring you Folk Roots Radio’s The Best Albums of 2016.
Zachary Lucky joins us on this episode to chat about his new album “Everywhere A Man Can Be”. We also continue our review of the nominees for the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards. This time around we take a look at the nominees for The Oliver Schroer Pushing The Boundaries Award, and, as every year, some great artists and albums have been nominated.
We’re giving the whole of this episode of Folk Roots Radio over to an interview with banjo player and rising star Kaia Kater who has just released her sophomore recording “Nine Pin”. Nine Pin is a concept album that takes as its inspiration the Black Lives Matter movement and Kaia’s own experience growing up as a person of colour in North America. And it’s an album that gives Kaia free reign to push her own boundaries using her old-time Appalachian banjo as the leaping off point for powerful lyrical songs that show maturity way beyond her years. It really is a terrific album, and it’s a great interview. I hope you enjoy it.
Kaia Kater has just released her sophomore recording “Nine Pin”. Recorded in just one day in Toronto, with Chris Bartos, the producer of Kaia’s debut album “Sorrow Bound”, Nine Pin is a concept album that takes as its inspiration the Black Lives Matter movement and Kaia’s own experience growing up as a person of colour in North America – but also touches on more personal source material such as love and loss. And it’s an album that gives Kaia free reign to push her own boundaries using her old-time Appalachian banjo as the leaping off point for powerful lyrical songs that show maturity way beyond her years. We caught up with Kaia at home in Toronto to chat about the new album. Kaia has a CD release concert in Toronto at the Burdock on June 12. She’ll also be appearing at the Kingsville Folk Music Festival, August 12-14. For more information, visit kaiakater.com. Music: Kaia Kater “Rising Down”, “Harlem’s Little Blackbird”, “Paradise Fell” and “Nine Pin” from “Nine Pin” (2016, Self).
This episode of Folk Roots Radio is all about banjos… well, not quite, but mostly. Arnie Naiman joins us to chat about his latest album “Our Lucky Stars”. We also play tracks from the new albums of fellow banjo enthusiasts Chris Coole and Kaia Kater. And, as always, we also share some of the non-banjo related music we’ve received recently.
Kaia Kater is one of the most promising young performers on the North American folk roots and old-time music scene. A banjo player and singer, she’s already carving out her own niche in Appalachian and Canadian traditional music. Originally from Québec, and now based in Toronto, Kaia self-released her first full-length album “Sorrow Bound”, produced by Chris Bartos in 2014. She’s since signed to Kingswood Records in the US. We caught up with Kaia at home in Toronto. Music: Kaia Kater, “When Sorrows Encompass Me Round”, “Moonshiner” and “Come and Rest” from “Sorrowbound” (2014, Self)
This week’s Folk Roots Radio featured interviews with both Gordie Tentrees and Sarah Jane Scouten. Yukon-based Gordie took time out from touring in Alberta for an in-depth conversation about his new album “Less Is More”. And, Sarah Jane Scouten is bringing her unique blend of roots music back to Guelph on Saturday May 23 for a show at Silence, Guelph’s premier listening venue with support from bluegrass band The Chesterfield Trio. You can purchase advance tickets here. As usual we also found time to include a lot of new music alongside our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.
This week’s Folk Roots Radio features an interview with Kelly Authier and Mike Authier who together are The Oh Chays. Kelly and Mike joined us to chat about their music and play a couple of songs at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October. You can listen to the interview again here. As usual, there’s a lot of new music on this week’s episode – plus, as always, our mystery theme and guilty pleasure.