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’re holding back the interviews again on Episode 548 of Folk Roots Radio as we bring you an hour of the latest new releases including more Covid tunes, and some great new protest songs. Join us for new music from Paul Snider, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Philip Scott Poli, The Roxton Rambles with Ken Whiteley & Ceilidh Wood, Valeri Dimchev with Anton Apostolov & Valeri Pastarmadzhiev, Justin Farren, Brian Blain, Adam Wendler, Moira Smiley & Seamus Egan (with Sam Amidon), HuDost and Gabriel Campagne. We also include special tributes to outlaw country pioneers Jerry Jeff Walker and Billy Joe Shaver who both sadly passed away recently. Remember, if you like what you hear on this show… don’t just stream the music – BUY the music and then you’ll really make a difference to artists income during this difficult time when it’s much more challenging to find live shows. Check out the full playlist below.
Canadian folk legend Ken Whiteley joins us on Episode 500 of Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about “Calm In The Eye of The Storm”, his first recording in four years and a project that looks at the personal, political and spiritual dimensions of finding peace in these turbulent times. The follow up to 2016’s Freedom Blues, the new album has a fabulous bluesy, folky and gospel sound, and a wonderful message to share with the world. Recorded during the coronavirus Covid-19 emergency, we chat about the album, Ken’s production work, live show and gospel matinees. It was a very enjoyable conversation, and hopefully it will be of great comfort to listeners during a period of uncertainty for many people. Stay safe and healthy – we’ll get through this together. Check out the full playlist below.
Guelph storytelling singer-songwriter Doris Folkens joins us on Episode 381 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her music and her self-titled debut album, produced by mando-maestro Andrew Collins. It’s a great interview, and well-worth checking out. We also check out new music from Mayhemingways, Sugar Brown, Birds of Chicago, Miller – Macdonald – Cormier, Sue Foley, Tom Rush, Joe Jencks, Graham Parker and Robert Lane. Check out the full playlist below.
We’ve finally made it to three hundred episodes of Folk Roots Radio! Actually, truth be told, we’re way past 300, as this show previously existed under a different name – but it still sounds good to say that. For this episode, we’re bringing you another great selection of new releases, including our first play of the new albums from Rose Cousins, Richard Laviolette, Portland’s John Craigie and another track the great Bill & Joel Plaskett collaboration “Solidarity”. I hope you’ll check it out.
The 41st annual Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival takes place August 19-21, in Kelso Park, on the shores of Georgian Bay, in Owen Sound. The festival features more than 40 musical acts from across Canada and across the world representing genres from folk, country and bluegrass, to blues, to hip-hop and funk. Like any great folk festival they also have lots of children’s activities, community workshops, artisan booths, dozens of food vendors… and two licensed areas. This year’s line-up features Anne Beverly Foster * Ben Spencer * Ben Turcotte and Carter Rolland * Beppe Gambetta/Tony McManus * Big Little Lions * Blackburn * Bobby Dean Blackburn * Bruce Cockburn * Cassie and Maggie MacDonald * Coco Love Alcorn * David Newland * Durham County Poets * Frank Francalanza * Good for Grapes * Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra * Ian Tamblyn * Irish Mythen * Ken Whiteley & The Beulah Band * Leonard Sumner * Les Poules a Colin * Lindi Ortega * The Lifers * LookUp Theatre * Magoo * Maneli Jamal * Matt Gordon and Leonard Podolak * Mel Parsons * Michael Jerome Browne * My Son the Hurricane * Natalie MacMaster * Notre Dame de Grass * Old Man Luedecke * Olivia and The Creepy Crawlies * Richard Garvey and Celidh Barker * Roger Roger * Sarah Beatty * Scarlett Jane * Scatter The Cats * The Small Glories * The East Pointers * The Krueger Band * The Mae Trio * The O’Pears * Todd Crowley’s Musical Petting Zoo * Treasa Levasseur …alongside Youth Discoveries Jimmy Pearson * Cassie DaSilva * Jake Feeney * Brontae Hunter * Marshall Veroni. We caught up with James Keelaghan, Artistic Director at Summerfolk to chat about this year’s line-up. For more information and to buy tickets visit summerfolk.org. Music: The Small Glories with “Had I Paid” from “Wondrous Traveller” (2016, Self) and Big Little Lions “Fill Me Up” from “Just Keep Moving” (2016, Riptide Music Group).
This edition of Folk Roots Radio features an interview with roots-based singer-songwriter Ken Tizzard who sat down with us at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October to chat about his new album “No Dark No Light”. We also include a selection of music from artists who are on tour in Ontario this spring.
Joanna Chapman-Smith may be based in Toronto, but with familial roots in Canada, the U.S., New Zealand, Italy and Brazil, and a touring schedule that has taken her across the world she has a diversity of life experience that not only comes through in her body of recorded work but also points towards an exciting and very creative future. Her most recent album “Love Me Deeply” only came out in 2013, however she is already preparing to head back into the studio to record a folk-tale album with Ken Whiteley in the producer’s chair. As well her own career as a singer-songwriter, Joanna is also the founder of Songbirds Travelling Music School, which delivers music, vocal and creative workshops into far-flung under-supported communities of Canada. We caught up with her at the recent Folk Music Ontario conference. Music: “Pick Me Up” (Live), “Cry For The Departed” (Live), “Goose Girl” (Live), “Melodies” (Live), “Paris” from “Love Me Deeply” (2013, Wound Up Records).
One of the best things about heading off to another summer music festival is knowing that you have the perfect fill-in to keep your studio chair warm. DJ MacDee sat in for me while I was at the Eaglewood Folk Festival on August 23 (Episode 164) You enjoyed DJ MacDee on Folk Roots Radio. Now enjoy his playlist!
The inaugural Kingsville Folk Music Festival takes place from August 8-10 2014 in Lakeside Park, Kingsville. The festival will feature four day-time stages, a dedicated children’s area and an evening main stage. With a broad mandate to feature acoustic roots music of all types and 50% Canadian content, it promises to be a great weekend for anyone who loves folk music. And, with a line-up that features Bruce Cockburn, Valdy, Jane Siberry and David Francey among others, it’s clear that they intend to hit the ground running. To learn more about this wonderful new festival, we reached artistic director Michele Law earlier this week. For more information visit kingsvillefolkfest.org. Music: Bruce Cockburn, “Call Me Rose” from “Small Source Of Comfort” (True North, 2011); David Francey, “Pandora’s Box” from “So Say We All” (Red House, 2013)
There’s a new kid on the folk festival circuit – Kingsville. The first Kingsville Folk Music Festival takes place from August 8-10 2014 in Lakeside Park, Kingsville. The festival will feature four day-time stages, a dedicated children’s area “The Family Stomping Ground” and an evening main stage. With a broad mandate to feature acoustic roots music of all types and 50% Canadian content, it promises to be a great weekend for anyone who loves folk music. Check out the accompanying video to see the stellar line-up they’ve pulled together for their inaugural year. For more information visit kingsvillefolkfest.org.