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!
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.
Miranda Mulholland and Andrew Penner make music together as Harrow Fair, a fabulous Americana roots duo with a huge sound and exhilarating live show. Featuring Miranda on fiddle, and multi-instrumentalist Andrew on dobro, guitar and more; they have just released a great sophomore album “Sins We Made” – quite possibly the perfect recording for the current times. Harrow Fair should have been on tour in the UK and the US this spring, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic they are currently quarantined at home in Toronto. We caught up with Miranda and Andrew at home in self-isolation for a fun chat about the new recording, that reaches far beyond the album, to talk about what it feels like to put everything on hold and stay home while you are supposed to be out promoting and touring a great new release. For more information about the music of Harrow Fair, visit harrowfair.ca. Photo credit: Jen Squires. Music: Harrow Fair “Sins We Made”, “Rules Of Engagement”, “Loved You Enough” and “Dark Gets Close” from “Sins We Made” (2020, Roaring Girl Records) CDN.
Miranda Mulholland joins us on Episode 510 of Folk Roots Radio for a wonderful in-depth conversation about her second solo album, the JUNO-nominated “By Appointment or Chance”. Classically trained on violin and in voice, Miranda is also a member of the roots duo Harrow Fair with Andrew Penner from the Sun Parlour Players. Harrow Fair released their own second album “Sins We Made” a few weeks ago. Outside of her own musical creativity, Miranda Mulholland runs the record label Roaring Girl Records and the Muskoka Music Festival, and continues to travel the world advocating for fair remuneration for creators. Needless to say, there was a lot to talk about, which is why we’ve devoted the whole of this episode to an hour plus of Miranda Mulholland… In Conversation, on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
Miranda Mulholland and Andrew Penner make music together as Harrow Fair, a fabulous Americana roots duo with a huge sound and an exhilarating live show. They join us on Episode 504 of Folk Roots Radio, direct from their Covid-19 emergency self-isolation, for a fun chat about their music and their wonderful sophomore release “Sins We Made”. It’s an excellent interview which reaches far beyond the album, to talk about what it feels like to put everything on hold and stay home while you are supposed to be out touring a great new album. We wrap up the rest of the episode with more great new music from David Shurr, Rob Murphy, David Keenan, David Foley & Jack Smedley and The Rough & Tumble. Stay safe and well everyone! 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.
We’re giving the whole of Episode 446 of Folk Roots Radio to an in-depth conversation with singer-songwriter, severe weather scientist and social activist Dave Sills, who has just released a wonderful debut album, “Fifty”. Dave Sills was a musical guest on my Guelph focused show Royal City Rag several times over the years. Dave joined us in the Folk Roots Radio studio to chat about the weather, storm-chasing, climate change and making his first album at the age of fifty – alongside a selection of tracks from the new album. Check out the full playlist below.
Peter Stone from 100 Mile House joins us on this episode to chat about “Hiraeth”, their fabulous new album of deeply personal and introspective songs about life, love, loss and the meaning of home. Recorded in Edmonton AB, with partner Denise MacKay, and Peter in the producer’s chair, the album features some fine musical arrangements – including some gorgeous use of both violin and cello, alongside some fabulous harmonies. We also take a look at some of the best of the latest new releases.