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 included a portion of an interview with acclaimed singer-songwriter Ken Yates, discussing his latest album “Quiet Talkers”, in Episode 521 of Folk Roots Radio. We’re now pleased to be able to share our full conversation. It’s definitely worth checking out. Enjoy!
Toronto based singer-songwriter Ken Yates has just released “Quiet Talkers”, the follow up to his critically acclaimed album “Huntsville” from 2016, which picked up Canadian Folk Music Awards for both Songwriter of the Year and New Artist of the Year. Ken Yates describes the new album, which was again produced by Jim Bryson at Fixed Hinge Recording, as his most personal to date – with a more introspective feel on songs that reflect on home life, and the impact of mental health issues on interpersonal relationships. “This is by far my most personal album to date. I’ve always been better at observing than being a part of the action, so I like to think of this collection of songs as “thoughts from the quietest person in the room”. If Huntsville was about my experiences on the road, ‘Quiet Talkers’ is about coming home, facing the monsters hiding under the bed – or in some cases, the monsters hiding in plain sight.” Ken Yates joined us on Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about the new album. Our interview also touches on life in lockdown, for an artist, who was touring extensively before the enforced break – as we all continue to weather the coronavirus pandemic. For more information about the music of Ken Yates visit kenyates.com. Photo: Kate Jaczko. Music: Ken Yates “Grey County Blues”, “Safe From Yourself”, “Evangeline” and “Surviving is Easy” from “Quiet Talkers” (2020, Self) CDN.
Toronto based singer-songwriter Ken Yates picked up a couple of Canadian Folk Music Awards for his critically acclaimed 2016 album “Huntsville”. He’s just released the follow-up, “Quiet Talkers” – an album Ken describes as his most personal to date, which is equally as wonderful and already picking up some critical buzz. Ken Yates joins us on Episode 521 of Folk Roots Radio for a great in-depth conversation about the new album, and life in lockdown – as we all continue to weather the coronavirus pandemic. We also hear from some other great songwriters as we check out new music from Glen MacNeil, Michael Logen, Barbara Jo Kammer, John Moreland, Graham Lindsey, Jason Wilber, John Prine and Gretchen Peters. Check out the full playlist below.
We have a very special coronavirus isolation edition of Folk Roots Radio to bring you on Episode 502. We’re featuring a great interview we taped a few weeks ago with Kelowna BC based Kerrville Folk finalist Jane Eamon. Jane is a fantastic songwriter, but one who had almost fallen out of love with the music business. That all changed when her husband had a stroke and then was diagnosed with cancer, and her father died suddenly. That would be enough to break many people – but all this family turmoil pushed Jane back into songwriting and led to her fabulous 2019 album “Pieces of Me”. We’re obviously biased but it’s a truly wonderful and inspirational interview, and perhaps a bit of an antidote for all of us who are struggling in the strange social distancing times we’re now living in. We’re continuing the Covid-19 emergency theme on the rest of the show as we include brand spanking new songs about social distancing from John & Sheila Ludgate and Jesse Parent, a song about unheralded essential workers from Dale Boyle, a wonderful comic creation from Heather Pierson alongside some great new music from both The Lonesome Ace Stringband and Ken Yates. We will get through this… together and apart. Check out the full playlist below.
We’ve already released our Top Ten albums of 2017 – you can find those on Episode 356 of Folk Roots Radio. This time around we tackle ‘The Next Fifteen’ with an episode featuring 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 2018. As always, this list only includes those albums that were received from October 1st, 2016 – September 30th, 2017. Listen to tracks from the Next 15 and check out the full playlist below.
Well, it’s that time of year – time to run down our favourite albums of 2017. One of the best things about doing a radio show is that you get loads of great music to audition each week. One of the hardest things to do, though, is to take all that great music and narrow it down to your ten favourite recordings of the year. As someone who loves to make best of lists, it’s a fun thing to do, and, if, by doing that, I can expose people to new music they may not have heard, so much the better. As always, this Best of 2017 list only includes those albums that were received from October 1st, 2016 – September 30th, 2017. Listen to tracks from the Top 10 and check out the full playlist below.
Ken Yates is one of Canada’s brightest young singer-songwriters. Unforgettable melodies, emotionally charged storytelling, and top-notch guitar chops are all on display on his new Jim Bryson produced album “Huntsville” – its 11 tracks capturing his artistic evolution amid extensive touring over the past three years. We caught up with Ken at Summerfolk 2017 to chat about his music. Visit Ken Yates online at kenyates.com. Photo: Michelle Fortier. Music: Ken Yates, “Roll Me On Home” from “Huntsville” (2016, Self).
We’re all about the Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival on Episode 335 of Folk Roots Radio. This year’s Summerfolk takes place the weekend of August 18-20 in Kelso Park, on the shores of Georgian Bay, in Owen Sound. To learn more about one of the most relaxed, family friendly and fun festivals on the Canadian circuit, we talk to Artistic Director James Keelaghan about this year’s musical line-up and all of the other great things you can do at Summerfolk. We also include music from some of the artists we’re looking forward to seeing this time around. It’s a great hour and definitely worth a listen. 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.
On this episode, we talk to Toronto based banjo player, guitarist and singer Chris Coole about his latest solo album “The Tumbling River, and other stories”, the follow up to the critically-acclaimed “Old Dog”. It’s an excellent interview and well worth checking out. As usual we include some of the latest new releases in the mix, alongside a tribute to Georgetown ON fiddler, Suzanne Marie Hnatiw. Photo: Jim K Nelson.