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!
Toronto singer-songwriter and Unitarian Universalist minster Lynn Harrison joins us on Episode 498 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about her wonderful new album “Something More”. It’s a great interview and really inspiring – you definitely don’t want to miss it. We also continue to celebrate International Women’s Day with more new music from female artists and this time around we feature Lunar Bloom, Kristen Martell, Minuscule, Wu Fei & Abigail Washburn, Della Mae, Rose Cousins, The Haden Triplets and Lynne Hanson. Check out the full playlist below.
One of Canada’s finest songwriters, Ron Sexsmith will be performing an intimate solo show at the 2019 Roots North Music Festival, at the St. Paul’s Centre in Orillia ON on Friday April 26. The songwriter’s songwriter, Ron Sexsmith has released fifteen full-length albums since his debut “Grand Opera Lane” in 1991. His most recent album, “The Last Rider” was released in 2017, shortly after making the decision to leave Toronto for Stratford. Ron is now also a published author after the release of his grown-up fairy tale “Deer Life”. Ron Sexsmith joined us on Folk Roots Radio for an in-depth conversation about his music, a possible musical version of Deer Life and a new album of original songs slated for 2020. For more information about the music of Ron Sexsmith, visit ronsexsmith.com. Music: Ron Sexsmith “Worried Song”, “The Man At The Gate (1913)” and “Who We Are Right Now” from “The Last Rider” (2017, Ronboy Rhymes) and “Love Shines” from “Long Player Late Bloomer” (2011, Ronboy Rhymes).
The 2019 Roots North Music Festival takes place across Downtown Orillia on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27. Ron Sexsmith will be sharing the Friday night main stage with two other fabulous songwriters, Rose Cousins and Ariana Gillis. Alt. folk rising star The Weather Station headlines the main stage on the Saturday evening with support from inspirational world music performer Alysha Brilla who blends folk, jazz and world rhythms together and Americana duo VK. There will also be a full day of free performances throughout the day on the Saturday, at a variety of downtown venues. Check out the full schedule for the Roots North Music Festival, on their website at rootsnorthmusic.ca. Weekend passes can be picked up at Alleycats Music in Orillia or online via the website. The early bird price is currently just $45! (weekend passes go up to $55 on April 12. Don’t miss out!)
Amy Mangan joins us on Episode 435 of Folk Roots Radio to talk about the 5th Annual Roots North Music Festival which takes place across Downtown Orillia on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27. This year, a fabulous main stage line-up sees renowned Canadian songsmith Ron Sexsmith take the stage on he Friday evening with Prince Edward Island raised, Halifax NS based Rose Cousins and the ever intriguing Ariana Gillis, while inspirational world music performer Alysha Brilla who blends folk, jazz and world rhythms together and Orillia based Americana duo VK join The Weather Station on the Saturday evening. There will also be a full day of free performances throughout the day on Saturday at a variety of downtown venues. We also take a look at more of the latest new releases and this time around we check out new music from Iain Thomson and Marc Duff, Doug McArthur, Le Vent du Nord, AKA Trio, Ashley Condon, Cathy Hutch and Noah Derksen. Check out the full playlist below.
Renowned Canadian songsmith Ron Sexsmith and alt. folk rising star The Weather Station are headlining this year’s Roots North Music Festival which takes place across Downtown Orillia on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27. A particular strong main stage line-up features another couple of fabulous songwriters, Prince Edward Island raised, Halifax NS based Rose Cousins and the ever intriguing Ariana Gillis who join Sexsmith on the Friday evening, while inspirational world music performer Alysha Brilla who blends folk, jazz and world rhythms together and VK, an Orillia based Americana duo featuring Steve and Marni Van Kessel joining The Weather Station on the Saturday evening. There will also be a full day of free performances throughout the day on Saturday at a variety of downtown venues. To learn more about this year’s line-up we caught up with Amy Mangan, one of the festival organizers. Check out the full schedule on the Roots North Music Festival website. Weekend passes can be picked up at Alleycats Music in Orillia or online at rootsnorthmusic.ca. The early bird price is currently just $45! (The cost of a weekend pass goes up to $55 on April 12. Don’t miss out!) Photo: Deb Halbot. Music: Ron Sexsmith “Evergreen” from “The Last Rider” (2017, Ronboy Rhymes), Rose Cousins “Chosen” from “Natural Conclusion” (2017, Outside Music) and The Weather Station “You and I on the Other Side Of The World” from “The Weather Station” (2017, Outside Music).
We’re getting set for the 2018 Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival which takes place the weekend of August 17-19 in Kelso Park, on the shores of Georgian Bay, just outside Owen Sound. One of the friendliest festivals out there, and now in its 43rd year, it’s always a fabulous weekend. Each year, Summerfolk prides itself in putting together a wonderful musical line-up, and the 2018 edition is no exception. This year’s festival features more than 40 different musical acts from Canada and across the world in genres that range from folk, roots, country and bluegrass, to blues, and even hip-hop and funk. As always, there are also lots of children’s activities, community workshops, artisan booths, dozens of food vendors… and two licensed areas. Artistic Director James Keelaghan joins us on Episode 394 of Folk Roots Radio to chat about the role of the AD and some of the artists he’s excited to see at the festival. We also check out music from Summerfolk 2018 performers Rose Cousins, Bahamas, Suzie Vinnick, Susan Aglukark, Goitse, Calan, Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer and Vishtèn. Check out the full playlist below.
On this edition of Folk Roots Radio, we talk to singer/songwriter Corin Raymond who has just received a Juno Award nomination for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year for his wonderful album “Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams”, which just happened to be our favourite recording of 2016. Corin joined us in the mobile studio at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past October for a wide-ranging conversation that covered his songwriting, the joys of collaboration, his 100 Book Blog, and, of course, the making of “Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams”. We also get to play some tracks from the album we haven’t yet played on the show. And, as always, we fill up the rest of the hour with a look at more of the latest new releases.
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.
Episode 263 of Folk Roots Radio is dedicated to the 33rd edition of the Hillside Festival taking place at beautiful Guelph Lake Conservation Area, just north of Guelph, on the weekend of July 22-24, and featuring music from some of the performers we’re looking forward to catching. And Sam Baijal, Artistic Director at the Hillside Festival also joins us to chat about the line-up and the artists he’s excited to bring to the festival. To learn more about Hillside and to pick up tickets – and, amazingly there are still some available, visit hillsidefestival.ca.
The 33rd Hillside Festival takes place on the island in beautiful Guelph Lake Conservation Area, just north of Guelph, on the weekend of July 22 to 24. Consistently voted one of the best summer festivals in Canada, Hillside has developed a strong reputation for not just serving up a wonderful variety of music, but also producing festival highlights that are often not the artists you came to the festival to see. To learn more about this year’s festival we caught up with Artistic Director Sam Baijal. For more information about Hillside and to pick up tickets visit hillsidefestival.ca. Music: Buffy Sainte-Marie “It’s My Way” from “Power In The Blood” (2015, True North Records), Rose Cousins “Let The Light Come In” (single) (2015, Old Farm Pony Records/Makeout Music).
The musical lineup for the 33rd edition of the Hillside Festival has just been announced so it’s clear that summer can’t be too far away. A genre diverse musical delight, as always there is something for everyone. The festival runs from July 22 to 24 at Guelph Lake Conservation Area. Check out the artists scheduled to play below.
The Grande Dame of Canadian folk festivals has announced the full artistic line-up for its 53rd annual edition taking place July 5-7, 2013, at Tudhope Park in Orillia, Ontario, Canada.