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!
Michelle Plum and Nick Hall are from Bradford in England and make music together as Plumhall. They join us on Episode 503 of Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about their second album, “The Ghost Of Noise”, a wonderful Americana / Folk recording that also includes a little electronica and some found sounds. It’s a great album, and the follow up to the very well received “Thundercloud” from 2014 – one of our favourite albums of that year. Michelle and Nick are always a great interview, so kick back and enjoy Plumhall in conversation on Folk Roots Radio. Check out the full playlist below.
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 (January 10 2015) featured an interview with Toronto-based singer-songwriter Shawna Caspi who recently released her third album, a beautiful slice of coffee house style folk entitled “Apartments for lovers” alongside a new mystery theme and guilty pleasure, and music from some of the major artists who will be appearing on the great roots music cruise Cayamo this year.
So here they are… my ten favourite albums of 2014. As you can imagine, it wasn’t easy to narrow this list down to the Top 10 which is why I’ve included the next five as honourable mentions. And to be honest, any of the albums in that group could easily have made it into my Best of 2014 on a different day. Indeed, I could easily have included another five after that… and another five after that, but I needed to draw a line somewhere which I duly did.
Folk Roots Radio on September 27 (Episode 165) featured one of our best recent editions, our end of the festival season show from August 30 2014. Unfortunately I was struck down with a virus on the way back from a short family break to Florida. That will teach me to think about taking a holiday!
Folk Roots Radio on September 13 (Episode 167) featured interviews with British Americana duo Plumhall, who’ve just release a great album of moody British Americana, “Thundercloud” and Guelph-based singer-songwriter Jane Lewis, who releases her new album “Stay With Me” on September 26. We wrapped it all up in lots of great music including a highly topical mystery theme and this week’s guilty pleasure.
Plumhall are Michelle Plum and Nick Hall. They come from West Yorkshire in England and they’ve just released a great debut album of moody British Americana entitled “Thundercloud”.
Michelle is a former member of Chumbawamba, Waking the Witch and The Accidental Tourists. Nick has been a member of the Hall Brothers band nearly all his life. Together as Plumhall they have supported Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls of The Wonderstuff, as well as State Of The Union, Andy White and Henry Priestman. They also recently performed with multi-instrumentalist, and former member of Bob Dylan’s tour band, Larry Campbell at the BBC Radio 2 award-winning folk club The Black Swan in York England. We caught up with them at home in Bradford. For more information visit: plumhall.co.uk. Music: Plumhall, “Let Me Sleep” and “Exit From The Light” from Thundercloud (2014, Proper Distribution).